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18 Fearless Years


Gary Barg - Editor-in-chiefBoard of Directors’ Meeting: Nutrition

The topic of this communique reminds me of walking into my mom’s kitchen as she was caring for my dad, who was living with multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) in the early 1990s. My dad, like so many people living with cancer, was not at all interested in eating—mostly due to the effects of chemotherapy, which can include lack of appetite, nausea, changes in taste and difficulty swallowing. Yet, proper nutrition was vital to ensuring the best possible results from his medical regime.

When I walked into Mom’s kitchen in those days, it was like walking into a mad scientist’s laboratory. She was desperately trying to make any sort of nutritional concoctions she could think of to ensure he would eat and keep his weight up.  Although she’s a terrific cook and he was able to eat solid foods, she had no background in dietary nutrition, so everything was painstaking trial and error.

Our loved one’s nutrition is of primary importance to their health and well-being, yet for so many of us, it is still a real challenge to be able to address this situation with our Caregiver Board of Directors. So, what better topic for our fourth in the series of communiques?

The Caregiver Board of Directors’ Meetings, of course, refer to us being able to take advantage of the time we will spend with our fellow adult family members throughout the holidays to conduct meaningful meetings about important topics pertaining to our loved one’s care.

It only makes sense that if you are the CEO of Caring for My Loved One, Inc., your family members who are not involved with the day-to-day details of caring for your shared loved one are, in effect, your Board of Directors (for better or for worse).


  • Discuss the challenges that your mutual loved one faces regarding eating, whatever the cause.

  • Discuss the options of helping your mutual loved one receive nourishing meals designed to support their immune system and medical conditions while keeping their specific likes and dislikes in mind.

  • Talk with them about the challenges associated with cancer-related weight loss, since excessive weight and muscle loss can adversely affect a person’s response to cancer therapy. The earlier a person with cancer begins a menu specifically designed to help promote weight gain, the easier it may be to manage or even hold off cancer-related weight loss.

  • Discuss the value of partnering with a certified nutrition professional. Significant evidence indicates that people living with cancer can benefit greatly from counseling with a registered dietitian.

By understanding the importance of nutrition in the treatment of cancer, applying useful strategies and utilizing available support, you can help your loved one living with cancer enjoy their meals, regain weight and reclaim quality of life.

Now, that’s a delicious thought.


Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine
Board of Directors Columns
Monday November 26, 2012


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