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Supplements/Diet Question

katefm's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: Oct 2006

Hi Everyone-

I have a question about supplements and diet. My husband Jim is Stage IV, multiple mets to liver - one is rather large. Since his dx we have revamped our diet and started him on a supplement regimen that seems fairly intensive.

I revamped our diet to include as much organic as possible, almost completely cut out red meat (although we didn't eat tons before), and I've attempted to up our fruit/veggie intake.

So my question is pretty general - how many of you take supplements? I don't notice a significant improvement in our health (although things do seem to be moving through our colons faster, and our 3 year old is better behaved with less sugar...). I don't know what I was expecting, but I was hoping for some sort of...sign...that we were doing the right thing. It seems like no matter what we do, it's not enough. I change our diets and then I read we're supposed to be organic. I go organic and I read that we're supposed to be exercising. We start exercising and I read that we're supposed to be taking supplements. So I start him on supplements and I read that he's not taking enough of them...you get the idea.

So - what big piece of the puzzle am I missing? Am I going in the right direction? What's the supposed end point to all this? If I knew he'd be cancer free in 6 months (or even a year), I'd load him up on the supplements and take away the bag of Pirate's Booty (which is basically his only treat anymore). But I don't see results.

Today at chemo he ate chicken and rice soup, iced green tea, and tuna salad. The woman sitting next to him had a Big Gulp of *Mountain Dew* and potato chips. ARGH. Am I just doing all this for nothing?


vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

I think you are on the right track but no one has the complete answer. You may start noticing more alertness and vigor but it will take some time for the body to make significant changes. After all, the problems we develop from the diet took a longtime to develop. I think most of us on this site take some supplements but not necessarily all the same ones. There is more research being done on the subject and hopefully we will get some answers sooner, rather than later. Two who have made drastic diet changes and have done well are scouty (Lisa P) and 2bhealed (Emily). You may want to visit their webpages. The important thing is to keep asking questions, read, make your plan and believe in it.


Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

I may not have all of the answers for you right now...it is late and I am ready for bed...so if i sound craky, it is only because I am writing this quickly. But, I will say this: if you put your heart and soul into it (and that means faith and the sense that you really are making good changes for good reasons) you will see results. Maybe you are tired and a little burned out...but try to understand that what he eats will fuel his body and immune system. Do you really want Mountain Dew fighting cancer? Sorry, but it won't (or i do not believe that it will). Attitude is important as well...Anything (and everything) you pull up on the internet will reinforce what you are doing. Google 'diet and cancer'and read away. When you are not sure and do not have someone to tallk with, it will reinforce what you are doing. You have made great choices and changes. Stick with it...all of you will benefit.

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

suggest that you visit Tim O'Shea's website;

Go to "Chapters/The Cancer Patient", and "Products" bud

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

You are going in the right direction. Eating right, exercising and supplements will benefit your body in the long run. It takes time for our bodies to except change, but it will. Dont' lose hope or faith. I have always been very physical, jogging, weight lifting, vitamins, but my diet was my down fall. Did not eat right until I found out about my colon cancer. Now I eat three meals a day. I am not a vegan and have not cut out meats, but have added more protien, fiber, fruits and vegs to my daily diet. I still eat chicken, turkey, and of course hamburger, but not too often.


Breakfast - Kashi breakfast bar
Lunch - Salad or rice with 2-3 different vegs
Snack - Fruit
Dinner - Chicken, beef or turkey with a side and a veggie.

I also started drinking alot more water. The supplements I take include:

Vitamin C
Vitamin E (includes B6, B12 & folic acid)
Caltrate 600 + D
Multi-vitamin w/calcuim

I have been taking these supplements (vitamins) for many years.

Here are some websites that might help:


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scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi Kate,

Yes I take supplements. It was all very overwhelming to me so I found someone to help me. I followed the alkaline diet then and still do today just not as stingently as 2 years ago. The first real improvement I noticed was my blood work. My red and white blood cell levels went from borderline low to medium within 2 months. After 6 months, they were all on the high end of the scales and I try to keep them there. White blood cells are the workhorses of our immune system that fights off the ******* cells as well as other things. Red blood cells help build health new cells (all of the cells in the our bodies get replaces over time, some just are replaced more often then others). Skin and hair cells are replaced very often so I noticed less gray hair and better skin within 6 months also. My hairdresser even noticed it.

You are doing the right thing and it will definitely help him endure the chemo better!!!!! Eating while getting chemo and right after it is key to holding the nausea at bay.

You are doing great!!!!!! Not only are you helping him, you are helping yourself too!!!!! You caregivers are the real angels on this earth and we need you to stay as healthy as you can.

Lisa P.

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi there Kate,
I am also a Stage IV survivor and I whole heartedly believe in supplements and diet. You will probably not notice some huge change besides maybe having more energy and as others have mentioned, and besides it takes time. You might have your cholesterol checked....you should notice an improvement in your "bad cholesterol" as well as your triglycerides. You will also notice your blood sugar improving. I know what you mean about how you just keep learning more and more so you have to alter your routine. It is very much a work in progress and you do have to continually modify everything based on the new information.
There is no end point except better health. It really isn't ever "enough". There is always more you can do. You and your husband has to believe in what he is doing and know that he will improve.
I think healing is an integration of body/mind/spirit. If you feel like you are missing one of these elements, you can focus on that for a while and add something new to what you are doing, for instance, I reccomend yoga, hiking in the outdoors, or mountain biking, basically moving your body and getting outdoors. It really helps you to appreciate living more. I also think massage is wonderful. It really has and continues to help me through some of the mental aspects of dealing with cancer, like fear and anxiety. Try turning all the "what if he does not get better" thoughts into "what if he gets better" thoughts. You have to rid yourself of all the yucky thoughts in addition to doing all of the other good things you are doing. You said, if you knew that he'd be cancer free in 6 months then you would believe in what you are doing. BELIEVE it, it may not be in 6 months, but it will happen.
Once your husband is off chemo I think you will see huge improvements and all of this stuff will pay off.
If you need help I suggest you find a N.D.(naturopathic doctor) who specializes in cancer patients.

katefm's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: Oct 2006

Thanks everyone for your responses. I know we're doing the right thing...sometimes I guess I get discouraged. Thanks for all the suggestions and for the websites. I'll check everything out.

We're looking forward to seeing everyone at Colon Palooza...and we won't be eating healthy or focusing on supplements. ;)

Thanks again!

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Yippee! I am so glad that you feel recharged and ready to keep up the fight. I was so tired when I posted that I fel that I sounded like a shrew.
You are doing great things! The fact that you are making huge changes during chemo is even better.
All the best to you and I hope you post often...we'll be asking you for nutritional advice.
Take care,

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001


You are NOT doing this for nothing!!!! You are completely doing something wonderful! You are taking control of your health and that can only benefit all of you in the long run. The Big Gulp Potatoe Chip woman unfortunately, if she eats that way all the time, (who knows) is doing NOTHING at that moment to augment her healing.

None of us is guaranteed a long life, but working towards a better life with the time we are each given is success. Just see what heading toward a healthier life is doing for you child. You are setting a course for the future no matter who will be there. It is something we can pass on to our children.

It pains me to read of the Big gulp woman because i just wonder if any of the doctors or nurses have encouraged her to cut out refined foods and sugars that are feeding her cancer.

But back to the work you are doing......keep at it!! You doing a good thing!!

peace, emily

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