After completing treatment, many cancer survivors expect to see an improvement in how they feel. However, Shelly’s mother was still struggling with fatigue after her treatment for leukemia. Shelly was hoping changes in diet and physical activity could help her mother build up her strength. That is when she called PearlPoint Cancer Support for nutrition guidance.
While talking with Shelly, our registered dietitian discovered that her mother was only eating two meals per day and had been avoiding many vegetables, fruits, and dairy products during treatment. She pointed Shelly to our website for more on the importance of nutrition during survivorship and suggested that her mother eat four to six small meals each day. Our dietitian also advised she add back her favorite foods since she could now tolerate all foods and dairy products.
Our dietitian also explained to Shelly that good nutrition and physical movement go hand-in-hand to help restore energy to the body after cancer treatment. She suggested talking with her mother’s physician before encouraging her mother to increase physical activity but mentioned ideas such as walking with a friend to the mailbox, walking inside her house to build stamina, and standing up to prepare meals. With our support, Shelly’s mother was able to increase to four small meals a day, eating the largest meal at the time of day when she felt the strongest. She also began walking with her neighbor for a while each day to resume physical activity.
Cancer often leaves survivors and caregivers with questions long after treatment is finished.
*Names and certain details featured in Mission Moments have been altered to protect the identity of our clients.