Tips for Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Water Stay hydrated with lemon water to circulate the chemo out of the body. This is the most important thing to do, you want to eliminate it out of your body as soon as possible.
Intermittent Fasting My integrative doctor advised me to do 2 days of water fasting for chemo; one day before and the day of. The healthy cells slow down and don’t absorb the chemo as much. So far, I have done several 24-hour water fasts and do intermittent fasting most of the other days. It’s been really helpful, allowing me to heal my gut.
During the times I do eat, I have bone broths and green juices (no fruit juice). It is also helping me reset my taste buds and I am leaning towards a cleaner diet everyday. This has been the biggest help in my change of diet. I was a sugar fiend and binged on sweets. Now, certain foods don’t appeal to me as they did in the past. Cravings are diminishing more and more. Fasting also allows for increased water intake. The less you eat, the more you can drink. Here are tips from my first water fast.
Things to remember with fasting is that it can cause body order and bad breath. Eat as clean as you can before you start a fast. Detoxify in some form before starting a fast (baths, enemas, saunas) to minimize detox symptoms like headaches and fatigue.
Constipation Coffee enemas are an important part of my daily regimen. It clears out the toxins, including xenoestrogens that can accumulate in the liver. Oxy-powder is an intestinal cleanser that is gentle to your system (it does not contain senna) like most other products. You must 1) drink this on an empty stomach 2) with plenty of water 3) before bed. If you don't follow these 3 things, you will feel blocked up in the morning. You must also work on finding the right dose for you. You begin with taking 2 capsules as instructed earlier with water and if you don't eliminate the following morning, you are to repeat and increase your dose until you do.
Mouth Sores Rinse your mouth regularly with salt water. Orajel can be a lifesaver, so can Canker Covers. Canker Covers work great only on sores that are inside the mouth, not near lips. One tablet is place on the sore and creates a cover that stays there and the film is quite thick. I break one tablet into a smaller piece, since it will swell up to 3x the size.
Neuropathy Try an anti-inflammatory herb like turmeric, see here. I have been seeing an acupuncturist regularly for months. My first session got rid of the neuropathy on my hands immediately.
Chemo brain You've got to exercise your mind to offset chemo brain.
When you forget something, make an effort to remember before “cheating” and checking on the answer. For example, if you are grocery shopping, look at your list and head for an item and forget what it was you were searching for, give it a minute to jog your memory first.
Luminosity is a phone app that allows you to do this by playing games.
I have found the dictation feature on the iPhone very useful. It helps me to get my ideas, thoughts and to do list on "paper". This has been so helpful in journaling my thoughts, and keeping notes from doctor's visits documented before I forget them. You’ll need to speak clearly and once you get the hang of using it, it can be really helpful. You can dictate full sentences with punctuations.
Use Siri to help with chemo brain and add things to the calendar the moment you remember them. “Hey Siri, add acupuncture for Tuesday, the 8th at 10am.” or “Hey, Siri, remind me to water the plants when I get home.” You can send text messages without pushing any buttons.To get, “Hey, let’s go to the beach. Call me!” as a text message to your friend Sara, you would say “Hey, Siri, send a text message to Sara, Hey comma let’s go to the beach period call me exclamation point.”
Enable these features by going to Settings, Siri & Search, then toggle on Listen for “Hey Siri” and on the same page, select My Information which will take you to Contacts; find your contact card and select it. Siri will then know where your home is. When you need directions home, say “Hey Siri, take me home.”
(Note: I was on chemotherapies Herceptin, Perjeta and Taxotere from January 2015 to May 2015. Since June 2015, I switched to chemotherapy called TDM-1/Kadcyla and I'm still on it in May 2018.)