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Tips

tkd3g
Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

I thought maybe we could all give one or two tips ( I want lots of people to chime in here) that have helped us deal with chemo, radiation, surgery, after effects, side effects, emotional issues, diagnosis trauma.....

We are here to help each other thru one of the most difficult times in our lives ( and our loved ones lives).

So, no matter how silly, gross or serious, lets all give a tip to those who are going to hit this road, those in the middle, and those who've crossed the finish line.

Here are two of mine:

1. First and foremost: get one of those really cushy toilet seats. :) Look, we are going to be spending lots and lots of time there. You might as well be comfy!!

2. Water. I think most people know this, but it needs to be repeated and reinforced. Before, during and after treatment, drink lots of water. It flushes out the toxins, keeps you hydrates and is overall one of the heathiest things you can do during treatment.

So, come on, give us a tip!!! ( keep it to one or two. I want to hear from lots of people!!)

Barb ( who survived a most terrifying time with the love and support of those here at CSN.

Thank you, Barb has left the building !! :)

Glv49
Posts: 206
Joined: May 2005

Hi,
What a good idea. Its been a while since I had chemo, the Folfox regimine, and radiation. But I remember one tip that was really helpful. If I felt nauseated even a little bit.. I would always do the BRAT diet. Bannanas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. Just eat one of those things, or all if you can, and nothing else for a couple days.. and it really helped a lot. Hope this helps somebody.

Gail in PA

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Such a great, wonderful, and purely positive idea!

Not to be a goody goody, BUT

I feel so much better while on chemo when I eat healthfully. I gave up red meat and chicken and try to eat organic produce, when I can. Chemo for me, while on this new diet (been on it for just over a year) is easier. My friend's father has lymphoma and he tried it... and he feels better!

I avoid any processed flour and sugar (basically white stuff). My nutritionist said my body has enough to fight with and doesn't have the reserve anymore to fight off the chemicals used to "process" things.

When I first found this site (many moons ago) I thought all the nutrition talk was just wives tales - I am now a believer because I feel better.

If you are worn down, give it a try.. it certainly won't hurt you! But it may help. :)

I wish all you strength and hope!!

Another quick tip: removable shower head post-op. It is tremendous if you need to keep areas dry.

jana

dash4
Posts: 304
Joined: Dec 2005

Since I am a caregiver and dental hygienist-my tips are for your mouth. The moment my husband was diagnosed (Stage IV - 10/04) I started him on Prevident 5000 Booster (a prescription Colgate fluoride toothpaste) and all the Biotene products (mouthwash, gum, saliva substitute "Oral Balance", and toothpaste). These products can be used by anyone at anytime because they are great preventitive treatments to keep your mouth healthy before any problem can even start.

When you are going through all the aspects of chemo and/or radiation - the last thing you need to deal with is a gum or tooth problem. These products help to replace the naturally occuring antibacterial enzymes in your saliva that you have lost and then you can fight off oral irritations, canker sores, ulcers and gum infections. Even if you are not undergoing any treatment, many of the medications you might be taking can also cause dry mouth(xerostomia) - so these products can also help prevent the effects of dry mouth (poor healing,sensitivity gums and teeth, dryness, itching, burning.

Dry mouth and radiation can also cause your teeth to decay very easily. The Prevident 5000 Booster toothpaste helps to remineralize your teeth and make them more resistant to decay.

My husband has undergone 7 1/2 months of Avastin, 5 FU, leucovorin, and irinotecan and that was followed 4 months later with 1 year and counting of weekly erbitux and irinotecan. He has had side effects to deal with, but thankfully he has never had any mouth problems. I believe if your mouth is healthy it makes everything else you must endure a little bit easier. Okay I will get off my soap box, but if anyone has any "mouth" questions- I will be happy to help them. Keep smiling!
Dash

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

OK, here are my tips:::

1. keep exercising - even if it is only taking a walk around the block!

2. Get a MASSAGE - at least every other week. It does wonders in relieving stress!

3. Take yoga - give it a try. It helped me a great deal and helps maintain your flexibility.

4. Talk to a N.D. (specializing in adjuvent therapy for cancer patients) and get on some supplements! I am sure you don't have the perfect diet and we can all use all the nutritional support we can get.

5. Keep working if you can and/or otherwise keep your mind occupied with a hobby.

I hope you'll give these things a try! They are only a few of the things that helped me!

tennislover
Posts: 64
Joined: Mar 2006

What a great idea...here are some things that I do to help get through all my treatments!

1. I have a "happy place", I think about my recent vacation to Hawaii and I often close my eyes and picture myself there on the beach, feeling the sand with my hands and the warm sun on my face! It helps when I have trouble clearing my mind with all the "what ifs", you know when you go to bed and cant shut your mind off!

2. This will sound really stupid but I have a picture in my head of the Rock-em Sock-em robots just beating my tumors. When I am getting treatment I will sit there and picture the toys beating the tumors and getting rid of them.

Now that I have made you laugh!!
I guess I do a lot of visulization stuff!!

kerry's picture
kerry
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Great idea Barb,

My tips:

1. Eat several small meals instead of 3 main meals a day. Keep them healthy, but I find the smaller meals, even a piece of toast, are better to handle when the nausea hits.

2. Keep lots of lotions and body creams available close at hand. My hands and feet really got dry and sore at times and the creams helped.

3. I had a really really hard time drinking water, until I bought those flavor pouches you can add to a bottle of water. Now I can get the water I need. Before I would get sick drinking water.

4. Keep lots of fruit available. I have craved apples and I keep them on hand.

5. Don't be afraid to accept help from your friends or family. Be good to yourself.

Kerry

crazylady
Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

I have found that promising myself a treat helps me get through chemo. Sometime it's something as small as green tea from Starbucks or getting together with a friend. Having a plan gives me something to look forward too.
Jamie

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Barb -

This is a great idea (and soon to scroll off the first page).

I think it would be great if CSN (are you out there Jose?) could have a link on the home page for TIPS. That way we could post things and they would be there for new folks to look at instead of being lost in 30,000+ posts (and while you can use the search function, it doesn't work that well - I've searched for things I know are there, but they don''t show up).

Meanwhile, I'll think of some tips.

Betsy

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AuthorUnknown
Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

I Am 11 year Cancer Survivor of Adenocarcinoma of the Cervix. They were going to do a Radical Hystorectomy on me. I canceled surgery 5 days prior and made the Choice of doing Alternatives, only because a guy who crossed my path told me of choices!!!
I have a webpage which X-plains things in a little more details than what I AM going to put here. I also have (2) TWO favorite books, a very good multi vitamin is important,IMO! I have learned of very good Herbs that support our Bone Marrow/Stem Cells (one of my favorite books gives list of Herbs that support Health issues and Dis-Eases, which I AM happy to show and tell you how to understand and apply proper thinking and using what is safe and supportive to our Immune Systems. A very good way to Detox, work your Lymphtic and get good OXYGEN into your body. Originally I went to an Osteopath and my Chiro for Aternatives, then I continued with things on my own that are very supportive to the body. Recently, because family and friends know how big a Passion I have to Share and Care for others. I have found very good current technology that I AM currently using for me to get my Lymphatic system moving,and my mother who has RLS, CFS, Thrush and Diabetic Neurapathy. Here are my very favorite sayings: (1)If what your doing isn't working, it's time to Stop, Change and start giving some other method a chance! (2)Life is Learning Lessons, If we don't Learn from them, then the Same Issue keeps coming back, it is what will totally destroy Us...time for change before that happens! If you go into a tail spin with health issues...you CAN pull out but it is just alot harder and ONE must stay very focused on making changes to what they currently know and believe. We live our lifes according to our "Belief system" in our heads. Change what you beleive and you totally change your course in Living and Doing. (3)Change is Good and should be Positive! (4)Don't live life in the Rear view Mirror but look back to learn and make changes for a more Positive and Productive Life, stop repeating the Old processes of life! (5) Life is a Puzzle and we won't move to the next Puzzle in life until we put the very last piece of the Puzzle together, then we move to a new Puzzle that we have to learn and grow with better choices! (6)My book has more than ONE chapter in it! what about yours? (7)Be a seeker of ALL TRUTHS. (8) KNOWLEDGE removes ALL FEAR! The Internet reaches GLOBALLY and the CHOICES/ and directions are there, as there are very bright and caring people who are outside of the normal everyday program of life who have "been there and done that" in a Better way. (9) We all are living and learning on different Levels. Whether we differ in Knowledge or incomes and lifestyles. Our choices are on "Different Levels" or "Parallel Paths". WHen you see it in this manner, you will be looking at life from the outside looking in. Until you understand this...you are living your life from the inside of things and looking out! (I know this may not make since but Once your level of understanding grows, you perspective and understanding will change. It's sorta the concept of Optimist/Pessimist thinking, but what I have said gives you adifferent Insight to things. (10)Glean any and ALL Knowledge from others and you will learn to move forward in life alot faster! (11) My CANCER was the very best thing that ever happened to me. (12) It put me on a totally different PATH/Direction/Course of Life! I have learned that there are 3 stages of Belief! (here they are) (1) NO! That's NOT True! (2) HUM...Maybe there is some Truth and GOOD in that. (3) WOW! It really was the TRUTH because NOW there are Instruments/Technology to Prove what used to be the Impossible! With that being said....Here is another list: (1)Cancer is a SUGAR FEEDER! Carbs turn to Sugar, Starches turn to Sugar and then we have our Sugar intake! (2)PH is ESSENTIAL for FISH, SWIMMING POOLS, BATTERIES AND US! (3)ENZYMES are ESSENTIAL and I can get alot more Enzymes in me thru supplements, then from eating fruits and Vegs. and/or juicing along with keeping from putting carbs, starches and sugars in my body/blood system! (4)IF, you don't fuel the FIRE (CANCER), then the FIRE Cannot keep burning! (4)If we think of oursevles as a were a candle (keep the candle burning)....If a Candle has OXYGEN it burns. OXYGEN is IMPORTANT for our LIFE, it's essential to be in my/our BLOOD which goes everywhere in our bodies, even our Heart needs blood and OXYGEN! I DID Hydrogen Peroxide to get my blood from being dark and dirty (lack of OXYGEN) to Bright Flurencent RED! (5)I did High Protein, Low Carb Eating. I WAS Hypoglycemic...BIG TIME. I would fall asleep driving from going into low bloow sugar, so I would stop at the gas station and buy more C$%P that fueled my problem. To slow down the stress and AGING to my/our bodies, I learned I needed to keep my Pancreas calm (done with eating High Protein, Low carbs, the pilgrims ate meat, they had to hunt for their Protein and they had No CANDY/sweets or not much breads, ETC), I learned to keep Sugars out of my BLood....this is called "Blood Sugars". When our Pancreas is stressed it keeps our Amazing bodies from keeping life in balance on the inside of our bodies IMO(my body was very stressed, as my fatigue was HUGH and even my vision was starting to blur. (6)I replenished my body with PRO-BIOTICS (Opposite to ANTI-BIOTICS). (7)There is GOOD in everything, we have to learn to focus on the GOOD and apply the GOOD to our lifes. (8)My info. is for those of you who say..."everyONE Please Post and respond so I can find something to help with my pains and hurting!!!" I AM part of that "EVERYONE group" If I help just ONE person to find Peace and direction to their lives, to ease the pain and suffering, "then it is what it is". Don't make a big to do over things that don't need to stress you out! With ALL or most things in our life....it just doesn't matter....let it go. don't harbor ill feelings, hate as it also eats away at our own health! (9)Learn to Block out Negative thinking/doing from our every BEING! (10) Our COLON is like our Septic Tanks..How clean or how smelly is yours? We know how to clean our dishes, clothes, change the OIL in our cars, the deep fryers! Detox is essential and there are very good and easy ways that I have done and I continue to do! I AM happy to share more so please e-mail me and I will be happy to tell you my favorite things! I have tried my very best to give all of you a solid Foundation for directions in your lives and also to give you comfort that I AM here to help share with "New and Better Choices". A person who tells you that fish have to have proper PH....they are Not DR's! I person who tells you that PH in Swimming Pools is Essential...they are not Dr's and if the "Balance in our bodies is not there, then the Proof is in the Pudding" (sickness and Dis-ease)! Well, Alkaline and Acidic Batteries speak for themselves! If I help, just ONE person, then that is what counts! I have a webpage so please read and keep an open mind. Don't close doors for change and learning because YOU are the ONLY ONE that is affected by that action! If you don't beleive some of what I have done for myself right now....that's O.K., then gab onto what you CAN accept and apply in your life and in time there will be more info. that will make sense to you! There have been many "WISE People" who have told of their findings and been Ignored by their bosses/college/society, for advancing life forward to bigger and better things, only in time to find out the Truth they had told, was right! Sometimes its been many years later until their Truths have been accepted and applied! :>) Blessings of LOVE and Light to each and everyONE of you!
Sincerely, Adenosurvivor

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taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Lovely idea. The tip that springs to mind first is a pyschological one. I repeat, over and over like a mantra, all the things I am thankful for, related to my illness. For example, I'm grateful my tumour was caught early, I'm grateful my doctors are smart and open and caring, I'm grateful the hospital is close to my home, etc etc. This has been helpful to me....(OK, my friends and family think I'm a little bit too "Polyanna", but that's their problem!).

CAMaura
Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

I guess I was a Polyanna as well.
I hit the 'grateful' list often: That my tumor was in a somewhat 'good' spot in my intestine; that i woke up during my original colonoscopy, saw it and asked for the best surgeon around; that it had not spread; that I was close to my hospital; that ACS wouldprovide volunteer drivers to chemo...And so on.
My big tip is lifestyle-directed: before, during or after chemo: make nutrition a priority; make getiing exercise a priority. I saw a great sign yesterday..."it isn't about fitness; it is about life."
I guess my other tip is to recognize all of the great service people arund us -- nurses, med techs. While on chemo, I went to the lab weekly for blood draws. I had the most wonderful person there who would use a butterfly-type needle to save my veins. Seeing her and talking with her would literally make my day...People like that make a huge difference during a difficlut time.
All the best - Maura

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003

TERRIFIC IDEA, BARB!!! You are one smart and creative cookie!!

(1) Don't eat your favorite foods around chemo time....you'll end up hating them.

(2) Use your bad days to get family members to step up to the plate and help around the house. Tell them it's "ok" to NOT leave it for you to do when you feel better!

(3) Breathe....seems like a no-brainer, but take deep, meaningful breaths and appreciate every little thing around you. Some days are meant to be "pajama" days!

(4) Keep positive. The theory I had when I was going through chemo was that I knew I'd be here for a while....I wasn't "good enough" for heaven, or "bad enough" for hell.....I'm working on changing that....but don't ask which direction! lol.

My heart goes out to everyone during this trying time.

Stacy

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

I always get nervous when I see a post from Barb titled "TIPS" - visions of Speedos, a brass pole and dollar bills come immediately to mind!

My "tip" would be, pick up a copy of the Reader's Digest when you're out getting that cushy toilet seat - might as well be comfey AND entertained!

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Great idea, Barb, and happy belated birthday.

Because I attended my chemo sessions alone, I always wore funny, colorful, or seasonal socks for my infusions. They were a great "ice breaker" and started many conversations with fellow chemo patients who quickly became chemo "buddies." and are now lifelong friends.

I also surrounded myself with positive words and affirmations. I still wear the word "Believe" around my neck and touching it brings comfort to me as I anxiouxly await the results of tests and scans.

All my best to everyone.

Kay

finner
Posts: 232
Joined: Jan 2005

Yeah great idea. My best tip would be for affirmations. Pick some, such as

I release all my fear of cancer and chemotherapy

My future is healthy prosperous excing and totally safe

Everyday I am getting stronger and healthier

And so on.

The trick is to get them into the subconscious.
This is how I did it.

First decide what affirmations you are going to use.
Then, write them down with your opposite hand. If you are left-handed, like me, use your right hand and visa versa.
Then,and this sounds nutty, while you repeat in your mind each one three times, roll your eyes in a figure of eight!

You only have to do these things once, to get you started.

Finally repeat your list to yourself about 5 times a day, or whenever you feel the need to.

Sounds crazy, I know, but for me it was/is effective.

Hope this helps someone.

XXXX
Margo

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Do make dietary changes and drink lots of water. Reverse the "cancer comfort zone" within your body so the ole ******* cells are so miserable, they move out.

Lisa P.

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