low fibre (vegetarian) diet tips to avoid the dreaded side effects

Hi all,

I've been thinking about side effects and planning on how best to help avoid them as much as possible so I've obviously seen all the advice regarding following a low fibre diet to avoid bowel issues if possible. The trouble is though all the foods that they say to avoid are all the foods that I eat and I haven't got the foggiest idea what on earth I'm going to eat while I'm having treatment apart from eggs! My oncologist said about eating steak to make sure my iron levels stayed high during treatment so I told him I was vegetarian and he did say oh dear, I don't what you're going to eat then as you'll have to avoid beans etc unless you don't mind having wind or worse! I've spent ages googling the subject and I think the only foods I can eat won't give me any nutrition. If anybody got any advice or tips to help I'd be extremely grateful so I can get myself organised before treatment starts Smile xx

Maybe live off breakfast cereals for a while? 

Don't change your diet too hastily, I did and I don't think I needed to. Maybe just keep normal and adjust as necessary x 

Thanks for your reply Philleepa. i did see Rice Krispies on the list but didn't even think of eating them apart from breakfast but they'd be a really good idea with all the fortified vitamins thanks. I'll take your advice though and just adjust as I go. I guess I just want to get organised as I'm planning on carry on working full time around my appointments. I have a 2 hour round trip to the hospital and work is only about 10 miles from there so it seems easier to go to work, do you think I'm being too optimistic for my own good? Xx

Again,  I think it's a case of wait and see. I didn't work but that's cos I'm a childminder and I couldn't work full days. Chemo days are long days in the hospital so you will need to have that day off. Radiotherapy is pretty quick but there's often a lot of waiting around. You'll also probably need to see the nurse and have a blood test once a week. 

There's no reason why you can't work but it might be a better idea for you to take time out and rest for the duration of your treatment - at least in the later weeks as you may be tired. You'll also be back at work before you know it so time out may be good, on the other hand work would be a great distraction. 

I think the best thing to do is see how you feel. Everyone is different and you have to do what works for you. The hardest bit for me was not being able to plan what I was going to do but you just have to go with the flow. You might feel too tired to work  (sometimes the dihorrea wasn't nice so you wouldn't really want to be at work for that), you might sail through treatment like many of us seem to. Just take one day at a time x 

Hi when my niece had cancer they told her to eat loads of coco pops there full of iron 

Thanks for the advice Philleepa, you and Lolli deserve awards for how helpful you are to all of us starting out on this horrible journey, I'd have gone insane if it wasn't for seeing all the support and advice on this forum!

I had thought about the toilet in work but I'm very lucky in that I share an office with only one other girl and we have an en suite bathroom so it won't be as embarrassing as it could have been (I've warned her already and quite often our drains stink anyway so I'll blame that!). I also know I can have a sleep there if I need to (it's a residential school for kids with autism and complex needs so we have bedrooms for staff on sleeping nights). The place is also open 24-7 for obvious reasons so I can go in whenever it suits or work from home if I want, I couldn't have it much easier tbh and I really appreciate how lucky I am! 

I think it's been good just writing things down because I've had a sudden realisation that all my concerns revolve around keeping control and not showing any weakness...I think what I really need to learn is how to let go! Where do I even start with that? 

The thought of eating nothing but cocopops has made me smile Mandy, i love them....I can actually see me enjoying the excuse to eat cocopops for every meal followed by chocolate rice Krispy cakes for pudding and the best bit, no cooking and only a bowl and spoon to wash up, brilliant! My family can either fend for themselves or eat cereal with me ha ha! Xxx

.....just to add, the post has just come and I've got my treatment start dates, radiotherapy starting 12th June at 5pm and chemo starting 13th June at 9am...I did mention that I hoped to work around treatment, they've obviously taken that on board so that'll work out well, fingers crossed! I feel so much happier now I have a plan! Xx


Hi Kathryn 

yeah!!! You got everything in place! Super. It does feel great knowing when you start and that you will actually be doing something to kill your cancer. 

as for eating..... well, it's like this..... I set out with a huge plan in place with a nutritionalist to have certain foods on certain days based on my chemo schedule, I started out with a great plan to boost my system before I started treatment which worked great, kept up with the plan until about the 2nd week of treatment. Then.... well, that all went out the window faster then you can say diet. I could not eat anything she advised me to. So, we did try to modify but that didn't work and honestly I was annoyed and just wanted to eat white bread and french fries and crappy stuff cause that's all that would stay in me long enough that wouldn't cause a dash to the loo. What I am saying is this .... have a diet plan in place or any plan for that matter but remember not to have it written in stone. Sometimes things have to be tweeked a bit or a lot and don't be devastated if a plan fails. 

It doesn't matter what you eat as long as you are eating! And for the 5-6 weeks that treatment is the last thing you should worry about is having to follow a frickin diet. It does help some people as it gives them a sense of control that they are doing the best thing but this treatment is short so just don't worry about that soooo much. After treatment is over you can concentrate on doing the very best for your body. Except for the glass of wine to celebrate!!!!!

Hi Lolli, 

thanks for that, right then, my only plan from right now is not to have any plans in place (except for treatment obviously!). 5 weeks of daily treatment is nothing I guess in the grand scheme of things. The brachytherapy will be once a week for 3 weeks because of having it in England (which will be nearer for me than my hospital in wales so I'd have been better having all treatment there) but that's all depending on if they can do it because of where the tumour is apparently...how likely is it that they wont be able to do it? 


these dr's are pretty resourceful in coming up with ways to do what they must. Trust in them, they do this everyday. Don't worry about the what if's as the cause nothing but stress. Even with the rare chance that they cannot they can substitute with more external boosts or even still do the brachy but just in more of a general insertion. 

I wish you the very best in treatment.  would defiantly be bring some softer toilet paper to your work though as you will get a sore butt from all that horrible school toilet paper. 


Thanks Lolli....even though you've given me horrible flashbacks to primary school re the toilet paper! Xxx

Lolli...  You are an absolute angel... Your advice and words are brilliant reading your advice to other ladies is brilliant...  No body has said anything about my diet to me... 

Kathryn...  My oncologist told me that they will sign me off work for the whole duration of treatment and I don't think I will be in the right frame of mind to work..  I'm so glad you have a date for treatment to start helps you to focus.. I'm just waiting on mine now  Xxxx 

Hahaha sounds  really good to me I'd live on them too if everyone here in this house would sort for themselves lol xxx

After bout week one all i cud  stomach  was  coco pops thats  all i.lived om for weeks

I've already started stocking up on them ha ha...the big boxes were £3 in tesco instead of £3.75 so I got 2 boxes yesterday to start me off!!  Xxx