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just diagnosed

kel74
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2007

my mother in law was just diagnosed with non hodgkins lymphoma stage 3 level b. I am wanting to help her set up a healthy lifestyle. Can anyone give me advice on how to help get started on this crazy cancer journey. I need advice on what to do and how to help my husband and his brothers get started setting up her new life for the next 18 wks. She goes for chemo. the chop type once every 3 wks for 5-6 hrs. She is 70 and she's not a fighter. I just need advice to get this going and its all overwhelming. thanks a bunch

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi. I'm a six-year survivor of lung cancer, and I am currently in remission from non hodgkins lymphoma, 3b. I was diagnosed with nhl at age 72. From your description, it sounds like your mother in law is receiving a very similar chemo (CHOP) that I had. My nhl went into remission after three treatments, but I continued for a total of eight treatments. After the eight CHOP treatments, I am now on a schedule of maintenance immunotherapy, consisting of Rituxin only (chemo), every three months, two hours per treatment.
The chemo treatments will affect her, but no two patients are the same, so it is difficult to tell exactly what side effects she will have. My aggressive chemo for lung cancer flattened me. The treatments for nhl were "an inconvenience" for me. The worst effect was that, over the course of treatment, I became more tired. But, as with all treatments, she should simply listen to her body, and rest when it says "rest". Hair loss is a possibility, but I did not experience that with the CHOP treatments.
It is difficult to address specific "healthy lifestyles", but, as for the family, - I would work out a"support schedule", to ensure that there is always someone available to take her to treatments and office visits. It is often difficult to remember all that is said at a doctor's visit, and I would recommend that you obtain a small digital voice recorder, and use it at all her visits. Doctors encourage their use, because they realize the value of being able to replay and understand the advice and explanations.
Instead of setting up a regimented lifestyle for your mother in law, I would recommend "playing it by ear", - listen to the doctors and follow the instructions given. Patience is key when dealing with any form of cancer. I'm walking proof that the doctors and other medical staff are good at what they do.
My best wishes and prayers to you, your mother in law and her family.

Grace10290
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2007

I have recently learned a lot about Macrobiotics, a diet based on eating whole grains and vegetables and that calls for the elimination of meat and dairy from your diet. Researchers have found a connection between animal-based proteins and cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and many other diseases. Basically, the more meat, dairy, eggs, and processed foods you consume, the more likely you are to get one of the diseases mentioned above. The first stage of cancer (initiation) is caused by carcinogens entering your body. These carcinogens can come from a number of different sources and they cause the initiation stage of cancer. The second stage of cancer is progression. Studies have shown that as a person increases the amount of animal-based proteins in their diet, the faster the rate of progression will be. If a person eliminates animal-based proteins from their diets however, their cancer stops progressing (a remission of sorts). By eating a plant-based whole foods diet, you can actually turn off cancer cell growth! To heal oneself from this diet, a person has to eat specific foods that target the specific cancer that they have. For example, foods like daikon (a type of radish) help break up tumors in the body. Shiitake mushrooms lower blood cholesterol by a huge percentage.

Many people are not willing to give this a try. They don't want to believe that many of the foods they love could be killing them. Adopting a macrobiotic lifestyle is certainly less expensive and less painful than paying medical bills and getting massive doses of chemotherapy and radiation. This is definitely something to consider, even if you do consider it an unlikely last resort for your mother-in-law.

If you are skeptical of what I have just claimed to be true, here is some more information if you are interested in at least learning about Macrobiotics.

The scientific research that shows that this diet works can be found in The China Study, an amazing book by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II. This book provides proof that this diet works and explains why/how it works.

The Cancer Prevention Diet- Michio Kushi- "outlines the causes and cures for cancer, [is] filled with testimonies from cancer survivors, [outlines] the different types of cancers, and [has detailed] information on menus, cooking, [and] healing tactics".

Recovery Stories:
1. Becoming Whole -by Meg Wolff-cured of invasive breast cancer

2. My Beautiful Life- Mina Dobic-cured of ovarian cancer

3. When Hope Never Dies-Marlene McKenna-cured of malignant melanoma

4. Recovery from Cancer- Elaine Nussbaum-cured of ovarian cancer

5. Kamikaze Cowboy-Dirk Benedict- cured of prostate cancer

6. Healing Miracles from Macrobiotics- Dr. Jean Kohler and Mary Alice Kolher (cured of pancreatic cancer)

7. Macrobiotic Miracles: How a Vermont Family Overcame Cancer- Virginia Brown and Susan Stayman (malignant melanoma)

8. Cancer-Free- Kit Kitatani- cured of stomach cancer

9. Controlling Crohn's Disease The Natural Way- Virginia Harper

There is much more literature out there, but these are just a few titles.

If reading is not for you, check out youtube. Look up "Diet Saves Their Lives vol.1". There are at least 10 volumes with people telling their stories about how the Macrobiotic diet saved their lives. They include people who have recovered from the following diseases: Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s), leukemia, Crohn’s disease, breast cancer, bone cancer, and more.

If this information interests you, there are macrobiotics counselors that are better equipped to explain how the diet works than I am.

If she adopts a Macrobiotic diet and she makes sure she is eating foods that give her the right amount of nutrition, what harm could it do her to at least give it a try?

AuthorUnknown
Posts: 1563
Joined: May 2006

Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to let everyone know, as with all alternative and complementary treatements, be sure to talk with your doctor regarding interactions with current treatments, potential side-effects, and risks associated with foregoing conventional treatment. You can also contact the American Cancer Society's National Cancer Information Center for up to date information on complementary and alternative cancer treatment as well as information on the rare but possible spontaneous remissions that can be associated with cancer. Cancer Information Specialists can be reached 24 hours a day at 1-800-227-2345.

Take care!

Dana

donaldo's picture
donaldo
Posts: 36
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi, I'm a non hodgkins level 4 survivor in remission for the first time in eleven years. The "she's not a fighter" part of your message sort of sent up a red flag. I've watched alot of patients come through the clinic and hospital and have noticed that alot of family members try to do everything for their relitive that is suffering from almost any problem, and isn't a "fighter". This sounds like a good thing but in fact it creates a situation where the patient comes to rely on other people to do all of the fighting for them, and just give up. This is a really bad thing, once they give up mentally the body generally follows suit. My advise is; be there for her, but try to incourage her to do as much for herself as possible. Try to only do for her what she actually can't do for herself. It may be hard to resist the temptation to do it all for her, but it's the best thing you can possibly do for her.
As far as setting up her life for the time she's going through chemo, the university hospital in Wisconsin suggest that an environment that is "moms coming to diner clean" is all that's needed. Don't try to hard for the sterile environment because it also makes it a less comfortable environment to live in. Her doctor will probably make suggestions for the best foods to eat, but generally the whole diet boils down to what the patient can get down that will stay down. If she comes up with some odd food that she can handle let her have it (mine was mashed potatoes and corn mixed togeather), a not quite balanced diet is actually better then a healthy balanced diet that won't go down, or stay down long enough to digest.
Good luck in the fight.
Don

strongerxx
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2007

It's all very scary. But it's even scarier for the one diagnosed, and your husband. When my boyfriends mom was sick, I let him talk about it when he was ready. I didn't push him to talk to me about 'his feelings' let him know you're there for him, and eventually he'll open up.

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