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Complementary Medicine-- Experience?

cfight's picture
cfight
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2010

Hello. My father was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He has an appointment with the oncologist tomorrow to further discuss his prognosis and treatment plan. He is not eligible for surgery because the cancer has advanced to his arm. He is a non Hodgkins lymphoma cancer survivor and has been cancer free for 30 years until now. I remain hopeful that he can fight this! The discussion boards have been extremely helpful--everyone has so much strength!

I've been a proponent of complementary medicine and have used naturopathic treatments for my own ailments with guidance from a licensed naturopathic doctor.

Does anyone have any experience using such treatments in fighting their cancer?

I've recommended that my parents explore this option, but I know SOME doctors don't fully understand the benefits and haven't been formally trained on this type of treatment.

I welcome your thoughts. Thank you.

38sallyb's picture
38sallyb
Posts: 100
Joined: Dec 2009

We too, are interested in complementary medicine. There just does not seem to be any place in the traditional treatment plan for nutrition, supplements etc It is a little frustrating for those of us who would like a more inclusive approach.

The nutritionist we spoke to said, "Ultimately, you are responsible for what you eat and take, but we just don't have enough information or studies to come to the conclusions that that approach is compatible with chemo and radiation." The country is sadly lacking in research for this disease.

We're doing well on the chemo and we are VERY careful about what Jim eats. Keeping his immune system revved up is my plan and it seems to be working well. Last blood check all counts were within normal limits. He's on Taxotere, Oaxaliplatin and 5FU and tomorrow is his last chemo in this round. PET scan on the 14th, results on the 15th
Sally

cfight's picture
cfight
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2010

Sally,

I'm glad to hear things are going well with the chemo treatments and blood counts are within limits! I'm sure that's reassuring.

My hope now is that the oncologist is open to the idea of complementary medicine. I feel it's important to attack cancer from every possible angle available. The naturopathic doctor I hope my parents consult is based near Boston, MA. I copied a link to Dr. Belanger's website if you have an interest in reviewing the information.

http://lexingtonnaturalhealth.com/pages/Conditions/Cancer.html

I wish you well in your PET scan!

cfight's picture
cfight
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks... this is helpful! I wish you strength as you continue your journey!

Betty in Vegas's picture
Betty in Vegas
Posts: 311
Joined: Jul 2009

So Layne does Essiac Tea (I am going to start too) and black raspberry powder, and we did fresh wheat grass in chemo, and now he does the pills (because my arms were worn out from grinding the wheat grass!)

We think it helped keep his blood counts high so he could do all his chemo.

Betty

38sallyb's picture
38sallyb
Posts: 100
Joined: Dec 2009

Jim had his last round of chemo today. Taxotere, Oaxaliplatin and 5FU (still on it on the pump til Wed.) Very few side effects although it is cold in Houston and his fingers were tingling on the way home. We have been juicing, lots of fresh fruit and veggies, NO sugar, carbonated drinks, NOTHING with aspartame, no whites (flour, sugar, rice, bread, pasta) just whole grains and more soy and plant based proteins. Jim has also been taking astragalus root extract for his immune system.

His bloodwork today was just tenths below normal in all the blood counts. The nurse was amazed and we feel it is probably because he was in excellent health before he started the chemo and has continued to follow our eating program. I hope your oncologist is open, but unless he is VERY different from all we have met, don't count on it. There just are not enough studies done on complementary medicine in major cancer centers that use traditional methods. However, they asked Jim to participate in a food study and he is doing so.

PET scan on the 14th, results on the 15th and we're hoping they will approve him for Proton Therapy, rather than the Photon Therapy. I will look forward to reading the website. I'm sure there must be a naturopathic Dr here in Houston and we'll look in some references I have.

We are praying for all those on this site and we appreciate all the prayers we receive too. God Bless you
Sally

cfight's picture
cfight
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2010

That's great news!! I'll keep you in my thoughts for a positive outcome on the PET results. The food study sounds interesting... are they looking at incorporating cancer fighting foods into a specific diet plan? We need to push this type of research. Kudos to Jim for being part of what hopefully will be a game changer in how we treat cancer.

My father started chemo today (1 round per week for 3 weeks then 1 week off--2 cycles then more tests). I feel fortunate to have found this site and to have met others who are fighting cancer!

My dad's oncologist was open to complementary medicine as long as it didn't interfere with his chemo and radiation treatments. I saw that as a home run!

I'll keep you posted on how we integrate CM into my dad's overall treatment plan.

Take care and thank you so much for your support!

Carolyn

38sallyb's picture
38sallyb
Posts: 100
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Carolyn,

From the questions asked, I believe they are looking for a relationship between EC and smoked/cured meats and some other foods. The questions were based on the last two years and were pretty detailed about what he was eating and how often.
Like "How often have you used bacon grease in cooking?" I was pretty surprised, since I didn't know anyone still used bacon grease for cooking!

There were also some questions about diet foods and soda, coffee and tea (caffeine), and the frequency of fresh fruit and vegetables. It was about 25 pages long so he worked on it while the chemo dripped.

Jim is still on the 5FU pump today and tomorrow. He walked quite a bit today and said he feels great, that there was a big change in the ease of swallowing today, and he ate more today also. That's all good and we're grateful.

I'm impressed that the oncologist was open to the CM. How will you know if it's interfering with chemo and radiation?
We're praying for your dad and all those on this site.

Sally

cfight's picture
cfight
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm glad to hear they're exploring foods, diet, etc. That's a great question. I heard this before in my research recently... there was a woman who brought a list of supplements she was planning to take to the doc and the doc cross referenced the potential side effects. Not sure where the information is hosted.

My dad saw the radiation doc yesterday. Looks like the cancer in his bone (arm) is very small!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Betty in Vegas's picture
Betty in Vegas
Posts: 311
Joined: Jul 2009

OHHHH It was so long. I had to really THINK on it. It's funny because except for lunch I always fed him, so he handed it to me. I am so glad they are doing studies like that.

We are in town the 11-13 and leave the 14th... perhaps we will see you?

Betty

38sallyb's picture
38sallyb
Posts: 100
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Betty,
We're trying to get out of town for a few days. I'll let you know if we get back in time. Jim has his PET Scan on the 14th, so we will be back by then for sure.
Sally

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