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Discussion about multiple myeloma treatments, stem cell transplants, clinical trials, alternative medicines, supplements, and their benefits and side effects.

Post Stem Cell Transplant Diet

by Laura1415 on Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:08 pm

HI all

My mom has multiple myeloma and will be undergoing an autologous stem cell transplant in a month or two. The research I've done shows an amazing amount of restrictions on foods after transplant. Anyone know of any good resources or cookbooks to help provide healthful food that keeps within all of these restrictions?


Name: Laura
Who do you know with myeloma?: My mother
When were you/they diagnosed?: 1999
Age at diagnosis: 51

Re: Post Stem Cell Transplant Diet

by Nanette on Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:43 pm

Hi Laura-

We recently went through the same thing. You might want to Google "microbial diet".

NO fresh vegetables or spices. WASH your cans before opening. Meat MUST be well-done. Find individual packets of condiments, rather than opening a normal size jar of mayo/mustard/catsup. You need be be VERY cautious about bacteria, Laura.

AVOID fast food restaurants and buffets. Stay far away from delis. No garnishes.

This sounds overwhelming, Laura, but I found that having a freezer full of STOUFFER'S products was the way to go!

BTW: We started this diet approximately a month PRIOR to transplant. Figured it couldn't hurt, as his immune system was already compromised. You might be interested in checking out my blog. Link on my profile.

Good luck to mom! Remember..... this is a MARATHON, not a SPRINT. Easy does it!

Name: Nanette "Deaux"
Who do you know with myeloma?: My dear husband, Dominic
When were you/they diagnosed?: Spring of 2008
Age at diagnosis: 62

Re: Post Stem Cell Transplant Diet

by Debi Mazzotta on Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:46 pm

I know the restrictions can seem overwhelming, at first. We were given a wonderful handout by the nutritionist that works at the hospital where my husband had his autologous transplant. You should be able to find it at the American Dietetic Association, ......the article is titled : Hematopoietic Stem Cell Nutrition Therapy. Print this out, as it will be a helpful guide in making appropriate food choices. There is a section of recommended foods, as well as foods to avoid.
Be aware also, that a patient's taste buds may change, and that some foods that were enjoyed before transplant, may not taste the same after. With my husband, we tried lots of different things, as his palette evolved. Just know that the sense of taste and enjoyment of foods, does return. We recieved a very good cookbook, as a gift, which not only includes great healthy recipes, but also, tips on how to "doctor" food, if it tastes like cardboard, metallic, too sweet, salty, or bitter...(called the FASS fixes for taste bud troubles). The book is: "The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen / Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treament and Recovery", by Rebecca Katz, with Mat Edelson.
Having just gone through transplant with my sweet husband (now day 52!), my best suggestion is to try different things, and ask "What sounds good?". You can change things up with sauces and seasonings, and methods of preparation. Try to bring joy and love into your food preparation, and you both will sail through the transplant experience fine.
Best of luck!

Debi Mazzotta
Name: Debi and Jamey Mazzotta
Who do you know with myeloma?: Jamey
When were you/they diagnosed?: August 2009
Age at diagnosis: 62

Re: Post Stem Cell Transplant Diet

by Lydia on Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:37 pm

Thanks, Nanette and Debi! It's always helpful to hear what actually works for people who have been through a transplant rather than just a list of foods to avoid - although those are helpful too.

Debi, I'm interested in reading the article that you mentioned, but I couldn't find anything on the web with that title. If you happen to have the URL handy, please let me know. I found the book you mentioned "The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen / Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treament and Recovery", by Rebecca Katz, with Mat Edelson" on Amazon.

In addition to food tasting different than usual, did any of you have problems with a complete lack of appetite or severe nausea?


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