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antioxidents supplements vs no supplements

Pamela B's picture
Pamela B
Posts: 108
Joined: Jan 2013

My Oncologist said to stop taking all of my anti oxidents during chemo.  Books I have read say just the opposite.  What are your opinions.  It makes sense to me to stay healthy during chemo and to lessen the side effects, but I hate to go afainst my doctor.  I start on the usual cisplatin/toxol (sp) on Monday.

Glad to be done's picture
Glad to be done
Posts: 558
Joined: Jul 2012

I was not on any anti oxidents during chemo.  I did the cisplatian/taxol too.  Are they using an I P port for chemo too?  How many rounds are you doing?  I did six.  Started the end of Feb and finished the end of June.   I hope all goes well with your treatments.  Cisplatian is about as harsh as it gets but doable....  STAY HYDRATED...... I drank tons of gator ade (which to this day still can not drink anymore), vitamin water and flavored my water with mio so it wasn't so boring to drink....  Day 2 of my treatment was also 2 liters of fluid so that helped alot too

Pamela B's picture
Pamela B
Posts: 108
Joined: Jan 2013

When you say it was harsh, what do you mean?  Does it physically hurt?  I have the IP port and the chest port so I think I get both.  I am doing 6 rounds if I make it that far. He said I can stop after one or two if I can't take it and still get a good benefit and maybe avoid the side effects.   I will also get fulids the day after.  I think my first week schedule is 4 hours of IV chemoon Day one, eight hours of IP port chemo on day two and two hours of fulids on day three.  What  is chemo like?  Do you feel it?  What do you do for all the hours?  What can I expect?

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

I worked under the guidance of a naturopath throughout chemo.  I was told not to take antioxidants from two days before to two days after chemo, with carboplatin/taxol/avastin.  This advice may differ with different drugs.

Pamela B's picture
Pamela B
Posts: 108
Joined: Jan 2013

Did your doctor agree with the naturopath or did you just do it?  I can go with stoppng them during chemo, that is a good idea.  I will have cicplatin and taxol so it should be similar.  ow did you find a good naturopath?

Pamela B's picture
Pamela B
Posts: 108
Joined: Jan 2013

Did you find that you had less side effects with this method?

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

I incorporated multiple integrative therapies throughout chemo, including high dose IV vitamin C, which is also a powerful anti-oxidant.  My medical oncologist, which is who I worked with directly during treatment, because my gyn/onc was two states away, was against my using these treatments, but I had already researched the topic extensively and had been treated by doctors in Mexico and a naturopath and integrative nurse practitioner, and I knew too much to rely on the research my onc was citing.  The antioxidants I took, between treatments, kept my body strong enough to have two extra doses of chemo, which my onc thought was advisable, since my initial disease was so aggressive.  My onc's nurse said she saw me looking healthier and healthier after each treatment, which "isn't how our patients typically go."  I am confident that my choices contributed to the success of my treatment.  I was exceptionally lucky, because the naturopath in the small town where I live is a genius when it comes to cancer treatment.  She is incorporating treatment concepts long before the main medical community starts to talk about them.  She herself is a 21 year stage IV ovarian cancer survivor, and she treated herself, without medical intervention. 

wholfmeister's picture
wholfmeister
Posts: 249
Joined: Dec 2012

Dear Pamela!

You may be amazed by what a "non-event" chemo day is! The infusion center staff is so well-versed on how to care for us!  There will be the little poke to get the IV going, even on the IP day.  The pre-meds will take care of nearly all the side-effects.  The benedryl made me a little loopy and drowsy.  All of the fluid into the belly on the IP day made me feel full, but not painful, not really uncomfortable.  Take some things to pass the time: some light reading, maybe an iPad for surfing or games, music, a friend to chat with.  But don't discount the value of a day to snooze!  I actually enjoy going for chemo:  I enjoy the chatter of the nurses, having some time to just think, read some magazines and sleep a bit.  That is not to say we don't have to do our part with the fluids, the Miralax, the pre- and post-meds, activity and rest, and avoiding germs! When she said the chemo was harsh, I think she meant it is powerful...if you don't keep up with fluids, meds, activity and rest, you will be totally wiped out for a week or so!  I speak from experience...I learned the hard way the first month.  I didn't have nausea, but I vomited and I just felt awful, was so lightheaded, so constipated...ugh!  Chemo is do-able.  You will be fine!  Just take all the advice from the women on this site, and from your cancer team.  I'll be cheering for you!

Pamela B's picture
Pamela B
Posts: 108
Joined: Jan 2013

Thank you so much for the information and for taking some of my fear away!  It doesn't sound that bad after all. I don't think I get benadryl, but I have lots of anti nausea pills to take. My oncologist didn't mention miralax but it sounds like a good idea.  When does your hair start to fall out?  Right away?   Thanks for being my cheering team!

Glad to be done's picture
Glad to be done
Posts: 558
Joined: Jul 2012

Tell me where do our posts go when they disappear while typing them???? Twice I tried to reply to this and it disappeared.  I will reply after dinner and tell you about my journey.

Glad to be done's picture
Glad to be done
Posts: 558
Joined: Jul 2012

Ok let's try this for the third time.  lol.

That is exactly what I meant when I said that.  Chemo is harsh and wreaks havoc on our bodies but it is totally doable.  The infusion center runs like a well oiled machine.  I was amazed .  They will be able to answer any question you have and if they can't answer it they will find the answer for you by the end of that treatment.  My chemo nurse was the greatest.  In fact I dont mind going to the infusion room to get my port flushed so I can see her.  We are friends on facebook and even get together.  Turns out she used to work with a nurse I work with....  She laughed with me when I laughed and cried with me when I cried......  I have always had respect for nurses but that respect went to a whole new level when I did chemo. 

My cycle went like this.  Day 1 taxol IV and cisplatian IP as well as fluid.  Day 2 fluids then done for the week.  Monday day 9 it was IP taxol with fluid and then done for that week and the next.  Cycle 1 and 2 went very well for me.  Barely any side effects at all.  After cycle 3 they kicked in.  Tired like I have never been tired before.  I also got joint pain in my legs from the taxol.  Someone in one of my groups said she took claritain day 2-day 7 of a cycle and never had the taxol pain.  Sure wish I would have known that.  Check with your doc on that one.  I rarely had nause.  I was very lucky.  A couple times I would feel a little quesy and take my zofran and it would go right away.  Stay ontop of that.  From what I hear if you don't nip it, it could get really bad.

I got neuropathy in my feet after the 4th treatment.  My doc said she could back off on the cisplatain but I said no.  I did not want to do that.  Some took L glutemine and b 12 vitamins to prevent it.  It didnt work for me but I wonder if it would have had I started the vitamins when I started treatment.  Ask your doc about that too.

My hair started to fall out out exactly 19 days after my first treatment.  I had long hair past my shoulders so when it started I had my husband shave it but not untill my 11 and 13 year old sons had fun with it.  lol.  I started wearing my wig then.  I had my eyebrows and eylashes till after my 4th treatment then they were pretty much gone but came back very quick after chemo ended. 

I had a problem with my potassium and magnesium levels so I was on pills for each.  They will check your levels during your cycle and before you start each one.  I actually was on my potassium pills until September and I finished my treatments the end of June.  Some potassium via IV during treatment.  Wish I would have known to ask if I could get that.  Taking the pills sucked.  They were huge.

I had a blood pressure problem after the first and second cycle.  If this happens to you just take it slow.  Get out of bed or off the couch slowly.  Sit up and wait a minute then stand. 

Before you know it chemo will be a distant memory.  I actually had to go look up which chemo I had twice in the cycle.  I thought I would never forget.  Any questions you have please ask. 

I think I speak for everyone here here when I say we  have your back on this journey.  You will not walk it alone.    Remember....  You have cancer... Cancer does not have you.  You are much bigger than this.  Attitude is huge on this journey and if you tell yourself every day..sometimes several times a day that you can beat this you will go far...

Have you started chemo yet? 

Good luck and go forth and conquer.

 

 

Pamela B's picture
Pamela B
Posts: 108
Joined: Jan 2013

Great information from all of you wonderful ladies!  Thanks so much.  I think I get the IV chemo for 4 hours on Monday Feb 11.  Then Tuesday I  get 8 hours of it in the IP port.  Wednesday is 2 hours of fluids.  The next week I get something but I am not sure what.  My oncologist is a wonderful guy and very passionate but I often gloss over with so much information and I should write it down.   I have three anti nausea pills to take. One the day before and the others as needed.  Haven't heard about the claritin  or the benadryl but I will ask.  I have been feeling really alone and scared on this  journey until I found this site.  Can't thank you enough for the inside information.   One other dumb question.  My IP port is attached to my ribs.  What do you wear to your IP port treatments?  I am going to have to expose myself to access either port!

Glad to be done's picture
Glad to be done
Posts: 558
Joined: Jul 2012

My IP port was put belos my rib cage.  I just rolled up my tshirt  while they put it in.  I wore comfy clothes.  Sweat pants and zip up hoodies with a v neck t shirt then they had easy access to both ports.  Stick to loose fitting tops (and tanks if you wear them). 

If I am not mistaken, they will administer benedryl through your IV prior to starting your chemo.  At least that is what they did with me and pretty much the concensus I have heard from all the ladies on my boards.  They do that to prevent reactions to the chemo.  Your first treatment they will run in slow and watch you like a hawk to make sure you don't have any reactions.  It made for a very long day that day.  We had to be there at 9 and I left the infusion room at 5:30.  After my first one they ran my chemo faster and it didn'take as long.

I took my husband with me to all of my appointments because  I too would gloss over.  He would remember everything.

 

HAve awonderful day

 

Glad to be done's picture
Glad to be done
Posts: 558
Joined: Jul 2012

My IP port was put belos my rib cage.  I just rolled up my tshirt  while they put it in.  I wore comfy clothes.  Sweat pants and zip up hoodies with a v neck t shirt then they had easy access to both ports.  Stick to loose fitting tops (and tanks if you wear them). 

If I am not mistaken, they will administer benedryl through your IV prior to starting your chemo.  At least that is what they did with me and pretty much the concensus I have heard from all the ladies on my boards.  They do that to prevent reactions to the chemo.  Your first treatment they will run in slow and watch you like a hawk to make sure you don't have any reactions.  It made for a very long day that day.  We had to be there at 9 and I left the infusion room at 5:30.  After my first one they ran my chemo faster and it didn'take as long.

I took my husband with me to all of my appointments because  I too would gloss over.  He would remember everything.

 

HAve awonderful day

 

wholfmeister's picture
wholfmeister
Posts: 249
Joined: Dec 2012

Here is my big confession:  I hate to look and feel like a cancer patient.  When I walk out the door, I don't want anyone to realize I am the patient.  Therefore, when I go to chemo, I wear my wig and try to look more like an office worker at the center than a patient.  That's why I don't wear sweats, which are probably more sensible.  After chemo, I always stop at the restroom, fix my wig, apply fresh make up, and put on a smile, before I leave the infusion center!

I have a favorite pair of khaki pants that were plenty big that I wear for all my chemo days.  My infusion center tends to be a little chilly.  They give me a heated blanket, but I like to be able to use my arms, so I also have a favorite zip-up fleece I wear.  I did not have an IV port, so I have IVs started in my hands or arms every time.  This fleece has cuffs loose enough to roll up.  My IP port was below my ribs.  We just pushed the clothes up or down a bit...there was no big exposure of flesh. Don't be vain like me...think comfort!

It is a good idea to take someone else to appointments, be it family or close friend.  My oncologist's nurse also has invited me to call or email her with any questions after the visit. 

We're here for you!

Pamela B's picture
Pamela B
Posts: 108
Joined: Jan 2013

Thanks ladies! I feel so much more prepared now and much less scared. I am looking into Vit B12/B6 shots. In the mean time I am taking them in pill form. Calling a local Naturopath for advice today. Checked into the Penguin cap to prevent hair loss but I can't get it here before Monday so I lost out on that. It is OK, I already bought two wigs! I will face my fear of short hair (or no hair!) and just go with the hair loss. A lot of this seems to be facing fear and getting over it. Flexing my "change" muscles is scary but good in the long run. And I fully expect there to be a "long run" for me. I will beat this with your help and support! I am no longer afraid of the start of chemo on Monday. Bring it on!!!

Glad to be done's picture
Glad to be done
Posts: 558
Joined: Jul 2012

I was the same way.  I never wanted to look like the cancer patient.  I always was showered and had my wig and makeup on when I went out of my house BUT I did wear my sweat suits to the infusion room.  I always figured that the  iv pole would be a dead give away I wasn't employee when I was out and about walking around the infusion room.  LMAO 

 

Pam I told my husband (after I cried in his arms for 20 minutes the night before I started) It was time to put my big girl panties on.

 

 

Glad to be done's picture
Glad to be done
Posts: 558
Joined: Jul 2012

I was the same way.  I never wanted to look like the cancer patient.  I always was showered and had my wig and makeup on when I went out of my house BUT I did wear my sweat suits to the infusion room.  I always figured that the  iv pole would be a dead give away I wasn't employee when I was out and about walking around the infusion room.  LMAO 

 

Pam I told my husband (after I cried in his arms for 20 minutes the night before I started) It was time to put my big girl panties on.

 

 

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