What to eat to fight off fatigue as I go through chemo?

My husband just took his 3rd chemo treatment, with Taxotere. This time he is extremely fatigued. Can anyone give me some help in dealing with this. He usually tolerates most of his chemo well. If anyone knows of a good shake I can give him for energy that will not interfere with the chemo please let me know. Thank you all.

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Does he like fish? It is so easy to digest, I just try to give Richard simple, good food. Plenty of vegetables, yogurt, whatever he fancies .
Sorry, there isnt a magic answer.
Let me know how you get on, try a glass of wine to cheer him up!
Lyn xx

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Unfortunately this is a side-effect, usually cumulative, of some types of chemo, and different people all react in different ways. Usually once the blood count gets too low, your husband may have to get a blood transfusion, or at the very least, an iron infusion. My husband has really found nothing to help with his fatigue, and he's been going through chemo for over a year now. He's had to get a couple of blood transfusions, and although they brought his blood count up some, it still remains below normal. He drinks an ensure every day, although it doesn't seem to help much either, but at least he gets some calories that way.

And your right, there may be things out there he could try, but if your husbands oncologist is anything like MY husbands, he doesn't want to risk anything that might interfere with the potency of the chemo.

Just let him rest and sleep when he needs to, and I'm assuming the doc is doing a weekly blood check on him - so if his blood gets too low, maybe they can transfuse or infuse him to perk him up for a while.

Maybe some others will chime in with some suggestions - wish I could help more, but my husband has just more or less had to accept this as his "new normal".

Good luck, hope things get better for hubby soon!


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My husband was on Taxol as well as 4 other regimens. He takes Provigil which is a type of stimulant they usually give to people with daytime sleepiness due to sleep apnea. It works 10-12 hours and has been a miracle to him. He also has an Rx for Ritalin which has a short action but is very inexpensive. Having these on hand has given him the quality of life he wants since he has chemo every week.

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I can't thank you all enough for your little tidbits of information. Unfortunately my husband does not like fish so my job is even harder. I am trying to entice him with different things but it is a challenge. We should all post how we are managing with the food issue because we see how they lose their appetite especially when they go through chemo.

I do not like what Taxotere is doing to my husband. And from what I have been reading here it does not seem to help the majority of users. It seems to me they should go right to 5 FU. Of course I will do more research onto this. In two weeks he will have a pet scan and we will see the results, I am keeping my fingers crossed!!


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I bought two cook books by Rebecca Katz that address nutrition during chemo. We are on our way today for my husbands first chemo so we shall see how it works. One of the books is called "One Bite at a Time" and the other is something like "The Cancer Fighting Kitchen" I think. Hope this helps.

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There is a recipe for some nutritious bars from the COOKING with Cancer book. My daughter made a batch for her Dad, and he really likes them. They keep for a long time and one counts as a meal if he is not diabetic. We do not like them but our taste buds have not been through chemo, either. Friend me if you want the recipe. you can Download Cooking With Cancer by Dr. Luis F. Pineda , for free.
Lots of ideas to try. The bars are called Summer Bars.

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Good and different answers.
Don't know if there is one food or mixture that will combat fatigue.
This can be a time to have lots of whatever he 'craves' and suppliment it with more wholesome well rounded foods.
The information about some of the meds that can help is worth looking into.
Try to remember that being physically active is very important.
Think the most important thing is to keep him eating and keep an eye open for a well rounded diet.
Chemo is bad enough, but feeling you have to eat pap like baby food is adding insult to injury.

Everyone will react differently.

Please share what you find works for the both of you. Good luck.


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Chocolate flavored Muscle Milk helped by wife when she did not want to eat real food.

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MY husband was on Taxol until it stopped working and now he is on 5FU. It is soooo much better tolerated and he looks much better. The loss of hair, neuropathy, fatigue, bloating on Taxol were rough. Things still don't taste right to him and he has lost some weight.

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