Poor appetite. Cancer treatment can wipe out your appetite, but you still need to eat. To make sure you get the nutrition you need, you should:
1. Have five or six small meals during the day instead of three large ones.
2. Keep small snacks handy for when you feel like eating.
3. Eat as much as you can when your appetite is strongest, usually early in the morning.
4. Focus on eating the foods you can eat without difficulty, even if there are only a couple of them.
Nausea. Lots of different things can make a patient nauseated during kidney cancer treatment. To avoid nausea, you might consider:
1. Choosing bland foods and avoiding spicy, sour, or acidic foods.
2. Eating foods that are cold, rather than hot or warm.
3. Staying out of the kitchen. "Sometimes cooking odors might upset their stomachs," Sandquist says. "Be sure to try and eat in a separate room if possible."
4. Avoiding your most-loved foods while you are nauseated. If you try to eat favorite foods when you are sick, you may develop an aversion to them.
Weakness. Kidney cancer treatment can rob you of energy. To make sure you eat enough despite feeling fatigue and weakness, you should:
1. Stock up on foods that are easily prepared, such as canned soups (your doctor may prefer that you purchase low-sodium varieties), frozen dinners, and pre-cooked meals.
2. Cook meals ahead of time when you're feeling well and freeze them for later.
3. Prior to treatment, ask friends to help you shop and cook when you're not feeling well later on.
4. Plan for foods that come in thick liquid (milkshakes) or semi-solid (mashed potatoes) form for when you are too weak to chew properly.
Increased risk of infection. Cancer treatment can ravage the immune system and leave you open to infection. You must take great care preparing your meals:
1. Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables.
2. Carefully cook meats, poultry, and eggs. Meat should have no pink. Eggs should not be runny.
3. Store leftovers in the refrigerator immediately after eating.
4. Drink only pasteurized milk or fruit juice.
5. Avoid uncooked shellfish or raw fish.
6. Don't eat foods that show signs of mold, including moldy cheeses like blue cheese.
7. Pay attention to freshness dates and don't eat expired foods.