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Need An  Energy Make-Over Need An Energy Make-Over

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Unread 12-19-2004, 07:59 AM
Need An Energy Make-Over

I am sure that this has probably been discussed before but I need a refresher.

My oncologist does not believe in taking vitamins while on chemo and I would hate to not respect her professionalism.

When I was taking the taxol/carbo treatment she told me to stop the vitamins three days before and for three days after the treatment. I was able to take them during the inbetween period.

However, now I am on Gemzar which is a weekly treatment so the three day before, three day after theory does not work.

Anyone have any suggestions for more energy while on this chemo. When I take vitamins I do find my energy level up high. This weekend, my first gemzar/carbo treatment, my energy level is in the dumps and I hate it.

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Unread 12-19-2004, 10:27 AM
Need An Energy Make-Over

s Rosalie

I think you need to readdress this issue with your doc.
Now that the chemo is different and you are feeling energyless, perhaps she will take at second look at how you feel better with the vitamins and allow it.
At any rate, perhaps SirenSong will be along with great advice for you.
Thinking of you soooo often!!

oxox karenann
Unread 12-19-2004, 10:54 AM
me too, me too!

I think many of us might benefit from whatever Rosalie learns. I have been done Chemo for 2 months now and am still wiped out. I never remember to take vitamins and I haven't changed my diet like I said I was going to do. Been burning the candle at both ends, too, between work and getting ready for Christmas. GEE, can anyone wonder why I am so exhausted?

I need some motivation myself, to get me re-energized somehow!

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Unread 12-19-2004, 11:19 AM
Need An Energy Make-Over

Hi Karenann,

I actually did discuss this with my doctor just yesterday.

She still stands kinda firm with her thinking. I will run this cycle of the gemzar and see what happens. I am better today than yesterday and hopefully will be even better tomorrow.

Unread 12-19-2004, 11:19 AM
Need An Energy Make-Over

The two things that helped me the most were A) B complex vitamins and B) exercise.

When I could only walk from one room to the other before having to sit down, my father (the doctor) forced me to take walks. It was very hard, especially at first. But I went further and further each day, and always had a TON more energy afterwards. It seems odd that it would work this way, but it does.

I haven't run into one doctor who doesn't think B vitamins are fine during chemo. You know my opinion on this. They eliminate neuropathy as well as help with energy, so it seems remiss of your doctor not to suggest B vitamins to you.

I have found that the majority of doctors who say "don't take anything" actually don't know anything about it. The doctors who actively research supplements -- and specifically know what interacts with chemo and what doesn't -- are the doctors that I trust. As for my own medical team, some did this research and some didn't. Most doctors just don't have time.

B vitamins are not a cure-all, but they will help and they should not cause any issues with chemo. But exercise really helped me the most. A long, brisk walk outside, or on a treadmill. Seriously. Please try it. I know that you will have to force yourself because I know exactly how you feel. I've been there. But it really does help.

Mind over matter.

And if you're wiped out, acknowledge it and just rest. Your body probably needs it.

Thinking about you, dear Rosalie!
Unread 12-19-2004, 11:26 AM
Need An Energy Make-Over

Thanks Siren,

When I see her on Thursday, I am going to ask about the B Complex vitamins and you are definately right about the exercise.

I actually belong to one of those 30 minute circuit workouts but froze my membership in August when I was going thru hell again. I am now almost 3 months post op. I see no reason why I cannot go back again but will check with doctor anyway.

Unread 12-19-2004, 12:52 PM
Need An Energy Make-Over

Hi Rosalie

Boy...can i sympathize with how you feel. I had my original debulking surgery 7/2, started chemo 7/22. Last chemo was 11/4 and had to have that 2nd look surgery on 12/9. I feel wiped out!!!

I too take the vitamin B12 along with a multivitamin. All were approved by my oncologist. The B12 is for the neuropathy in my feet which i still have.

I don't know what else to tell you. I too need to start excercising, but this recent surgery has really set me back....

Let me know if you find anything that works!!!!
Unread 12-19-2004, 04:40 PM
Need An Energy Make-Over

Hi Rosalie,

I will be starting chemotherapy on Thursday (I guess, still cannot believe it) and have been very concerned about possible neuropathy. I'd heard about L-glutamine supplements for prevention, and when I mentioned to my med onc, she knew all about it, said it had been studied at MD Anderson and recommended a dose. I've found a good article about it, and will send it along if you're interested.

The article didn't directly address energy, but did cite it's role in wound healing, immune system support, healing in trauma patients. It directly addresses the role of L-glutamine in cancer, and the concern about supplements protecting cancer cells. At least with methotrexate, it actually seemed to make it work better on cancer cells. (I know that's not your particular chemo, or mine, but it made me hopeful. My dh has ordered a barrel or so for me to take during my treatment (if I don't chicken out which I do about every 3 hours.)

Rosalie, I have you pictured in my mind and you look very healthy. You have such a sweet spirit and have helped me so much already. I'm not just wishing you a dance with NED, I'm hoping you marry him.

Unread 12-19-2004, 07:13 PM
Need An Energy Make-Over

Rosalie, if your doctor doesn't agree that you can take B complex vitamins, I would suggest asking her for specific reasons why, preferably reasons supported with medical studies of some sort. I would also ask her why most other oncologists are fine with having patients take B complex vitamins.

If she doesn't have reasonable answers to these two questions, use your best judgment.

As for circuit training, I would skip it. (Curves?) Weights are too much right now. You don't need a gym. You need a nice walk outside. Or inside, if it's cold where you are. I don't know of any doctors who say that exercise is bad during chemo. They all advise not to overdo it. But every doctor I've ever spoken with has said that walking is fine. If your doctor disagrees, please ask her the same questions that I suggested you ask her about the B vitamins.

Unread 12-20-2004, 08:25 AM
Need An Energy Make-Over

I struggled with energy problems even months after finishing chemo. I finally managed to get a boost this fall after starting to take an iron supplement in a liquid form. While I wasn't terribly anemic, my ferritin level was low. I take 2 teaspoons in the morning and 2 in the evening. I didn't take it when I was out of town over the Thanksgiving weekend and I noticed the difference. I had taken iron last fall before my surgery, but it would make me sick to my stomach to the point I actualled vomited once. But this stuff is really gentle and easy to absorb. It's called Floradix and is available at many health food stores.

Hope you're doing as well as can be expected.


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