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Does our immune system (Maybe be one for Emily, LisaP, or John23)

Sonia32's picture
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

..ever recover from treatments etc? Come December it will be two years since I last had treatment. Just wondering if anyone is the same, that if you get hit with a virus, you really get hit by it.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I guess I don't get why you're asking people who didn't do chemo a question about chemo and the immune system. It's sort of like asking someone who only did chemo about the benefits of juicing. Maybe I didn't read the question right.

Personally, I have not had immune system issues. I've rarely been sick with colds.
I rarely was sick pre-cancer too so I think that has something to do with it.

I think it boils down to the common answer for almost every cancer related question.
We're ALL different and respond differently to the disease and to the treatments.
Hope you get back to great health soon.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

There can be many reasons for having a compromised immune system but unless you've had your entire colon removed or have daily diarrhea there is no reason treatments from CRC 2 years ago should be having any effect on how you deal with a virus.

I worked very hard at getting my immune system built up after chemo 7 years ago and still keep at it. I have not had a cold, flu, or any other illness since Feb. 2005 (knock on wood).
You might want to get your blood work done (CBC, complete blood counts) and see what they look like.

Lisa P.

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

dear sonia,

I have stopped drinking alcohol, off all caffeine.
Off all grains and almost all dairy.
avoiding all processed foods.

eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
its been pretty hard, but I am now 94 kg down from 137kg at my maximum just before getting diagosned.

Been on my TCM, and supplements. Now my lymphocytes have been 0.4 all the way since we started testing. they have not altered. the minimum range here was 1.0.

recently my wbc except for lympocytes has really improved. i have just started taking
cordyceps and i am looking into psk.

I am feeling fine with plenty of energy and as healthy as i have ever been. So i think my immune system has picked up. I still have the occaisional thrush, so i do have some issues.

I hope your immune system picks up.


marqimark's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Jun 2011

(I have stopped drinking alcohol, off all caffeine.
Off all grains and almost all dairy.
avoiding all processed foods.

eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables)

I could not do that, but I have cut way back on Fast Food. Now I am anemic thank you very much....



pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

but thats what crc did to me.

but i did, just do whats good for you, only you know.

i just an obsessed with not being a fat lazy basttard anymore.
not going back to the old life and hanging onto the new life, scars and all.

its so easy for me to be healthy now. before i'd be the one stuffing my face a all
you can eat buffets and sneaking a tub of icecream from the kids.


ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

It is as if my immune system got mind wiped ,it no longer diferentiates between the good guys and the bad guys,so being strictly neutral it attacks everything. At the moment it is targetting kidneys ,lungs and nerves. Currently I am on 20mg weekly of methotrexate to try and suppress it,Ron.

tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1299
Joined: Oct 2010

Many people on the boards have GI problems during and after chemo.

Ron, that kind of sounds like what happens to people who have damaged gastric linings, "leaky gut" and various enteropathies. There, partially (inadequately) digested food particles enter the bloodstream, elicit autoimmune reactions in various locations, wrecking havoc. The drill is gastric repair with things like glutamine, perhaps digestive supplements like betaine hydrocholide, prebiotics and probiotics, and supplements as needed sort of like celiacs. Clean diets - lower carbs, elimination of allergens, meals with veggies and healthy fats, are assumed. Low vitamin D3 even enters into the autoimmune reaction picture. This is where the naturopaths often get their foot in the door while the MD's scratch their heads after striking out.

Since the gut is stated in medical texts to have about 2/3 of the immune system, one can envision the negative health possibilities for damaged gut function allowed to continue unrecovered, and snowball, for decades.

z's picture
Posts: 1414
Joined: May 2009

Hello, May I ask what type of education you have, you seem to know quite a bit. If thats too personal my apologies. Lori

tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1299
Joined: Oct 2010

An advanced technical education for the cold war era.

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

daily i take, probiotics, slippery elm, fish oil, digestive enzymes, GUT RELIEF powder.

A THIRD OF MY SUPPLEMENTS SUPPORT THE GUT, whats the point of eating and drinking right ie healthy nutricioius fruit, veg, seafood and not getting the benefit.

my gut was challenged by 7 months of chemo. but the naturopaths believed we had rebuilt every fortnight for the next onslaught.


John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

"Does our immune system ......ever recover from [chemo] treatments"

The chemicals used in chemical therapy are said to kill more good cells
than bad cells. Among those "good cells", are those in our digestive system.

Western medicine says that about 75% of our immune system is built
in our digestive system, and TCM says it's about 90%. Either way,
the digestive system is -very- important for our basic survival.

Most cancer patients that use chemical therapy and/or radiation for their
weapon of choice, end up with a terribly compromised immune system.

The first steps should be to build up (or re-build) the basic flora that
lives in our digestive tract. As mentioned, "prebiotics" and/or "probiotics"
are usually recommended to accomplish that. Even basic yogurt will
help, if it's part of the daily diet.

Both 2bhealed (Emily), and Scouty (Lisa) would have a better formula
for "juicing", than I can come up with. "Juicing" is a great way to rebuild
the system, since the fruits and veggies are already ready to be absorbed,
and that can make it easier to be absorbed and used by our system.

Since I'm missing most of my digestive system, juicing is not good for me;
my liquid oral intake has to be substantially less than a normal individual,
or it will go out faster than it goes in. You do not have my problem, so
juicing may be what you need!

There's a strong belief among nutritionists, that the best way to get what
our body needs, is to eat the "real thing". The chewing process, and basic
processes of breaking down the food products, sets off other chemical
reactions within us, and that is all part of the total scheme of things....

So, although juicing may be easier on our systems to get the basic vitamins,
etc into our system, eating, chewing and using our own body's functions
to do what a juicing machine does, might be a better choice for our overall
system to function properly. (That's another concept to seriously weigh).

So to your question/ regarding the time it takes to get the immune system
back in shape? It takes time. A year or more, if the patient hasn't made
a very concentrated effort to rebuild the system.

If there's a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, or herbalist, near your
area, it may be worthwhile to let them suggest a remedy for you.

It takes time to repair the damage caused by the very toxic, cell killing
chemicals the cancer industry uses. It may be offending to some to
read that, but rejecting truth, avoiding looking at the truth, doesn't
fix a problem. The "cure" should never cause more damage than the illness.

Get that digestive system rebuilt! Use "juicing" if you can, since it appears
to have worked for Lisa and Emily, and certainly can't hurt!

The "Champion" juicer is a good model to start with. I bought (and later sold)
one on Craigslist. Used, they're bringing 90-150, and the parts are all
replaceable and inexpensive. It'll juice a brick! easy to clean.... ask
Emily.... I took her advice, and it's damned good advice!

Once your system's back up and running properly, try eating everything
you've been juicing in the "normal" manner.

It takes time, so don't expend too much of that time worrying about it,
just do it!

My very best wishes for you,


pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

i did not realise how much my immunune system is dependent upon digestive system.
these are subtle points but really critical.

looking back at my treatments this last year.
so having a super healthy diet, having probiotics, and digestive enzymes and gut relief powders and potions as needed. has helped my immune system and i never appreicated it until your reply.

getting good care from tcm, from naturopaths as helped to the point where i am at today, stronger and fitter than ever. i also love my champion juicer. actually took it to my friends house for dinner tonight.


Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

Hi! My husband had chemo 34 years ago for Hodgkin's disease. It was very strong chemo and was much more debilitating for him that what he is doing now for mCRC even though he was only 24 years old. As far as his immune system being affected, we did not notice anything. He went for years without missing a day of work from illness. Have to note, however, that his WBC, platelets, etc. seem to tolerate chemo quite well and he is five months into chemo this time with them still in the normal range. Only had to postpone, miss the second half of two treatments in ten months when he had chemo years ago. So he might not be a typical example.

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