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KatieMarie View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 27 2009 at 4:44pm
Hi everyone,
 
I am about to start chemo, I think it will be AC and then Taxotere, but I get my second opinion in a couple weeks.
 
I will be glad to have the chemo kill the cancer cells, but I feel sad that my body will get so trashed from the damage to the good cells.  I've read on this site about how to help with side effects of chemo and I am glad to have that, but I am looking for something a little different.  Perhaps it may be on this site somewhere and I missed it, sorry.
 
I would like to add supplements to support my body while on chemo. 
 
I know adriamycin is hard on the heart...anyone take the typical heart supplements to support your heart? Do they even help in this application?  How does your onc doc feel about it?
 
What about digestive system probiotic supplements?
 
My onc doc was TOTALLY dismissive of making any diet changes (along the lines of the AntiCancer book), so I suspect she would not be "into' any supplements.  I will be curious what the next onc doc thinks, she is at a more prestigious institution, so may be more on the cutting edge...????
 
Thanks!  Will look forward to any of your thoughts!  Katie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 27 2009 at 5:53pm
Hi Katie,
 
I do not have much knowledge on supplements but I do know anything you take must be discussed with your Oncologist so that it doesn't affect your treatments.
We do have other members who can help you with answers.  I am sure they will be here soon.
 
I hope you'll keep us updated on how you are doing,
 
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Stage 1 2007
BRCA 1+
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cg--- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 27 2009 at 6:28pm
Dear Katie Marie,
 
Welcome, and I applaud you for trying to maintain a healthy body while going through chemotherapy but I would caution you to first have an oncologist that is not only supportive but knowledgeable about the chemotherapy/supplement interactions.
 
My ex-onc would not even listen or discuss supplements.
 
Get a second opinion.
 
You may have to find a cancer center that will combine and support the two philosophies.
 
I am just glad you found us to have our support and dialogue.
 
Connie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote minniemouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 5:03am
I decided on taxotere and cytoxan to avoid heart-damaging adriamycin...unfortunately developed breathing problems from taxotere and had to switch mid-stream to adriamycin and cytoxan for my final two doses. (last one coming up wednesday! yay!)
 
My onc is supportive of healthy eating (and encouraged some supplements such as glutamine), but from the start warned against using any vitamins and supplements before checking with him first because some may interfere with chemo drugs....Ironically, while on chemo, I lost so much of my appetite that I was happy to find any food I could tolerate. My main concern became malnourishment and losing too much weight, so I concentrated on low-fat high-protein foods. (Powdered whey supplements are rich in protein and glutamine, btw, and my onc said all those amino acids would be great.)
 
Good luck to you. Excellent that you're getting a second opinion.
 
minnie
 
 
 
dx 02/09 @62;lumpectomy 3/24/09; 1.5cm; node neg; stg I/gr I; BRCA 1/2 neg
2 rnds Taxotere/Cytoxan; 2 rnds A/C (after lung react to tax); 33 rads.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 12:14pm
Minnie,
 
I am so happy for you, only one more to go.  When we get towards the end of treatment we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Sorry to hear you had some problems with your chemotherapy though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote minniemouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 12:48pm
Thanks, Pam. I was bummed about having to quit taxotere, then relieved to have less serious side effects on the new regimen.
 
It's strange, though. I'm also having the oddest anxiety about ending chemo....I realize it's that feeling of losing my security blanket and heading out, unprotected, to the unknown.
dx 02/09 @62;lumpectomy 3/24/09; 1.5cm; node neg; stg I/gr I; BRCA 1/2 neg
2 rnds Taxotere/Cytoxan; 2 rnds A/C (after lung react to tax); 33 rads.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nancy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 1:19pm

Dear Katie,

Since reading and re-reading the book, both Lori and I, and anyone else reading the book, have come to the conclusion, that until you know what cancer feeds on, your body cannot fight it. The body has its own healing powers IF given the proper nutrition, exercise and all that it needs.

Debs...user name dmayes, has started a thread the Anticancer diet, on the TNBC Talk forum, and I have been posting recipes, along with many others. As I have said in many posts, Lori has eliminated all sugar and white flour and processed foods from her diet. While that may seem to some, to be extreme, it is what the body needs to heal. Cancer feeds on sugar/insulin. Processed foods are feeding the cancer cells.

As Connie had suggested, you need to find an oncologist who is willing to work with you as to supplements/vitamins, etc., and I will add, one who shares your philosophy. That will be difficult as the doctors are all educated by text books written by the drug companies, who would, among other things, like us all to believe that supplements/vitamins interfere with the chemotherapy, and may hamper the affects of chemo.

They will tell you that they cannot be responsible if you take supplements/vitamins/minerals while on chemo. Be responsible for what? Your body actually being kept in the “healing mode” while on chemo, and not being damaged to the point of no return after chemo and radiation?

The word there is “may”, as there are no documented studies that I can find which actually prove this statement to be true. The doctors tell us that the antioxidants, and many other things will affect the chemo, and yet we never question about the foods? So are we to avoid all foods, plant based foods with these vitamins/minerals/antioxidants as well? Turmeric is being used by MD Anderson in conjunction with chemo, and there are articles about that in the news and resource section.

Everyone should seek out a doctor who is willing to think outside the box, and has your personal well being in mind, not only for now, but for your future. You also need to do your own research and then decide what is best for you.

Connie added the Coenzyme Q10, as did Lori while on chemo, and a multi vitamin. In our chemo tips we have that you are to carb starve the day before chemo and then carb load when they start the infusions. This was given by Ronda, who really did her research before starting chemo. Apparently the cancer cells go after the carbs, and then are attacked by the chemo at that time. She also did 3 colon cleansings before starting chemo, something which I have not seen posted in this forum, or any others.

I know that Servan-Schreiber stayed on his special diet through his chemo treatments. Something which Lori did not do, as we did not have the book at that time, information which everyone should have, and it makes perfect sense, as then the chemo is doing its job, and by eliminating all sugars, white flour and processed foods, the cancer cells do not once again have a “feeding ground”.

D3 is so vitally important for restoring and maintaining a healthy immune system for everyone, and especially while on chemo. If, and I say IF, before all treatments are begun, each person would have all the blood work done to see exactly how the body is functioning, i.e.; the thyroid, adrenal glands, D3 levels, liver, everything, and then have all this done after treatments, I am positive you would then see how the chemo and radiation have damaged the body. Sometimes the damage cannot be undone. However, Lori only had the blood counts and liver tests done before, and during treatments. The vitamin D council has reported that women with low levels of D3 have a 222% increased risk of developing breast cancer. I have included a link for the article.

Much luck in your search, for an oncologist who is not swayed by the drug companies, and just do your “homework” before making any decisions. Hugs, Nancy



Edited by Nancy - Jun 28 2009 at 1:27pm
Nancy
DD Lori dx TNBC June 13,2007
Lumpectomy due to incorrect dx of a cyst
mastectomy July 6 2007
chemo ACT all 3 every 3 weeks 6 tx Aug-Nov
28 rads ended Jan 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrissieD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 3:17pm
Hi Katie,
I took a lot of supplements during chemo.  I go to a naturopath who did bloodwork and then "prescribed" the supplements based on my bloodwork.  I took the following during chemo and continue to take them: Immunokinoko, Lumbrokinase, Cellular Forte, Green Tea, Super Bio-Curcumin, theanine (?) only during AC to protect my heart and then there was something else I took during Taxol to help with the nueropathy.  I also take a multi-vitamin and D3 4000 ius/day.  I also changed my diet - removed all dairy and eat little to no processed foods. 
 
I had minimal side effects from the chemo and believe it is because of the supplements.  My onc was fine with me taking the supplements.  I would recommend finding a naturopath if you can.  
 
Best of luck to you. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mefowler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 5:58pm
Hello, all,
 
I posted this a few weeks back, but it is germane to this discussion, so I thought I would post it again, for people who didn't see it the first time:
 
 
I think it is important to avoid things that undermine chemotherapy.  I would discuss this with your oncologist before starting vitamin/antioxidant therapy while on chemo.
 
Maire
53 yo, dx'd 11/08 at 51, 2.9 cm IDC, node-neg, neoadj chemotx with Taxotere/carboplatin q3wks x 6, lumpectomy 4/09, path showed pCR, margin reexcision 5/09, rad'n 6-8/09, intermittent Tarceva, dc'd
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 7:06pm
Hi Katie,
 
I pretty much sailed thru chemo without problems, so do know it isn't too hard for some of us. Although....I did only have 4 tx of AC.  I did accupuncture thru tx and really found that a help for the energy level. I did do chinese herbs along with it. My onc was open to anything that I thought would make tx easier as far as using alternatives.  I know there were things [supplements he didn't agree with but that was too long ago for me to remember. I did do a vitamin regime as well.
 
Good helath to you.
kirby

dx Feb. 2001. Age 44
Lumpectomy

2cm. no nodes stage 1 grade 3

4 rnds AC, 35 rads
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nancy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2009 at 8:24am
Dear Marie,
 
I remember when you posted this article the first time, and I then printed it out for future reference. However, once again, it has that word "may", and it also states that "if you are taking concentrated high-grade antioxidant vitamins in significant doses, it may interfere with your treatment". I guess there are people who tend to go over board on many things.
 
I know that Lori is someone who did not take many supplements during chemo, but if she knew then what she knows now, she probably would have. I doubt that she would ever take anything over the suggested amounts, even now, as she is a nurse and researches everything.
 
When you look at the antioxidants in many of the foods we consume, it appears that they have more per serving, than if we take the supplements. So does that mean anyone on chemo should avoid all these foods as well?
 
Almost all the articles on foods rich in antioxidants are those which everyone should be consuming, so that limits what a person on chemo can eat. These are also foods that David Servan-Schreiber suggests as an Anticancer diet, and he consumed while on chemo.
 
 
Until "they" do a very large study on this and can provide substantial proof on this issue, I think everyone has to decide for themselves.
Thanks again MarieWink
Nancy
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DD Lori dx TNBC June 13,2007
Lumpectomy due to incorrect dx of a cyst
mastectomy July 6 2007
chemo ACT all 3 every 3 weeks 6 tx Aug-Nov
28 rads ended Jan 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote krisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2009 at 10:07am
Eating a diet rich in nutrients is one thing, taking massive amounts of supplements is entirely different matter when it comes to chemo.  the last thing you would want to do is take supplements that would interfere with chemo.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KatieMarie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2009 at 10:12am

Thanks Minnie for the info about powdered whey supplements...congrats on your last treatment, that's great!

Katie

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KatieMarie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2009 at 10:19am
Thanks ladies for all your thoughts.  Since I am not looking forward to chemo, I definitely don't want to take anything that will lessen its effectiveness and therefore heighten the chances I may have to go through it again.  I'm actually not looking really for supplements to fight the cancer while on chemo, just to support the rest of my body till we get through it.  Naturopath and acupuncture...two things I had kinda wondered about, there's not even a listing in our phonebook for naturopath, I'll have to snoop around for referrals in the next bigger town from us!  THANK YOU for taking time to respond to me, I will be pondering and researching all your ideas!
Katie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sunris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2009 at 12:03pm
Hi Katie,

Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents....

My Onc. is the "top dawg" if you will at
MD Anderson and when I began to talk about
supplements, etc.... NOPE! I was told
a multivitamin only.   However, at the same time
it was admitted that most people do not have / get
enough Vit. D......Supposedly the multivitamin is
supposed to cover that ? ......

Needless to say, I have already had 12 tx of Taxol, and will have my 2nd tx of FAC this Thursday and basically so far it has gone ok.... Sure there are some side effects, but all of mine have been extremely manageable ( have still been working 45 hrs a week)..

Dawn

Age 43 at DX

DX 3-09 IDC 3.9cm

TN-Stage2-Grade3

Taxolx9, FACx2, halted TX,

Lump.8-25-09..rads x 8wks.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mainsailset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 30 2009 at 10:05am
The tough part about chemo is that it really inhibits your ability to have a wholesome, well balanced diet of good for your foods to get your nutrients naturally. It's all you can do to find one thing a day that you can tolerate so most of us turn to supplements to help counter the poor diet issue.
Maire's linked article is important to consider but I'm concerned that by lumping nutrition options of both chemo and radiation together the article misses the point of what we can and cannot do for ourselves while in these two vasty different treatments.
 
During radiation we can get our nutrition from well balanced meals and I would suspect that a couple of #'s of fresh fruit vs a supplement high in antioxidants is much different.
 
We have to look at this not just trying to help the chemo or radiation kill the cancer cells. We have to have heart healthy, bone healthy, overall health and strength nutrients to heal the whole body and simply hang in there for the next hurdle.
 
Perhaps harsh, but they said that Michael Jackson died with nothing but pills in his stomach. All that talent and no one gave him a leaf of lettuce? Bottom line, do what you can when you can and as often as you can but supplements are just that, a supplement to the best diet you can give yourself at the time.
dx 7/08 TN 14x6.5x5.5 cm tumor

3 Lymph nodes involved, Taxol/Sunitab+AC, 5/09 dbl masectomy, path 2mm tumor removed, lymphs all clear, RAD 32 finished 9/11/09. 9/28 CT clear 10/18/10 CT clear
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gali Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 24 2009 at 12:19am
Hi Katie,
 
I'm new here and will soon begin my chemo - now i'm being radiated...
my question for you is - how did it go? did you take supplements? were the side effects doable?
Hope i can learn from your experiance since i''ve read the AntiCancer book and still haven't decided what to do.
 
thanks Gali
 
dx age 33 on May 7th, 2009, BRCA1+
1.8 cm, 1 lymph node, stage 2, grade 3, 28 radiations, 4AC dd started Sep 29th, 2009, 4Taxotere every 3 weeks started Decembre 8 2009.last one on Feb. 2010
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KatieMarie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 24 2009 at 3:57am
Hi Gali,
That's interesting you started rads first, I hope they are going okay for you.  How is it? Are you using aloe? That's the only thing I've heard so far about rads.  I haven't done a lot of research on that yet...gotta get chemo out of the way first!
 
Have to say that I am doing great on chemo, thank you Lord! I am on AC, have had two rounds of four. Then I have Taxol, dose dense, 4x.
 
The first round the only problem I had was food would feel like a rock just sitting in my stomach and then I would have diarrhea on the other end.  What is up with that??  It can never be a good sign when the chemo nurse at your first treatment says to get the bulk size of Immodium (anti-diarrhea meds).  Second round was dealing with hair loss. I have always hated my hair so thought it would be great to be done with it for a while.  But I was suprised how hard it was to get used to being baldish. And I didn't have a good wig yet.  Still working through all that....
 
Long story, but I ended up seing three onc docs and all were very dismissive of supplements.  I know they are very smart, well educated people, but I just believe our western docs are trained in their particular way and I think it leaves out a LOT of other ways to help the body, as in the supplement route.
 
I used the info somewhere in here called "Chemo Tips",  dang if I try to find the reference I will lose this post I think, I'll try to find it for you and repost.
 
But someone on there went to a naturopath that had experience with chemo and supplementation.  I am doing what they recommended about the heart and adriamycin...CoQ10 and L-Carnitine, Green Tea Extract.  The cancer education office of my current onc doc looked up both the CoQ10 and L-Carnitine and both items were cleared in the info she had.
 
I also take acidophilus for my tummy and L-Glutamine, an amino acid, for tummy issues.  One of my onc docs did not like the acidophilus issue because she said someone infected their port with all that bacteria.  That said, we don't know if that person was taking tons and tons of it etc, so I am still using it and have not had trouble.  I know yogurt helps but I would need to eat a gallon a day it feels to get back on track.  After I started taking those for my tummy I have not had any trouble with the rock feeling, but I did take the anti-diarrheal once this round.  My word of wisdom on that, get on top of that issue right away, as in take the meds when it starts, first off.
 
Also, I took part in the anti-nausea Gabapentin study and that stuff worked great for me. I used it again the second round and have had NO problems with nausea. 
 
If you have any other questions, keep posting and I will do what I can along with all the other great people on this forum.
 
Take care, Katie
 
IDC dx 4/24/09, Age 40
Two surgeries, three tumors: 1.4cm,4mm,2mm; Ki67=75
Stage 1, no node involvement, clean margins
BRCA 1/2 negative,
Chemo: AC dose dense then Taxol dose dense, then rads
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KatieMarie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 24 2009 at 4:02am
Hi again,
 
If you haven't found the Chemo Tips, click on "Discussion Forums" and when it shows you all the topics, towards the top it will have a heading "TNBC News, Resources and Tips".  Click on that and then go to page 2, where you will find chemo tips.
 
Hope it helps! Blessings, Katie
IDC dx 4/24/09, Age 40
Two surgeries, three tumors: 1.4cm,4mm,2mm; Ki67=75
Stage 1, no node involvement, clean margins
BRCA 1/2 negative,
Chemo: AC dose dense then Taxol dose dense, then rads
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KatieMarie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 25 2009 at 3:34am
Hello again--
I saw my onc doc yesterday and he approved the CoQ10, L-Carnitine, L-Glutamine, and the acidophilus!  My onc doc is in St Louis and co-authored "Chemotherapy and Radiation for Dummies" and is Principal Research Investigator for his Hospital.  So I'm getting the best of both worlds almost, a great doc but one that is open to helping support my body during the chemo bumps in the road.  Sweet! 
 
Thanks Nancy for putting together those chemo tips, they have been such a blessing to me.  I also did the Claritin thing with the Neulasta and have had really NO bone pain.  I had one night my TAILBONE of all places started hurting.  I thought "yeah, that tailbone is really pumping out lots of new blood cells for me...trickery!"  It was kinda funny.
 
I am praying for all of you who are stuggling and suffering with chemo, blessings and hugs to you, love, Katie.
IDC dx 4/24/09, Age 40
Two surgeries, three tumors: 1.4cm,4mm,2mm; Ki67=75
Stage 1, no node involvement, clean margins
BRCA 1/2 negative,
Chemo: AC dose dense then Taxol dose dense, then rads
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