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How can we tolerate Chemo's side effects? How can we tolerate Chemo's side effects?

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Unread 04-09-2003, 05:19 PM
How can we tolerate Chemo's side effects?

I am about to receive my 4th chemo infusion and the side effects have me bed ridden for 5 days each time. I am blessed that I have my life. I am also so very greatful that the rounds are scheduled every 21 days. But the down time prevents me from moving foreward. Can anybody tell me what they did, eat or took to ease the nausea, pain and fatigue during their treatment? My weight is continually dropping. I am a vegatarian and preferr natural remedies to drugs. Please share!
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Unread 04-09-2003, 07:38 PM
Halfway Through!

For nausea, I've heard that ginger beer is good--stronger but non alcoholic than ginger ale. Beyond that, naturally, I can't go. I made it through carbo/taxol with compazine and Ativan and with plain carboplatin only by Zofran and Ativan and even that couldn't always help. If the fatigue is from anemia, it can be helped with blood transfusions (I would NOT take Procrit) as that boosts red cells. I can't say I had pain after my first taxol/carbo. One caution is that before you go to natural remedies, be sure your oncologist know. Some of these will interfere with chemo or have hormones. Some oncologists will allow some things (mine OK'd multivitamin and had me on mega-dose iron) and others won't even allow that much. When I was working (during the first chemo, taxol/carbo) I admit I had to use tons of caffeine to fight fatigue. This time, while retired, I let it resolve itself naturallyl and finally 5 weeks out of the last one, it's easing. It does get better! We all react differently to chemo. Being vegetarian shouldn't be a problem and I'm sure you know how to combine to get proper protein, etc. I'm kosher and that wasn't a problem at all (well, I will mix dairy and meat, but no non-kosher foods at all). Hold in there--it DOES END and DOES GET BETTER.
Unread 04-09-2003, 09:59 PM
How can we tolerate Chemo's side effects?

Hi Imani27
I am a vegetarian too and very into natural health care. I have done Chinese herbs and acupuncture for 10 years. I got the okay from my oncologist to have acupuncture treatments during my chemotherapy - as long as I gave up herbs and supplements while I was on chemo, which I did.

I went twice a week for treatments and they really helped. Acupuncture is great for nausea, and was also amazing for the aches and pains. My acupuncturist explained that in Chinese medicine it is believed that muscle aches are caused by a blockage of energy (aka "chi") to the kidneys. It makes perfect sense to me since the kidneys take a big hit with chemo. She also put tiny magnets on the inside of my wrists that I could apply pressure to when I felt nauseated, and placed "seeds" to the insides of my ears, also for nausea. (I've been told that you can purchase anti-nausea bands which fit around the wrist from the drugstore).

I also took (again with doctor's okay) homeopathic remedies called flower essences. The most well known essense is the Bach Rescue Remedy, which I used and can be quite soothing. I stress here that flower essences are not herbs, and do not in any way interfere with chemo or other medications. Rescue Remedy comes in a cream, which is nice to put on achy joints.

Eating during that time was difficult because I had that strange taste in my mouth. I pretty much stuck with warm nourishing vegetable soups, (in fact I'm still eating them) that included greens like kale, spinach, etc. that are rich in iron. I drink lots of ginger tea, and as margaret321 mentioned, ginger beer is good too. Oh, and try adding fresh ginger to soup.

If you have any questions or want more details, please feel free to email me.


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