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Topic: Graduation parties and food

Forum: Coping with Holidays, Special Days and Anniversaries — Holidays and special days, like birthdays and anniversaries, can be filled with complex emotions. Are they a time to celebrate or are they extra difficult? Share your feelings and experiences here.

Posted on: May 14, 2019 02:28PM

CreatureKeeper wrote:

Well, it's graduation time and house parties will be starting up soon. 

That brings me to the topic of food. I know one dear friend will be hosting a party for her daughter soon. If it's anything like the one she threw for her son the house will be filled with buffet style food, most of which the guests will bring. Last time there were platters of deli sandwiches, cheeses and meats, salads, assorted chips and dips, plus the host baked up some calzones, chicken wings, etc. All of this food was left at room temperature .. for hours!

Given the fact that I'm currently undergoing chemo and keenly aware of food safety and prep I really don't feel comfortable eating anything I'd find at a party like this. Should I bring my own food and explain why to my friend? Should I just snack in the car and not eat at the party? I don't want to offend anyone, least of all my friend, but really fear getting sick. What would you do in this situation? 

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May 14, 2019 04:20PM ruthbru wrote:

I wouldn't say anything to my friend. I would eat ahead of time & then just graze on chips (minus the dip), cake, carrots (minus the dip), pickles, buns (without the meat of cheese).....things that won't go bad even if they sit out. And/or if people are bringing food, you could bring a dish of something you know will be fresh to share.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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May 15, 2019 08:59AM ksusan wrote:


Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 15, 2019 09:17AM kber wrote:

Great advice, Ruthbru.  When faced with this, I found that the hostess and other party guests were way too busy to monitor what I was or wasn't eating.  Drink lots of water and maybe stash a protein bar in your bag, just in case.  Having a stomach that was too empty contributed to my nausea.

First and foremost, though, don't compromise your health.  Be kind but firm about rejecting / limiting hugs and cheek kisses.  That was really hard for me - I'm a hugger.  Wash your hands frequently even (especially) at the party.  Be mindful of not touching your face while you're there.  It's a PIA, but it's temporary and it's worth it.  This is the moment to embrace your inner germaphobe.  

One tactic I was able to use at social gatherings- settle myself in a corner and behind a coffee table with allies to either side who knew I was immune compromised.  It made me visible, but not physically accessible because well wishers had to climb over my friends to get to me.  I could waive and chat from a distance and be engaged, but didn't have to hug everyone who came by.  If someone was insistent, holding up my hand and ruefully explaining my immune system was on strike did the trick.  If you haven't shared your diagnosis and aren't inclined to, a simple "not feeling well" also works.  

Truthfully, the social pressure to be more physically engaged was hard to resist.  I'm not the only hugger out there!  But I got through 5 months of chemo and critically low WBC at the end without ever getting sick, and thus without having to delay treatment.  

Dx 11/2018, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIB, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/6/2018 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 5/27/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 7/16/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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May 18, 2019 01:25PM CreatureKeeper wrote:

All great advice ladies. Thank you so much! Heart

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