18 Feb Triage Cancer Speaker Spotlight: Meet Julie Landford
Some of us are still battling the after effects of the holidays and we know that dealing with nutrition and cancer can be especially challenging. So we thought it would be a perfect time to sit down with our resident nutrition expert, Julie Landford, to get her advice.
During treatment, Julie stresses the importance of managing any treatment-related side effects that affect nutrition, as well as to be sure to maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is different for every cancer patient: for some it could mean making sure they are getting enough calories and not losing weight, and for others it could mean making sure not to gain weight. The main focus in treatment is to make sure individualized nutrition needs are met, and that any nutrition-related side effects are being managed. After treatment, the goal may shift slightly to following the nutritional recommendations for health promotion and a cancer fighting diet.
Of course, Julie didn’t forget about caregivers. In fact, she emphasized the importance of finding appropriate boundaries when caring for someone, especially when it comes to food and preparing their meals. The main challenge for caregivers when they see their patient is not feeling well or not eating on a regular basis is to not feel like it is their job to get them to eat. This can be especially hard if the caregiver is a spouse or loved one, because people equate food with love, and it is hard not to force someone to eat. She recommends creating a less stressful dynamic around food and eating, and that it is okay to offer food or remind the patient that it has been awhile since they ate, but that is where their job should stop when it comes to food and nutrition.
Julie works in a community cancer support agency that offers all types of support to cancer patients and survivors. One of Julie’s goals is to engage all of the staff in helping clients to identify how they can improve their well-being. To that end, every client that comes into the center, regardless of what they come in for, is asked to fill out a questionnaire. Based on that questionnaire, the staff helps the client set simple, achievable goals that can help them improve their well-being. Staff will then follow up with the client periodically. This project is expanding the ways they are able to help their clients during and after treatment, and to help them take control of their well-being.
Julie enjoys sharing information about nutrition and cancer, and being a member of Triage Cancer’s Speakers Bureau helps her do just that. She believes it is important to present the information at a practical level, and at a level where anyone can participate. The Speakers Bureau also allows Julie to connect with people and groups that would otherwise not have found her. Julie is a dog lover first and foremost, but has also recently adopted a cat. Want to know more about Julie? Read her complete bio.