Join Date: Aug 2016
I'm glad to hear you are back home and doing ok! I am really sorry about your diagnosis. Hopefully as you said they got it all out! Colon cancer is one of the most curable cancers from what I have heard.
It is sad that your experience is not uncommon for vegans. My Mom (who was gluten free vegan at the time) went into the hospital for an acute flare of diverticulitis. Granted, she could have no nuts or seeds (including that in strawberies and other fruits) nor any gluten or animal products. So it was a challenge for staff to figure out what to feed her. But they really had NO CLUE. I think she said they fed her a plain baked potato, canned veggies, some orange juice. I brought her some food as well.
the whole experience motivated me to buy this book and donate it with a letter to the director of nutrition services at the hospital:
I detailed the experience my mother endured, and also in a positive manner, mentioned that I wish there were more vegan options in the cafeteria. I hoped the book would help educate the staff and give them some ideas on what kinds of foods they could incorporate in the menu.
I didn't hear anything for months (I also work in the same medical system the hospital is a part of). Then out of the blue one day at work I received a call from the director. He said he had not forgotten my generous gift, and all along had been working on a menu for the cafeteria. He was calling to let me know he was rolling out four new vegan dishes from the book to serve in the cafeteria! He was also expanding the salad bar to include a daily wild rice dish. And they would be adding soy milk, vegan friendly breads, hummus, energy bars, and fresh fruits as well. I have since visited the cafeteria and am very pleased with how many more options there are. The vegan menu items are labeled as such as well. It is my hope that they will extend this to the patients on the floors as well.
My story and donation was feature in the Vegetarian Resource Group blog here:
I would urge other vegans to take an active part in educating your local hospitals and clinics and "show" them what kinds of healthful and economic vegan options are possible there. Speak up for your needs and desires, and write to the nutrition services about your experience. I really think as a collective voice we can help change the way nutrition is delt with at medical facilities.
As a side note, you might find this article of interest also (and for people who have a choice ahead of time about surgeries and hospital stays, you can research where to stay based not only on quality of care but on vegan friendly hospitals too)!:
I knew eating healthy, balanced vegan in the hospital would be difficult. Mushrooms were only for those who ate "omelette". There went my last hope for Vitamin D.
Fiber? Head lettuce. No romaine. Too much vitamins and minerals. Spinach? Come on! Seriously? Greenbeans? That we have! Tasted like canned. They really did need to overhaul their food options to include healthy choices for ALL diets and not just the unhealthy farmers diet.
The surgery went well otherwise. But I was in the hospital longer than I would have been, had I had been able to go home sooner. Sure, my sister brought me my liquid diet. But when I was finally on solids, my doctor wisely realized that it was going to take a very long time to get everything moving if I stayed IN the hospital. I told my sister more spinach. What does she do? A tiny bit more spinach. My fault there! I forgot to tell her 3/4 spinach to 1/4 carb. I didn't need the protein from anything that wasn't a legume. The carb was to be pinto noodles.
The doctor sent me home, and within 4 hours of being home, I had success! Why? I had MY diet.
The results of the lab test though was stage 2 cancer. He thinks he got it all out though. I just need to keep doing what I am doing - eating more of the foods that make it more likely the cancer won't come back. And, cut out eating out unless I'm going to be able to stay strict Vegan.
How am I doing? I feel good to be out of the hospital. It was why I went silent here for awhile. And I am glad that I can eat my food my way at home. Yes, I have a cold, but that is too be expected given the antibiotics and my low immune system. I'm working on getting the probiotics in me again.