Originally posted 12/01/2005: These are what I made for my DH when he was gong through 8 months worth of chemo. He'd lost a lot of weight and it was one of the few things he could keep down. I'd mix up a batch every couple of days and store them in wide-mouth drink containers (Rubbermaid makes a good one) in the fridge. That way he could get them as desired. One batch would last him a day or two, and it is much, MUCH more palatable than some of those nasty liquid nutritional supplements you can buy at the store. A couple of cautions: First, if you are using this for someone with a compromised immune system (like someone going through chemo), DON'T ever use honey. It naturally contains botulism spores. While folks with fairly normal immune systems can handle it with no problem, it can wreak havoc on the young (less than two years old), the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Secondly, I wouldn't announce real loudly that this smoothie contains tofu. My DH drank these with relish (for months) til the day he found out they had tofu in them. After that, he pretty much refused to drink them. Which was ridiculous, but...(shrug). Tofu is an excellent source of protein and picks up the flavor of whatever you're mixing it with. I highly suggest getting the hermetically sealed tofu (Mori-Nu is an excellent brand) as it doesn't have the strong flavor as do some of the ones packaged in water. I prefer the Mori-Nu Silken Extra-Firm because it thickens the smoothie and gives it a nice "body" without having to mess with extra thickeners. For the protein powder, try to find a brand that contains at least 20 grams of protein and no more than 20 grams of carbs per serving. The fruits and amounts in this are approximate, limited only by your imagination and taste. A good blender or food processor is a must for this recipe. Don't run the yogurt through the blender, as it contains acidophilus, a "good" bacteria that is very helpful for the intestinal tract. Kinda hard for the little guys to help if they get their brains smashed out in the blender, though... ;) Servings are approximate; it depends on how thick/thin you want it and what you add. As I recall, it makes approximately 6-8 cups smoothie.
was added 01/18/2008:__________________ Another 'Zaar member (Sandrasothere) asked, "Other than moral support, what do people who go through chemo need the most?" The following was DH's reply...he talked, I typed. It was so profound, so sensitive and it helped me understand (a little better) what he'd been through. I thought I'd share for those interested in helping their loved ones through a tough time:
I know the next few paragraphs helped me understand his experience better...
He said," I don't know. Sometimes you're so low, there's nothing anybody can do but carry you for awhile...physically, not mentally. She's trying to be brave; she has needs that she doesn't even KNOW she needs yet. So be vigilant, pay close attention to her without being annoying about it and try my wife's recipe. Mainly, you have to keep your strength up. And your sense of humor. You'll die without your sense of humor. You're afraid that this will change you. So you try very, very hard to do the things you've always done and be the person you want to be. You're worried about becoming someone else.
My way of dealing with it was to go through the treatments, get through the difficulties as expediently as possible and try not to spend a lot of time dwelling on it; just get on with my life. Because as they say, you die the same way you live...you are yourself.
It slowly becomes more difficult as you go along...it grinds you down mentally and physically. It's important to keep milestones. I had a treatment every other week for eight months. After treatment that week would be more or less useless and then the following week I would begin to improve somewhat and be more useful. It's important to find something useful to do that you care about...find some meaning. I produced, recorded and mixed a [music] album during those months. The band was very sensitive and flexible. They would start labeling the production weeks as "Good Weeks" and "Bad Weeks"...if it was a good week, we'd get something done...if not, we'd lay off. It meant a lot to me to have a big project like that to do that they were willing to let me work on. It made me feel like I was still worth something even when I felt worthless because of my condition.
Try to follow her lead. It's good to encourage her to have a positive outlook. Try not to push anything because it's difficult on levels that are really hard to describe to someone that hasn't been through it. Treatment affects the chemical makeup of your brain and you tend to do something I call "flat-lining". You don't have any highs and lows anymore...you don't get any brain yummies because it strips that away. It's a very strange sensation...sometimes it's hard to have enthusiasm about things. Not to mention feeling sick quite a bit. It's nice to get visits from your friends...and it's tough to get visits from your friends, because of the way you look and feel...or [you feel] that they may be pitying you or feeling like it may be the last time they may see you alive.
I had a piece of paper with a schedule of my treatments on it...I'd check them off after I went through them. It was important to see the end. She'll need someone to drive her around...at least from treatment, that's for sure. No matter how weird things get for her, and how strange she may seem to you compared to the sister you've known...she's still there. The fog will lift when the treatment's over, and it will be a lot more fun for everyone. Treatment sure beats you up. You do bounce back although for whatever reason you're never really quite the same...but it's not bad. 'Cuz you're here and you get to see your family and live out the rest of your life."