If food was chemotherapy?

A friend of mine is having her chemotherapy tomorrow morning. She's exhausted, weak, has trouble keeping food down, her hair is gone. It hurts and it sucks.

Maybe I should tell her to go easy on it. If it is hurting her so much, maybe they should stop? She's not leading a normal life, with all these treatments; she's letting it run her life. I wonder if she should just take as much as she feels like, and leave the rest for another time. After all, it's hard.

Of course not. But that's what we do with nutritional rehabilitation of eating disorders. We say "eat as much as you can" or "90 IBW" and "it's not about the weight" and "she's not dangerously thin."

Insurance says discharge when "out of medical danger" and defines that as "not dying today."

We buy into the fear of "fat" and settle for "minimum weights" which leave the body unwell, and the brain unsafe.

My friend with cancer is fighting for her life, and deserves support and comfort while she does it. She takes her medicine - chemo - and everyone around her helps her through it.

Time for caregivers and loved ones - while acknowledging the pain of ED recovery - not to treat full physical rehabilitation as optional. Full doses. Full nutrition. Full support.


  1. I have recovered from a restricting-type eating disorder and one of the techniques I used was to cajole myself to eat, just as I cajoled my son to take his antibiotic (medicine.)
    "It'll help you feel better, honey."
    "You need to to take your medicine."
    Thank you for posting. Many people forget that an eating disorder is a serious physical illness - just as serious as cancer or heart disease.


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