Sister -- mastectomy Nov. 2005

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Flyr
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/14/2005 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I am new to all of this . My precious sister just completed 3 sessions of chemo and a single mastectomy  . I am hoping she does not need another session of chemo and I think she is going to refuse radiation and is fine with me and no reconstruction would be a wise decision also I would think .  While she could take very limited " beneficial " vitamins , etc. during , I am trying to compile a list for her to help her recover from the damage of chemo .  I know there are longer lists and advertised products , but is this a good basic list and what important things am I missing ?  I have wondered about Sea Veg that I have seen on TV ?
 
Fruits
Vegetables-especially dark green leafy
High Quality tuna and salmon
Broccoli
Green Tea  ( white is perhaps better )
V-8
Cranberry Juice
Gatorade
Apple Cider Venegar and honey in V-8 or Gatorade or ?
( I personally really dislike the taste of vinegar )
Lactobacillus
Multi-Vitamin
CoQ10
 
Thanks ,
Flyr

Tavish
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 11/14/2005 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Flyr-
My advice is to consult with a nurtitionist at the Cancer Center. Certain vitamins are contra-indicated, in that they may help cancer cells grow or interfere with other healing processes. You may also want to check the American Cancer Society, I think at acs.org. THey offer nutritional guidelines too.

Good luck to your sister!
Lori


debbiR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 11/14/2005 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Flyr! I'm not real sure about all of the items that you listed. I agree that you should contact a nutritionist at your sisters cancer center. I do know that the American Cancer Society has resources that are available for free. The only other thing I want to say is make sure that your sister wants to go on the regiment that you are making for her. Remember that it must be her choice what she does.

Usually, as far as the chemo treatments go, if she is on A/C, it is normally 4 treatments. Also, as far the radiation, I hope that your sister will discuss this w/ her oncologist, do some research and then make an informed, personal decision. The radiation is suppose to kill any cells that the chemo doesn't get. You didn't say what stage your sister's cancer was.

Please remember to let your sister have control of her decisions. I know that you love her and want to help in any way that you can. I admire you for being so loving and caring.

Deb


 


barkyboys
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 11/14/2005 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
My best advice is this: have a good attitude, good friends, and live each day as if it could be your last. You could be hit by a bus tomorrow and be just as dead, and all the cranberry juice and vitamins and antioxidants are not going to change that. Encourage your sister to enjoy each and every day. If taking vitamins makes your sister feel like she is improving the quality of her life, by all means, take them. But none of the things on your list are going to be as effective at fighting cancer as chemo and radiation, if they are recommended. So if surviving cancer is the goal, those are the best bets. Your sister's oncologist is the probably the best source for info on diet, etc. Most oncologists are not opposed to nutritional supplements that do not interfere with their chemo or radiation treatments. Or you may have a cancer center in your community that can give you that kind of information.

Good luck to your sister. Wish her all the best. And she is lucky to have a supportive sister who wants to help.

Hugs...
BEV

Flyr
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/14/2005 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks all ,
Things changed today and now they want to give her 6 mos. more of chemo .  I was hoping she would be turned loose to let her remaining good cells recover .  She has been allowed to take only one multi-vitamin and not sure she is still permitted to do that .  She was drinking green tea and they stopped that .  Her attitude is remarkably wonderful and hopeful . He daughter is a nurse .
 
Now one comment to all of the other women who have faced a lot and have great concern about reconstruction .  We love you with or without !!!!!
Flyr

debbiR
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 11/15/2005 5:34 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Flyer! I am sorry to hear that your sister is not finished yet w/ her chemo. Did she think that she would be finished after her 3rd round? It sounds as though she is getting the A/C and then that will be followed by taxol or one of the drugs similar. Are they going to give her herceptin? It sounds as though she has a good onoc and how wonderful that her daughter is a nurse. Please understand that there are meds that can help keep her red and white blood cells up in numbers.

Your sister is very lucky to have a great support system. If you have some questions that you don't understand, why not contact the hospital or local ACS and ask if there is a support group for families of those fighting cancer?

Hugs...Deb

 


 


Flyr
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/15/2005 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi debbiR ,
I do think she had 4 treatments . I am not familiar with the drugs or A/C or what stage she is in ? It is so perplexing to attempt to accumulate genuine information and what does one do with a statement like this ? Is their a site for confirmation ? I do not see a date and wonder if this is from old information and perhaps chemo has now advanced significantly ? I can only hope .

William Campbell Douglass II, MD - "To understand the utter hypocrisy of chemotherapy, consider the following: The McGill Cancer Center in Canada, one of the largest and most prestigious cancer treatment centers in the world, did a study of oncologists to determine how they would respond to a diagnosis of cancer. On the confidential questionnaire, 58 out of 64 doctors said that all chemotherapy programs were unacceptable to them and their family members

debbiR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 11/15/2005 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   

None of us, whether we are cancer patients, caregivers, physicians or just layman, want to have cancer. And given a choice, I know that none of us would pick chemotheraphy. Fortunately, it is not as bad as it was 40 years ago or even 5 years ago. The meds that are available to counteract the side effects have come a long way. I personally feel lucky that there are chemo treatments that have kept me alive. I am on a weekly regiment (have been for 2 years). W/out this I would be dead. I am not familiar with the physician that you quoted. I can't say that I am impressed w/ his survey of only 68 physicians. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. I personally don't appreciate a physician publishing remarks like this, but then, as I said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

As for the stage that your sister's bc was diagnosed, I am quite certain that her surgeon and oncologist have given her this information.

Deb


 


Tavish
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 11/15/2005 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I would venture to guess that the quote was taken out of context. No onc, I am sure, likes chemotherapy or its harsh effects...but it is the best and primary weapon in fighting cancer. The fact that so much research is taking place today is a sign that the doctors are not satisfied with current chemo regimens....not satisfied meaning they want more, better.... does not mean they would not use it. In fact, for many people, chemo alone is not acceptable...that is why some of us get radiation, hormonal treatments and other targeted therapies...

You have to realize that cancer is a mutation of normal cells that has gone out of control. They do not behave normally or predictably...so they need some pretty hefty drugs to kill the cells.

Careful what you read...
Lori


jaaustin
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 11/15/2005 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I googled the good doctor and would you just know that he sells "health" medicine books. Not that I'm knocking alternative medicine, but I do think his "study" was skewed to his end result. My onc. has a daugther my age and I know he would have treated her exactly the same as he treated me.
Chemo isn't perfect, but what is? I'd do it again in a heartbeat - even if it only upped my chances of survival by 5%....

My two cents...
Julie
Do not go gentle into that goodnight,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
~Dylan Thomas


barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 11/16/2005 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Ah...Dr. Douglass, purveyor of "the daily dose." It's easy to knock traditional medicine until you need it. Yes, chemotherapy is a toxin. It is designed specifically to kill fast growing cells. Did I want to have toxic chemicals pumped into my veins...or did I want to die or breast cancer? For me, the choice was pretty simple. I had young children at the time...I wanted to see them grow up. I didn't want to leave motherless children behind the way my mother had to do. Yes, my mother died of her cancer. I was seven. Chemo and radiation were experimental then, and my mother tried them...of course, by the time they found her cancer, it was in her liver and bones and brain, to name just a few of the places, because it was literally systemic. The doctors told my dad they could see it spreading with the naked eye when they opened her up. So they sewed her back up and told her about the experimental stuff. Maybe, just maybe, I'm alive today because my mother was willing to be a guinea pig in hopes that she could live just a little longer...long enough, maybe, to see me grow up. I've lived more years now as a cancer survivor than I lived with a mother. I got to watch my children grow up, thanks to chemo. Now I'm a grandmother, and I have a beautiful granddaughter who is the light of my life. And if the cancer comes back, I'll do chemo or radiation or whatever is the best chance of survival so I have the best chance of watching that little girl grow up. And maybe, if all the options left are experimental ones, my daughters and granddaughters will live longer than I, long enough to see their grandchildren or even their great-grandchildren grow up, because I was willing to be a guinea pig.

So Dr. Douglas can keep his daily dose, as far as I'm concerned. Cancer is a time for life and death decisions. Chemo is not the cure for breast cancer. There IS no cure for breast cancer. Chemo is time, pure and simple. A short time for some of us, a long time for others. But it is more time than we had on the day of diagnosis.

Please be supportive of your sister in her choice to poison the beast that is stealing her life. That bus may come along tomorrow, but I'm not going to stand in the middle of the road and wait for it to get here!

BEV

Flyr
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/16/2005 6:05 PM (GMT -7)   

Deb, Lori, Julie and Bev ,

It is most encouraging to know that chemo has given all of you another chance and I have passed it all on to my sister with your words of hope . It is terribly difficult for those of us who hear completely opposite opinions and we all want the best for our loved ones .  I did send an e-mail to the McGill Cancer Center questioning whether such a survey was ever done there , but have yet to get any response and doubt that I shall . 

We lost our Dad to smoking and ALL of us have felt that he was absolutely victimized by the treatments he received and his life greatly shortened primarily by radiation .  I graduated from a medical field shool in which a " professor " openly stated to the physiology class that he " could care less about teaching and made him money in research " !!  I doubt that he ever contributed anything of note while soaking up research grant money .  None of us shall ever give any University funding of any sort.   All of this had necessarily made us skeptical .

Your thoughts have helped her considerably and all replies have been appreciated .

Thanks,

 Flyr

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