My father was diagnosed with throat cancer last September, and underwent a treatment of chemotherapy and radiation to kill the cancer which ended last January. Since then, he’s had trouble eating for a couple of reasons, the first being that his taste buds were irradiated so everything tastes funny and the second being that it hurt to swallow food, so he kinda lives off of cold soup and soggy cereal.
Since he began his treatment, he’s lost over 70 lbs (he started at a fat 280 though), and his doctors are concerned at his continued rate of weight loss. More, his blood work shows that his red and white blood-cell count and thyroid are low (and by low, I mean just below the normal range, but it’s been there for the past half-year).
The doctors are concerned that the chemo might have destroyed/damaged his bone marrow, which is definitely possible. The other possibility is he’s just not eating enough for his body to recover. Or both.
Apparently, malnutrition is a potential side-effect of his cancer treatment, but the worst seems to be over. He can now swallow food without pain (sense of taste is still shot) and is willing to be advised on diet (before he was just struggling to eat period. Yes, a ‘see-food’ diet where you still lose weight. Funny what cancer does to you). I’m just not sure what to tell him.
I mean, yeah, healthy fats, low GI grains, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, but that may or may not be what he needs given his blood work. It’s a step in the right direction, but maybe it could be better.
So what should I advise my father, who just finished treating his throat cancer with radiation and chemo about half a year ago and is striving to stave off malnutrition and increase his better his blood profile, to eat?
(all replies are welcome, but if you have specific training or experience in this field, point that out to me)