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Eating Well With Cancer: Diet Tips From a 26-Year Survivor

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Published on March 27, 2019

After being diagnosed with cancer, many people wonder what to eat or if they should adopt a specialized diet. What’s on the menu for 26-year multiple myeloma survivor Jim Bond? Watch as Jim shares tips for maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle to help others eat and live well with cancer.

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power. We thank AbbVie, Inc., Celgene Corporation, and Takeda Oncology for their support.

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Transcript | Eating Well With Cancer: Diet Tips From a 26-Year Survivor

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:                     

So, Jim, you've been listening and you're about to ride in a couple of days, again, 328 miles. Now, you're, of course, just a subject of one, but Jim, what do you eat, what is your diet whether it's when you're doing these rides or just day in day out?

Jim Bond:                   

I get asked that a lot and there's a lot of people who really do focus on special diets. I do not focus on anything special in my diet. I focus on trying to maintain my weight. I do exercise and for some reason, since I've had cancer and the transplants I really have to make myself eat as much, what I consider healthy food. 

For example, my lunch today consisted of a meat sandwich, potato chips and an apple, and that's typical. And for breakfast, I eat eggs, meat, toast and potatoes. Which turns out to be my best meal, it's my best appetite and a normal dinner.  

Yeah, we have vegetables, yeah, we have meat, I love corn on the cob in Ohio, it’s great, but I don’t worry about anything really special I want to keep my weight up, and I do go in monthly for a bone strengthener I’ve been getting for 24 years now. 

The biggest surprise for me is, okay, how did I do on weight this month, and when it’s higher I’m happy. And typically, the nurses frown at me, because they’re trying to lose a little weight, but I’m always trying to maintain or keep my weight. Now another reason, I do pound a lot of liquids, my kidneys I was told because of the type of myeloma I have, I was told, “Look, Jim, your kidneys and your bones are at risk.”

So, they said to keep yourself well hydrated, especially when you're riding your bike in the summer in July in Ohio. So, I drank a lot of water with something in it, a Gatorade or something flavor, not just pure water. 

But that's really important and yeah, it's convenient, it gets me up a lot at night going to the bathroom, but I believe it's worth it, and it drives my sodium down. When I get my chemo every quarter, my glucose and the rest of them are fine, but it's all I can do to get my sodium into the normal range. So, believe it or not, even with the doctor's okay, he said, Jim, eat more salty foods, which I know is kind of weird, but that's the way I roll.

And so, I really don't worry about that, it's the bones though, I do worry about my bones. I've had a lot of bone involvement, I've got metal holding some of them together but I'm lucky enough to be able to walk on my own, ride my bike. But it's taught me, Jim, cut down on the risk, stay off ice, stay of step ladders, stay off stools, it's just not worth it. So, I try to do that. 

But one comment you made is, be sure to check with your doctor on what seems like something that's not worth it. Green tea is a good example of something a friend of mine, a myeloma patient, had no idea he should have cleared that with his doctor, because he thought green tea, that's fine only to find out from his doctor no, the medication he was taking was actually nullified by the green tea. 

So, it's really a good idea to run what you think is not very harmful, run those things by your doctor or nurse and make sure they're okay with that. Every case is different, like you said, Jack and for some reason, it's worked out pretty well for me. 

But I do take a few vitamins that leading hospitals have recommended, and they’re for neuropathy and hopefully to keep the myeloma away. And I’m happy to share things and you can get me or you can find me on the Internet or through somebody. 

But the thing is you can't just willy-nilly take things. You've got to run them through your medical team. Because your case is your own case, each case is different and sure it's great to talk to people but just run it by somebody.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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