Monday, October 31, 2011

A True Smoothie With Umph

Sometimes it's difficult to eat when you are a cancer patient.  Food can get that metallic taste or there's no taste at all.  You may have mouthsores which makes eating even more challenging or you just don't have much of an appetite.

Here is my recipe for that extra meal in a glass - very easily digested and as I mentioned in yesterday's post, if you have a sore mouth, drinking this with a wider straw will definitely help to get it down, rather than drinking it directly from the glass.  I use my Magic Bullet which is an invaluable device for making fruit shakes or smoothies.  If you don't have one, then just use your blender or beat with an electric mixer - even a hand mixer will do although it is a little more difficult.

Deb's Smoothie

Add all of the following ingredients directly into the Magic Bullet glass:

1 Egg
2 scoops Ice Cream
1 small Banana (cut in small pieces)
2 Minigo Yogurt
1 cup 2% Milk
1/4 cup Whey/Protein Powder
5-8 frozen Strawberries

add more milk if needed to make a liquid consistency

I also add a Shot Glass of Brandy!!!

Of course you can substitute a different type of frozen fruit and yogurt but it's a smoothie that is loaded with nutrition.

Ideally you should try and have one everyday for at least one week and then determine if you have more energy as well as a little weight increase.  Of course always continue to eat nutritous meals along with this smoothie - you CAN do it!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Straws Are Beneficial

If you have challenging mouth sores due to a side effect from your cancer treatment and are finding it difficult to drink, don't forget to try drinking from a straw.

Such a simple little device but it can really help alleviate some of your mouth discomfort as the liquid through the straw will not directly irritate the inside of your mouth as much as it would if you drank from a glass or cup.  Try to get the bendable straws as this makes it much easier to sip if you are in an inclined position or lying down.

For milkshakes you can use the wider straws which will allow for a better flow as the thick shakes will not be easily accessible through the regular straws.

Just a simple idea, but thought I would pass it along and share it in case you are having problems with mouth sores.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Sending congratulations to all those who have been receiving great news from their recent MRI or CT's....! 

Keeping positive and living life to the fullest is what it's all about - way to go KJE and Joanne!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Do You "Really" Need Those Pain Meds?

Speaking once again from the voice of experience, I wanted to share some information with you about pain medications.

Many cancer patients experience intense pain with their cancer while others have tumors with relatively very little pain or no pain associated with them at all.  A word of advice here would be to check very thoroughly with your oncologist or family physician to ensure your pain medications are prescribed for the right reasons.  It's very easy to make that mistake when you have cancer and pain.  Right away you may think your pain is due to your cancer but always take the time to investigate to make sure it's not something else causing your pain.

There is nothing worse than pain!  Any of us would gladly take whatever is offered to help alleviate our pain but be careful and always check out your pain meds!!!  There are all types of pain medications from anti-inflamatory, and corticosteroids to narcotics - just to name a few.  The big ones are the narcotics which you have all heard about, but these vary in strength and composition from slow-acting to fast-acting and of course their side effects and additions vary as well. 

If you have been prescribed these heavy duty meds it is usually trial and error so be ware!!!  If you find the strength of any pain medication you are on is making you incoherent, unaware of what's happening around you or constantly just plain out-if-it, then maybe it's time to reconnect with your physician and reduce the dose or re-examine the type of drug you are presently taking.  Believe me, you don't want to be on these narcotics unless it's absolutely necessary as getting off them can be just as dangerous as taking too high a dosage.  If your eyes just don't seem right - a very small pupil size - that is a possible sign as well that your pain medication may be too strong!

My point here is - always use your instincts or those of your caregiver if you are ever in doubt about the medications you are taking. If something does not seem right, if your appetite is not good, if you are sleeping way too much or if you are becoming incoherent, then go see your doctor immediately.  Find the "exact" cause of your pain as it just may not even be due to your cancer and then get the correct meds to treat you.

Good luck and take care!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Do People Realize?

I felt I had to post this today because sometimes people just don't "think" before they speak.

 While out on a short excursion this morning my husband met up with someone we have known for awhile and who knows that cancer has been a part of our lives for years now.  It's fine to exchange the common greetings and the usual talk, but does my husband want the constant reminder that he has CANCER always put right in his face????  NO!!!!

My husband does have a tumor behind his ear and of course for some it may be noticeable.  So what does this person say to him this morning?  "Wow, that's a huge lump you have there behind your ear???"  Good thing I was not there or I would have probably said something so that this person would never make a similiar remark to any other cancer patient.

I have constantly told friends and family to keep the conversation with him as normal as possible.  While we know all too well that he has cancer, don't think for one minute that it's easy to put it aside on any given day and try to find a bit of normalcy in our lives, so we don't want to be constantly reminded of it either by those on the outside, and more especially my husband does not need to hear it from anyone.  This cancer is not like coming down with the common cold or flu as all of us who live each day with it can attest to.

OK....that's it I've said it.  I sure hope that everyone who reads this post will pass it along to others next time they strike up a conversation with any cancer patient.  KEEP IT NORMAL! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stomach Cancer and Not Eating?

As my viewers already know, I honestly don't relay alot of my husband's medical condition right here on my blog.  That is just my choice as I don't want those who know us personally to have the inside scoop on just what's happening with him.  There are some things naturally that we all want to keep private but I do share important issues in hopes that it will help another cancer patient out there.  Also as you may or may not know, you can always email me at with any personal question and if I can be of any help, then I most certainly will email back a response.

With that being said, I thought I would share a recent diagnosis with those of you who may have recently been diagnosed with stomach cancer.  Yes, my husband now has mets to the stomach and of course at first the news was devastating.  Those of you who also continue to hear such increases in your cancer can definately relate, and no matter how long you may have cancer or how you may have thought you have heard everything about your cancer, it's always like an atomic bomb has hit when there's more negative news.  So that's the way it was this summer when my husband received that diagnosis.

The main thing to remember though is "no matter how bad the news is, always keep positive!!!"  Hearing that news is never good, but you have two choices - 1) give up and eventually the cancer WILL have it's way  "OR"  2) try your very best to do everything you can to keep living - the choice is yours. My husband always chooses to "NEVER QUIT" and of course I totally support him on that decision!  This choice is never easy however, but a patient has to be prepared to accept the hard knocks as they appear and then move on. 

Now back to the reason why I'm even telling you all of this.  Of course when you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer, the first thing you may probably hear is that you will not be able to eat.  Bah humbug I say!!!  I hope the little event that I'm going to share will help others who have been diagnosed with stomach cancer and that it will encourage them to keep eating and in return keep living!

One evening after we returned home from hospital, I presented my husband with his supper.  Of course his portions are much smaller than he usually would eat a few months ago, but I always try to offer him nutritous foods.  If you scroll back a few posts, you will see some examples.  My husband ate everything I had given him but before long it came right back up.  I could tell by the look on his face that he was thinking "well this is the end of my eating" as he sat back in his chair looking a bit dazed.

I however had a different thought and immediately took his plate and refilled it.  I told him to eat slower this time, to chew the food really good and most of all, to eat small portions each time rather than what he usually was used to.   Voila!!!  It worked!!! And it has been working every time since that day!

The lesson learned here is to Not Quit!  If I had not given my husband more food that evening and if he had not tried to eat it to accommodate his stomach problems, then no doubt he would have just given up and next time I gave him a meal, he would have just not wanted to eat it, for fear it would not stay down.  I trust that anyone else out there who has ever encountered this problem, will eat based on what I have relayed and Not Quit when the going gets tough.

My husband's appetite is improving, so I can't ask for more than that.  It's a slow process but each day brings better results.  Always try though to keep the food nutritous.  You can do it, just give yourself a second chance!

Take care everyone and have a great day 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In Memory

Yesterday I learned of the passing of a very courageous cancer patient and today I have added the animated candle to my blog in her honor.  Bec was a beautiful young lady who was a true inspiration to all who were privileged to follow along her cancer journey. 

My deepest sympathies to her loving and devoted family.

I have also added an automated blog roll to list names of other brave warriors who have passed on.  If you would like me to add a name, please enter it on my Chatroll blog or leave the name in the Comment section under any post and I will include it.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Give Thanks

Today is a very special day for all of us as it's Thanksgiving Day!  Most of us will be sharing cooked turkey with family and friends.  Many people will go about their day as if it were any other Sunday, but our family will be Giving Thanks for all of the blessings we have received this year.

Sometimes we tend to take things for granted - it's a natural thing to do.  When cancer or any serious illness strikes, then you stand back and take a very close look at just what really matters in your life and what the important things are.

I trust that each and everyone of you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Big "C"

 Just this past week I watched my first episode of The Big "C"!  Have you seen it?  Apparently season 1 of this series began in 2010, then went on to season 2 and now season 3 began last month.  It's a show about CANCER!

Maybe it's not a show for everyone to watch, especially some cancer patients - you will have to decide yourself.  It's a show about it's main character, Cathy Jamison a high school teacher being diagnosed with terminal (stage IV) melanoma and deciding initially not to tell anyone, including her husband and only child.  At first she fears that it would be too much of a burden for her family and friends to accept the news so she tries to continue on with her daily routine as if nothing is wrong.

 There are serious as well as comical overtones to this show.  My first reaction upon watching one particular series, was show me more.  Why?  Well as caregiver, I want to learn everything there is about cancer, I want to know how everyone reacts to the good and the bad situations that cancer brings and even though this is not a reality show, it does obviously allow me to see the good, bad and ugly situations that cancer creates in patients and their families.  I could relate to a little in just that first episode and then definitely even more, as I watched the second one.  It allows patients to realize that they should NOT dwell on their cancer, but to get out there and enjoy life to the fullest!  That is an excellent model for all to follow.

It's on SHOWIME television and you can also watch the episodes online.  Just google it to find out more.  Good luck with watching it and feel free to post your comments on it right on the Chatroll blog.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Don't Give Up! NEVER QUIT!

I recently read the following quote that I wanted to share with you:

Don't give up. There are too many nay-sayers out there who will try to discourage you. Don't listen to them. The only one who can make you give up is yourself.
Sidney Sheldon

Maybe you have not been feeling quite as well recently.  Maybe your most recent cancer report has not been as encouraging as you were anticipating or maybe you are just getting a little fed up with all you have gone through since you were first diagnosed with cancer.

Well, I'm here to tell you "Chin Up!".   Easy for me to say I know, for I am just the caregiver and not the patient, but I know what I say about not giving up is true.  My husband has not been well recently, no, not well at all but just watching him everyday in his fight to live, certainly encourages me to never give up on him!!!  Sure, we can all just live in gloom and doom when you get that bad report, you can allow the negative remarks that others say right in front of you to want to just give up, or you can pull up your socks and FIGHT!  It's all up to you. 

Just last month, my husband's medical prognosis was not very encouraging but one month later, he continues to feel a little better each day.  After all, you have to give yourself time to get back on track because it's not just going to happen overnight.  He is not looking for a cure for his cancer - although that would be the most amazing thing that could ever happen - but he is looking for results that will give him a better quality of life everyday.  He's doing his part and I'm making sure that everyone else who can help him accomplish this, is doing their part. 

If you are determined as well like my husband, then first of all, go seek the advice of your medical team and relate what you would like them to do.  Unless you have tried all the options that might be available for your cancer treatment, then you have not done everything there is to acquire that better quality of life.

I trust this post will encourage you to never quit! 

Have a good one!