Hospital Food Observations

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shabby sheep

Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby shabby sheep » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:05 am

I was so lucky to have my colectomy at Huntsman Cancer Hospital (part of U of Utah system) in Salt Lake, Utah. Jon Huntsman has donated oodles from his fortune to build a cancer center that has great clinicians and excellent equipment but also unbelievably attention to making the patient's experience kind and humane. The small scale makes it easier to do this, but it's also attitude of everyone I met.

Starting with food: there is an a la carte menu, like room service, you can order whatever you want all day. When I was on day 3 after surgery, they showered me with italian ices, jello, broths. Soon I had a broader selection of mushy foods. When they told me I could order anything from the menu, the fish went well, but I made a huge mistake thinking mac and cheese was a comfort food. This is how I discovered that I am lactose-intolerant after surgery. And oy vey did it hurt for 24 hours. Result: I got to spend another night at wonderful Huntsman.

The cr surgeon was phenomenal too, he was reputed to be a nerd with no bedside manner. Maybe I am a nerd too but I found him easy to talk to, full of explanations and suggestions, and extremely encouraging. RNs were equally great. Huntsman sends the social worker to check in with you while you are waiting for MD for clinic visits. And there is a rehab department with the equivalent of a personal trainer. He was my favorite person at the hospital! Plus nutritionist, acupuncturist, and a good library.

So for anyone in the intermountain area I would most highly recommend the place. All single rooms, amazing views of mtns, we watched fireworks over the SLC valley.....My first spa experience! I loved the view so much that I painted some watercolors of the changing light through the day. Wish they were good enough to adorn Huntsman walls, but....

The transition to Sloan Kettering in NYC is a huge shock but 1) I need the expertise on liver mets and 2) I have a much better support system here. That said, I am excited to share with you all that my CEA yesterday was down to 2.0 after 4 chemos. It was 35 before my tumor was removed in mid-July, 7.9 on Sept 1. Have CT next week, will keep you posted.


Love and strength to you all.
Shabby Sheep

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cptmac
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby cptmac » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:25 am

I was at Fairview too, but I was at the one in Minneapolis...

The food was awesome. Since it was important that I eat as much meat as possible, I had eggs, bacon and sausage every morning for breakfast.

Usually a burger or pizza for lunch.

Steak or Spaghetti with meatballs for dinner.

But I love salad, but they made me stay away from it. That was hard. Even harder when I was on the heart ward. Everyone else got to eat big salads and chicken for dinner. I begged for a salad, but they said they didn't want to fill my stomach with that, when I needed to eat as much meat as possible. Then it turned out I didn't eat enough fat either. So they ordered me up a chocolate cake and lots of butter for my bread. But I don't like to eat lots of fat, so it was hard for me. To be fair, it was harder for the heart patients who could smell my food as they passed by my room. I even heard one of them upset because they could smell chocolate cake.

Loved the small kitchenette. Plus, I only like cherry popsicles, and the nurses ordered a bunch of those just for me.

When I would go up for my visits, sometimes I would eat in the cafeteria. I loved eavesdropping on doctors conversations and how hear how excited they were to talk about their patients.

I also met a few people who knew of others who had been treated there for Stage IV colon cancer with much success.

I loved walking outside when it was nice and visiting all the peanuts statues. I loved visiting the other floors, mainly the childrens ward. My window always faced the river, I got to watch the barges and the rowing team practice.

Plus, if you didn't like the artwork, you could ask to have someone come by and help you choose artwork that you did like.

They also had a library and a church in the facilities. I remember it being a lot like a spa. I really liked my stay at Fairview too. But I didn't always have a private room.
cptmac
As long as you're alive, there is hope.
dx 7/04 stage IV
colon resection 8/04
liver resection 9/04 with HAI pump installed
Stage II trial w irinotecan as systemic and FUDR for direct chemo to liver via HAI pump
Cured since 9/04

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Ashlee H.
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby Ashlee H. » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:41 pm

I've been lucky that when I have no restrictions, the hospital food is pretty good. However, for one stay, all I wanted was a smoothie. It wasn't on the menu, but I called and asked anyway, and was told they didn't have smoothies. I said you have milk, juice, yogurt and ice cream...can't you just blend them together for me. Nope, not possible. That was the only thing I wanted - I would have even taken a shake at that point. As soon as I was released, the first stop was for a smoothie.
Stage IV w/liver met dx 7-1-09
KRAS Mutant
Member of the HIPECKERS (2011) and OLYMPHIANS (2012)
2/14 - standard chemo has stopped working
3/14 - Stivarga
LIVE LIFE!

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HollyID
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Location: Rigby, Idaho

Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby HollyID » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:10 pm

BrownBagger wrote:Good to see you, Holly! Thanks for checking into my thread. How are you?


I'm doing really well, Eric. Thank you so much for asking.... I feel wonderful. Still a little tired, aches and pains have crept in, but still, I feel excellent. I'm trying to find a treadmill before the snow flies so I can get some exercise indoors this winter.

My CEA is going down and down. I need to have my canceversary colonoscopy next month or in December and I haven't even made an appointment for it yet. I so dread it... but I know it needs to be done. :(


How are you doing? It seems like it's been forever since I've been in here!!
Holly, 47
11/17/09 colonoscopy;
11/23/09 dx with adenocarcinoma;
12/03/09 LAR
Stage IIIB T3N1M0 1/11 LN
1/12/09 CT NED
1/19/09 Start Folfox
6/24/10 Done with chemo!!!
7/7/10 CT scan. I'm in NED'sville.
9/11/12 colonoscopy for bleeding (staple from anastomotic site)
7/31/15 New tumor discovered near rectum. Biopsied. Adenocarcinoma. CEA 3.5 Lynch negative
8-10/2015 Radiation
12/14/2015 Revision of LAR with new permanent colostomy

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HollyID
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby HollyID » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:14 pm

SkiFletch wrote:Tell us how you really feel Holly :D


HA! I did go overboard just a bit, didn't I? :lol: Seriously though, my docs told me they weren't going to let me go home because I wouldn't eat anything....

Do you know how frightening that is to think they won't let you go home and you're forced to eat their food? :shock:
Holly, 47
11/17/09 colonoscopy;
11/23/09 dx with adenocarcinoma;
12/03/09 LAR
Stage IIIB T3N1M0 1/11 LN
1/12/09 CT NED
1/19/09 Start Folfox
6/24/10 Done with chemo!!!
7/7/10 CT scan. I'm in NED'sville.
9/11/12 colonoscopy for bleeding (staple from anastomotic site)
7/31/15 New tumor discovered near rectum. Biopsied. Adenocarcinoma. CEA 3.5 Lynch negative
8-10/2015 Radiation
12/14/2015 Revision of LAR with new permanent colostomy

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florencedollar
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby florencedollar » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:29 pm

cptmac wrote:I was at Fairview too, but I was at the one in Minneapolis...

The food was awesome. Since it was important that I eat as much meat as possible, I had eggs, bacon and sausage every morning for breakfast.

Usually a burger or pizza for lunch.

Steak or Spaghetti with meatballs for dinner.

But I love salad, but they made me stay away from it. That was hard. Even harder when I was on the heart ward. Everyone else got to eat big salads and chicken for dinner. I begged for a salad, but they said they didn't want to fill my stomach with that, when I needed to eat as much meat as possible. Then it turned out I didn't eat enough fat either. So they ordered me up a chocolate cake and lots of butter for my bread. But I don't like to eat lots of fat, so it was hard for me. To be fair, it was harder for the heart patients who could smell my food as they passed by my room. I even heard one of them upset because they could smell chocolate cake.

Loved the small kitchenette. Plus, I only like cherry popsicles, and the nurses ordered a bunch of those just for me.

When I would go up for my visits, sometimes I would eat in the cafeteria. I loved eavesdropping on doctors conversations and how hear how excited they were to talk about their patients.

I also met a few people who knew of others who had been treated there for Stage IV colon cancer with much success.

I loved walking outside when it was nice and visiting all the peanuts statues. I loved visiting the other floors, mainly the childrens ward. My window always faced the river, I got to watch the barges and the rowing team practice.

Plus, if you didn't like the artwork, you could ask to have someone come by and help you choose artwork that you did like.

They also had a library and a church in the facilities. I remember it being a lot like a spa. I really liked my stay at Fairview too. But I didn't always have a private room.
I love this. I hope my sisters surgery this Tuesday will be so positive. It sounds like you are the "glass half full" type. I love reading positive experiences. Thanks to the advice from people here, Lil sis will meet with a dietitian during her stay, and hopefully they will be as sensitive to her needs as your hospital was.

S
Sis to 'lil sis (pict in avatar)
DX'd stage IV CC w/liver mets -age 45- 8/26/2010
Port Folfox started-9/8/2010
Colonic stent-9/30/2010
10/13-Team agrees-postpone chemo after 2 rounds
10/26 colon/liver resection
12/14/2010-Folfiri/Avastin
NED NED NED!!!!!

Terry Miller
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 12:45 pm

Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby Terry Miller » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:17 pm

I threw up everything I ate for the 1st 5 days...lost my gall bladder with the colon resection. Then I couldn't eat anything "good". I was discharged on a Tuesday morning (7 days post op.) and I noticed the dinner menu that included shrimp and fresh fish. I never kept down anything solid unless you consider cream of wheat as a solid. However, I did gain 20 pounds over the next 6 weeks sitting at home, napping, and watching tv. I think the hospital publishes a gourmet menu once they know you are being discharged to enhance their reputation as being something they really aren't.

Best wishes,
Terry
NED since 4/20/1999

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garbovatwin
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby garbovatwin » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:33 am

Oh yes. bacon or sausage for breakfast...every breakfast.

I don't eat meat so when they bring the tray, I can usually find something to eat like bread and veggies and a drink or dessert.

One time I was feeling better and really hungry and they brought me this huge piece of what they called Italian Sausage...yikes...I still remember the size of that thing teehee.

Hospital food...you can live on it...but you wouldn't want to eat it everyday.
OUR world is worth saving
Question everything. Become your own Advocate.
When we find a cure for one cancer it will lead to a cure for ALL cancer
Crohn's Colitis
Rectal Mucosa Resection - Oct 2010
Rectal Surgery - Sep 2011
Stroke Sep 2012

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Terry
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby Terry » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:56 am

I haven't had to stay overnight in a hospital since 1991 and that was having my youngest child. I actually found the food to be pretty good. My oldest children I had at Women's Hospital in Tampa, Fla. and the food was awesome! Steak, champagne, every meal was great.

The last hospital I worked at served "crap on a plate", I brought my food in. They did have a subway section that was pretty good. It was actually subway subs.

You guys are so amusing! Love reading the things you guys post.
DX 7/3/07
Chemo, radiation, 20 mo. chemo, IMRT, cyberknife, 6/11 lobectomy.
1/16 resection perm. colostomy intraop. rad.
PET 2/12 nose, thyroid, liver, lngs
Folfox 3/12
Lord I know You'll keep me here until
you know I cannot suffer any longer!

seva
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby seva » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:03 pm

I must have gone to the wrong hospital. I didn't get to eat much solid food but when I did it was only "ok" and I never got a choice of what to eat. On the other hand care was awesome. Great food vs. great care? Care wins every time.
RC 10/09
Stage IIA
Chemorad 6 weeks, 5fu 24/7
LAR 2/10
Reversal 4/10
Chemo 5fu 2 rounds -1 week on 3 weeks off
ct scans 9/10 , 3/11,9/11, 9/12 NED!!!

Sally1898
Posts: 238
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby Sally1898 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:27 pm

Last Fall, when I had my hernia repair, everything they brought, jello and ices, was too SWEET. Instant, severe nausea, incipient to vomiting, not what you want on fresh incisions. Had to BEG for sugar-free options, to override/avoid nausea, which they balked at, for lack of calories. How do calories help, if you can't keep them down?? Finally on solid food, I complained in person to the dietician for high-fiber, low sugar choices. Sweets at luch and dinner, I kept insisting on fresh fruit. They were astonished I'd prefer a real banana, to banana pudding. They didn't care about nutrition, at all!! :roll:
Sally
Dx:St. 3 rectal ca. on 1-8-98 at age 31. Perm. colostomy,friends refer to it as 'Pedro'.Favorite sentiment:Poop happens!!!

Polarprincess
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby Polarprincess » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:45 pm

wow what a thread, it especially cracks me up because i am a dietetic technician, dietary manager, etc... i actually just finished doing brand new menus for the facility i work for, and we definitely do not have bad food. all of our recipes are from scratch and are some of our best foods we make ourselves at home..the few things that come in frozen like some of the really good cream soups, are the same ones restaurants order. i dont believe you will ever find a better recipe for some of the things we make, and people beg us for our baked goods recipes. when we get complaints, it tends to be because something is not quite hot enough rather than the taste. The hospital just 25 minutes down the road does have a chef on staff and they worked hard on making every one of their entrees heart healthy so whether you are on a regular or low sodium or low fat diet, you will get the same entree and it is seasoned fantastically. Possibly some of your bad food experiences come from maybe being on a surgical soft diet which often comes after the clear or full liquid it supposed to be bland and not irritate the digestive tract. some of the hard, clumpy, unattractive food may be because your meal was delayed due to tests, that your portion was the end of a pan or toward the end of meal service etc... some places maybe just really dont care??
42 y/o Diagnosed Stage IIIa (T1 N1 of 26 M0) July 2008
LAR July 24 2008
Supposedly benign polyp with
invasive tubulovillous adenocarcinoma
12 cycles Fulfox
28 days chemoradiation
Finished April 20th 2009
Currently NED

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GreenLakeGirl
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby GreenLakeGirl » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:54 pm

Don't know if this will work...I'm typing from my phone but I don't see the link I'd normally post. If this works, here's part of my menu today...
http://picasaweb.google.com/m/viewer?source=androidclient#photo/pecktheis/5521863112547204529/5531394872036777378

hannahw
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby hannahw » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:19 pm

It is bizarre how hospitals that are supposed to heal can serve food that will most likely harm - fried this, high sodium that, bleached grains here, sugar overload there. If you have diabetes, cancer, a heart condition, etc, etc, etc, hospital food is not what you want to be consuming.

Nasty, tough red meat coated in some sort of gravy meant to give the sensation that the meat was softer than rawhide, but really just added high sodium and fat to the plate. Plenty of starches, mainly potatoes that must of come from the box - taste like cardboard, but less nutritious. Double chocolate brownies that had all of the sin and none of the taste. Bacon, eggs, sausage, all sorts of cardiac delights for breakfast.

I have to give our hospital credit though. When my Dad was first diagnosed, more than 7 years ago, the hospital food was atrocious. So much so that when my Dad was hospitalized, we brought his food from home. Even when he was on a special diet, we'd check with the speech pathologist and nutritionist to determine what foods my Dad could eat and how they needed to be prepared and we'd make them at home and bring them.

Now, they've gone to an almost entirely organic menu that features a lot of whole grains, fruits and vegetables as well as menu options that are customizable for diabetes, low residual and so forth. Gone are the days where if you asked for fruit you got a cup of the canned stuff that usually has pears, peaches and weird little cherries. Now, it's fresh and seasonal all the way. It's also usually the thing they're quickest to make available - want a sandwich? Might take an hour. Want a cup of fresh fruit? You can usually get that in 10 minutes.

It's not exactly home, but it's not half bad. They're definitely thinking about taste and nutrition. And it's no doubt an undertaking - more expensive and more time consuming to prepare and maintain.
Daughter of Dad with Stage IV CC

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BrownBagger
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Re: Hospital Food Observations

Postby BrownBagger » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:43 am

hannahw wrote:It is bizarre how hospitals that are supposed to heal can serve food that will most likely harm - fried this, high sodium that, bleached grains here, sugar overload there. If you have diabetes, cancer, a heart condition, etc, etc, etc, hospital food is not what you want to be consuming.

Nasty, tough red meat coated in some sort of gravy meant to give the sensation that the meat was softer than rawhide, but really just added high sodium and fat to the plate. Plenty of starches, mainly potatoes that must of come from the box - taste like cardboard, but less nutritious. Double chocolate brownies that had all of the sin and none of the taste. Bacon, eggs, sausage, all sorts of cardiac delights for breakfast.


That pretty much sums up my experience an observations, unfortunately. My last day in the hospital last week they wondered if I wanted pudding or cake for dessert. I said neither, thanks. "Oh, you need something for dessert," the girl said. "How about ice cream?" I said OK. When it arrived, I thought--"I don't need ice cream. I've been laying around for the better part of a week, and I'll be mostly laying around for the next couple of weeks. Why do I need ice cream?" A banana. An apple. Sure. I requested a yogurt--once--for the probiotics. I had to fill out reams of paperwork and go through three levels of upper management to get it approved.

I don't get it either, Hannah. How hard can it be to do it right? It's not as though they're not passing the cost on, anyway. And does a banana really cost more than a cup of "banana" pudding?
Eric, 58
Dx: 3/09, Stage 4 RC
Recurrences: (ongoing, lung, bronchial cavity, ribs)
Major Ops: 6/ RFA: 3 /bronchoscopies: 8
Pelvic radiation: 5 wks. Bronchial radiation—brachytheray: 3 treatments
Chemo Rounds (career):136
Current Chemo Cocktail: Xeloda & Erbitux & Irinotecan biweekly
Current Cocktail; On the Wagon (mostly)
Bicycle miles post-dx 10,477
Motto: Live your life like it's going to be a long one, because it just might, and then you'll be glad you did.


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