Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

#244 Apr 19, 2012
Jeanne I think there are no books because it's so complicated and constantly changing.

Taxol often causes neuropathy. I see the doctor's point but it's not a lot of comfort.
Buzzy

Saint Peter Port, Isle of Man

#245 May 30, 2012
It breaks my heart to read all of your stories.
I too had radiotherapy and chemo, plus surgery for bone cancer 2 years ago. Plus subsequent surgery for side effects.
Won't go into details as I'd be repeating much of what you have all already said.
I have my bad days now but mostly feel great and credit this to acuppunture, which I have on a regular basis. Also to the Budwig diet (google Professor Budwig).
From time to time I do the baking soda and molasses remedy (google phkillscancer).
Indulge in a lot of relaxation and if I feel tired I rest or sleep.
Do cross words, sudoku and I read a lot.
When people are around, even if I'm feeling awful, I pretend that I'm okay and happy (it's amazing how sometimes if you fake feeling cheerful you do end up feeling well).
Everyone has their own way of coping but this works for me.
shareen

Hughes, AR

#246 Jun 3, 2012
after kemo we have to take care of our self lots of care . doctors are not going to tell us every thing .you have to eat right lot of fruit and vege more organic food if you can .i did a liver cleanser ..always ask your doctor first before you do any kind of cleaning . always drink water enough for each day ..good luck to all of you lots of love .
Gail Perry

Tampa, FL

#247 Jun 5, 2012
shareen wrote:
after kemo we have to take care of our self lots of care . doctors are not going to tell us every thing .you have to eat right lot of fruit and vege more organic food if you can .i did a liver cleanser ..always ask your doctor first before you do any kind of cleaning . always drink water enough for each day ..good luck to all of you lots of love .
I didn't do any of those things and I was absolutely fine after chemo. I agree with the poster to check with your doctor before doing any kind of "cleanse." Those cancer drugs don't linger in your body. That's why you have to go back for multiple treatments.

It has been proven that exercising helps prevent a return. So does keeping your bones strong, even if that means osteoporosis drugs. If you've had hormone sensitive cancer, you absolutely should not be drinking.

There are very specific things you can do, and of course eating healthy is always a good idea. But livers are very sensitive organs, and I would urge anyone to not try to "cleanse" it.
brneda

Dallas, TX

#248 Jun 25, 2012
I have colon cancer,my cancer stated in 2005 had surgery cancer came back in 2010 doing chemo. I have been on a 6 week break from chemo and have stated to have migraines, just wondering if anyone out there is having the same problem and could it be from the chemo, had a MIR just to make sure it had not went to the brain MRI came back normal. Just wondering.
Gail Perry

Seminole, FL

#249 Jun 25, 2012
I had increased migraines, but on a drug very specifically for a subtype of breast cancer -- Femara. There's so much they don't know about what can trigger migraines. I'm really sorry you had to go through all that worry. That's one of the problems after having cancer -- everything gets attributed to it. I sprained my knee and my PCP wanted to do a CT scan to look for bone cancer.

I told him as nicely as I could that I had an oncologist to search out cancer and we needed him to rule out other causes. Turned out there was nothing wrong with my knee -- the Femara magnified normal twinges to something really painful. I went off Femara and all the "injuries" I seemed to be having vanished.

Since: Jan 12

Stuart, Florida

#250 Jun 27, 2012
brneda wrote:
I have colon cancer,my cancer stated in 2005 had surgery cancer came back in 2010 doing chemo. I have been on a 6 week break from chemo and have stated to have migraines, just wondering if anyone out there is having the same problem and could it be from the chemo, had a MIR just to make sure it had not went to the brain MRI came back normal. Just wondering.


while on Chemo you have to restrict your input of tyramines do a search for tyramine diet as while on the drugs these can not be digusted and can cause high blood pressure and migraines

one of the worst things to eat is aged cheeses but you can find a list on the net of foods to avoid

God Bless and hope this helps the best of health to you
Teddy Bear Hugs also

Larry
Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

#251 Jun 27, 2012
TheRaz Stuart Fl wrote:
<quoted text>
while on Chemo you have to restrict your input of tyramines do a search for tyramine diet as while on the drugs these can not be digusted and can cause high blood pressure and migraines
one of the worst things to eat is aged cheeses but you can find a list on the net of foods to avoid
God Bless and hope this helps the best of health to you
Teddy Bear Hugs also
Larry
Really Larry? ALL chemos? Not ALL chemos, because my oncologist is knowledgeable about complemntary medicine, and he certainly didn't advise this at all.

I would urge people to double check ANY medical advice you get here. If you really like aged cheeses check with your doctor before giving up something that might actually taste very good to you and contribute to your quality of life.

Most chemos aren't "digested" (not disgusted) at all. On most of them (if not all of them), you can eat anything you want.

There are occasions when certain foods can't be eaten on certain drugs -- grapefruit and statins come to mind immediately -- but there's no blanket rule against aged cheeses, and no list you must get from the internet because your oncologist failed to give it to you.

If there's something you shouldn't eat while on chemo -- your oncologist will tell you. They're smart like that.
Caroline

Redding, CA

#252 Jul 7, 2012
I finished Chemo a year ago. I had nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle ache and nuropathy.I lost my hair after my first treatment. I also lost finger and toe nails. I was super tired but managed to maintain my job as a nurse. I Thank God for an understanding Boss and great coworkers and friends. It has now been a year since I finished treatment. My hair has grown back a silver gray (used to be dark brown). I still have muscle fatigue and awful nuropathy. I get very tired and depressed. I look in the mirror and feel I have aged. I don't want to work or leave my home. I feel like I put so much energy into surviving that I have no reserves left in me. I have never been a quitter. Has anyone else gone through any of these feelings.
Bee

Pittsburgh, PA

#253 Jul 7, 2012
Hi Caroline...I experienced most of your side effects. I feel I have aged 10 years. My hair is growing back, but the texture is horrible. Thank goodness for hair dye. I had my last chemo last October and I still have numbness in my fingers. My left hand is improving a bit. There are days when I want to be the person I was. Will that ever happen? Most days I march ahead and try to put it all behind me. I'm sick of cancer being the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing at night. I am cancer free at the moment. Stage 4 ovarian. A rare case with my ovaries not affected, but a rogue cell landed on my chest wall, fluid gathered and collapsed my lung. My last CT scan (last week) was perfect, completly clear. I feel like I'm flapping in the wind. All sorts of care and attention while getting chemo, now, It's just I'll see you in 6 months for another scan. I know there are tons of support groups and the like out there. I'm not the type. I am so sorry for jumping all over the place. This is the 1st time I put any of this in writing since I was diagnosed in March 2010. Peace, grace and strength to everyone.
Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

#254 Jul 7, 2012
Caroline wrote:
I finished Chemo a year ago. I had nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle ache and nuropathy.I lost my hair after my first treatment. I also lost finger and toe nails. I was super tired but managed to maintain my job as a nurse. I Thank God for an understanding Boss and great coworkers and friends. It has now been a year since I finished treatment. My hair has grown back a silver gray (used to be dark brown). I still have muscle fatigue and awful nuropathy. I get very tired and depressed. I look in the mirror and feel I have aged. I don't want to work or leave my home. I feel like I put so much energy into surviving that I have no reserves left in me. I have never been a quitter. Has anyone else gone through any of these feelings.
Carolyn, a lot of that sounds like depression. Have you considered that possibility? It's very common in breast cancer survivors.
germaine

Québec, Canada

#255 Jul 19, 2012
hi i have had the same problems ou have joint pain all over my body, and lots of fatiguei took carbo taxol chimo for ovarien cancer 2 years in re3mission ,and did not lose the pain in my joint

Since: Mar 12

U.K

#256 Jul 20, 2012
Caroline wrote:
I finished Chemo a year ago. I had nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle ache and nuropathy.I lost my hair after my first treatment. I also lost finger and toe nails. I was super tired but managed to maintain my job as a nurse. I Thank God for an understanding Boss and great coworkers and friends. It has now been a year since I finished treatment. My hair has grown back a silver gray (used to be dark brown). I still have muscle fatigue and awful nuropathy. I get very tired and depressed. I look in the mirror and feel I have aged. I don't want to work or leave my home. I feel like I put so much energy into surviving that I have no reserves left in me. I have never been a quitter. Has anyone else gone through any of these feelings.
Absolutely. i feel i've aged 10 years for me is a very conservative estimate. i find people, including ourselves, expect cancer survivors to be so happy they're alive that they should be rejoicing. While i feel very lucky to still be alive when others are not, i don't feel like celebrating my now old and damaged body. i get tired really easily and don't want to do a lot of things i used to do. i'm sure it is a form of depression, but the way i look at it i think we should give ourselves time to recover mentally and emotionally even if it takes longer than physically. i'm of the opinion now that physically it's as good as it's going to get and the neuropathy/lack of dexterity, etcetra are permanent. i think it's like grief, i certainly equate my feelings with the stages of grief, grieving for our former lives, our former body image and health. i took anti-depressants for a while and they helped in masking my feelings but at the end of the day i think they are only a temporary solution. Of course, if you (or anyone) are not coping at all then you should get some anti-depressants, to take for a short-term.
Survivor

Neutral Bay, Australia

#257 Jul 20, 2012
I was 42 when diagnosed with breast cancer, after six months chemo & radiation my periods haven't come back after 13 years. I was hormone negative & currently taking no medication what so ever. Thank god!!
Gail Perry

United States

#258 Jul 21, 2012
Dream Carousel wrote:
<quoted text>
Absolutely. i feel i've aged 10 years for me is a very conservative estimate. i find people, including ourselves, expect cancer survivors to be so happy they're alive that they should be rejoicing. While i feel very lucky to still be alive when others are not, i don't feel like celebrating my now old and damaged body. i get tired really easily and don't want to do a lot of things i used to do. i'm sure it is a form of depression, but the way i look at it i think we should give ourselves time to recover mentally and emotionally even if it takes longer than physically. i'm of the opinion now that physically it's as good as it's going to get and the neuropathy/lack of dexterity, etcetra are permanent. i think it's like grief, i certainly equate my feelings with the stages of grief, grieving for our former lives, our former body image and health. i took anti-depressants for a while and they helped in masking my feelings but at the end of the day i think they are only a temporary solution. Of course, if you (or anyone) are not coping at all then you should get some anti-depressants, to take for a short-term.
There is no legitimate reason to take antidepressants "short-term" if you have a long-term problem. Some of the drugs that save our lives actually change our brains. In addition, we know some things about depression. One's first bout of depression may occur over something major -- loss of a loved one, the stresses of dealing with cancer, etc., but the brain learns indiscriminately. It doesn't care what it's learning as long as it's learning.

What it learns from depression is how to go there more easily. So the first depression may ease up, and the second bout may be over something not as serious as the first one. It may be both longer in duration and deeper.

As this cycle continues over time, the person can become chronically depressed/and or have the brain's learned pattern of depression triggered by something so slight as an *imagined* slight from someone who is not even a close friend. And, since depression can skew perceptions, it's possible that the person did not intend any kind of slight and in fact was acting in a friendly way.

If someone here thinks they may be depressed, they need to deal with it as aggressively as they did the cancer. Just because it isn't visibly physical doesn't mean there is no physical component.

The combination of anti-depressants and some short-term therapy often gets the best results. I think we make a serious mistake accepting the physical care we need but not the psychological care we may need.
Corinne

Armstrong, Canada

#259 Oct 4, 2012
Hello,
I finished Chemo & Radiation just over 3 years ago, I was 43 at the time. I was on Tamoxifen for only 1 year and decided not to continue the therapy because my fatigue was too much for me to handle. I was thrust into menopause and I have severe arthritis in much of my body. I am not sure what is a result of menopause or after affects of chemo but I'm exhausted a lot and gaining weight. Of course I'm in pain with my arthritis. Here's what my oncologist told me..."chemo added probably about 10 years to your body".
Yes, Chemo sucks!
My mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and in deciding if she should do Chemo she decided that she would be able to deal with it. After, she says that she is sorry she didn't look at an alternative. I concur.
Both my mother and I feel that if we have any cancer recurrence we would choose NOT to do Chemo (of course, when/if the time comes that may change).
Oh, it's so hard to figure out what my 'new normal' is, not sure if I ever will.
My attitude is to live my life to the fullest - to live my dreams - taking risks and enjoying life. I know that I have to live with how my body is, somedays are better than others, but each day is a new opportunity. I am loving life despite the crap.
Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

#260 Oct 4, 2012
Corinne wrote:
Hello,
I finished Chemo & Radiation just over 3 years ago, I was 43 at the time. I was on Tamoxifen for only 1 year and decided not to continue the therapy because my fatigue was too much for me to handle. I was thrust into menopause and I have severe arthritis in much of my body. I am not sure what is a result of menopause or after affects of chemo but I'm exhausted a lot and gaining weight. Of course I'm in pain with my arthritis. Here's what my oncologist told me..."chemo added probably about 10 years to your body".
Yes, Chemo sucks!
My mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and in deciding if she should do Chemo she decided that she would be able to deal with it. After, she says that she is sorry she didn't look at an alternative. I concur.
Both my mother and I feel that if we have any cancer recurrence we would choose NOT to do Chemo (of course, when/if the time comes that may change).
Oh, it's so hard to figure out what my 'new normal' is, not sure if I ever will.
My attitude is to live my life to the fullest - to live my dreams - taking risks and enjoying life. I know that I have to live with how my body is, somedays are better than others, but each day is a new opportunity. I am loving life despite the crap.
Alive is better than dead, but sometimes it takes a lot to stay alive.:/
Brenda

United States

#261 Oct 6, 2012
Gail Perry wrote:
<quoted text>
I think they downplay the effects of chemo on the brain because they want us to have it. But as it happened, I took pediatric neuropsychology taught by a medical school. Children with leukemia are surviving in ever greater numbers, but the damage done to their little brains founded a whole new subspecialty of neuropsychology. Adult brains aren't AS vulnerable ... but they're vulnerable.
How many people like me, with an advanced degree, would embrace chemo if I were told of the possibility that it could lower my IQ or interfere with my life in other ways? Well, it has. I'm still glad to be alive, but ladies, I don't think our doctors tell us the whole story. Not about chemo, and not about AI's.
Inded, Gail, I think our doctors do not tell us about the long-term effects of chemo or any other treatment any more than the law REQUIRES them to do, because they want us to take those treatments. They don't want to give us the full picture that would help us walk into the experience with our eyes wide open, or else reject it. Because they are afraid we'd reject it in too many cases! I find that eliding of relevant info rather dishonest--even if they justify it to themselves by saying, paternalistically, that it's "for her own good."
Gail Perry

Saint Petersburg, FL

#262 Oct 6, 2012
Brenda wrote:
<quoted text>
Inded, Gail, I think our doctors do not tell us about the long-term effects of chemo or any other treatment any more than the law REQUIRES them to do, because they want us to take those treatments. They don't want to give us the full picture that would help us walk into the experience with our eyes wide open, or else reject it. Because they are afraid we'd reject it in too many cases! I find that eliding of relevant info rather dishonest--even if they justify it to themselves by saying, paternalistically, that it's "for her own good."
I dumped my first oncologist for this and the second one will speak frankly if I insist.:)

I'm reminded of my sister's FIL, who died of lung cancer in the early seventies. NO ONE told him what his diagnosis was and kept telling him he was going to get better. I think that would be illegal now.
Patski

Newport Beach, CA

#263 Oct 6, 2012
Gail Perry wrote:
<quoted text>
Alive is better than dead, but sometimes it takes a lot to stay alive.:/
I know this is horrible to say, but I am not sure I agree with the first part of your response at times.
Last chemo was 1/5/12 and the hits just keep on coming. I'm not suicidal or anything, but I have made the choice not to take my estrogen blocker. I just feel too bad any given day to take it and feel worse. Quality of life does mean something to me. Please others take note, I had a very bad reaction to the ATC(?), so I only speak for myself. The arthritis has gotten worse though the doc said it wouldn't, and the chemo brain is awful.
Chemo is a killer of the spirit and the soul.

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