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neilb

Chemotherapy questions

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I'm scheduled to begin chemotherapy on Tuesday. I've read lots of conflicting information on nutrition and exercise during chemotherapy. I'm wondering if anyone can point me to scientific studies that show what sorts of exercise regimens and diets provide the best chance of enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapy. Thanks!--Neil

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Hi Neil,

There probably will be more 'expert' folks coming along soon, but I just wanted to let you know I am pulling for you. I had chemo.....not the same as what you will be having.... and didn't have too bad a time of it. I would think whatever form of moderate exercise you can do is good............I know walking is ALWAYS recommended. Eating a well-balanced diet is what I recommend. You will hear all sorts of things ~ some of them pretty strange ~ as far as diet is concerned. Use good common sense would be all I can say about that.

Hoping this is the ticket to get you to great scans and on with life!

Kasey

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There is a lot of research on medscape (in the public domain). Most evidence I have found for NSCLC was for astragalus, PSP, and melatonin. All seem to

help chemotherapy (cisplatine) act better on the tumor.

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Best of luck. I know there is a lot of advice out there on nutrition and exercise. However if you aren't feeling up to it, my two cents is to eat what you can. My mom didn't follow any sort of exercise regimin or diet, she just ate foods that she felt like eating and she also took aversions to other foods. Kind of like she was pregnant ;)

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What ever you decide to do you need to run it by your Onc doctor first. In my opinion, everyone is different in there treatments. No two are the same. I personally didn't change to much about my eating habits other then I did eat more fruits and veggies. As for excerise, that too all depends on how your feeling at the time of your treatments. Chemo can cause fatigue and when your tried you shouldn't push yourself during your treatments. REST is very important during treatments. I don't pay much attention to the conflicting information that is out there, but I DO pay attention to those that have walked this walk. In my opinion, those that have done the treatments appear to know what works and what doesn't. To me experince is the best medicine.

I had very few side effects during my chemo and I hope the same goes for you. One thing you should do is drink a lot of water. Chemo and water go hand and hand. I also drank Ensure.

Good luck and I hope you'll keep us posted. Stay positive.

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I am currently on chemo. I am one of those ones that eat what I want to eat and do what I want to do. I have never been a big exerciser (wish I was) so I did not exercise much. My 2 kids are my exercise. Do what your body allows. I have no taste of any kind for about 5 days after chemo so I have a hard time eating. I sometimes force myself to eat just for some energy because I am not hungry. I wish you luck with your chemo.

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In addition to the great advice you've already received, you might want to run this question by Dr. West at onctalk.com.

But remember that everyone reacts to chemo a bit differently, so you need to stay FLEXIBLE -- "the best laid plans of mice and men..." Here are some things from my experience that might interfere with those plans:

Your body says "a nap would really feel nice right now," although you've taken few if any naps in recent years. Take that nap! The need for extra rest will probably vary depending on where you are in each cycle.

Foot rash or neuropathy make your favorite forms of exercise (including walking) difficult and painful. Devise an alternative! You can get a decent leg workout flat on your back, and good upper body exercise sitting in a chair, neither of which requires those hurting feet to have more than momentary contact with the floor or ground.

Sore mouth and tongue, sensitive stomach, and other GI tract problems limit your ability to tolerate certain foods, even lifelong favorites. Eat what you can, when you can! Don't worry about following a balanced, ideal diet -- it's more important to avoid losing weight, and you won't be on chemo forever. It can be helpful to gargle with a mixture of salt, baking soda, and warm water, and to set aside your usual toothpaste in favor of that combination or simply baking soda and water.

Best wishes and Aloha,

Ned

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Neil,

I exercised 6 days a week the same as I was always doing, 3 days of aerobic and three days with weights. Each person has a different reaction to the chemo. I can’t help you with the side effects, because I did not have any. Lots of water is a good idea. I was able to exercise, but some people will not be able to do that it just depends on your reaction to the chemo.

Stay positive, :)

Ernie

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