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Any little things that may help . . .

Posts: 26
Joined: Sep 2012

Cancer is just so . . . illogical! (Being a Trekker and a bit OCD, I find that extremely infuriating.) Why does a certain chemo work well for some and not for all, if they have the same type of cancer? Why do some have little, if any, side effects with treatments and others have severe reactions? There is so little out there that survivors can count on, b/c the stuff seems to have no rules. It's not bad enough that it makes one so sick, it has to add such frustration to the mix - like adding insult to injury.

In the last two months, we've learned (usually from other survivors) a few ideas that are considered helpful in one way or another - also in some cases, not all.

1) Begin drinking Boost (like Ensure, but better tasting and apparently better for you) and Carnation Instant Breakfast as soon as you're diagnosed, b/c it builds up your immune system quickly and helps during chemo and radiation. (Advice from a friend who works at a nursing home and has seen the difference between residents who do it and those who don't.)

2) Eating a good meal before chemo and eating again immediately afterwards helps with the nausea/vomiting. (Advice from a young friend who battled advanced stomach cancer with some of the nastiest chemo's and has been cancer-free for over 5 years.)

3) Drinking green or white tea, taking acidopholis helps fight some types of cancer? (Can't recall where I heard it. From what I've read, the 'jury' is still out on this one . . . )

Anyone have something to add to the list?

Caregiver to the love of my life, who has early stage colorectal adenocarcinoma

So Worried
Posts: 111
Joined: Aug 2012

Have you seen a difference then since you started drinking Boost?

Posts: 26
Joined: Sep 2012

We don't have anything to compare it to. He started drinking two bottles a day about a week before his chemo/rad treatments began. That's when we heard about it. It's the 'high protein' formula. His appetite is still good so that's why he's not drinking more. There's no way to tell if that's why he's tolerating everything as well as he is. We also bought a supply of 'healthy' high protein snacks and he eats smaller more frequent meals. His oncologist recommended that he also start taking a good multi-vitamin. (Tough to find one with little or no folic acid - that interferes with Xeloda.)

steveandnat's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

I also changed some of my diet...more veggies and fruits. Rest more. Avoid stress as much as possible. Make an effort to enjoy life. Pray more. Keep in contact with family and friends. Appreciate caretakers. Theres more but had trmt today and been busy since got home so going to rest. Jeff

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 5052
Joined: Feb 2009

It almost seems impossible but if you even have a little energy left after going through all you do get some type of exercise. Just walking a half a block or going shopping can boost your spirits and is good for your health.


annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

fresh air, even if it's just walking onto your front porch. If you can get out into nature for a bit, even better!
For nausea: ginger anything, peppermint oil (to smell, not drink!), Ativan, medical mj.
Extra vitamin D, as most of us don't get enough.
A baby aspirin a day if your onc says it's ok
Cimetidine for control of spread if you're having surgery.
Look for things to make you laugh...movies, goofy cat videos, your spouse's hair when he/she gets up in the morning, whatever.
Share what you're feeling...this forum is very good for that!
Ann Alexandria

Posts: 1950
Joined: Oct 2009


(i was too weak to do anything other than get to and from cancer center via car service during Tx but once it ended,began exercising again tho i've gotten lazy lately)

So much has been written lately on the benefits of exercise to cancer people,,,,

Posts: 26
Joined: Sep 2012

We've learned the hard way about the 'rest' part. Hubby has felt well enough that he wants to keep working full-time, but that means a one-hour commute (minimum) each way every weekday. His job is stressful also. He is exhausted by the weekend and I've finally convinced him to take Wednesdays off each week. We're also coming straight home after his 3:15PM daily treatment and have been known to take a nap as soon as we get home. Weekends he sleeps late in the morning and I am trying to keep him from doing too much outside work or work on the farmhouse we are renovating. It's not easy . . .

Another tip, but check with your doctor first . . . since he's taking Xeloda, he has to take Prilosec or Prevacid daily while he's on chemo. He tried following the directions on the package and quit it after 14 days. Stomach has been 'funny' ever since, not nauseated, just 'funny'. Called the onc who said - no, no, keep taking it!!!

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I am mostly vegan now.

marbleotis's picture
Posts: 683
Joined: Mar 2012

Boost and Carnation have alot of sugar. If you are diabetic - you need to really watch the diet carefully as cancer loves sugar. See a nutritionist. I am organic now with only turkey, chicken or fish. I get lots of exercise and do yoga. I enjoy EACH day and every day. I keep in mind that I am blessed to be NED and continue to pray for people going through tough times. I also try not to dwell on the past. This is just some general advise that I hope inspires someone. PS - the green tea is great. I have 3 per day. I ate "light" before chemo but it is important to eat something. Best to you. Keep us posted.

tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1211
Joined: Oct 2010

My suggestion is to consider the Life Extension cancer protocols, A, B, C, for a start.

We also found we could mix far more potent, more specifically blended vitamin and protein drinks ourselves, for less money and no sugar or synthetic sweetners. No folic acid to go chemo toxic either.

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