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Aug 4, 2019 10:54AM
Aug 4, 2019 11:38AM
Hello August 2019 chemo sisters and brothers I am visiting from the August 2018 group to tell you that one year from now, life will be quite normal again. Your hair will be back, your energy will be back, and most of this will be in the rearview. It's hard to go through, but it is very empowering to realize you are stronger than you think!
Besides icing and claritin (start 2 days before and take for 7 days) here are things that helped me a great deal:
- fasting or fasting mimicking just prior to chemo (many posts about this practice on this site - MD to search is Dr Valter Longo at USC.) A brief fast or a longer period of calorie restriction prior to chemo reduces GI side effects, and in mice BOOSTS RESPONSE to chemo. A two-fer. Consider trying this! Made my SEs so much better. (After fast you need to eat very nutrient-dense diet of clean healthy foods like legumes, vegetables, and fruits... your immune system will SURGE if you do a nutritious "re-feed.")
-exercise daily even if it's a two block walk on a bad day. I saw an experienced integrative oncologist for a consult. He emphasized how important exercise is. It tells your body to work, thrive and fight. It helps you process out your chemo pollution and gets your digestion going again. He specifically recommended interval training as a very beneficial daily or 3-4 times per week minimum routine you can do with walk/jog, bike, or treadmill.... (30 sec regular effort/ 30 sec intense effort - repeat 3 times for a total of 3 minutes... then 3 minutes of total rest... do this whole sequence 3 times). Ideally 3-6 hours exercise per week.
- supplementary IVs which can make a big difference by hydration alone for anyone with really rotten SEs. I did high dose C IVs which I believed helped me a lot from a cancer killing point of view. A naturopathic physician with experience supporting cancer patients can provide these if your MD will not.
-hyperthermia: high heat on the tumor and on the lymph nodes if you have a palpable tumor. Uf you can heat the cancer cells to about 107-8 for about an hour they either die OR they give off heat shock proteins that make the cells more recognizable as invaders to your immune system. I did a VERY hot hot water bottle on my tumor and lymph node 3 x a week during chemo for an hour to two hours each time. I kept a hot pad on my breast and armpit DURING chemo to bring the chemo blood to that area.I had permanent magenta discoloration to the area (superficial burning) but all of that resolved when I stopped doing it. I could feel the heat softening the tumor between chemos.
-Ask your MO about metformin. I have no blood sugar problems but taking it for anti-cancer properties.
-Make sure you have a high vitamin D status, 60+
-melatonin 20mg (work up to it slowly) at night. Cold pitch black bedroom and regular bedtime.
- I took a bazillion supplements (largely antioxidants) that were recommended by the integrative onc (Dr Keith Block). His book "Life Over Cancer" provides a lot of guidance. Many MOs are clueless about the proper use of supplements or they think they will fight the efficacy of the chemo. In my case, I went with the recommended supplements and I had an excellent response to chemo and NO persistent SEs (other than fatigue/ anemia which resolved in a few months after chemo ended. I had TNBC and the specific supplements will differ according to hormonal status etc so go to an expert for the recommendations. he had me limit fat in my diet to <20% of calories, as well as go off sugar and empty carbs, & limit animal foods. Organic/grass fed.
Hyperbaric Oxygen - hand in hand with high dose C IVs - to turbo-oxygenate my system (which is unfriendly to cancer, which prefers fermentation). I loved HBOT when I was really anemic it was a fantastic feeling to get more oxygen in my system. It was superlative for healing radiation skin issues too.
I send everyone a hug. You can do this. Be proactive. Fight to heal!!
pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices
7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH)
8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left
2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes