colostomy bag + cancer/chemo = diet?
May 1, 2015 2:01 PM   Subscribe

Please help me suggest some nutritious and appropriate foods and easy recipes for my mom who has a colostomy bag and is simultaneously undergoing chemotherapy. Nutrition is key, and so are food choices that don't cause blockage. If you've been in this situation or know someone who has, advice appreciated! Thank you.
posted by stumblingthroughitall to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
How recent was the ostomy surgery? After eight weeks or so your mom can start re-introducing high fiber foods, and most colostomy patients are able to eventually tolerate a normal diet without blockage.

That said, high protein staples from when I had a new ostomy:
- Greek yogurt
- Greek yogurt smoothies made with frozen fruit (banana, strawberries, mango, blueberries are all good -- blackberries you need a really powerful blender to pulverize the seeds)
- Eggs in all forms
- Skinless chicken, chewed well (I like to shred it and make a chicken salad)
- Fish (no bones or skin)

As for veggies, you can steam the heck out of them and cut them into tiny pieces and everything except for corn, mushrooms and "Chinese vegetables" (think bok choy, water chestnuts, etc) should be OK. Veggie purees like cauliflower, potatoes of all kinds, winter squash, etc are delicious and a great way to get micronutrients as well as calories (throw some butter and heavy cream in there!).
posted by telegraph at 2:13 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

My aunt, in a similar situation, was nauseated and didn't want to/couldn't eat. She'd choke down Ensure or Boost drinks though and seemed to do ok with those. So, if your Mom is nauseated or just not feeling the whole eating thing while on chemo the Ensure and Boost will do the job of getting something in her system.
posted by BooneTheCowboyToy at 2:17 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

From a previous answer of mine:
When my dad was in treatment for cancer, homemade slushies (made in a blender from frozen fruit, fruit juice and ice) and homemade milkshakes (made in a blender with milk, ice cream, and frozen fruit) had him putting on weight at a time when most patients are losing weight. (This worked so well, my mom got yelled at by the doctor because he also had a heart condition and they were worried about all the extra weight putting a strain on his heart.)
I was not there. I was told that he got them with milk and ice cream and fruit when he was able to tolerate that and when he was super sick, it was ice and fruit juice and frozen fruit. On really bad days, he got this twice a day in place of meals. He had lost like a third of his body weight before being diagnosed with cancer. He had a long standing history of heart issues. The doctor was freaking out that he was gaining weight so fast at a time when most chemo patients are too nauseous to eat and are losing weight.

He was in his late 60's when he had colon cancer. He lived another twenty years.
posted by Michele in California at 2:45 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

At the beginning of my ostomy times, I ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches and bananas. Both of these are easy on the digestive system, add protein and potassium and can be made really quickly during the short time that my appetite would spike for the first six months or so after my surgery.
posted by Merinda at 2:55 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is what Registered Dietitians do, her insurance covers it.
posted by Oyéah at 3:13 PM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]

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