I want to talk about chemotherapy and side-effects. When chemotherapy is given, the main standard these days is to give “pre-drugs” . These include a steroid, an anti-nausea medication and an anti-histamine type medication. Now, you would hope that you would not get side-effects from these, but you do. I have been having the absolute worst case of the crying jags and/or being a ranging “bitch”. I am not kidding. The steroids make me so flippant. It drives my family crazy when I get like this. The worst part is I do not realize I am doing this until they can’t stand it anymore and tell me. I have talked with other chemotherapy patients and some of them have shared some similar experiences.
Another common one from steroids is not being able to sleep. It can make you feel so wide-awake that even though you know you need to sleep, you just can’t. Some other patients say they feel so amazing and energetic that love it. I get hot flashes like I am getting right now. I had my chemotherapy dose 2 days ago and I can still feel the steroids.
I am grateful that they give these medication prior to chemotherapy now. My husband and mother passed away of cancer 19 years ago and at that time, they did not do the same “pre-medications. They had a very difficult time tolerating chemotherapy without them and they did not do well when their chemotherapy doses got strong.
The three different medication really do help me and others. I feel lucky as the anti-nausea medications have been quite successful for me. I have only had one time at chemotherapy that I got nauseated when my dose finished. The anti-histamines help us not get an allergic reaction to the chemotherapy medications. Medicine has come so far. Maybe one day all cancer will be cured. I love to think of a line from Star Trek when they say how archaic our treatments are. I love the little device Bones would use to slide over an injured person and everyone was healed so easily.
Life throws us so may curves. We just have to be strong and be grateful for everything in life. As I have said before, life is a gift.
I want to also send love to all affected by hurricane Sandy. New York, New Jersey and all the East you are amazing souls who are so strong. God Bless you and all your loved ones.
(I just got cancer) Eating right when on chemotherapy
Eating right when you are on chemotherapy is crucial. I have been so fortunate to have been accepted by the Ceres Project in Northern California. The Ceres project provides cancer patients withe meals so that eating right when on chemotherapy is not so difficult. It is so wonderful as eating right can be expensive at any time. I am learning what foods are exceptionally special to eat.
The Ceres Program uses foods that are organically grown. The American Cancer Society suggests that 2/3 of our diet should be plant-based. The Ceres Project uses foods that help to fight cancer by using no white or refined flour or sugar. Salad dressings are made from scratch. The veggies include dark orange variety and sea vegetables such as arame and kombu. Also other cancer fighting mushrooms such as shitake, maitake and trumpet royales. The food is incredibly nutritious. I have also been given a scratch made sauerkraut, whey protein, home-made soups and much more. Please check at with your Oncologist to see if there is a similar program in your area.
I started my first treatment of cycle five in my chemotherapy a couple of days ago. I have been quite exhausted as it was my double dose of drugs. For the last two days I had my steroid side effect of feeling like I was burning up. I do not get a fever, but red skin, anxious and swelling in my face. I also get a weird feeling of electrical shocks in my hands. My arms have been in a great deal of pain which makes it difficult to attempt to blog daily. I feel better today. As anyone one chemotherapy knows, each day is a new day.
I have eaten some amazing meals over the last two days. I had walnut crusted baked cod, broccoli risotto, chopped cabbage, veggie burgers, ginger cookies, broccoli-yogurt slaw, veggie omelette, and veggie broth. I am also drinking a protein shake and a greek yogurt daily to keep my protein levels up. As I have mentioned in the past it is important to eat 60 mg a day of protein. Recently I was told to make it 90 mg. It seems to vary depending on who you talk to. I would ask your Oncologist about that too.
Well, as you can tell, I live in Northern California and this is Giant Baseball Country so today I have to say. Lets go Giants and win the World Series.
Eat as healthy as you can and live life to the fullest.
Today I started cycle five of chemotherapy. I had my blood panel and tumor markers drawn today. When I start each cycle of chemotherapy my doctor draws a tumor marker to check my progress. Last time it was at 10. This is good as normal is under 30. I am keeping positive that it will be low again. In fact, since I started cycle five of chemotherapy I expect it to be lower. My hemoglobin was 11.5 today which is very good for me even though it is still under normal range. My white blood cells just made it into normal range, so that means the Neulasta shot I take at the end of each cycle to build white blood cells worked.
I had a long day today as my first chemotherapy of each cycle has two types of medications. I am feeling fair tonight. I have a headache and my usual pains in my arms. I also get a large dose of prednisone with each dose of chemotherapy and it makes my face swell and get hot. For me, these are my usual symptoms right after chemotherapy.
It was a long day today, but I am happy I got through it. I know I will be well, I know I will be well, I know I will be well. I ate a yogurt and super green juice. I had a milkshake and turkey chili. Not my most healthy day, but I tend to eat different when I have chemotherapy. Tomorrow, I will get my food donation for the week of my cancer fighting foods. I will fill you in on the different meals.
It is hard to believe it is almost Halloween. That means Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. I am planning to feel well for the holidays. I want to be able to enjoy them. My Oncologist is going to let me have an extra week off for Thanksgiving and I should finish by Christmas. This is so much to look forward to and I am grateful everyday.
I am worn out tonight so it is off to bed.
Chemotherapy and a healthy diet is a very important part of getting well. If we eat the right foods, we can get many of the important cancer fighting foods we need to assist in fighting cancer. In fact we need to change our diet and keep on a regime that is always rich in cancer fighting foods. It is also very important to drink as much water as possible unless your doctor has told you differently. Consulting a nutritionist is always helpful as everyone is different.
A healthy diet should consist of fresh vegetables if possible as there is more nutritional value. When you cook your vegetables, you need to try to keep from over-cooking them. Of course, with cancer there may be times when it is difficult to eat. Food may not taste good, you may not feel hungry, your mouth or teeth may bother you and much more. Remember the blender!. You can blend vegetables, fruits, ice, juice and protein powder together and you can make a very healthy and nutritious drink. You can add vitamins, yogurt and etc. I have been eating more greek yogurt for the protein. Remember a protein rich diet is also important when on chemotherapy.
As I mentioned before, I was fortunate enough to get on a food assistance program that sends a few meals a week and some extra goodies. I had a very tasteful meal tonight of baked boneless chicken thighs with pesto, mixed vegetables and mashed potato. It was very good. All the meals are healthy and they are low sodium and low-fat.
I start round five of my chemotherapy treatment in a couple of days. I am still feeling weak, mostly due to my anemia and low red blood cells and low white blood cells. These have been my biggest battle as it makes me weak and that makes it harder for me to exercise. Exercise is very important to keep up muscle mass and energy.
My family and I are still having a very difficult time financially and that keeps me stressed as well. I get stressed and depressed which makes it even harder to get up and do anything. Life is quite a challenge as it is for anyone going through fighting cancer. That is what it is a fight to survive. We have to keep the faith and believe….”My cancer will be cured, my cancer will be cured, my cancer will be cured and money will come to us, money will come to us money will come to us”. See I have to keep telling myself as well. I do work at it, but I also believe it.
(I just got cancer) Chemotherapy and Weakness
Chemotherapy and weakness seem to be a daily adventure for me. I am on my week off after just finishing cycle four of chemotherapy last week. I am still weak and fatigue easily. I continue to be anemic, and am still pending results of a urinalysis for a possible bladder infection. As I mentioned in my last blog, it is important to check your temperature daily as a fever is a sign of an infection. Weakness and body malaise are part of the chemotherapy treatment, but its the anemia along with low red blood cells, and low white cells that really do me in.
I got out of the house today and tagged along with my daughter to do errands. Getting in and out of the car is good exercise, event though it wares me out. We all have to do our best monitor our weakness and combat it with exercise. The catch there is the exercise is also exhausting. I am really forcing myself to stay out of bed this last week. It is a daily challenge to get myself up and put on come clothes.
In light of my depression, I am constantly working at believing I will be well and we will get financial assistance. My children are working at their perspective jobs and taking turns taking care of me 24/7. When one is already in trouble financially and then you get cancer and need treatment, the challenges of life grow significantly.
I have been blessed with my food program though and had a wonderful meal tonight. I included baked salmon with lemon, rosemary and onion. Mashed sweet potato and green beans with grilled eggplant. I was delicious! Remember to check with your oncologist about meal programs in your area.
Keep on going and smile as much as you can,
(I just got cancer) Chemotherapy and bladder infections
I am on a week off of chemotherapy before starting cycle 5. unfortunately, I have a bladder infection and it is slowing me down. When you get a bladder infection or any infection when on chemotherapy you have to be very careful. You should take your temperature every day and if you spike a temperature, you have to go to the emergency room right away for intravenous antibiotics. Your Oncologist will give you guidelines of what degree of a temperature he or she would want you to go on antibiotics for. Bladder infections are tricky as you may not have a temperature, but just have malaise, back pain or burning when you urinate. You may also have frequent urination. For me, I have had frequent urination issues all the time I have been on chemotherapy. Everyone is different and I suggest you do your best to get in tune with your body. I sometimes have a hard time with my symptoms and do not always explain myself correctly so I have to really think about the question asked to me to describe how I feel.
I wanted to give a shout out to the Ceres food program in Northern California. They are a fantastic organization that was kind enough to assist me with healthy food for a 12 week program. The food is very good and all cancer fighting. I am so grateful. I mentioned in my last blog to check with your Oncologist if you are having financial difficulty like myself and family. Many places around the world have organizations to assist patients with food.
We have not had luck yet on finding mortgage assistance for cancer patients. Some places have programs for utilities though and senior centers can be a good resource for references.
One of the meals we just had was walnut meatloaf, but it was all veggies and it tasted like traditional meatloaf. It was amazing. The Ceres Program has a cookbook and I plan to get it in the future when I can afford it. I was told that all the recipes are what they prepare and serve when you are on the program so I am very excited about that.
I get to go for a urinalysis in the AM. I have to think of all my appointments as fun as “I am going to be cured from cancer, I am going to be cured from cancer, I am going to be cured from cancer!. We all deserve to be well and meet our financial obligations. Keep the faith. If you feel negative as I often get, sage is a good cleanser of your home. Purchase it dried and light some of it and go through your home in each room, by doors and window and say positive affirmations. It may sound silly, but I felt better. We all need to do what works for us.
My best to all,
(I just got cancer) – Finished Cycle Four Of Chemotherapy
I finally finished cycle four of chemotherapy. I have been under so much stress from my health to finances that it has been a very challenging cycle. I feel like I am being challenged every day. I have had to work very hard at keeping myself positive and that has not been easy. Being positive in my outlook is extremely important and I realize my health comes first, but not having our mortgage payment this month is freaking me and my family out! My children have been checking into programs, but we have not had any luck. “Somehow our mortgage will get paid, somehow our mortgage will get paid, somehow our mor-gage will get paid.”
My daughter was able to get us an organization that is a food program to help patients with have cancer and are on chemotherapy. It is a meal donation program that is in my local area. If you have cancer and are reading this, ask your Oncologist if there are any meal assistance programs in your area. We are so grateful for this help as it is healthy meals prepared with cancer fighting foods. I also is a way to teach you how to learn to eat right now and for the rest of your life. I had butternut squash that was topped with ground chicken, tabouli and garbanzo beans. I also had a kale salad. It was very good.
As far as my health, I am doing well with treatment except for the usual anemia, low red blood cells and low white blood cells. I had to take neulasta again to build my white blood cells again. I am still anemic, but not low enough for blood, so I am taking iron. I still feel very weak, but have been doing as much exercise as possible. I still do my best to consume up to 12 glasses of water, tea or juice. Green tea is very good against fighting cancer. I also drink Odwalla super green food, carrot juice, orange juice and lots of water.
I have kept up with taking many vitamins and minerals such as A, E, B-12, Cranberry, coral calcium, selenium, turmeric and Protandim which I get from http://www.livelife healer.com
Well, I am going to keep the faith that somehow our mortgage will get paid and I will keep working through my chemotherapy. I will survive. We will all be strong together.