Monday, August 18, 2008

Chemo Facts

Here is some interesting info about chemotherapy from Chemotherapy.com:

Chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered through a vein, injected into a body cavity, or delivered orally in the form of a pill, depending on which drug is used.

Chemotherapy works by destroying cancer cells; unfortunately, it cannot tell the difference between a cancer cell and some healthy cells. So chemotherapy eliminates not only the fast-growing cancer cells but also other fast-growing cells in your body, including, hair and blood cells.

Some cancer cells grow slowly while others grow rapidly. As a result, different types of chemotherapy drugs target the growth patterns of specific types of cancer cells. Each drug has a different way of working and is effective at a specific time in the life cycle of the cell it targets.

An undesirable consequence of chemotherapy affecting your body—not related to your cancer—is referred to as a complication of treatment, or a side effect. Some common side effects of chemotherapy are:
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Low red blood cell count
  • Low platelet count
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
Some side effects may be temporary and uncomfortable. Some can cause dose reductions and treatment delays or even be life-threatening.

For example, one of the most serious potential side effects of chemotherapy is a low count of infection-fighting white blood cells—a condition called neutropenia (new-troh-PEE-nee-ah). Neutropenia can interrupt your chemotherapy schedule and put you at risk for infections that may require hospitalization and may even be life-threatening.

I've read about some very interesting home remedies to help control side effects...somebody, in fact, mentioned sipping sweet tea in one of the comments today. Not that we'll actually try anything that isn't already OKed by Tricia's doctors, but just for fun, have you heard of or tried any strange home remedies to combat the side effects of cancer and/or chemo?

Nate

90 comments:

Brent~Jamie~Ansley~Ace said...

Hi Nate and Gang-
My father would drink buttermilk for 5-15 days after his chemo treatment. It sounds really gross and I am not sure that I could do it, but it really helped with the vomiting and the dry heaving.
I hope this wave of not feeling well passes soon.
Take care

terri c said...

Well--I did know one person who used acupuncture to help with side effects. However, it's unknown how it works so not probably worth risking for fear of interaction with antirejection stuff. I think sipping sweet tea is probably a better idea if it helps. Lots of prayers to you and the family. It's a grueling journey. One thing, and I hate to say it--the effects of chemo do, I am told, tend to build with time, so that the response to each treatment cycle can be greater than the last. It means she has to be watched more carefully each time and may take longer to recover. So very glad family and friends are around and hope it helps!

Donna said...

Hi Nate,
I found that ginger tea was helpful for nausea or stomach pain. I also found that anything with lemon (real lemon, not just flavoring) was refreshing and just made me feel "perkier".

Fatigue from chemo is much more than just "feeling tired" and isn't always remedied from sleep. I remember overhearing a friend say, "She just slept nine hours. How can she be tired?"

I'm very thankful that you have awesome family to help you and Tricia during this time. I also had a baby while I was going through treatment, and my church and family were so helpful. The chemo built up a little more each time and I felt a little worse, although when it was over I bounced back within weeks.

God bless you and your precious family, Nate.

April said...

not strange but ginger chews and sea bands may help

also you may want to look into essiac.

Amber said...

I've read that breastmilk really helps to combat some of the effects. It works for my nine month old, but probably not for Tricia! :) Also yogurt is good to get the good bacteria back into the digestive system.

Tami W. said...

When I was going through chemo for breast cancer there were days and days that I felt ... I can't even come up with a word to describe how icky I felt... Anyway.. one of the few things that I could eat was 3rd stage Gerber baby food peaches or apricots. It might sound gross but it was nutritious and very easy to get down. When you feel that bad just the thought of eating is enough to make you sick. I didn't want to smell anything and I didn't want to eat anything with too much flavor. I didn't have to smell it if I ate it fast enough and I didn't have to chew it.

Also, when my hair fell out my scalp actually hurt. Offer to rub her head with baby lotion.

And lastly, I don't know if her eyelashes have fallen out yet or not, but when they do...get some mens hankies that have been washed several times and rinsed with Downey or some other fabric softner. With no eyelashes every fleck of dush will find it's way to her eyes and they will water a lot. With no eyelashes to hold the fluid in her eyes they will also water for no good reason. Continued use of tissue will irritate the rims of her eyes. The soft hankies will make this much more bearable.

Been there, done that...
There is light at the end of the tunnel!

With much respect for your family,
Tami

Shandelle said...

Oh sweet Tricia. What an amazing example of strength.

No real suggestions as I'm sure she's already been given phenergan and zofran.

I know this is a bit different than chemo nausea, but I had hyperemesis when I was pregnant and a couple things that helped (other than the medication) was sipping PINK lemonade (I didn't like the yellow LOL!) but only a couple brands were tolerable. And root beer. LOL!
Crackers, sprite etc. were USELESS to me, so I'm sure they would be for Tricia.
HUGE hugs!!

Hopesrising said...

Well ginger tea and chews. The told me to take a vitamin daily nothing expensive.
My head hurt to when my hair fell out so yes to baby lotion:)
Ditto on the hankies on the eyelash thing.
As for anything that really was different. I have other health issues so, we ran everything past my doctors. Who said *if it sounds to good to be true dont' do it.*

One other thing might help, is that chemo's some of them leave you with a weird metal taste so everything you eat tastes weird Try a plastic picnic spoons and forks.For some reason that helps many people. It did me. Oh and eat mexican food when your up to it ;)( We always had mexican food when I felt better)

My big thing was to stay on top of my nausea meds that first 5 days after. Then that week where the counts fall to get a ton of rest even with the meds for the white counts. I still had issues with my counts going in the toilet. Plus those side effects were not great either in a few ways.

I did yoga and meditation but not much more wild then those of the above.

I slept a lot and thats when you heal so thats a good thing. She has a ton of healing due everything she has been though.

Prayers and blessing

DavitaJo said...

My grandmother ate large amounts of chocolate ice cream...but I'm pretty sure that is because she REALLY liked chocolate ice cream.

I had a friend say that the nausea from chemo was almost like a magnified morning sickness. She also said that she felt better if she stayed really well hydrated...so she drank LOTS of water and Gatorade.

Meg said...

I was going to suggest sea-bands as well. I know they work for nausea from motion sickness and morning sickness, maybe they could help here as well?

Meg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hopesrising said...

Whoops I meant to add. If you feel her nausea meds are not doing the trick one hint. Talk to her doctor on that. They can use oral meds and IV meds together to help her.
I wish I knew of something to help her though this week. Or I wish I was there just to give her a huge around the neck. Those help the most.
Terri C is right that each treatment is a bit more to deal with but staying on top of it its doable.

There is light at the end of the tunnel

Prayers

Dana said...

when i worked pediatric oncology coke syrup seemed to help the kids a bit. nothing seems to fix it or make it go away, but it seemed to help a little. my mom said a silk pillowcase helped her head after she lost her hair.

i remember my mom telling me that she didn't want to feel like this for the rest of her life, this was probably in the middle of her treatment ( radiation and chemo for a total of 20 weeks i think). and then after it was over within a couple of weeks she felt like a new person and looked forward to life again.

hugs to all of you. i'm glad you have family around to help too.

big hugs!!!
dana

Faith said...

I heard that breastmilk is beneficial because of the nutritional impact. A nurse that I used to work with donated her pumped breastmilk to the husband of another nurse. He had cancer and it was something that helped him.

M said...

I've heard and seen wonderful things regarding acupuncture in regards to cancer treatments and their various side effects.

With the nausea a good pair of anti nausea bands really ARE just acupuncture without a needle. Pushing and holding the spots about 3 finger widths up from her wrists can help with nausea (obviously helpful if someone else can do this or get the nausea bands which are adjustable. not the glorified sweat bands.)

I've seen an acupuncturist for a variety of conditions myself but also recommended them for a variety of conditions and watched as a friend who was having horrid side effects with chemo was able to tolerate it much better when on a regular acupuncture schedule and feel as close to normal as you can in such a strange situation. If you do go that route get a recommendation (a lot of neurologists can recommend acupuncturists) and a lot of the time it's covered by insurance. There are also a handful of hospitals staffing acupuncturists for their cancer departments.

So obviously if you do go that route ask for professional recommendation. I can attest to its helping with the nausea portion at least and I've seen it help with the fatigue and pain and such that comes as well.

Many prayers continued your family's way.

Emily said...

You could talk to your doctor about a product called the Relief Band. It's similar to sea bands but much more effective. You can program it to your level of comfort. It looks like a watch. My hospital has seen great success with these.

Elizabeth Preston Cisneros said...

After a long ICU stay myself, I was hyper-sensitive to smells (much worse than during pregnancy, although I had it then too) and anything could make me nauseated. In addition, I had to get potassium supplements in my G-tube, which made me instantly sick, sick, sick.

The only thing that helped me combat the nausea was to smell of fresh lemons. Lemon-scented stuff made me want to barf, but real lemon smell really did help. The reason is the proximity between where olfaction is registered in the brain and the nausea center in the brain, so certainly any scent could have the possibility of registering stronger than the nausea. So it is probably hit or miss as to what scent works best for different people - for me, it was lemon. I totally looked like a freak going to PT and OT, because I carried a baggie of lemons with me.

Kimberly said...

oil of evening primrose - comes in a soft caplet - prick the caplet with a needle and smear the oil on hands/feet/neck - will help with post chemo swelling

peppermints or peppermint tea (herbal, no caffeine) help some with nausea, and so will green tea (again, herbal, no caffeine) - but the key is to sip everything very slowly

a "chillow" will help with head/neck sweats - it's like an ice bag for your pillow - google it - great for hot flashes of any origin, CPAP users, or anyone who just gets hot in the night

soft baby blanket - the fleecy kind - between you and the sheets can help with overly sensitized skin

Elizabeth said...

When Will had chemo for his PTLD all he wanted some days (many) were those fruit smoothie drinks you get at the grocery store (like Odwalla brand). They were expensive, but he loved them and it was all he "ate" some days. Yogurt (we went to greek yogurt b/c it has more calories per serving usually) also was a food he could tolerate when nothing much else was good, and it helped his stomach especially when he was on IV antibotics for neutropenia.

Elizabeth said...

I forgot: also, ginger ale and sweet, hot tea were popular. He got sort of a sweet tooth in general during chemo, something that has stuck around even now more than a year later.

April said...

btw I wanted to add, when I had hyperemesis when I was pregnant the only thing that helped was baths with lavender essentil oil. maybe that would help Tricia? you can get lavender oil at whole foods or a health food store for around $10. you could use about 10-20 drops in the tub.

Shari said...

I used a night cap that was soft cotton because I couldn't stand the feel of the pillow case on my head. For nausea I used chamomile tea with some ginger and sipped it slow. And, I ate pears, applesauce, and some of the other pureed baby foods to help keep my strength up as much as possible.

Rebecca said...

Never tried any of these, but...

Sea bands. You know, the ones that some people swear by for motion sickness (and for morning sickness)?

What about eating little bits of food throughout the day, rather than big meals?

I seem to have food on the brain... :)

I'm sorry she's feeling so cruddy. I know you're taking good care of her.

Kim said...

Hi Nate,

My 19 year old brother is currently undergoing aggressive treatment for Ewing's Sarcoma at the Cleveland Clinic. He's found that just good-old HEALTHY eating every 4 hours has helped to maintain his nutrition/weight (i.e. stop losing so much!) and to combat the side-effects. He's somehow *lucked* out (is that even possible with cancer??) and only experienced mild nausea that could be controlled with a patch so far and a few *slightly* low blood counts (3 months down - only 9 to go!).

Anyway, his 'snacks' of choice every 4 hours have been Carnation Instant Breakfast shakes prepared with whole milk and Luna Bars for 'on the go'. I also got him this cookbook on Amazon which has quick easy meals with a chart of recommended meals for pre/post treatment, nutropenia, mouth sores, high calorie meals, and more.

Eating Well Through Cancer: Easy Recipes & Recommendations During & After Treatment By: Holly Clegg & Gerald Miletello

Sending strong wishes for health,
Kim
P.S. Love your blog.

Marlene said...

WOW Nate, I just read this on MSNBC.com. Doctors believe prayers can reverse terminal illness! Hurray!! I love reading this!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26272687/

Rebecca said...

have you tried Zofran? not a home remedy though a great anti nausea medicine that saved my life when I was pregnant with both of my children. Accupunture is also supposed to be good!

Leigh Ann Osteen said...

Nate, I was told by my acupuncture doctor whom I see for ulnar neuritis, that acupuncture helps with chemo side affects. Many members in my family get acupunture treatments for various things and I am convinced that it helps with almost everything. My mother has the beginning stages of emphysema(never smoked in her life) and acupuncture helps her be able to breathe easier. She said if it wasn't for acupuncture, she would be much worse. My family is amazed by this natural ancient procedure.
Praying for Tricia in Nashville, TN. Leigh Ann Osteen

Cooper & Lauren said...

Hi Nate,
My aunt is currently taking another round of chemo for breast cancer. She swears by Northern Neck Ginger Ale. She says it helps calm her stomach. I don't know if you can get in the OBX but we don't have it here in Raleigh. I think it is actually made in Northern Neck VA. I don't know if it would help, but hey, it's not a medicine and it tastes really good anyways! Praying for you all!
Wendy

Holladay Family said...

Phenegren is my friend. I am not sure how to spell it but it works wonders. Just know it also puts you to sleep. Maybe that is why it is so effective against nausea.

Jim said...

I went through some chemotherapy a few years ago, not for cancer, but for my Lupus (I actually needed the immunosuppressive properties). I heard the sweet tea thing, and having gone to College in B'ham, AL, I already had a GREAT relationship with the concept of sweet tea - sadly it was too sweet for my tolerance at that time. There were two things that worked for me - one environmental and one ingestible. 1) putting lime slices in water in a potpourri simmer pot and letting them "warm" - the scent of the limes could stave off nausea very quickly - I ended up sleeping with it on my nightstand, as it made the nights MUCH easier. 2) Red tea (lots of names for it - rooibos tea, caramel bush tea, south african red). It is naturally caffeine free, reducing the jitters - but it was my miracle brew. It almost immediately calmed nausea, heart burn and sour stomach. It's great hot or cold (or room temp). My favorite blend became Teavana's Mate Vana Rooibos Vanilla.

http://www.learn-about-tea.com/rooibos-tea.html

melissam2 said...

More supplemental stuff on rooibos tea... explaining some of the reasons it's beneficial... and I posted that last post - I didn't see that hubby had logged in on my computer until after I posted it!

http://www.savannahimports.com/health.htm

Beth said...

Nate,

I am so sorry Tricia is feeling so bad. I don't know anything about chemo, but I know Dale, my cousin that Tricia met at Duke used Preggie Pops http://www.threelollies.com/ when she was nauseous from meds after her first transplant. Apparently they tried everything else, and that is what worked. Also, after her second transplant, they used a hypno therapist to help with her nausous feelings. Maybe these would work with chemo too.

Jennifer said...

No suggestions just praying and praying in Michigan.

Jennifer said...

strangest thing to me is that drinking water to flush out the toxins is GOOD. Huh? I would think you would WANT the toxins to stay to kill the bad cells... Nope, the more you drink, the less you fight w/ nausea. Evidently chemo does its thing pretty quickly.

Laura Norman said...

not to be gross, but i have heard about cancer patients drinking breastmilk. a friend of mine who has breast cancer jokingly told me about it because i had just had a baby. somebody else told me too. strange! i LOVE all the pics of gyweneth...she is an awesome, awesome miracle.

Tracey said...

My friend drank flat, room temp coke for her nausea. She was told by a nurse that it was the very similar to one of the anti-nausea meds. I hope some things here offer some relief... when y'all get through this and are all relatively healthy again you won't know what to do with yourselves! Praying for a good post chemo week, if there is such a thing. ~:-)

marie said...

When I was on chemo years ago I constantly drank ice water.It kept me from getting dehydrated and seem to settle my stomach. I also used Ricola cough drops to help with the nausea.

BuckeyeNP said...

Nate - I know nothing about chemo. But listen, when you start talking about the nectar of the earth, sweet tea, I start to think you may be on to something. My blood volume is actually made up partly of sweet tea (even though I live "up north" now). I would gladly make you a pitcher and fix a nice tall glass for Tricia if it would help. Best to you both.

ford1206 said...

Number 2 and 3 seam to be the worse. As far as a good food goes try some home-maid tapioca or rice pudding, its easy on the stomach and since your making it yourself, you can build it up on the calories as needed or even make it lacctose free. We are praying that your remaining chemos will be easier on you.
Laura

funkyhammer said...

My mom is going through chemo for breast cancer right now and uses "preggie pops" (some sort of hard candy usually advertised to pregnant women) to help curb the hunger and nausea issues.

Mouth sores were an issue for a while too and she switched to some organic and natural brands of toothpaste that don't have some chemical in them (I need to ask her what the chemical...sorry that I don't know it at the moment)

JD said...

B6 vitamin injections. The oral supplements weren't strong enough for the nausea. It's something they used years and years ago when the newer meds weren't yet in existence.

Also, going with whatever craving you have, no matter how odd it sounds.

The odd things helped... peppermints, lemon, keeping hydrated, which was hard to do when even water would come back up! :)

The sun will shine again! Praying for you...

chocolate hug said...

The only experience I have with nausea is from the first four months of my pregnancy. I remember praying the moment my son was born that that would not happen with our other children....but looking back I'm amazed at how much one can get through just focusing on the day at hand, and asking God for the strength to get through every moment.

A few things I could eat anytime;

cold cold sour lemon aid

hot water with a lemon slice in it

and no one has suggested this one but it's worked for me and some of my friends
those wonderful fruit bars that Dole and some other companies make. Any popsicle tasted good but the real fruit bars were the bomb! I remember being three months pregnant standing outside on a day it was below freezing waiting for the bus so I could go to work, all the while sucking on a lovely frozen fruit bar.

Blessings and prayers for you!

diana

Shanan said...

My ex-husband is going through chemo and we have him taking marine plankton. Look it up online. I hope she feels better soon. She deserves a break! God Bless!

Shan&Quin said...

When my dad was going through chemo, he always did very well about making himself eat, though nothing tasted good to him. Like someone else mentioned, he would eat with plastic utensils to help with the metal taste. He also ate SO much homemade chicken noodle soup. The protein from the chicken helped with his srength. He also drank anything that sounded good, as keeping hydrated is very important, especially to help keep the kidneys working well with all the additional meds. Now, this may be strange to read....but...it can work. I know sometimes I can be so nauseated that I think taking a Phenergan orally is pointless- I'm just going to throw it up. I have heard from a Gynecologist that anything you can take orally- you can take the other way. That may help her get her meds to stay with her!

Wobbly Librarian said...

Sorry about this situation. May He continue to lift you up on eagles wings.

Suggestion:

Nibble on some Carr's Ginger Lemon Creme Cookies.

Blessings to you.

ckuretich said...

absolutely acupuncture - with pain, nausea, anything. It can really help and it's safe. We have even found a Christian chiro/acupuncturist and he's awesome; too bad we live in Illinois.

also Zofran of course, there are a million anti-naus meds. Have they ever recommended Adavan to Tricia? It's a calming and also anti-nausea drug and very mild, they gave it to my husband in the hospital post-surgeries. It can really help. But I know you're looking for the more "natural" remedies...

I would say that Tricia should eat whatever sounds good! no matter what it is. no rhyme or reason, cuz' I'm sure there isn't a lot that sounds good right now. Coke syrup is also something that has helped me in the past, just with flu nausea...that stuff's awesome.

thinking of you guys a ton...

Loretta said...

When I was going through chemo for breast cancer, none of the meds they gave me stopped the nausea and vomiting. The only foods I could tolerate and keep down were orange cream slushes from Sonic, and baby Goldfish crackers (and then only after the first couple of days or so).

Water, which I really, really needed, tasted horrible because of the metallic taste the drugs left in my mouth. I found pink lemonade and gingerale to be helpful, but had to sip slooooowwly.

Keeping Tricia in my prayers!

debbale said...

Ginger it works so well on nausea

Jessy said...

People undergoing chemo often develop sores in their mouths and/ or throats - very uncomfortable, and often painful. This "magic mouthwash" was suggested on a cancer email list I'm on: "(1:1:1) mixture of kaopectate, benadryl, and lidocaine(KBL) elixers."

People can also find that they have neuropathy - lots of suggested treatments for that, some conventional, others not so much, and lots of off-label used for other drugs: http://www.neurologychannel.com/neuropathy/treatment.shtml.

My mom found Provigil helped a bit with fatigue, but I think that was after she finished chemo and was just general cancer fatigue, which is likely different. She also had bad hiccoughs, which were treated so-so by Baclofen (an off-label use).

debbale said...

Was reading through the comments and you are so right about checking with her doctors first. My brother took chemo and was told to NEVER drink green tea or herbal tea because it can counteract the chemo. He could take ginger tablets or drink ginger ale that had ginger listed high on the ingredients list.

April said...

phenegran suppositories work wonderful. I was given them with a bout of pancreatitis and WISHED I was offered them during the hyperemesis.

I have heard breast milk being used to heal cancer. I believe it's the antibodies! (liquid gold!)

Irene said...

I am so sorry that Trish is having alot of the side effects from the chemo. I wish I had some ideas that would help.
I know you said you would check with the transplant center before trying new ideas, and I just want to say how important that is. Many of the "teas" and "herbal teas" that seem like thay could not possibly be a problem, could be a problem to a transplant patient who is taking immunosuppressants to suppress their immune system and then they drink herbal drinks that, on the contrary, boost your immune system. I don't know anything about Duke, but my transplant center always wants me to check with them before I take anything herbal or containing herbal-like products. I also believe that some herbal products can alter the absorption level of some of the anti-rejection meds.
I really hope you are able to find some relief from the side effects. I will pray that tonight and the rest of the week are better and that by the weekend she is feeling perky again!
God Bless, Irene

btk said...

Praying for your family (I think this is my first comment although I've been lurking daily for quite some time!) Someone I know who's just gone through chemo for breast cancer swears that drinking only COKE CLASSIC (any other form didn't work for her) helped with her nausea and vomiting. Will continue praying for a rapid recovery for Tricia and for your sweet baby girl!

Jaime said...

Tricia is just amazing to me...I'm so sorry she has to go through this. But she is one tough cookie.

Definitely check with her doctors for suggestions...My husband did not go through chemo, but the radiation made him have severe nausea. His doctors tried a few prescriptions until they finally had to have him try Anzemet, which did end up helping significantly.

I also agree with eating several small meals throughout the day and drinking lots of water. Of course, when you feel so yucky these things are easier said than done...

Praying for you guys.

Amy said...

My husband recently received a bone marrow transplant, and has been dealing with bad chemo and radiation related nausea.Sucking on crystalized ginger is something someone at the bone marrow clinic passed on to us, and did help a little. We found it in the Asian section of our grocery store. Also sea-bands worked pretty well, but left blisters on his wrists.I hope Tricia feels better soon.

Heather Christine said...

I have heard that Papaya can help with stomach problems when take in pill form, it aids digestion and calms the stomach. Check out wikipedia. I will be praying for Tricia. Oh, I once heard that chewing mint gum can help clam down a jumpy stomach too.

Tabitha said...

Hi Nate and Trisha

First time poster, long time reader :) [Just wanted to say what an inspiration you two are to me, not only with how strong you are as a family, but the love you all have for one another as well as your strong faith in Christ.]

21 yrs with CF. I too have never dealt with chemo caused nausea but have had a few digestive problems.

Dont know how common this is, but my mom has always given me "7-up floats" with nausea... they help you burp, taste good but not too sweet and have a little extra calories b/c of the ice cream. Also if you do end up puking it up, it doesn't cause too much harm b/c its still kinda sweet and it comes up smooth... gross I know. But I would puke that up over anything else out there!

Anyways thanks for taking the time to read this. Please tell Trisha just exactly how much of an inspiration she is to me too.

Continuously praying for all three of you from Nevada

Toria said...

I don't know if it will help with Chemo nausea but when I was pregnant and had morning sickness I found that ginger tea helped and so did Jacobs Crackers though I don't know if you get them in The States, they are just very plain crackers.

I also ate a lot of tomato soup with cheese and it took so little effort to eat and had lots of calories.

I also HIGHLY recommend those sea-sickness travel bands, however you want to be sure you place the nobble bit in-between the two tendons on the underside of the wrist as this is where the acupressure point is located.

Hope at least one of the many and wacky ideas I'm sure you're going to get helps.

xox

Marla said...

I recommend reading the book "The Maker's Diet" by Jordan Rubin. He shares testimony of people who have gone through chemo while eating the foods he recommends and they didn't have any symptoms.

Unfortunately I may be confusing this books with another one called "Natural Cures" by Kevin Trudeau.

Either way, both are wonderful books.

Erin & Gary said...

One of my great friends ate small spoonfuls of yogurt all day long. She said it was the only thing that didn't taste like metallics & it also hepled ease her tummy & kept some good bacteria in her system. It was the only thing she ate for weeks, and it really seemed to help.
Sending lots of prayers & support from Charlotte, NC!

Lynn said...

Hi Nate,
My daughter went through chemo and radiation because of Hodgekins. She said that eating watermelon took away the metalic taste in her mouth and she was able to enjoy the taste of it. I hope this is something that will be helpful to you or anyone else reading your blog. My prayers continue to be with you and your sweet family.

Melissa Dovel said...

Lots of "JMO" so heres mine:) Mom had cancer- best advice drink lots of water (doc told her so it gets your system flushed out the quickest)maybe it was the meds she was taking. Also on days that you cant eat solids have her choose and just offer one thing at a time. My mom was milkshakes. If we bought her the whole meal she would eat nothing.

JMO
Praying for thing to settle soon
Melissa

Melissa Dovel said...

eeekkkk! 1 more thing. U may have already done this but we were suprised. We assumed that the docs were giving her all they could for nausea they were alble to try something different and that also helped.

GOD BLESS!

Melissa

kidsworld said...

If you (judging by your YouTube hair buzzing video, maybe not...) or Tricia know of a salon that carries Aveda hair and body products, they make a product called "blue oil" that is a cure for many things, specifically for my use of nausea, heartburn, headaches, and STRESS. I would apply it's roll-on applicator to my wrist and smell throughout the day to ward off morning sickness while pregnant, apply to my temples for a headache, and continually sniff for the stresses of everyday life! Pick up two bottles - Sounds like you could both benefit! I'm so sorry that Tricia has to go through this. You are both so strong and greatly admired. Seems God brought you together for many reasons, not surprisingly!

refreshing in ohio

kidsworld said...

Guess I'm the peppermint advocate for the day...

Loved frozen peppermint patties, too! (along with the blue oil)

refreshing in ohio

Julie said...

I have never experienced chemo, but I have heard that many people get relief from the nausea with Preggie Pops and/or Preggie Drops. These were designed for controlling morning sickness for pregnant women, but have been used for any nausea inducing situation. They come in flavors known to combat nausea. You can buy them online and at maternity stores and some well-stocked grocery stores.

Laurie said...

Nate,

I am so glad you asked:) Chemo is really hard on the internal organs also, the heart, kidneys and liver. I took CoQ10 for heart and oral protection. Milk Thistle is a wonderful protector for the liver (the poor organ that has to filter all the toxins of chemo). My doctor was amazed each week at how good my liver counts were staying up. I only did 6 months of high dose chemo, but each one got a little bit rougher to bounce back from. The fatigue is here to stay until it is over, so NAPS are wonderful.
Nothing seemed to be strong enough tasting to get rid of the metalic taste that occupies the mouth. It is like sucking on dirty coins all day long. Ugh! I am sure praying for this chemo to do its job on every single cancer cell for Tricia. Asking God to watch over her moment by moment and for all who are helping at this time. Chemo messes with hormones too and can be a very emotional ride on top of all she has been through. It will get better and I recommend that plenty of fluids will keep her body flushing the toxins out as the chemo does its job. I am 12 years cancer free and so thankful for all God has done.

Love and Hugs, Laurie in Ca.

Kim said...

Having just gone through this this year while I had AML, I can say been there, and it stinks. But it does get better.

I drank grape gatorage and ginerale, they were the only two things I could get down and tasted ok. And I found that eating cereals that were sugary were something I could tolerate. I tried to eat whatever my body wanted at that moment and just go with the flow, but I ate alot of dry cereal and crackers, lol.

I lost my hair too, I wore alot of bandana's all the time, my head was cold and I did not like the feel of it bald, they kept me warm and comfortable.

For fatigue that was overwhelming, all you can do is sleep as much as you need to, even though you do not feel better when you wake up alot of times, the body is healing and it needs the sleep, give in to it and rest.

Lyndsay said...

I went through chemo as a teenager and had terrible nausea and vomitting. So first of all, my advice is that you DON'T try anything that you can't live without afterwards. For example at my cancer clinic volunteers hand out chicken noodle soup at lunch. I would eat it and then throw it up for hours. So now I can't touch the stuff.

The nurses used to pop popcorn... apparently the smell is supposed to ease nausea.

And I always needed mints of lifesavers while the chemo was infused because I would get an awful taste in my mouth. But again - now I can't eat a scotch mint or raspberry lifesaver without gagging so choose wisely!!

Take care Lawrenson's!

John and Michelle said...

I miss seeing Megan's blog. She is a hilarious writer. How can I find it now, or is she not wanting to be found?

Becky said...

I love your blog today - for purely selfish reasons. My dear friend is fighting cancer and struggling with chemo. I shared some suggestions from your blog with her. A potential blessing you were never even aware of! Thanks.

Kathryn said...

From friends who have walked this road:

First, as others have said, a doc check before trying anything.

Second, bio-feedback helped one of my friends visualize the chemo attacking the nasties and smacking them into oblivion. She got to the point where she could just close her eyes and see and that really helped her. She also had some self-hypnosis training by one of the oncology specialists.

Third, coke syrup and flat ginger ale, either served very cold and sipped.

Fourth, cornbread muffins! Another friend just swears by cornbread muffins and flat ginger ale.

I think that you all are just going to have to experiment with your docs until you find the combination that works for you.

God's Peace!

jessicagv said...

As for the nausea, I know people that tried similar things during chemo to what I did when I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum (severe sickness in pregnancy).
Accupuncture was a huge benefit, as well as not eating and drinking at the same time! It may be worth asking Tricia's doctors about the accupuncture, as they know how it could affect her given the intricacies of her care.

To give you an idea, for my best friends mom, during her chemo treatment, accupuncture helped her go from being ill as many as ten times a day to once or twice, within a few treatments.

Although my illness was not chemo related, I had sever nausea and was vomiting no less than 10 and frequently 25 times a day. Accupuncture lessened that to 3 or 4.

As for not eating or drinking together. It prevents food from slooshing around your belly which can lessen the nausea and vomiting!

Good luck!

Jessica

Christy said...

Acupuncture!!! It has helped me with so much.

Paul and Christy said...

Hi all,
I am thinking of you and praying for you. I remember the months of chemo and radiation that I had. Look at how far you have come and keep pushing for the prize ahead. You are a great miracle of God. Some days are better than others just keep on keeping on. God is an awesome God. I also found that I didn't look anything like I thought I would bald. I just kept imagining Kojak. LOL BIG HUGS and much Prayer.
Christy in KY

Tracy said...

(((HUGEST HUGS))) to all of you. My sister in law has been going through treatment for breast cancer since Thanksgiving last year. I've seen her go through surgery/chemo/radiation, etc. and I know how difficult it can be to stand by and feel helpless. My hope and prayer for all of you is that this is quick and as comfortable as possible for you, Tricia. You've been through so much and deserve to feel healthy again. I'm continuing to keep you all in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. :)
~Tracy

Julie said...

Nate and Tricia,
I already posted a comment earlier but I just really felt the need to tell you that you have both been on my mind constantly today and I have been praying for you all day. I always think of you every day and check your site multiple times a day, but today, I felt like God was constantly bringing you to mind. I know Tricia is having a rough time of it with this round of chemo. I just wanted you two to know you are loved and prayed for constantly.

Pipsylou said...

Chemo is an amazing thing. I am sure you're getting all kinds of advice...just know you're in my prayers!

Busy Momma said...

just wanna say i'm thinking of you all. lots of love

Wendy Glosser said...

I deal with nausea all the time with post surgical patients. It is a medically proven fact that ginger helps tremendously with it. It can either be way of ginger ale or ginger snaps dipped in some hot ginger tea. Cool rags on the forehead and on the back of the neck. The cooler the air the better. But I've never battled chemo N & V. I hope these help your girl. Praying in OK!

Tabitha said...

oh yea.... just a side note [if you didn't know this already]... My CF doctor told me to stay away from some herbals that start with G's.... she named these: Ginkgo Biloba, Garlic, and Ginseng specifically. The reason is because they are blood thinners which isn't good in cases like hemoptysis. I imagine since Trisha is rid of her infected CF lungs, she no longer has to worry about that symptom of CF, but just in case I just wanted to say that [in case there is anything similar due to the transplant/chemo/lymphoma], since so many were offering herbal remedies.

Sorry to post again,
Tabitha

marcia said...

Nate and Tricia, just want to remind you that I, along with countless others, am praying you through this week. Don't have any suggestions for side effects...just praying my heart out for relief and renewed strength for both of you!

Amy said...

I do not have any ideas to help combat feeling icky but just wanted to let Tricia know I continue to think of her and pray for all of you! The baby just gets cuter by the day!

Sincerely,

Amy

Jenny said...

I heard sucking on cinnamon sticks helps.

But I don't think that there is anything better than good ol' fashioned Ginger Ale

e_susan94 said...

hey nate, I know this cookbook authoer that eats macrobiotically (spelling wrong?) and through that (and I know that God heals) she had her disease (leukemia) and was cured without using any conventional medicine. I think it was just whole foods and herbs. If you read her story you will know more. She is on pbs and I met her a few times at a Whole Foods store in NJ (for cooking class). Even though I don't follow her with all the foods she eats (or doesn't eat) I like how she mostly uses whole foods (not processed) and organic and how she always talks about how it helps a certain part of your body. It won't hurt to check her out. You might even email her and she'll write you back. her and her hubby live in Philadelphia. http://www.christinacooks.com/mystory.html

The Chicken Farmer's Wife----------------- said...

My M-I-L had breast cancer come back as Stage 4 lung cancer, with tumors on her spine, femurs, liver, pelvis and skull. She RELIGIOUSLY maintains a "Mannetech" regimen. She explains that it is not so much a vitamin, as it is a form of nutrition, which allows her body to heal itself, by maintaining the healthy cells which the chemo destroys at the same time, and lets your body help with fighting it's battle. I can't disagree with what it has done for her, she looks better than me, and probably feels better too! She goes to the Vanderbilt Cancer Ctr., and her dr. says if it's working... If you ever want me to pass along her info to you, I'm sure she'd be willing to share what she knows with you! Still praying for ya'll! Jerri in KY (the prissy chicken)

Cici said...

I have no idea what your family is going through. I have had family members with cancer, but I was not living near them, so I do not know what they went through first hand. All I can say is what AMAZING strength you all have! Family is a wonderful wonderful thing. I have a big southern family (my mom is from Elizabeth City, NC) and I would do anything for anyone in my family even if they were a distance cousin. I think your daughter is AMAZING! I had a son, Matthew, born at 25 weeks but he did not make it. He had a stage 3 bleeding on his brain. We had one wonderful day with him. So to see that a mircle baby was born about the same time and is doing so wonderful makes me smile. I do have a 12yr old son that is the light of my life. I think you all are great living your life one day at a time. I love to read your updates and wish you and your whole family a wealth of love and happiness.

Brenda said...

When I was being treated for ovarian cancer, I felt better when I always kept something in my stomach, not much but something so I ate little bits all day long and took snacks to bed at night. I also took Ativan which helped quite a bit. When I lost my hair, I used Udder Creme on my scalp and also on my elbows where my skin "wore off". I also slept with a scarf or soft stocking cap to protect my head and to keep me warm.
Do sleep a lot. It just helps.

Trudi said...

Sorry to have missed this post until now but, not so ironically, I am in chemo - and was 10 years ago (unrelated). My oncology group and I are HUGE proponents of acupuncture. I do it the day before chemo and the day after, and when I can in between treatments. 10 years ago I was on adriamycin cytoxin and I didn't have 5 minutes of nausea or fatigue. I only took the IV administered anti nausea drugs - never had to crack the prescriptions. This time around I am on taxol and cisplatin. I have completed 2 of 6 rounds and so far so good. No side effects except the hair loss which isn't a big deal (I learned). I am also religiously drinking 10 grams of L-Glutamine 3x a day in bottles of water(get at Whole foods). Again, this is from my onc group and they believe it prevents neuropathy which I do not want. So far, so good. Not a tingle.

I am a huge proponent of acupuncture during chemo because it really has worked for me. I hope you will discuss this with Trish's oncologist.

hopeful said...

Hello Nate and Tricia,

My brother Todd has CF and will be 30 in January. He is taking Protocel. He does not have cancer, but we have a cousin that had cancer and took protocel along with chemo and she does not have it anymore. Check out her book, Winning the Battle. They said I was going to die, but I didn't. By Elaine Hulliberger. Dr. Bell that invented it perscribed it to a CF patient with good results.

Todd believes it is helping him too. You are an inspiration of hope and breath of fresh air. Our thoughts are with you and know we are all in this together!

Do some research on it and see if it's not someting you believe could help you too.

With Gratitude,
hopefulsister