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givingrace's picture
givingrace
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Sugar.

Hi Everyone,  I finished my second round of Rituxin, Treanda and Neulasta last week.  We'll it was harder than the first. My nausea was constant and with Onda setron HCL 8 mg, flip flopped with another 6 hrs one it didn't let up.I would have been happy to throw up and get some relief , even if it were for 10 min. Not as much pulsating bone pain but I couldn't do much of anything.

Anyways I have struggled on and off with sugar. I know it's not good for cancer patients.  Any ideas of how to get over the initial cravings then stay away and not fall off the Wagon ??

~GG~

Sten's picture
Sten
Posts: 162
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi GG,

I am sorry that you suffer so much. I hope that your round will soon be over.

If you crave for sugar, try eating some fruits instead.

Sten

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3469
Joined: May 2012

GG,

I cannot recall if you are diabetic or not. If you are, then I understand how hard balancing your glucose might be.  I have had hypoglycemia (but never diabetes) myself for decades.

If you are NOT diabetic, I will share what my oncologist told me regarding diet: Eat what you feel like.  Better to get some nutrition than to get none. Food cravings are quite common on chemo, and for months all I wanted was french fries and breakfast drinks, and that is what I got by on.  A friend who had stage 3 as a teenager and who underwent the old MOPP regimine said that for months the only thing he would eat was pot pie, and that was in fact all that he ate. He also told me that he lived near a pond, and had an urge to catch and eat ducks raw (an urge he had never had before or since), but never indulged !  He is alive and well today, 25 years later. 

The same with what I drank. While my doctor (UCLA, Duke for training, four (4) Board Certifications) encouraged that it be water or something healthy, sometimes cravings require that it be something else. I drank a lot of Ginger Ale during those six months of treatments, especially while at the Infusion Center.  They provided a wide range of drinks, but most were the common sodas.  When I wasn't guzzling Ginger Ale (Canada Dry tastes best to me) it was green tea.  The snacks passed out by volunteers were crackers and sugar cookies. Tell you anything ?

I have NO medical training but like most here, have read quite a bit.  I consider the "sugar feeds cancer" mantra to be a mythology, and for myself, pay it no attention. It is the rage at the "Alternative Therapy" sites, which is another reason I consider it a falsehood.  I feel that these home remedy trends give people some false sense of control, when in fact they do nothing, good or bad.  My mother-in-law, who has never had a biology course in her life, has said that if I have prostate cancer it is from "eating bacon," a "fact" that she "'knows for certain, because she read it in book." Beam me up, Scotty !  I cared for a dear friend for about a year who died from prostate cancer a year ago. He had had the disease for 13 years. He was in Hospice, and wanted a milkshake, and another friend complained that it would not be "healthy" for him !  Geeze !  He died three days later.

If I wanted a Hershey bar, I would eat one, but that is just me.  I am NOT recommending anything, just sharing a line of thought. I do not think it would do a damned thing to the effectiveness of any chemotherapy drug(s).  Sugar is a natural nutrient in virtually everything. If it is killing us, God help us. It causes fat, but who knows what else.   I have known several women who were over 300 pounds, but never one with lymphoma. 

Reminds me of the old George Carlin joke: 

"Doctors have discovered that saliva causes stomach cancer, but only when consumed in small quantities, over many decades."

I am learning (the hard way) that testosterone feeds prostate cancer, much as estrogen feeds breast cancer.  What is someone to do ? In fact, a century ago, one of the first therapies for prostate cancer was castration, either chemical or surgical, and in some cases this is still used, especially in salavage therapy.   But not all 30 year old men are running for castrations as a preventative.  I understand why !

I understand contolling sugar intake for diabetes, weigth control, or for mood issues, but not to control cancer.

I hope you get over your nausea quickly,

max

 

 

 

 

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

I pretty much agree with Max.  They should be able to give you something for nausea.  Sipping ginger ale can sometimes help with nausea (at least my mom thought so) :).

Hang in there.

Anonymous user (not verified)

the rapid metabolism of radioactive sugars by cancer cells is what makes tumors "glow" brighter than their surroundings in a PET scan. That may cause some of the myths regarding sugars and cancers. But he sugar is used to produce energy? Cloned cells are constructed of proteins. I am not a doctor but my advice, and I take it myself, is eat anything you want except for things your onc specifically asks that you not eat. Just do so in moderation. I would say avoid any teas containing echinacea as it is known to weaken the effects of rituxan. Regular teas are fine but herbal teas are a bit iffy. Many do not contain all of or only the ingredients listed. They are unregulated so the label can say anything they want it to. And echinacea is a cheap filler for many herbal teas. Myself I like green tea, black tea and Earl Grey. Glad you are doing well. I can see you have the heart of a warrior and will slay this dragon!

Jeff148's picture
Jeff148
Posts: 184
Joined: Apr 2014

Grace giver, I'm in agreement with the others. Eat what you like during treatment. I do think when you are no longer needing treatment, less sugar is beneficial. If I felt like I was eating too much crud, I would go on a sweets faste. I would not eat deserts, candy, sugar drinks for thirty days. by the end of the thirty days, the craving was curbed. Then I just watch that I don't have more than one treat per day...and no seconds. Not easy, but doable. 

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 838
Joined: Mar 2013

Grace, the anti-anxiety drug, Ativan is surprisingly effective for nausea and acts quickly. After my first Neulasta shot, I wound up on morphine the pain was so bad. Later, a nurse told me about taking claritin and that was like magic for me. I took it the day before the shot, the day of the shot, and for 3 days afterwards. I never had another pain (that I needed medication for).

The subject of sugar is interesting. I never had much of a sweet tooth, even as a child. But when I was on chemo, I had strong cravings for it. I just had to have something sweet every single day. My doctor said that was fine, that I should eat whatever I wanted. In fact he once went so far as to say, "I want you to consider any food health food". A few months after I finished chemo, my cravings subsided. 

So I agree with what others are saying, unless your doctor has told you otherwise, I'd not worry about it right now. Do whatever and eat whatever  makes GG feel better. 

Hugs,

Rocquie

givingrace's picture
givingrace
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and feelings about sugar. I sometimes get wound up to tight on certain things and need others opinions.  I have been not so strict with my fear of sugar and have eaten what I have wanted the last week.  It's very freeing. And I made a batch of peanut butter cookies and ate a whole dozen threw out one day. Loved it !

I am doing claritin and ativan has been a life saver too.

Hugs,

~GG~

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 858
Joined: Aug 2012

My friend was headed for becoming a vegan etc. and her oncologist told her that when you start getting unbalanced and going overboard about your eating habits, you end up focusing so much on your cancer that you are actually putting a lot of negativity in the picture and not able to relax and keep a good mental attitude.  That makes such good sense to me.  We need to be balanced.

Becky 

givingrace's picture
givingrace
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Yep I agree , been searching for balance my whole life. ...lol.  Seriously that does sound logical. 

 Becky did you two get your RV trip to the west coast already ??? If so how was it ?

~GG~

 

Lifeisbeautiful's picture
Lifeisbeautiful
Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2014

 Hello all!

It's been a while since I checked in here. I was very busy with the move to the new condo and have no idea how I did it and where did I get all that energy?! I felt like I was on fire but then almost colapsed....Learned my lesson the hard way and my husband wasn't very happy with me either since he always incourages me to take it easy and to make myself my first priority except that I'm having a hard time doing that....maybe it will come one day?

Now to the disscusion about sugar. Just like you Rocquie, I never had much of a sweet tooth either and I even once worked in a little boutique called Laura Secord that sales ice cream, candies, chocolates and truffles. So my job as a manager was to taste this chocolates to best describe them to costumers and I hated it! I can have a small peace of dark chocolate once in a while when I get some crvings for it with a cup of black espresso but then I have the chocolate bar just sitting in my fridge and waiting for me for 2-3 months at the time or even longer. When I used to bake, I would only use less than half of sugar what the recipe calls for and it tasted sweet enough for me. Now, strange things happened right after my first chemo, the only thing that tasted good and I craved it over and over again were sweets! The problem is that I have type 2 diabetes and because of the steroids taken my sugar levels are already way above normal and eating sweets doesn't help. Recently the numbness in my fingertips that I used to get after each one of my treatments has disappeared but then I got numbness in the bottom of my heels, the right one more than the left and I was wondering if anyone has experienced this ever or is this because of the elevated sugar levels? I do eat very healthy and even today the nurse who helped me with my chemo was very surprised in a good way about my blood test results which were unusually good for someone with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. So as of fear of not losing my feet I went back to the way things were before the chemo and stopped eating sweets but today I just couldn't resist, I had to have some French pastry called Twists, not much, two little once (less than 10 call and about 1o gr of carbs and an hour after dinner). If I didn't have diabetes and were you Grace, I would eat what tastes good and makes you feel like food is still a pleasure. I find it weird and it's new but meet started tasting funny and no matter what kind, they all have the same kind of taste which is they don't have much taste, too bland! So last night I squeezed lots of lemon juice on my chicken breast and only then it tasted a little better. And the other thing I love and always loved eating is fruit. I eat 3 a day and I like almost any kind of fruit. I call myself a Fruit Monster. :)))

Grace, I hope your nausea is well controlled by now and you can enjoy your sugar.

 

Sugar won't help cancer because sugar is natural but depends how much and for how long. Processed foods, white bread, white rice, pasta, my favourite French pastry desserts and junk food are also carbs but they are not as good for you here is why?  Carbohydrates are the body's ideal fuel for most functions. They supply the body with the energy needed for the muscles, brain and central nervous system. In fact, the human brain depends exclusively on carbohydrates for its energy. Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy products, foods made from grain products, and sweeteners such as sugar, honey, molasses, and corn syrup. The body converts digestible (non-fiber) carbohydrates into glucose, which our cells use as fuel. Some carbs (simple) break down quickly into glucose while others (complex) are slowly broken down and enter the bloodstream more gradually. During digestion, all carbohydrates are broken down into glucose before they can enter the bloodstream where insulin helps the glucose enter the body’s cells. Some glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles for future use, like fueling a workout. If there is extra glucose, the body will store it as fat.  But no one will dare to tell you, hopefully, that during your chemotreatment you should have so many restriction becaause sometimes this can be the only pleasure for time being, until we get better and the nightmare is over.

 

 

givingrace's picture
givingrace
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Wow Thankyou that's great info.

You all are so helpful. 

I have gotten threw the nausea and go in for third treatment in about 12 days.

I'm feeling pretty good but it was pretty rough. 

I have been able get my food choices a little under control.  Yesterday I spent some good time at the farmers market with filling my cart with some good fruit and vegetables. 

I am going to make my famous cheesecake in the next day or two. After this last week with a family crisis,  I think it's well overdue. 

I gotta say everyone in my family is truly luck I didn't grab a back back and bail this last aftermath of my treatment.  I am not as strong as alot of you who have been threw a whole lot of crazy chemotherapy and health fall outs. God Bless every survivor out in this world. 

~GG~

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 858
Joined: Aug 2012

You'll make it through this trial too somehow.  We had a great trip, hope soon you will get your dream.

Thinking of you, Becky

NANCYL1
Posts: 289
Joined: Jun 2012

gg:  Sounds as if you are doing better but I checked Am. Can. Society publications re food anyway:

 

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/bookstore/cookingnutritionbooks-acsbookstore-americancancersociety

 

At the cancer clinic I go to, there are always pamphlets re food and other topics.   Some from AMC.   Maybe they have some of those  pamphlets, etc. in stock   I did not have the strong stuff you had, but I did lose my appetite when I was taking Rituxan for 2 years, followed by heart surgery.  At one point had an Endoscopy to check my stomach.  It was OK.  So I decided maybe it is stress, which never totally goes away.

Glad you did not "grab a backpack" and take off.

I have not had cheese cake for many moons.  Sounds good.  You are famous for cheese cake.     I am famous for scrambled eggs.

Nancy

onlytoday's picture
onlytoday
Posts: 603
Joined: Jun 2010

GG-

I went cold turkey.  Replaced it with natural sugar- a piece of fruit. I also always drink a lot of water and that helped too. I feel so much better without sugar in my system.  I have the added incentive of having small intestinal bacteria overgrowth.  Sugar makes the bacteria grow so I shouldn't have it or at the very least limited quantities.  So I decided to just stop it all together.  It was hard in the beginning- definite cravings.  But as with anything, they left in a few days.

Good luck with this!  You can do it!!  There is a connection between cancer cell growth and sugar so it is the right thing to do. 

Blessings.

Donna

 

A great dessert:  Peel and core a piece of fruit.  Apple, pear, peach.  Cut it in half.  Spray a pan with non stick spray, put the fruit in the pan , sprinkle with cinnamon and walnuts.  Bake for about 15 minutes on 350.  Delicious!!

Anonymous user (not verified)

Basically sugar is the same whether from fruit, sugar beets or sugar cane. The exception is corn sweetener. The fruit has the added benefits of slower absorption, more fiber and vitamins. Unless it's organic, fruit has the disadvantage of the use of insecticides by growers. Fruit juice, in particular orange juice, has more sugar than an equal volume of mexican Coca Cola (made with crystaline sugar, not corn syrup). If you have to choose, go with the fruit. Just avoid the fruit juice in anything more than 4 oz servings. Least thats what my nutritionist says.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3469
Joined: May 2012

GKH,

Your caption reminds me of the delightful old Wendy's commercial... Your content also made me think of the millions of people who will walk past a free (and lead free) water fountain to spend $2.00 on some bottled water that is absolutely no different.  Water is water. By definition, it is oderless and tasteless. Any taste at all is from trace impurities.  

Since most people have no memory, some smart guy has re-introduce the pet rock. Perhaps the second iteration will earn the millions that the original did in the 70s. "It never whines, is totally loyal, requires no feeding...etc.  Rocks is rocks, even when in people's  heads.  These new ones are only $19.95 !  And they have a letter of authenticity...they are really real rocks, not fake !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTzLVIc-O5E

http://www.petrock.com/

 

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