Log in or Register to participate in these discussions

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Posted by Kristan on Jan 25, 2019 10:15 am

My name is Kristan and my dad was diagnosed with Squamous cell carcinoma recently and he will begin his treatments Feb 4 2019. 
We are gathering everything we need to get ready for the battle and was wondering if anyone would have some advice or tips that helped you or a loved ones on their journey!
What types of soaps/moisturizers did you find worked best while going through radiation.
What was your trick to keep your calorie count up during treatments?
What kept you motivated and positive?
What words, sayings or action did you find annoying when people asked or said to you?
Any go to websites that you found helpful?
Thank you for your time!


Re: Getting Ready

Posted by ACH2015 on Jan 25, 2019 11:02 am

Hi Kristan‍ 

Good for you getting prepared to help your father through his cancer treatments. Proactive and caring I'd say.

Soaps / moisturizers - the Radiation Oncologist will suggest what to and not to use. Lubriderm (unscented and lanolin free) and Glaxal moisturizers are the common suggestions.

Soaps should be unscented and moisturizing as well - stay away from lanolin based anything, apparently it can effect the radiation.

Calorie count - Eat what you can and keep in mind to ask what you should stay away from (high antioxidant foods, some vitamins and supplements) can negatively effect some chemo and radiation treatments as well. Verify any suggestions and restrictions with the Radiation Oncology team. Keeping hydrated with water is suggested.

If nausea is an issue, ask for anti nausea medications and keep food simple and plain Jane until you know what works and what does not. There is some trial and error for each of us.

Motivation is unique to the individual. I told myself the pain and discomfort was necessary - short term pain for long term gain. Killing cancer will result in some side effects, but keeping the goal in mind worked for me. Radiation will effect us all differently. The location and duration of the radiation makes that difference. Some of us burn, some badly, others not at all.

Annoying sayings - Keep Strong, You Got This, You Look Good, Are You Cured etc... People mean well, but the questions and statements can be frustrating. Again unique to the individual.

Go To Websites - You are already here! - But the main site to the Canadian Cancer Society is full of good up to date and reliable information. http://www.cancer.ca/en/?region=on

From the main page, scroll through the different areas to find answers to many questions we all have.

I hope this helps get you started. All the best to your Father, you and your family.

Lots of help and support here.

Keep well and keep in touch.

ACH2015 - Andy.

Re: Getting Ready

Posted by Aly on Jan 25, 2019 11:10 am

Hi Kristan‍ , welcome to Cancer Connection! I wish we were meeting under better circumstances, however; I am glad you found this website.

For your question regarding keeping calories up during treatment, here are some tricks to add to everyday meals.
  • Butter on noodles, on bread, on anything possible adds extra calories, fats and vitamins.
  • Creamers in coffee or tea adds extra calcium, glucose and vegetable fat 
  • Dried Milk added to ordinary milk doubles protein
  • Mayonaise is fattier and more calories than salad dressing
  • Milk to dilute soups instead of water
  • Sour cream or cheese on potatoes adds extra calories and fats
  • Sugar to cereals or syrup to porridge for extra energy
  • Whipped cream on whatever you can think of!
and in case you need it, here are some suggestions for sore mouth or inability to eat solid foods:
  • Cold cereal soaked in milk or cream
  • Hot cereals such as oat bran, cream of wheat, corn meal, oatmeal or congee
  • Scrambled eggs, ometlets or quiche
  • Soft boiled or poached eggs
  • Yoghurt
  • Pancakes or french toast with butter and syrup or fruit sauce
  • Macaroni and cheese, or pastas with cheese, cream or tomato sauce
  • Buttered noodles with parmesan cheese
  • Perogies with sour cream
  • Potato salad, egg salad, tuna salad
  • Any variation of paté liverwurst, guacamole, hummus or cream cheese on a slice of soft, crustless and/or buttered bread
  • Soups, stews, shepherd's pie or pot pie
  • Baked beans
  • Poached fish or fish cooked in a sauce
  • Boiled vegetables with a cheese or cream sauce
  • Mashed potatoes, mashed or creamed vegetables
  • Puddings such as tapioca, rice, bread or custard
  • Jello, applesauce, mashed, stewed or pureed fruits
  • Ice cream, sherbertm or any other frozen desserts
  • Melon, avocado, bananas
  • Canned fruit (packed in heavy syrup)
  • Cream pies or sponge cakes with custard sauce
and just in case, liquid food:
  • Toddler breakfast cereals or rice cereals thinned with milk
  • Carnation Breakfast Anytime
  • 2%, whole, chocolate or soy milk
  • Milkshakes or fruit smoothies
  • Yop
  • Eggnog
  • Buttermilk
  • Hot chocolate
  • Strained or blended soups
  • Juices or nectars
  • Iced tea or fruit drinks
  • Any form of frozen desserts
I have also compiled a list of websites that I have found helpful during my time as a caregiver here.

Due to my inexperience with radiation, and me being a caregiver I will leave the other questions for those with more experience.

Re: Getting Ready

Posted by Kristan on Feb 5, 2019 7:55 am

Thank you very much. He started his treatment yesterday. Fingers crossed.

Re: Getting Ready

Posted by Aly on Feb 5, 2019 10:21 am

Kristan‍ , keep us in the loop on how things go and remember to take time to care for yourself too!