Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Chemo adventure ends.... and new adventures start.

It's been over a month since my last chemo treatment.

I have to say it's one of the harder things I've ever done. And if you look at my time line on the left; that's saying a lot.

It was hard mostly due to my hemoglobin and platelet counts crashing, which required transfusions several times.

But by the end of about three weeks after the last one; I was feeling almost pretty good. :)

The next phase is with Votrient. Once I was mostly recovered from the Doxorubicin I started on one a day and every week I add another. This Saturday I start the 4th and final pill and continue on that for an unspecified amount of time that depends on the results. So far it's going pretty well.

The results after the Doxorubicin were pretty much what they were over the course of the treatment: a few tumors had some small growth; many showed no change. So while not perfect results they aren't bad.

I'm also taking Metformin. Yes.... that's traditionally a diabetic drug and, no, I'm not a diabetic. Not only does it suppress the glucose production in the liver (less glucose in the blood means less to feed the cancer cells) but it does things like targeting mitochondrial metabolism in cancer cell and kills mesenchymal stem cells in cancer cells. No.... I don't totally understand that either. (I can forward a post I was sent with some references if you're interested; just post a comment*)

Dr. Deng (One of the Integrative Medicine doctors at Sloan-Kettering Memorial) put me on it. As well as some extra nutritional supplements added to what I was already doing.

One thing I learned going to him is make sure you double check and compare effects for everything else your taking; herbs and supplements with your medical team to make sure nothing interferes with each other. For example; high doses of anti-oxidant vitamins can counter act many chemo drugs. Some herbs, like Turmeric (Curcuma longa) does the same. As well as I can't eat grapefruit with the Metformin.  

The other thing I'm doing is I'm on a very low carbohydrate diet. Not with the concept of loosing weight but, again, to keep glucose production as low as possible (again with the idea of "starving" the cancer cells). So I've incorporated that into my diets/lifestyle that I reported on in an earlier post.

One misconception about my diet that's come to my attention is that I'm a vegetarian. While I don't eat a lot of meat/poultry or fish I do eat some. Organic and raised as close to home as possible.
I've never done well on a strict vegetarian diet and, yes, I've done that in the past for years at a time.

That's not to say that you shouldn't be or try vegetarianism or veganism. If you feel that's your path and the best diet for you; go for it. Just research the best way to get all your nutrients.

I think the confusion is I recommend reading Kriss Car's books. I believe in her totally but everyone is an individual. Some people thrive on one diet/lifestyle; other's on another.

Make your own choices on what feels right and helps you Thrive.

So that's the recent update. I have a scan in about 5 weeks or so. In the meantime; Spring is right around the corner! Maybe I'll get to work on my studio/garden blog. :) (my new studio is almost done!)

* This blog had been targeted by Spammers recently and so I've had to put the verification window into the comments. I hate those things but it's the only way to totally stop them. Otherwise, I was getting easily a dozen emails a day alerting me they were trying to post. Why this blog and not the other I don't know. So I apologize for the inconvenience: please comment despite it, if you please. Thanks :) .