Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Food ideas for friends after major surgery?


Paul Bacino
 Share

Recommended Posts

Our friend is have a major surgery this week and will be home after a two day stay. I would like to make a dish, that would be easy to warm, serve well or possibly freeze to be used a few days or a week later. I'm thinking anything pasta might be to heavy. Wondering?

TIA

Paul

OOps that was surgery!! Sorry

Its good to have Morels

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What surgery is your friend going to have? If they are going anywhere near his gut, your friend will need to eat low residue foods - i.e. stuff that digests almost completely leaving little to come out the rear end. Examples are soups, pureed foods, congee. The surgeon would have warned your friend of any dietary requirements before the operation.

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made my mother a batch of vegetable soups for when she was recovering and chicken broth (which they can add noodles to when cooking if so required) too so i could use the rest of the meat in a chicken pie. Shepherds pie is also easy to make and freeze and reheats well.

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know, we have had several excellent threads on this exact same subject - taking food to friends/relatives in some sort of distress - illnesses/funerals/broken hearts. These threads are so full of terrific advice that they are some of my favorite threads here, and I've actually adopted many of the suggestions. I'd recommend you do a search for them.

But one tip that has been very successful is to take some cartons of of ice cream, four or six (or however many family members there are) parfait glasses, and an assortment of fun toppings.

Comforting, tasty, and cheery.

I can't tell you how well-received that has been, and I want again to thank eGullet and whomever it was among you that suggested it so many years ago.

So, thanks. Again.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife and my mother in law have both recently had a lot of surgery.

In all cases, neither one had much of an appetite at all. My wife in particular -- she didn't want much other than light broth for days.

I wouldn't bother shopping for anything until you've asked them what they'd like. And then go get it or make it for them. Not nearly as convenient, but saves the embarrassment of bringing a nice lunch to someone who feels nauseous at the thought of food.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to have to agree with Scoop. When my mother in law went through the same surgery (and the rest) you mention, she didn't have an appetite. I think it's a combination of the anesthesia, the drugs, and the experience.

Having said that, we kept her satisfied and happy with homemade "brodo" sometimes with tortellini and sometimes with pasta. After which she moved on to pasta with pretty normal sauces. I think soups are a great idea as well.

If you are talking long term, my MIL was lucky enough to be able to follow a pretty normal diet during her therapy thereafter. But everyone is different.

Good luck to your friend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mellon salad can be either a simple tasty dish or completely inappropriate, depending on your friend's sense of humor.

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Paul, I happen to know quite a bit about chemo and breast surgery. I am an M.D. I can guess what stage your friend's cancer was at based on the treatment prescribed. That is very aggressive treatment indeed - the surgery is the least of her worries. I am not trying to make light of your friend's situation, but - a double mastectomy is nothing compared to the chemo and the radiation. IF the radiation field includes her oesophagus or her gut, she will find it difficult to swallow and eat - and, as others have said, she will feel tired and nauseated. Other challenges patients face are gastric ulcers and frequent diarrhoea.

The radiation oncologists usually aim the beam away from sensitive areas like that but sometimes they have no choice. They will presumably follow-up her treatment with something like Tamoxifen or Letrozole (depending on age and oestrogen receptor sensitivity) which will also have an impact on her appetite, mood, and many other things.

There are no specific dietary requirements that I am aware of, other than suggesting that she continue to have a normal, balanced diet. Note that I am talking about food groups, and not necessarily suggesting that she continues to eat what she normally eats (because I have no idea what her normal diet is like!). Needless to say, if she develops gastritis or ulcers, spicy food should be avoided. If she develops diarrhoea, she will need to keep her fluid intake high (which can be difficult if she is also nauseated). Her doctors will be monitoring her and any deficiency should instantly show up. They are the best people to advise if her nutrition is insufficient.

Best of luck to her, and to you. It is a lovely gesture and I am sure she will appreciate it.

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keith,

They couldn't rule out, the possibility that it was ductile. I guess, so aggressive tx was needed, because of the aggressiveness of ductile breast cancer from what I heard.

Thanks for all my friends best wishes, So.. we decided to take her for dinner tonight, before surgery . The last discussion we had.. was what were her wishes after surgery.

Looks like its : vanilla ice cream/ chocolate chip mint ice cream and chocolate sauce and nuts.

A lot of good ideas.. I think we'll do a Veg soup or stew with all the fresh garden veg and greens ( Yes with Killer home-made broth/stock ) too at some point. We'll progress with our help... as we see how she is doing and the needs of the rest of the family.

Thank-you all

Cheers

DP

Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a lovely thing you are doing and sounds like great plans on what to prepare. One other thought -- you could do one or more batches of homemade cinnamon rolls and put them in the disposable baking pans so that the family can freeze them. They're great to have on hand for weekend mornings when no one wants to get up early and cook.

Best wishes fand hope to your friend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like its : vanilla ice cream/ chocolate chip mint ice cream and chocolate sauce and nuts.

And sprinkles. Don't forget sprinkles. Especially if the family has children. Everyone loves sprinkles.

:smile:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whoever said you are feeding the family also, YES!

Especially if the lady having surgery is the primary cook in the family,

enough food for a couple meals (dinner and leftovers for lunch for example) would be a HUGE help to her and her family, even is she herself doesnt feel like eating much.

After she's recovered a bit, and the house/family has a bit of routine back (just a couple days really), the icecream party sounds good. We were gifted with one this year when my husband was bedridden after 10 days in hospital, and it was good to have some silliness and light heartedness. Plus, icecream is good food - dairy, w a reasonable balance of protein , fat and carbs. Add some fruit (banana splits?) and its a meal. :)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My stand-by in this sort of thing (depending upon the family and dietary restrictions, of course) is one of these Honey-Baked Hams. Ham is the most versatile meat, or so it seems to me anyway, as it's good for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and even light snacking with cheese and crackers. And you can use the leftovers to cook with beans or any other veggie, or to make soup.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would avoid sugar, cancer cells feed on fructose. Perhaps a fish soup?

High in Vitamin D, minerals (if you cook fish stock and use kombu etc) anticancer vitamin.

Thick bone broths are great too, if theres problem digesting vegetables.

Omega 3s are anti-inflamatory. So fatty wild salmon is good.

Whereas Omega-6s increase inflammation. So make sure not

to use any low quality vegetable oils like canola or worse soybean oil.

Cauliflower and broccoli are high in anti-cancer compounds:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050326114810.htm

but maybe first smart to avoid it due to possible digestion issues.

Good desert would be some blended fresh wild blueberries, sea buckthorn, etc

much higher nutrition density than any industrial grown sugar laden

fruits.

Consider avoiding wheat and replacing them with with rice or potatoes.

Many grains inhibit absorbion of minerals and vitamins. But tubers and rice

do not.

When my father had a major brain operation i cooked fish for him everyday and

some good berries, vegetables, and went to a walk in the park. He completely

recovered. I avoided all factory food. Only homemade stuff, the best you know :)

Edited by Jan Virtanen (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some other that might be benefitful: Green tea (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21595018?dopt=AbstractPlus),

Turmenic/curcumin (improves LDL reseptor effiency and is highly anti-inflamatory, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14642080 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21908599 )

Coconut milk/oil for medium chain fatty acids, lauric acid, most easily digestable. But start them slowly, needs time for body to adapt.

I have an anti-cancer whole foods diet, there so much cancer in our family. :(

I cook alot of vegs curries, avoiding omega 6 as much as possible, i eat no sugar or grains,

and eating fish and trying to get as much sun light as possible here in north. Vitamin D is vital.

The what you dont eat is more important than what you eat.

Edited by Jan Virtanen (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As stated upthread by me and some others, chemo makes you very nauseous. Even the smells of some formerly beloved foods can make you wretch. It's best to stick to bland, smooth textured foods since they won't hurt as much if they come back up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...