Help me how can I help my sis

Hello Friends, I'm in a new user in the group. I'm Edwin from India. My sister affected in Breast Cancer second stage. Now she is started doing chemo. she almost down in physically . She had too much tired and no interest talk. Can u please advice me? what type of food can i give to her. share some diet methods. and home remedies food. ect ect

7 Replies

  • Welcome, Edwin. You are so very kind to be watching out for your sister's well-being through this time that is so difficult for both of you. It is very important for her attitude, spirits, comfort, and recovery that she continues to have your loving concern.

    You need to refer to her pathology report on the biopsy specimen from which her breast cancer was diagnosed. The reported characteristics (Estrogen and Progesterone receptor status, and Her-2 status) of her tumor cells may help guide about her recovery diet.

    As example only, my breast cancer (also Stage II) tested highly positive for Estrogen and Progesterone receptors on the tumor cells. I read ingredient labels and do not consume any soy products, because soy and its derivative products mimic Estrogen. I do not consume any dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheeses, butter (this would include ghee), sour cream, ice cream) because of Estrogen concerns. I do not consume water nor other goods stored in typical clear plastic (BPA-containing) bottles/jars. I consume nearly no meat -- only wild fish sometimes. Sometimes I eat some eggs. I have a water filtration system for my drinking and cooking water, in hopes to reduce hormones that may be in the town water supply. I eat a lot of black beans and (American type) red beans, a lot of onions and garlic, bell peppers, and a lot of other vegetables. For pasta products I use only the whole-wheat type. For bakery type products I use only those made without soy (they have Canola oil or Olive oil instead) and without any added sugar. I use saffron, turmeric, and dried red peppers in my soups in case they might help, and I put black pepper and the black seeds called kalonji (ground in a blender to be of a form like ground black pepper) in nearly all my foods. I try to avoid any sugar, and of the popular artificial sweeteners, I do not use aspartame nor saccharin. I use the sucralose type (Splenda) to sweeten my tea. I have sometimes improvised (homemade) vegetable pizzas, but with no soybean oil and no added sugar in the crust nor in the sauce, and of course no cheese among the toppings. Other bread-type products can be prepared at home without the ingredients of concern. I have found that canned coconut milk (should be without the additive carageenan) can be used instead of milk to make some (okay/tolerable/acceptable) dessert foods that are ordinarily made with milk. Cooked (only cooked, not raw) large white button mushrooms are supposed to be a very good anti-cancer food, but I find that I can no longer keep them down in my stomach.

    Here is a link to a website that makes dietary recommendations based on published scientific study results. In reading there, you will notice indications that some foods are reported as good diet for certain breast cancer types but not for other types. Also, you will find that for a particular food, the research findings may go either way (or both ways). The truth is that nobody has nearly all the answers about that huge mysterious universe that is cancer. We just make the best guesses we can, to do our best to deal with it. The website may or may not give the best dietary guidance for us. I think it is worth a look around through the website and the research findings reported there for our foods. I deviate sometimes from its recommendations (like as to my occasional use of coconut milk), but I have referred to it often in learning and planning a diet that is practical for my situation for the long term.

    An example foods directory page here (each subject food in the list is a link to another page):

    You can fairly expect that the sickness effects of your sister's Chemotherapy will come in cycles, starting soon after her treatment doses, and then some improvement before the next treatment is given. She should get to feeling much better before the time of her next treatment. In addition, you may find that the ill effects get a little worse with each successive Chemo treatment.

    Many patients find that their food tastes change during Chemo treatment -- that all the foods taste different, or that they no longer like foods they were accustomed to eating before starting Chemo.

    Notwithstanding anything else I have written or pointed you to, if your sister is presently unable to eat what is good for her, and if she is unable to eat most foods, then she should eat whatever food/s she can tolerate. It is important that she eats and stays very well hydrated.

    If the Chemo side effects such as nausea, vomiting, anything else, are too much, let her Doctor know. Her Doctor can prescribe or recommend medicines to lessen the severity of most any particular side effects, and if it is absolutely necessary, they can adjust her Chemo dosing or medicines to make her treatment less difficult for her.

    Let her rest as much as she feels she needs to. She is sick from her illness, and the Chemo medicine will make her sicker at times -- but that treatment is how it is all going to get better.

    I will make another post here shortly.

  • Thank you so much your kind. I learned lots of information from your Post. Keep in touch with me. I need your help like this.

    thanks again

  • You are very welcome, Edwin. My HealthUnlocked account settings are fixed so that I will get an email to tell me whenever you have posted here at Breast Cancer Haven on HealthUnlocked.

    I am (painfully) aware that in most cases there are serious unaffordability problems about some cancer medicines in your region. If you need help to find more affordable medicine, there is also here on HealthUnlocked a forum titled Breast Cancer India, which has many Indus region members who would likely have the best information to help about that.

    I will write to you here again soon -- around late morning or mid-day on your clock.

  • For as long as your sister is in Chemotherapy treatment, as well as for some lengthy time following its completion, she, you, and all members of her household must keep mindful that she is immunocompromised with little immune defense against contagious sicknesses. Any of those sicknesses -- colds, influenza, coughs, anything like that -- could make her very seriously ill and would likely result in necessarily delaying her planned Chemo treatments. It is best if she can take her treatments according to the ideal schedule plan. A setback about her schedule of treatments could make her Chemotherapy course less effective. So it is very important that she and all her household members avoid catching (contracting) any such illnesses that may be spreading around in the community.

    She and all her household members should do their best to avoid crowds, gatherings, close contact with the public, any sick people, anything that puts them at higher risk of catching a sickness. This is to keep your sister as well (contagious disease-free) as she can be, so she can continue with her treatments according to the ideal plan, if at all possible.

    I strongly recommend that you discourage or limit other people's unnecessary (social) visits to her household, and that all of her household members try to keep to home as much as they practicably can. For while your sister is in Chemo treatment, any shopping is best done at the least crowded shopping times or by order and delivery. I also strongly recommend (to reduce contagious sickness risks) that she and her household members wear clinical masks (available in drugstores -- they cover the lower face, from under the chin to the upper bridge of the nose) whenever they are going out to any public places. Do not worry about what others may think -- do not be concerned that others may think that you are sick -- wearing a protective mask during any outings to public places is a very simple thing to do that can help your sister with her recovery.

  • Hi edwin. So sorry to hear about your sister. One thing to remember us that the chemo is making her better and, although it may be difficult to see her suffering at this time, it is all for the good in the end. I made sure that I had a bottle of hand gel by the front door and asked everyone to use it when they visited. I think it is important to have friends around you but do make sure they are not suffering from coughs, holds, sickness, diarrhea etc before they come and do not kiss them.

    I did keep away from crowds. Getting outside and fresh air is good for you so try and go for a walk with her if she feels well enough. The few times when I want shopping, if I was buying veg etc. I would use a plastic glove. Also use plastic/rubber gloves for doing anything in the house.

    I just ate anything that I fancied except foods I had been told not to eat (e.g. eggs, live yogurts). I didn't always feel like eating but little and often is a good idea. Rest is essential

    I think sometimes you can be too over protective and overpowering but it is good to know there are people around you who care. You may need to take a step back but I am sure you can work out your involvement with your sister together.

    Hope everything works well and the treatment will be over soon. Best wishes x

  • Hi Edwin. Feed her whatever she can tolerate. Treatment makes some foods taste strange and hard to eat. If she can manage it, plenty of fruit and vegetables. I found pineapple good to clean the mouth. Lots of people recommend beetroot . I couldn't recommend any home remedies I just did what the nurses and doctors suggested. Finding a method of keeping cool would help her. Plenty of rest and patience - these things take time. I'm glad she has you there to care.

  • Hi Edwin. Sorry I have taken so long. I am always very tired and I must take a lot of rest.

    Your sister's hair will probably start shedding at about two weeks (about 14 days) after the start of her (initial) Chemo treatment. Some very soft-textured rayon dupattas (especially in white or mostly white) would make some nice wraps for her head and shoulders then, and she should not feel conspicuous at all that way. White colored or very light colored fabric would help reflect sunshine, and soft rayon material would help her keep dry in hotter times as well as more humid times.

    Do you know how to make the Japanese food fried rice? I make it with Canola oil, chilled cooked brown rice (on the firmer/slightly drier side), lots of onions and other vegetables, and some scrambled eggs, but no soy sauce, of course. It is much long work to make it, so I make fairly large quantities, and when it has cooled, I freeze it in meal portions in food storage grade polypropylene type plastic cylindrical jars. I do not pack it compressed at all -- I drop it into the plastic jars and then rap (strike) their bottoms against a kitchen counter (or table surface) and the fried rice settles into them without being compressed.

    The food storage grade polypropylene containers do not have the BPA chemical that should be avoided for my (estrogen receptor positive) cancer type. On the bottom of each container of this safe food storage material is a triangular recycling symbol with the numeral 5 within, and under the triangular marking are the letters PP.

    Be sure to ask your sister's health care providers at each stage of her treatment about any particular foods or food types she should avoid. Have her get a copy of her biopsy Pathology report, because the tumor cell characteristics noted there may have bearing on what would be the best diet for her.

    Has her treatment just begun with Chemotherapy as first treatment? Or has she had treatment Surgery yet?

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