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My husband was diagnosed June 2010

neverquit
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2010

Dustmagnet7 and other survivors who have been posting your experiences, your openness and willingness to discuss what you have been through/are going through is very helpful.
My husband was diagnosed with stage IV with mets to the bones on 6/21/10. He is only 54, was in great shape and had no symptoms until it was too late (about 4 weeks before he was finally diagnosed). It is really good to know that there are people who are making progress with their fight.
My husband could barely eat anything and went from 185 to 123 lbs. with little hope. His Oncologist is a fighter who does not believe in the odds (unlike the first Oncologist he saw who said my husband had no hope had only 2 to 4 months without chemo and 6 months with chemo). His new Oncologist did the targeted molecular therapy and thus did 6 rounds of Cisplatin/Taxotere and 5-FU. He was able to start to eat better again (about 1/3 to 1/2 of what he used to be able to eat) and got his weight back up to 140 lbs. His PET Scan and CAT scan improved along with the Endoscopy results and the blood marker levels. He actually started to fell like maybe he was going to beat the odds.
He got an extra two weeks off from chemo so the Oncologist could see what the latest molecular targeted therapy results were and to allow my husband to gain more weight before his next round of chemo (she was changing the chemo because although one marker dropped, the other two were not dropping). In just those two extra weeks off, my husband started not to feel very well and his nausea is back (Zofran not working as well). The Oncologist started his new chemo last Tuesday (I/L/5-FU) and it made him sick as a dog (nausea/diarrhea) and left him no appetite. He is still eating though (because I am such a pain in the neck) and is being able to keep his weight fairly stable, but this change in how he feels has been a blow to his spirits. We are praying that the new chemo gets him feeling better with improved results on the blood markers. It is unbelievable how quickly this cancer acts. I agree, no one should have to go through this.

Some questions I have that hopefully someone can answer:
1) How many of you are doing juicing or any other diet change that you feel is being helpful?
2) Has anyone had those "hiccups" or diaphragm spasms from the chemo? If yes, any idea what can hep to stop them? The Oncologist had no real answer on this issue.

Thanks in advance and best wishes to all of you.

dustmagnet7
Posts: 27
Joined: Oct 2010

Good job being a pain in the neck. My wife pushed me as well, and I know it helped keep me alive. Its so very important to make sure your husband is eating (and getting LOTS of water especially during chemo). As far as juicing goes, since I no longer have a stomach, its good for me (raw vegies are a little tough for me to digest proper). Although I don't do it as often as I would like to, it always helps me feel better. There is also a lot to be said about the detoxifing effects from fresh juices. Gerson therapy (if you haven't heard of it, its worth checking into) is a cancer treatment based highly on consuming large quantities of fresh juices. Very interesting therapy, but since its on the holistic/alternative side, there aren't many stats on its results. As far as nausea goes, getting that under control is HUGE. Durring chemo, mine was crippling and I would spend hours wretching (without a stomach you can't vomit...or at least I can't) and it was nearly impossible to get me to eat. I never had any luck with zofran, but the Sancuso patch worked well (its a 5 day transdermal patch but is very expensive). Living in Michigan, medical marijuana is legal and works very well in battling nausea and aids in appetite...worth checking into if its is an option. I also experience some pretty annoying hiccups if I eat to fast. The only way I've found to get rid of them is taking small sips of cold water while standing. Sounds way to old time wives tale, but seems to work for me. Best wishes to you and your husband. Make sure he keeps fighting!

neverquit
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2010

Thanks dustmangnet7 for the information and the suggestions. I will check into Gerson therapy as I was not familiar with this. Also, I told my husband what you do for the hiccups and he is going to try it; it does sound wives talish but if it works, who can argue with success. We are also going to look into the Sancuso patch as he is finding that the Zofran is not as effective as it once was (still OK, but not great). Unfortunately, we live in Pennsylvania where medical marijuana is not an option (heck, our liquor stores are still run by the State). I will continue to keep him in the fight as he is way too good of a guy! Thanks again and God bless you.

have2believe
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

My mom is not experiencing too much hiccups. But I've heard that ginger helps with pain discomfort. I like to add ginger with lemon and black tea and rosemary tea. Then add honey to make it sweet.
As far as juicing, this is the recipe I use:

5 carrots
1 beet
1 apple
5 asparagus
4 celery

We drink this almost everyday and it does not taste bad at all. I've also been growing wheat grass and looking at other methods including the Budwig diet. I don't really follow it, but when I don't juice, I make a smoothie with vanilla yogurt, blueberries, and about 3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil (from wholefoods), as well as milk.
When my wheatgrass is ready, I cut that up and juice it with an apple and blueberries.
My mom really does not like the taste of grass or green stuff so the carrot, blueberries and apple, beet help.

Another recipe that is very green and alkalizing is one from Kris Carr (Crazy Sexy Cancer):
* 2 large Cucumbers (peeled if not organic)
* Big fist-full of Kale
* Big fist-full of Romaine
* 3 stalks of Celery
* 1 Pear or Green Apple
* 1-2 big Broccoli stems
* 1/2 inch of Ginger
Experiment to taste! Other greens we love: any lettuce, spinach, parsley, dandelion.
Makes about 32 oz. Make more and save in Mason jars up to 24 hours.

Kris Carr follows the PH Diet (80% alkaline, 20% acidic foods). I'm not really sure if it does anything for people with cancer, but it's something worth looking into.
My mom, like your husband, doesn't have many symptoms. And I'm trying to do whatever I can. I hope this helps.

neverquit
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2010

have2believe,
Thanks for the recipes. I will be getting the ingredients you listed that I am missing and will try these for my husband. It is helpful to hear from people who have found ways to treat the side effects of the chemo and the cancer. I will try the ginger in his tea to see if that works for him. I just got some special tea from China from a friend of mine that is specifically for stomach cancer; I will let you know how it works (my husband's Oncologist has also OK'ed its use).
I have been doing a lot of reading about nutrition and maintaining an alkalizing system and have thus changed our eating habits. It seems that people have been more successful with a combination of chemo, juicing/nutrition and faith. Along with supporting the nutrition side of things, his Oncologist also has him on 50,000 units of vitamin D a week (as he was deficient in D). I had not heard of the Budwig diet so I will research that (thanks). My husband has not been a big vegetable and fruit eater his whole life as he was not brought up eating a diet rich in greens, beets, fruits, etc.; but he is doing whatever he needs to do to survive.
Our goal is to able to enjoy retirement together in the future after all the years we have worked (and played) together. We both ski patrol as volunteers at a local mountain (almost 20 years doing this) and we started the season yesterday. My husband can not ski at this time (due to lack of strength and balance right now) but he is able to work on the injuries coming into the Patrol room. This is helping him to keep his mind occupied and to realize how much he wants to win this battle. Thanks again for your information.

have2believe
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

Hi Neverquit,
I hope it helps. I feel like bc our oncologist isn't trained in nutrition, she doesn't mind supplements as long as it's not excessive. It's great that your oncologist is proactive in integrative therapy. Can I ask what the tea is called? The reason is because my mom and I are Chinese and we might be able to ask about that as well. I think I'm going to have to stop the smoothie or redo it because I realized she might be a bit lactose intolerant, so will be switching to almond milk and avocado plus flaxseed oil and blueberry smoothie.
I've found these books really helpful- life over cancer by dr. keith block, spontaneous remission by dr. andrew weil, and choices in healing. I also recommend the cancer fighting kitchen--it's is really great esp the beginning because it provides an index of cancer fighting ingredients. If you don't have time to purchase it, I can try to scan it and email you that section if you pm me your email. Something else I found on clinical trial website is on a supplement/ mushroom called PSK (corriolus versicolor) and they are studying to see if it enhances 5-fu, so I am planning on looking into that as well. Also, check out the cancercompass.com message board on stomach cancer. It's also been very helpful to me.
I used to snowboard in the winter, so I imagine you and your husband must be very fit since skiing/ snowboarding definitely is a great workout. But that's good that he's able to still work. My mom is still working but will have to go back on short term disability again once she begins chemo for the second time.

neverquit
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2010

have2believe,
Sorry I did not get back to you sooner on your question, but my husband has had a bad week (lots of nausea, lymph nodes in his neck swollen, in a bad place mentally for him) so I was not on the discussion board at all. The tea container only has the name on it in the Chinese characters and I can not translate it (nor write the characters here). I will ask my contact in China to give me the English name and spelling and will get back to you with this information.

neverquit
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi have2believe. I apologize but it took a while to get the name of the Chinese tea; it is called Gybostemma tea. My husband has had a really bad time of it over the last couple of weeks and I am really concerned. He has these really bad spasms of his diaphragm; almost like a horrible bunch of hiccups very time he moves around much. Also, the nausea is getting to the point where nothing is helping. I hope your Mom is doing OK and wondered if she or any one else has had these two problems (especially the wild hiccups). Thanks and take care.

have2believe
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

Hi neverquit, i'm sorry to hear your husband is having a bad time. Is he on chemo and reacting to the side effects? My mom started folfox and finished second round. She's dealing w/ fatigue, loss of appetite, and some hair loss.

Thanks for the name I'll look into it. Also, as far as the hiccups, look at cancercompass.com; it's pretty active. A quick search showed this link regarding spasms and hiccups--please visit here: http://www.cancercompass.com/message-board/message/all,50302,0.htm?mid=355036

I hope it gets better. Take care.

neverquit
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi have2believe,
Thanks for the info. I talked to the Dr. and she gave me a prescription for the baclofen (listed on the website you listed above). Today, his hiccups are much reduced. I never think to do a quick search for these kind of things (funny, I will automatically do it for work but never think of it for non-work things). That was great information.

I am glad to hear that your Mom started her chemo. My husband did not do the folfox regimen but did have 6 rounds of the platinum drug regimen and recently was switched to the I/L/F regimen. We found out that the 5-FU probably is causing the hiccups. The Dr. didn't like the fact that nothing they gave him could stop the nausea, so they gave him an emergency CAT Scan last night. The scan showed that something is restricting the bile ducts going into the liver so they admitted him to the hospital today. They will do an ERCP tomorrow and put stents into his bile ducts to open them up if they can. They are also giving him antibiotics intravenously every 12 hours. We are praying that it is an infection and not mets to the liver. I HATE CANCER!!!!

I hope your Mom does well with her chemo. When will they do another scan to see how affective the folfox is? I hope her cancer gets its butt kicked!

Take care and keep in touch.

have2believe
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

What's your husband's name? I'll say a prayer for him and keep him in my thoughts, hoping that you'll find the root of the issue, but that it's not "c" and that the antibiotics will clear it up. Cancer sucks..it's so hard not to let it consume you. I'm working part-time, and I find myself constantly checking and researching about this disease, treatment and so forth. It's hard not to let it consume me. The dr. says we'll do a ct scan in about 2 months i think to see if it's effective. My mom's been losing hair, shedding.. the 5-fu is definitely causing some side effects though not as bad as others im sure. Her skin really reacts to skin like an allergic reaction w/ rashes. Her stomach will let her know she's hungry, but she does not find food appealing though she forces herself to eat. I hope cancer gets kicked in butt too and commits suicide and never rears its ugly head at my mom again and to everyone. All have is hope and you can't let it go. Praying for miracles!

neverquit
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi have2believe. My husband"s name is Mike. What is your Mom's name as I think about her and would like to add her to my prayers also? I do hope your Mom's cancer gets annihilated and never returns again. I also wish that for the rest of the people here. It is good that your Mom forces herself to eat as she really needs to keep her weight and strength up. It must be difficult for your Mom with the skin rash, hopefully it will go away as your Mom's body gets used to the chemo.

They put a stent in my husband's bile duct today, so hopefully the nausea will get less and he will feel better and eat more. They had to make an incision in his right side, go through the liver and then get the stent through the blockage in the duct. They tried to go through the stomach first, but they could not get through. That would have been much easier on Mike (dam cancer).

I am staying in his room at the hospital tonight as he is in a lot of pain. I hate to see him in so much pain. I am praying we get good news that the brain scan is clear tomorrow and that the liver is also clear. He needs a break and some good news so he stays determined to beat his cancer! I am also praying for miracles for all of us.

Take care of yourself too as I know how easy it is to become obsessed with researching this disease. We are hoping for the best for your Mom and you.

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