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Reishi extract?

I was wondering if anyone else has taken the Reishi extract during chemo. I know I should've told my doctor about it but for some reason I decided to keep it to myself, even my family doesn't know.  I read allot about the benefits and decided to give it a try as soon as I stopped breastfeeding my baby (about 2-3 weeks prior to my 1st chemo) and so far the side effects of the chemo are not as bad as I thought they would be. I can't say it's easy but it's not as bad as I read about it. Yesterday, day 4 after chemo was the worst, feeling really tired and having no strenght to do even the most basic things, esspecially taking care of my baby, slept allot and this morning I feel a little better. Funny, but even taking a shower seems like a chore. ;) Other than that, no nausea, vomiting, mouth sores and so on, just a little numbness in my fingertips but managable. I was told I might get a bigger appetite from steroids but I actually lose my apetite the first few days and then it goes back to normal. I always ate healthy, even before the chemo and have several small meals a day. I don't know what to think now if this is just the way I react or is it better because of the Reishi extract?

My other question: is there any way to have a clue if I'm going to lose my hair soon? Every morning I wake up touching it and trying to be extra careful while brushing and nothing so far. Today it's day 19 since my first round. Sometimes I feel like my roots are burning a little and it becomes a little itchy but I don't know if it's because I'm expecting for something to happen or this is the beggining?

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Comments

  • Rocquie
    Rocquie Member Posts: 853 **

    Reishi Mushrooms are very strong antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from the negative effects of free radicals that are formed inside the body by exposure to chemicals and pollutants. It is believed that antioxidants can actually protect cancer cells within the body from the invasion of chemo. 

    I have always, and still do, believe in alternative and complementary approaches to wellness and healing. When it came to cancer, it was a different story. I did not have time to see if some herb would help. Cancer wanted to kill me. I committed to chemotherapy and mainstream medicine all the way. I don't take an aspirin without clearing it with my Oncologist. But I have been given the go ahead on several supplements, including Alpha Lipoic Acid for peripheral neuropathy. 

    The fact that you have not told anyone, not even your family, that you are using this extract suggests you know it is verboten right now. I really, really, really encourage talking to your Oncologist about it.

    Best,

    Rocquie

     

  • jimwins
    jimwins Member Posts: 2,107
    Hi :)

    I agree with Rocquie.  You should probably discuss any supplements/medicines with your oncologist.  I recall my oncologist warning me about anti-oxidants during chemo.  I truly understand the need/desire to do something yourself but when it came to this stuff, I had to trust my oncology team.

    Hugs,

    Jim

  • jimwins said:

    Hi :)

    I agree with Rocquie.  You should probably discuss any supplements/medicines with your oncologist.  I recall my oncologist warning me about anti-oxidants during chemo.  I truly understand the need/desire to do something yourself but when it came to this stuff, I had to trust my oncology team.

    Hugs,

    Jim

    I recall you mentioned this regarding antioxidants some time ago, Jim. I haver read opinions back-and-forth on the web, and my doc told me to drink whatever I wanted (including green tea) during treatment.  I do know that I guzzled green tea during my  whole treatment (and since), and the therapy worked very well.  Most likely not drinking green tea would have made no difference at all. A recent study concluded that antioxidants strengthen cancerous lung tumors (makes them more aggressive), but who knows. It did not address any effects of antioxidants on other types of cancerous tumors.

    What I have concluded for myself is that there does not exist any "magic bullet" regarding the effects of nutrition on cancers.  Some nut dug up in the mountains of New Zeland, or doing Yoga in the park -- it is all meaningless, as far as I am concerned. My cancer center now has certified "music therapy," where people can go and sit, to "recover."  I would have guessed that most Americans have a stereo at home...  Some of you no doubt saw the report of the study run by Cambridge Universitry, England, which established that saturated fat in the diet has zero (no) effect on heart disease. This study incorporated the results of the 80 largest coronary health studies ever done in deriving its ressults.

    From the New York Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/study-questions-fat-and-heart-disease-link/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    Eat healthy, and hope for the best.  People go after foods that they believe will give them a sense of control, that they believe will make their disease managable and further cause it to "make sense" to them emotionally.  No such food exists, it seems to me.  Coffee is horribly harmful in one study, and manna from heaven in the next.  I drink it by the gallon, and always will.  And on and on. 

    Red wine is one of the latest "health" fads, although one at last that I will adhere to !

    Wishing everyone health !

    max

     

  • illead
    illead Member Posts: 873

    I recall you mentioned this regarding antioxidants some time ago, Jim. I haver read opinions back-and-forth on the web, and my doc told me to drink whatever I wanted (including green tea) during treatment.  I do know that I guzzled green tea during my  whole treatment (and since), and the therapy worked very well.  Most likely not drinking green tea would have made no difference at all. A recent study concluded that antioxidants strengthen cancerous lung tumors (makes them more aggressive), but who knows. It did not address any effects of antioxidants on other types of cancerous tumors.

    What I have concluded for myself is that there does not exist any "magic bullet" regarding the effects of nutrition on cancers.  Some nut dug up in the mountains of New Zeland, or doing Yoga in the park -- it is all meaningless, as far as I am concerned. My cancer center now has certified "music therapy," where people can go and sit, to "recover."  I would have guessed that most Americans have a stereo at home...  Some of you no doubt saw the report of the study run by Cambridge Universitry, England, which established that saturated fat in the diet has zero (no) effect on heart disease. This study incorporated the results of the 80 largest coronary health studies ever done in deriving its ressults.

    From the New York Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/study-questions-fat-and-heart-disease-link/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    Eat healthy, and hope for the best.  People go after foods that they believe will give them a sense of control, that they believe will make their disease managable and further cause it to "make sense" to them emotionally.  No such food exists, it seems to me.  Coffee is horribly harmful in one study, and manna from heaven in the next.  I drink it by the gallon, and always will.  And on and on. 

    Red wine is one of the latest "health" fads, although one at last that I will adhere to !

    Wishing everyone health !

    max

     

    I agree

    My husband is on a VERY expensive new target drug for relapsed MCL.  His consulting doctor was on the research team for the drug.  She took him off everything which included IP6 (inositol) which is highly reputed even by the Cancer Society.  It is an immune builder.  We realized the importance of listing everything the patient is taking.  They realize that some of us like to take supplements etc. and they are all for it for the most part, so if they say no, it is for a good reason.  So I think it is a good idea to let them know and you can ask why.  I have been reading your story and sure am hoping the best for you, you have been through it.  Congrats on the new baby and thank you for giving him life.

    Becky 

  • Lifeisbeautiful
    Lifeisbeautiful Member Posts: 50
    No more Reishi!

    You are all right. I guess I knew this is wrong but still did it! I will stop taking it right away and do what my doctor says. I need to be well and alive not just for myself but for my son. I love life too much! :) I somehow hoped during my pregnancy that maybe if I start taking it it would just go away on its own. Naive and silly.... At least I have 90% chance of survival, much better than winning the lottery.

    Thank you again!

  • No more Reishi!

    You are all right. I guess I knew this is wrong but still did it! I will stop taking it right away and do what my doctor says. I need to be well and alive not just for myself but for my son. I love life too much! :) I somehow hoped during my pregnancy that maybe if I start taking it it would just go away on its own. Naive and silly.... At least I have 90% chance of survival, much better than winning the lottery.

    Thank you again!

    For What It's Worth

    I have been a very careful eater and taken food supplements for many years. Yet I have cancer. I feel almost certain that teas and supplements have no positive effect on most cancers and some are proven to have a negative effect. I often wonder if it matters at all. I now take a multi and CoQ10 on advice of my cardiologist. I eat anything I want to but try to eat only half of it!

  • unknown said:

    For What It's Worth

    I have been a very careful eater and taken food supplements for many years. Yet I have cancer. I feel almost certain that teas and supplements have no positive effect on most cancers and some are proven to have a negative effect. I often wonder if it matters at all. I now take a multi and CoQ10 on advice of my cardiologist. I eat anything I want to but try to eat only half of it!

    Please read this

    http://disinfo.com/2013/01/cancer-loves-antioxidants/

  • unknown said:

    GKH,

    I could not get the link that you posted to open, so I relinked it here, for all who wish to see it (anyone could simply type in the address, of course).

    Watson has been a very colorful guy for many years, and has attracted the wrath of the "PC" crowd for some of what he has written in the last 10 years or so.  Being one of the most brilliant scientific minds of the last century, however, it is is hard for folks to dismiss him.

    The article supports what I was saying above: Today's alternative/nutritional miracle nutrient is tomorrow's bildge water (a Navy term, for those unfamiliar).  The article you provide does not "prove", and does not claim to prove, that antioxidants are harmful, or even establish that they are not good for most people.  What it DOES do is muddy the water again, and send people back to square one.

    I will continue drinking my diet green tea, and feel good about it. The preponderance still suggests that it is healthy. Plus, antioxidants are in a lot of the supposidely most healthy foods on the planet (tomato, for instance), so it would be impossible to eliminate antioxidants from a diet anyway.  It would be like saying "Never eat protein again"  or "carbohydrates will make you die."   Ultimately, it is anyone's guess as to what will be published on the subject tomorrow.

    I love a line George Carlin used to use:  "Scientists have discovered that saliva causes stomach cancer, but only when swallowed in small quantities, over many decades."

    Always enjoying what you submit.  I shall be opening a bottle of Lipton to everyone's health,

    max

     http://disinfo.com/2013/01/cancer-loves-antioxidants/

     

    .

  • GKH,

    I could not get the link that you posted to open, so I relinked it here, for all who wish to see it (anyone could simply type in the address, of course).

    Watson has been a very colorful guy for many years, and has attracted the wrath of the "PC" crowd for some of what he has written in the last 10 years or so.  Being one of the most brilliant scientific minds of the last century, however, it is is hard for folks to dismiss him.

    The article supports what I was saying above: Today's alternative/nutritional miracle nutrient is tomorrow's bildge water (a Navy term, for those unfamiliar).  The article you provide does not "prove", and does not claim to prove, that antioxidants are harmful, or even establish that they are not good for most people.  What it DOES do is muddy the water again, and send people back to square one.

    I will continue drinking my diet green tea, and feel good about it. The preponderance still suggests that it is healthy. Plus, antioxidants are in a lot of the supposidely most healthy foods on the planet (tomato, for instance), so it would be impossible to eliminate antioxidants from a diet anyway.  It would be like saying "Never eat protein again"  or "carbohydrates will make you die."   Ultimately, it is anyone's guess as to what will be published on the subject tomorrow.

    I love a line George Carlin used to use:  "Scientists have discovered that saliva causes stomach cancer, but only when swallowed in small quantities, over many decades."

    Always enjoying what you submit.  I shall be opening a bottle of Lipton to everyone's health,

    max

     http://disinfo.com/2013/01/cancer-loves-antioxidants/

     

    .

    Supplements

    Max

    Enjoy your green tea. The real concern is not over antioxidants in food and green tea. They are about supplements, especially megadose vitamins and flavinoids. I picked that article to show because it demonstrates what you said - there is no proof any supplements taken for their antioxidant qualities causes, helps or prevents cancer. In my little search I found that a study of 10,000 men in Sweden showed that daily doses of vitamin E actually tripled their chance of getting prostate cancer. Ironic because most of them were taking it to prevent prostate cancer.  Beta carortene, a strong antioxidant, has been implicated in small cell lung cancer. I talked to my onc about all this. He said he believes that anything you don't need actually hurts you and that at most a multivitamin is adequate.

  • Lifeisbeautiful
    Lifeisbeautiful Member Posts: 50
    It's all in the attitude

    I just wanted to tell a little story about my grandfather who I adored but unfortunately he passed away few years ago. I'm originally from a small country in Europe called Moldova (between Ukraine and Romania) and my grandfather lived in a village and worked as a beekeeper, ate what was growing in his garden, drank homemade wine, worked hard but had a very positive attitude. He also had type 2 diabetes but I don't recall him having big problems with it. I know now that having a glass of wine lowers your blood sugar level and this is what he did, he would have a little glass of wine that came from his own wine cellar at each meal (except breakfast) and never got drunk. About 16 years ago he was diagnosed with colon cancer and the doctor's prognosis wasn't good. He told me that my grandfather has up to one year to live. And guess what happened?  He lived another 6 years after that! He continued having the same lifestyle as before and didn't worry about his cancer at all. He loved to joke and laugh. I will always miss him.... This is to say that besides the fact that he ate all organic (as we call it now), he had a very positive outlook in life.  I believe that no matter what we eat, drink or if we take or not any supplements, positive attitude and being optimistic can help allot.  

    Few months ago I watched a little story about a woman who was diagnosed with cancer (can't remember which kind) and her several chemo treatments and radiation didn't work. They told her to go home and say good bye to her family but instead she started meditating, eating healthy and refused to believe she would die. Her cancer disappeared and doctors can't figure out how?  I'm not saying that this will work for everyone but I think keeping up the good spirits can do wonders. 

    Throughout my pregnancy I was seeing allot of doctors and nurses(type 2 diabetes and cancer) and they were all surprised that I was always in a good mood, looked happy and never cried. I have to admit that having a baby was keeping me very optimistic. I'm 42 now and almost gave up hope to ever have a baby and this miracle happened. I'm so happy with my partner, career and everything else so the way I looked at it is: if this is the price to pay for being so happy, than be it! At least I have everything I ever wanted (well, except cancer ;)). I know it's not easy and I read so many stories on this forum that actually made me cry but keep your chin up and we will get through this! Life is beautiful and we only one life to live. :)

  • It's all in the attitude

    I just wanted to tell a little story about my grandfather who I adored but unfortunately he passed away few years ago. I'm originally from a small country in Europe called Moldova (between Ukraine and Romania) and my grandfather lived in a village and worked as a beekeeper, ate what was growing in his garden, drank homemade wine, worked hard but had a very positive attitude. He also had type 2 diabetes but I don't recall him having big problems with it. I know now that having a glass of wine lowers your blood sugar level and this is what he did, he would have a little glass of wine that came from his own wine cellar at each meal (except breakfast) and never got drunk. About 16 years ago he was diagnosed with colon cancer and the doctor's prognosis wasn't good. He told me that my grandfather has up to one year to live. And guess what happened?  He lived another 6 years after that! He continued having the same lifestyle as before and didn't worry about his cancer at all. He loved to joke and laugh. I will always miss him.... This is to say that besides the fact that he ate all organic (as we call it now), he had a very positive outlook in life.  I believe that no matter what we eat, drink or if we take or not any supplements, positive attitude and being optimistic can help allot.  

    Few months ago I watched a little story about a woman who was diagnosed with cancer (can't remember which kind) and her several chemo treatments and radiation didn't work. They told her to go home and say good bye to her family but instead she started meditating, eating healthy and refused to believe she would die. Her cancer disappeared and doctors can't figure out how?  I'm not saying that this will work for everyone but I think keeping up the good spirits can do wonders. 

    Throughout my pregnancy I was seeing allot of doctors and nurses(type 2 diabetes and cancer) and they were all surprised that I was always in a good mood, looked happy and never cried. I have to admit that having a baby was keeping me very optimistic. I'm 42 now and almost gave up hope to ever have a baby and this miracle happened. I'm so happy with my partner, career and everything else so the way I looked at it is: if this is the price to pay for being so happy, than be it! At least I have everything I ever wanted (well, except cancer ;)). I know it's not easy and I read so many stories on this forum that actually made me cry but keep your chin up and we will get through this! Life is beautiful and we only one life to live. :)

    Wonderful

    Keep that wonderful spirit, and continue to relate miracles to us.

    My own ancestry is Czech, which is also a Slavic culture, of course (like Ukraine).

    max