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Long journey ahead..

“Dear, a pinch of salt also cannot? Doctor got say cannot meh? One tiny pinch will make a lot of difference. Somemore hor, if we have lack of sodium, we can get delusional. Sure cannot? One pinch lorrr. After all, they are giving him such big packet of liquid to clear his system.”

“Cannot…”

“He knows meh? Maybe if the food is tastier, he can eat more? Moreover hor, the mee suah is loaded with salt also.”

“Cannot…”

“Ok lah, ok lah…no salt. I put garlic ok? Or else the fish smells fishy. Somemore garlic good for cancer. And I put one drop of olive oil. We need oil in our diet. If they ask, you tell them fish natural oil ok?”

“I don’t know lah.”

“You ask them lah, why must eat the same meal everyday? Tell them, tumeric is very good for infection. Medically proven. I can go buy some fresh tumeric and prepare fish with it. Sure tasty and have healing property. Ask lah.”

“People say only mee suah and fish, with no salt or anything else.”

“Pepper and a bit of cornflour to make the fish fillet smoother, ok gua….”

“You ha…”

“Trust me lah…if given free hand to me, I sure fatten him up with my cooking. The doctor doesn’t restrict his diet, why must eat so little? I make some spinach, carrot and potato soup….Nicer mah…”

“Aiyar…so clever, you go ask lah.”

“Ok lah, don’t want suak-suak khi lah. People offer only mah…”

And today is the beginning of a long journey ahead. I am not talking about my own journey of cooking. Rather, it is a long journey to cancer treatment.

To those of you who read my Christian Journey probably knew the rant I made the other day. By sheer coincidence or the work of the Holy Spirit, the people asked me to do it the next day. I felt a bit guilty for the rant but that’s how I felt at that moment in time. So, it is brewing barley, some cooling Chinese herbs and other stuffs for drinks and cooking mee suah for the two meals.

My relative started radiotherapy today. I thought it is for his cancer treatment but the doctor said it is just to stop the bleeding from the kidney. He is now warded at the Penang General Hospital and the radiotherapy or (whatever they call the treatment which is to be done in Pantai Mutiara) is not part of the cancer treatment yet.

Both hubby and I have seen critical illness and death so the two of us are so cool about everything. We went to visit the other day (actually hubby is doing the running around, three times a day) and asked him to walk more but he is rather down and was lying on his bed all day. I do not know if it is frustrating for him or beneficial to him because both of us insisted that he should get up and walk around with his urine bag and all those drips because it will strengthen his muscles and gives better blood circulation.

That’s why I do not like to go too often because to me, nothing is too difficult. I gently explained that the catheter is in place and secure so he doesn’t have to worry too much of dislodging it. But it is hard for the patient because it is a big whack on his life.

So, my dear friends, pray that he will regain the mental strength to counter the weakened body. I really do not know what the future holds for him. He had to stop the treatment at Adventist because it was getting too costly. However, on the positive side, our Government Hospital is rather well equipped and if not, they refer to Pantai Mutiara (at Gov hospital cost). Maybe I should thank Chua Soi Lek for these facilities.

His children have been informed, btw.

Ok, Florence Nightingale is going for her rounds. Ta ta!

P/S : Suggestions for diet/meals/foods for cancer patients who are undergoing radiotherapy is most welcome.




17 Responses to “Long journey ahead..”

  1. I am so sorry about your relative. Cancer is a debilitating and scary disease so perhaps everyone thought the patient should be treated like expensive frail china.
    I do not know what food a cancer patient should or should not eat but I think it is best to ask the doctor to be certain.
    I recently came across a cancer centre offering free counseling, so if ever anyone of your relative’s family needed an understanding ear, they can go to Mitta For Life Cancer Centre, 19 Solok Trengganu on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It is open between 2pm – 5pm. Contact number is 012-5349997.

    Foongs last blog post..Make your own special steamed chicken

  2. Well, i have read some herb leaves book and i read that some leave can help cure some type of cancer. You would need to study more about it and help the person who had cancer. Do some research and it may help a bit. take k

    Jarods last blog post..I’m excited!

  3. When my mother underwent therapy, we gave her a lot of freshly squeezed orange juice as therapy will make the body very heaty. She also sleeps a lot and is always nauseous when she is under treatment. Foodwise, she eats food that is more “cheng” and cooling.

  4. Hi Lilian,

    I am sure there are dietitians in Penang GH. Maybe can get the doctor to refer to them? But having said that, I am not sure how much of the dietetics involvement in a clinical setting back home though. Will send you an email for some dietetics advice for oncology patient undergoing radiotherapy as it maybe too lengthy for a comment.

  5. My mother went thru both radio and chemo. She took “beijing chao” juice or boil it with water. I’m not sure what does it call in English, but we planted it on our own so that it’s organic. Besides that, she takes juices from different vege and fruits, with diff combination everyday. Celery, carrot, bitter gourd, apple, orange, radish and etc. We cook her food without oil, salt, sugar and you can say it’s totally tasteless. However, she is very healthy now and it’s been 10 years since her treatment.

    shoppingmums last blog post..Omega Watches

  6. shoppingmum – One of my SIl bought the pat-chi-chou with another type of dried ‘grass’ to boil. Sometimes, I brew barley, the Chinese type. I have been asking and asking about fruit juices and hope they will agree soon.

    selena – Thanks a lot for all the information. It is a comfort to know that I am preparing foods according to the medical (which is the right) guidelines.

    Jen – Thanks, I hope they will accept my proposal for celery and cucumber juice. Celery lowers BP and cucumber cooling.

    Jarod – Thanks. My other relative brought some ‘cancer grass’ they plucked. Suppose to boil with brown sugar.

    Foong – Tks for the contact. I have been hoping that they will let the cancer support to approach them. Cancer survivors are the best persons to help. But right now, they are still coming to terms and not up to meeting ‘strangers’ yet. Working on it…

    Tks also to Ros for the info from John Hopkins.

  7. Fruits. Lots & lots of them. Or fruit juices, lots & lots of them. The common ones would be good – watermelon, papaya, oranges and apples.

    About the salt and sugar and oil in food… go ask the doctor. I don’t see how very small amounts of them can be bad. Best is to replace them with herbs and spices loh. I subscribe to the thought that the stronger the smell/taste, the more potent compounds in the herb. (probably not applicable for cancer patients.)

    Best of luck to him.

    iamyuanwus last blog post..Arabification

  8. I’ll pray. I hope he’ll be strong.

    elfiejanes last blog post..Of Ads and Charity

  9. Beijing Grass is good for those with breast cancer. But no harm to try that. It is just herb.

    Choonies last blog post..Rice Price Increased

  10. For a closer pic, http://www.flickr.com/photos/guzhengman/2158571388/
    To know more about this herb, go here http://members.tripod.com/flora-ma/mc/cmmub01a.htm

    Choonies last blog post..Rice Price Increased

  11. Radiotherapy will destroy most of the fast growing cells in the body like the mucosa of the mouth. He will eventually feels dry in the mouth and throat, and find it difficult to breath, talk or eat. Drinks that is a bit starchy in consistency like barley will help relieve the discomfort. I carry 1 big bottle of barley wherever I go last time.

    My oncologist practised in HongKong for her master degree so she taught my mum what can help to relieve dryness and dehydration.

    1) Cook red apples, white fungus, rock sugar and a few black dates with water using slowcooker over 1-2 hours. You can use raw papaya to substitute the apples. My mum make a big pot everyday, when my throat hurts, she will make me drink a lot.
    (i’m not very sure which type of dates my mum use bcos they say red dates is heaty, i’ll ask my mum to confirm)

    2) Plenty of fresh fruit juice without sugar. Fruit juice must be consume within 10mins because it will oxidise and no more nutritional value.

    3) Soup. A lot of vegetable soup, ABC soup, choi sum. Because gradually chewing and swallowing will be difficult for him but he must eat to supply his body with necessary protiens, minerals, vitamins for cell regeneration so fluid diet will do.

    4) A lot of fish (except ikan kembong), steamed ones is healthier for him. Try to reduce intake of red meat, not to say to don’t eat it at all, when his red blood cell count is low, then give him some red meat to supply iron for blood. My mum replace “pai kuat” and meat when cooking soup with various types if beans for protein supplement.

    5) Salt (sodium) will promote growth of cancer cells so vegetables and food that are rich in sodium naturally should not take too much. This include celery. Brocolli and all types of mushrooms have anti-cancer effect.

    When I recall summore what my mum fed me, I’ll message you. My mum spent a lot of time learning from nutritionist, books and other cancer patients to prepare my meals. If I could be of any help, just email me.

    Most of the time, our body after the radiotherapy effect will be very weak so we will tend to spend a lot of time in bed. If he doesn’t want to get down from bed, just give him a little bit massage here and there. Mum and Ken always massage my shoulder, my arms and legs for me. And take note that hygiene is very important because we are very vulnerable to infections.

    littlepolariss last blog post..Chi pai

  12. May the Good Lord bless you and your hubby ( & the children too) for your kindness and good work.

    Charles & I feel nice and proud to have found such a wonderful blog-fren like you.

  13. many herbal recipes are around but there is no strong evidence to support its use, IMHO, mostly are based on individual case or experience.

    but experience tot me tht most cnacer patients are thin becasue the cancer ‘eats’ you fr inside. i guess tis is the layman’s term of d increase catabolic turnover…hem hem(cough, cough) (where’s my 4-square-hat?)

    i dont know, if i am the cancer pt, i will ask for my favourite food, may it be Big mac or tua pang koey tiau, suffering fr the treatment and disease is bitter enough. Bitter herbal drinks, sugarfree barley drinks, poached apple or daily steamed fish…. i rather die quicker. sorry lah… this is just my thinking.

    99.9% associates death with cancer.. this made them fall into the pit of depression straight away no matter how strong u r. the more they know of the disease, the better/quicker they improve. There is just too many misconceptions amongst cancer patients, one will try everything if he/she is desperate.

    hospital is a very depressed place to be, though some have tried to make look more like a theme park, it is still not a place where i wish to go when I wake up on any saturday morning. Perhaps, when yr relative feels more confident in coping with the catheter, he might want to stay home for few days. this might perk him up.

  14. This might not be related, but I read something about chemotherapy from a health article few months.

    If you are treating with chemotherapy its better if you fast for two days prior to the treatment. It will help protect your cells, and the chemo will only attack the bad cells.

    Anyway confirm with the doctor first la.

  15. Salt and sugar is not recommended. This is cos’ his liver is affected and these condiments will make his liver work harder to get rid of it. You can try honey instead of sugar. As for celery, if his BP is too low, it is not recommended. Carrot is good but be careful he doesn’t turn too yellow.

  16. May your relative heals fast.
    Besides food, it is also good to keep the patient in good mood.

  17. My mom surviced breast cancer a few year back.

    There were alot of advices on what to eat and what not to eat. I understand all advices were from the heart and meant good. But to much information will only confuse you and put much stress on the cancer patient.

    Do not take all advices seriously unless directly from a qualified doctor.
    Some advices will only make the patient worry for nothing.