Posted on: Mar 3, 2009 09:59PM
I have tried this before, but wanted to start a thread for us natural girls to build our friendships, share our thoughts and the natural things we are doing. there is a thread called bottle of tamoxifen, that I enjoyed the friendships of, but now that I am off the tamoxi-train and using alternatives, it would be nice to have a support group of women who encourage each other with alternative, complementary and holistic treatment.
Here's to friendship and support.
Posts 1 - 30 (10,130 total)
Mar 4, 2009 07:51AM lisasayers wrote:
Great idea Amber and hopefull we will not be attacked here!
Mar 4, 2009 09:36AM StaceyR wrote:
Hi Amber and others,
I am on board with this. Can we declare this the sarcasm-free thread?
Mar 4, 2009 10:04AM vivre wrote:
I already feel like you are all my friends. It would be great if we can keep in touch. Those of us on the GOP thread became very close until we were shut down by those who did not like us. It would be nice if we can have a forum to support each other here. It really is healing to be able to talk to others who have been through the same thing. We can only hope that we will be allowed to continue without fear of reprisals.
Mar 4, 2009 01:44PM amberyba wrote:
You girls have made my day...I hope we aren't attacked either.....maybe we can just ignore neagativism/sarcasm....maybe the attackers will bet bored if we don't let them bother us...
Stacey it is thus declared as you stated: "sarcasm free thread".
I second the healing process to be able to share with each other.
Thank all you wonderful ladies!!!!
Mar 4, 2009 05:30PM StaceyR wrote:
I don't know about anyone else's experience, but I have found it to be kind of crazy that medical doctors, including oncologists, never really ask me about or give advice regarding my diet. I get weighed at every appointment, but since I'm well within a normal range, I get no grief about what I'm eating. For all they know, I could be consuming nothing but cookies and cheese (mmm, cheese). I think it's wild that there isn't more pressure to eat more vegetables; have doctors given up trying to encourage people to adopt healthy habits?
I was pleased to see on another thread that another woman who was recently diagnosed stage IV had been advised (by a "primary care physician who specializes in alternative methods") to try and consume a "raw diet". I'm a big fan of this movement and am leaning into adopting such a lifestyle (green juice for breakfast!). What are some things you all are trying regarding your diet?
Mar 4, 2009 05:49PM lisasayers wrote:
Doctors are not trained in nutrition. The first oncologist I met with, from Cleveland Clinic, was clueless. I told him I ate "clean"...no sugar, no white flour, etc. You know what he told me, "You can eat whatever you want, it doesn't make a difference." One of the reasons he isn't my oncologist!
Mar 4, 2009 06:32PM vivre wrote:
Stacy, you are right on. I could not understand why cardiologists told my MIL to change her diet after she was having chest pains. Doctors tell my diabetic cousin to follow a strict diet, but anyone with cancer is told it makes no difference. No matter what medical problems we have, diet does make a huge difference. Food is medicine. No doctor will ever convince me otherwise that a major reason I got bc was my lousy diet. I was not a big eater, I just did not eat nutritiously. My diet was heavy on carbs and sugars and dairy, the three main culprits. Since cutting out all the crap, I not only lost 35 pounds, without even trying, I feel better than I have in years. Actually, I feel better than I ever did when I was young, because my body is getting the nutrients it needs to function well. On top of feeling better physically, I have no fear of the return of breast cancer, because I believe I am making my immune system strong enough to fight off all those free radicals.
We are what we eat.
Mar 4, 2009 06:43PM amberyba wrote:
My breast care nurse specialist sent me a post card last week....encouraged me to eat healthy, exercise 30 minutes daily....I think all my cancer doctors and nurse know that I am not going to take tamoxifen, and even my onc told me that if I decided not to take it, that i could be monitored every 3 months. so I will probably rotate and see my onc every 6 month and my breast surgeon every 6 months.....then my family doctor is suppose to be checking my liver.
Stacey, I have just added fish oil caps to my natural alternative....my family doctor recommended it....suppose to help with my cholesterol.
Then I just added Acai berry caps....read they were good antioxidant....anti cancer....I just upped my dose to one cap in the morning and one at night/.....last night I slept like the whole night....which is unusual for me since diagnosis....then I read more that acai berry helps with sleep....also helps with weight problems.
I am glad to hear about the raw diet too....and I do feel better if I get more fruits and veges. Also I drink distilled water....I would like to make it a half a gallon a day....but I am not always successful.
I also make sure I get 1-2 tablespoonfuls of ground flaxseed daily...in the morning with oatmeal and walnuts....and i like it in a chocolate shake in the evening.
Lisa i really like the max Lucado saying...a friend of mine attends his congregation.
Mar 4, 2009 07:07PM living4today wrote:
First, I love all of your ideas re: nutrition, etc. Prior to chemo, I had a pretty clean diet...now with chemo, I haven't been doing as well. I think that I had read in some of these posts that actually your diet shouldn't be as healthy when going through chemo, helps the chemo work better. (???)Since my time and energy is limited, I haven't really researched it all that well. Interestingly enough I am a nurse who specializes in disease management and wellness. It is extremely frustrating how uninformed the medical world is regarding proper nutrition and wellness. So many of my coworkers have made snide comments about me reading labels and trying to avoid artifical sweetners, high fructose corn syrup, etc., of course, I am the one now diagnosed with BC..go figure. Keep up the great work gals! I love reading your posts and find them very encouraging!
Mar 4, 2009 07:55PM - edited Mar 4, 2009 09:02PM by FloridaLady
You right about having a healthy diet while on chemo is hard. It's more about taste issue for a lot of people. A lot of cancer "flyer's" say stay away from fresh fruit and veggie because of bacteria. They also well tell you don't have any dairy. Let see that leaves carbs/sugar and meat? And how do you digest this how now that the chemo as killed of your natural enzymes in your stomach? I never believed this as many other patients I have meet don't either. They may have had trouble with taste but they ate their fruit/veggies. Just wash them well and if need be just steam them a little. Bacteria is everywhere we can't out run it. Also a good source of protein is Whey protein drinks. (low carb kind of course) You do need more protein while in treatment.
Chemo kills the natural enzymes in your stomach. If you do not replace these with some raw fruit & veggies you will continue to have problems with your stomach and colon while in treatment. The acid & enzymes in your stomach is the key to good nutrition, this is how your body breaks down and disperses nutrients. If I don't feel like eating the good stuff I you a high speed blender and make it into a smoothie.
Mar 4, 2009 08:20PM althea wrote:
Thanks for starting this thread amber. I would love to have a thread filled with positive energy that fosters a fellowship that only we bc sisters can fully appreciate. So count me in. I just hope the naysayers will respect the boundary and post elsewhere. This section has felt more like a marathon debate class than a support group lately.
I just returned a book by Carol Alt to the library on monday. Never in my imagination would I think of getting information from a supermodel that I find helpful, but she's very much into the raw food diet and has been for years. There was a green juice combination that I really liked. And I tried an unbaked 'cookie' recipe that was basically almonds, dried coconut, dates, salt and vanilla blended together, pressed into circles and dehyrdated at 95 degrees for half a day. Not my idea of a cookie, but definitely ok for a healthy snack.
The main thing I learned was that most foods come with enzymes that help us digest our food, and temperatures over 118 degrees kills those enzymes. ....All I know is I have more evolving to do before I bake with a dehydrator and plan far enough ahead to soak nuts and grains to make them more digestable.
I'll do my best to keep sarcasm at bay. I tend to complain bitterly about the quality of medical care I get in my community. I feel like I'm on my own to resolve my fatigue caused by hypothyroidism that none of my doctors will even diagnose. I think I'll be better off all around if I just focus on positive change within my control than to complain about the shortcomings I see in my doctors and our current medical system.
Right now I'm reading a book by Natalia Rose, Life Force Energy Diet. The main thing I've been doing to better my health is using my juicer every day. I dusted off my juicer in december 07 and finally worked up to using it every day last august, so I've been at it for a while. I hope we can all have a positive exchange here, and make this a gathering place for those of us 'on the same page' of nurturing our health. I think we all could use the kind of support we can find here and provide for each other.
Mar 4, 2009 08:47PM amberyba wrote:
wow now I am seeing the light Althea, and FlaLady.....raw foods have value not only in nutrients but enzymes.
I just loaded the frig after a trip to the grocer....I ususally cook the broccoli,,,,now I'll make an effort when I open the frig, to nibble on the frruits and veges.....
Mar 4, 2009 09:02PM living4today wrote:
Thanks for the info on the enzymes...except for baby carrots, I have gotten away from the fresh veggies and fruits this past month while on chemo. (and my stomach is starting to let me know) It is a challenge to find good tasting fresh produce this time of year in our area...but do love fruit smoothies, so think I will have my sweet hubby make me up some. When I was having chemo the other day, one gal said she mixed fresh spinach with her smoothies, think I might try that too. Thanks for the info!
Mar 4, 2009 09:23PM lisasayers wrote:
Althea...tell me about the green juice you liked? Share some of your other favorite juice combinations if you would!
Mar 4, 2009 09:44PM vivre wrote:
Althea, I saw an interview with Carol Alt. She talked about all the health problems she had while trying to stay thin and "diet" before she changed to natural foods. It was very informative, and proof that good nutrition alleviates most health problems. However, I also read another school of thought on cooking veggies. For instance tomatos actually release more lycopenes when cooked and broccol is actually better if it is steamed a little because it is so hard to digest. This makes sense to me. I love broccoli but when I eat it raw I get terrible stomach cramps.
I am still torn about the juicing issue. I feel guilty tossing all that fiber after juicing, and it is a mess to clean up. Also, I just cannot find a combo that tastes good. I have always had a problem drinking flavored things. I basically drink tea and water with lemon or lime.
I read a great book called "The Power of Digestive Enzymes". Can't remember the doc who wrote it, but she really talked about how important they are and how little we get in food these days because our soil is so depleted. It is really important to supplement with probiotics, especially if you take an antibiotic because they destroy the beneficial enzymes in the stomach.
Living: if you are still going through chemo, you might want to pick up Dr. Ray Strand's book, "What Your doctor doesn't know about nutrition may be killing you". He explains how the thinking that one should not eat nutritiously during chemo is a fallacy and that people die from chemo because they are malnourished. He also believes in supplements. His theory is that cancer cells are not nourished from what we consume like a healthy cell, rather they are cells gone array that keep multiplying from within. He says he has proven over and over that his patients who take supplements and eat a plant based diet, come through chemo and have a better prognosis. It is a great book.
Mar 4, 2009 11:34PM althea wrote:
Apparently I didn't write down the green juice combo from the Carol Alt book that I liked. I'm not sure I would've liked it even six months ago. Green juice is an acquired taste, and believe me, I grimaced my way through a LOT of juice last year as I strived for green.
I did uncover the combo from last august that I really liked. It's not nearly as green as I remembered it.
1 lime (ok to leave the peel on, but the juicer doesn't seem like like it much)
2 oranges, peeled
2 apples (granny smith have lower sugar content)
3 celery stalks
slice of ginger
I took one sip of this and loved it. Nowadays, it's a lot greener. I have 2-4 greens in my daily mix, and I rotate through a selection for variety. Greens I've used: celery, cucumber, collard greens, romaine, spinach, alfalfa sprouts, cabbage, green pepper, kale, parsley. And since I started putting a slice of ginger in my juice every day, the ache in my left hip that was starting to be a nuisance over the summer has gone away and stayed away.
As for 'wasting' all that pulp, I don't give it a second thought. By drinking the juice, our bodies can take in the nutrients without involving a lot of digestive activity. I can practically feel the juice permeating my body, the way a thirsty sponge drinks up water. I reckon it's better to 'waste' a bit of pulp than it is to buy a carton of juice made of glass, plastic, or whatever that waxy milk carton material is. Water with lemon isn't very satisfying for me.
Mar 5, 2009 01:26AM D-Ann wrote:
Hey, y'all! I'm pretty new here, in general, but really happy to find this thread!
As far as the juicing goes, if you're going thru chemo you are prolly gonna do better with the juicer. After you're done with chemo, you definitely wanna gradually get back into blending more than juicing b/c you'll really need both the fiber and the nutrients you get from juicing. But do it gradually, according to how your body responds. No need to make it an all or nothing kinda thing! It is really important to be gentle with yourself, even though the nutrition thing is a big deal - especially to those of us who focus on it.
I've not had to do it myself, yet. Dunno if I'm gonna do anything beyond surgery, and not sure about that. But I did help my estranged husband go thru surgery and chemo for esophageal cancer and so I'm not entirely unfamiliar with all of this. He wasn't happy with my help or suggestions...but that's a different story. Anyway, whether what I tried made him happy or not, I saw what the journey is like. I think anything that works for you, that gets the nutrition into you without negative physical reactions, is a really good thing.
For what it's worth...
Mar 5, 2009 09:32AM lisasayers wrote:
Thanks Althea...we were experimenting with juicing before I started chemo and I had found a "green lemonade" that we liked and I forgot to write it down! LOL I like the combo you wrote posted.
I did find that even though I love cabbage...I can't drink it! LOL But I was using a lot of other green veggies.
As far as the "pulp"...depending on what I use, sometimes I would throw it in a pan and stir fry it or toss it in a salad. But again, depending on what I had juiced.
Mar 5, 2009 09:39AM - edited Mar 5, 2009 09:40AM by LJ13
Enzymes aren't alive and can't be "killed by chemo."
Where in the world do you people get this stuff?
If you're talking about probiotics, they are beneficial bacteria. They also are not killed by chemo.
Eating raw fruits or veggies during chemo is contraindicated by any oncologist. Taking probiotics does nothing to change this. If the immune system is compromised, any small amount of pathogenic bacteria can cause a life-threatening infection.
Mar 5, 2009 09:47AM FloridaLady wrote:
Would you try doing some research before running off at the mouth. Read what the chemo does to the stomach lining. Do really really think all the nausea is from low blood?
Did you every do any chemo? You are stage O. Exactly what do you know about any of this?
We don't need a doctor to tell us this works. As noted by patients in treatment this does work!
Mar 5, 2009 10:20AM lisasayers wrote:
LJ...I'll let my oncologist know that he was wrong to tell me I could eat my raw fruits and veggies. I'm sure he will be grateful!
Incidentally...ate them all through chemo and had NO problems!
Mar 5, 2009 11:03AM - edited Mar 5, 2009 11:14AM by LJ13
Florida"Lady", I know what chemo does to stomach cells. Some chemo agents cause stomach cells that are in the division phase to self-destruct. That is in fact one reason why many people experience nausea during chemo.
This has nothing to do with enzymes. Enzymes are reactive proteins that match with keyed catalysts to cause biochemical reactions. They are not alive. They can't be killed. They are just protein molecules. It is not necessary to do research on this as it is taught in basic chemistry class.
Whether I took chemo is also irrelevant. My staging is irrelevant. And, you are quite incorrect in your assumption. I had 4 rounds of dose dense AC, 12 weeks of Taxol/Herceptin, and 13 additional treatments of Herceptin. My staging was "clinically" 2B or 3A. Unknown because I did neoadjuvant therapy. I also had a lumpectomy + AND, and 33 radiation treatments.
Interesting that you imply that Stage 0 ladies have nothing to contribute here though. I think you owe them an apology for that.
Lisa, I am glad you didn't have any problems during chemo. I should qualify my statement: only raw foods that can be washed/scrubbed thoroughly or peeled should be eaten by chemo patients. It is very risky to eat leafy greens, raw broccoli, raw berries, etc.
I have nothing against raw food. Only for people with neutropenia.
I think many foods are healthier raw ... but many foods actually release more nutrients when cooked (tomatoes, for example).
Mar 5, 2009 11:18AM Jenniferz wrote:
Although not a "natural girl", I am interested and truly take my hat off to you ladies for the discipline that it takes to go on and stay on these diets. My onc. also didn't specify any diet, has the same "eat as you want" type of attitude, but my pcp keeps a better eye on me, and is on my about my weight. She likes it to stay stable, but celebrates with me when I loose!,,then gives me the "stink eye" when I gain it all back! ( and SHE'S overweight!)
I am trying to stay away from sweets, and do so fairly well, but must admit, when family comes home, I do binge. I probably won't post here, but will lurk as I try and find combinations that will fit for me. One that I have found is Althea's green juice....how many times a day do you drink this?. This sounds like something that would be good after I do my exercises.....see? I am trying! Also, do you add water to this? Or drink it just this way?
Also ladies, where do you find a juicer? Or, can I put these in a blender. Never juiced a carrot or celery before.
Hat's off to you ladies! I do admire you. And, and here's to a "fight-free" thread. Would be a relief!
Mar 5, 2009 01:46PM StaceyR wrote:
(She just can't stay away; I'm feeling the love)
I posted this on another thread a while back but here it is for anyone who's interested. The "green lemonade" recipe I use in my juicer is this:
Jen, I bought my juicer at a department store; it's an Oster brand, paid around $100 for it, and it does a pretty good job. You wouldn't get the same "juice" result from a blender because it wouldn't separate out the pulp, hence there would be a lot more volume. Not that that is bad, but one of the benefits of juicing is getting most of the nutrients without having to consume so much volume (I think!). Sometimes I add a bit of water, but not much. I try and make it every morning, but sometimes I'm not organized and run out of fresh produce.
I think all those warnings about raw vegetables during chemo are a little overblown. It makes sense to be prudent, but we can't be afraid of everything. We were also warned about not attending big gatherings and being careful in public places. I still took the bus to work, went to the gym, and lived my life as normally as possible. Everybody is different, and we must each be vigilant in monitoring how our bodies are handling threats.
Mar 5, 2009 05:29PM StaceyR wrote:
I was amazed to see how high my WBC and neutrophils went up when I went to the gym before doing pre-chemo bloodwork. The ladies in the blood lab suggested just climbing the stairs a few times, but I was enrolled in a fitness study at the hospital gym and just went down for my workout before going to the lab. Did anyone else manage to exercise during chemo? I certainly did not feel like it some days, but I was pretty proud of what I was able to do for those months.
Mar 5, 2009 05:53PM CaseyDoodle wrote:
Hello All. Thanks for posting here. I have gotten two really good recipes and I'm looking forward to trying them. I have had a juicer for years but haven't used it much, but I think I'll have to get it out and give it another try.
I ate horribly during chemo. I was so very sick that all I could keep down was starches. Of course, I gained weight.
I just bought a large dehydrator and can't wait to try it out. I can't imagine at this point that I'll go "completely raw" but I have seen and read enough to appreciate the benefits.
I am currently taking Arimidex and having a really tough time, but I am really worried about stopping it. I have about 70 pounds to lose and am concerned about the estrogen produced by the fat. Does anyone else have this concern? I am walking 3 miles and day and really eating healthy and the weight is coming off, but not fast enough for me.
Thanks again for posting.
Mar 5, 2009 05:57PM LJ13 wrote:
Many studies have established that a reasonable amount of exercise is an immune system booster (there is some data that too much exercise can run it down somewhat). There are also studies, some quoted in the news area of bc.org, that show that exercise on the day of and few days after chemo can halt nausea right in its tracks.
I resolved to exercise on the day of my infusion and the 3 days after no matter how I felt. I did find that it pushed mild nausea away. I also believed that getting my heart rate up was a good way to get the chemo circulating and recirculating to every cell in my body when the chemo was at its strongest in my system. Now, I can't prove that that is why I achieved a complete pathological remission with my neoadjuvant therapy, but I do believe it helped the cause.
I got Neulasta when I was on AC, but didn't need any WBC assistance on Taxol. Taxol did make me a bit anemic, but not enough to require intervention.