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Old 08-25-2005, 10:32 AM   #1
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mystic heart HB User
Eating but still losing weight

Hi everyone,

I posted a while back about a friend who was recently diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer mets to the liver. She's had the colon resection and has now had 3-4 weeks of chemo.

The latest confusion is around 'what to eat'? Apparently she is not absorbing nutrients and is continuing to lose weight. This week she met with a homeopath who suggested: one piece of fruit per day (not too much because cancer likes sugar); eating organically; purchasing a water cooler with 'living water' and adding specific supplements to her diet.

Sounded good until she told her oncologist about these recommendations - he told her not to take the supplements, not to limit the fruit intake, etc. Her sense of him is "he thinks I'm terminal anyway...". Yikes!

Who does one trust? Is there a good book on this?

Any info would be appreciated!

Old 08-25-2005, 11:30 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 420
Mazrose HB User
Re: Eating but still losing weight

I would go with the onocologist.. He knows whats going on and sometimes other remedies actaully fight the chemo treatments. I know that some vitamins are not supposed to be taken as it helps the white cells, which is what the chemo is trying to deystroy.. (the cancer cells are aggressive white cells) Maybe try a sustagen formula.
I dont think the onocologist is saying "this is terminal" at all!!
Best of luck

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Old 08-25-2005, 12:58 PM   #3
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Location: Nassau, The Bahamas
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Nassau one HB UserNassau one HB UserNassau one HB UserNassau one HB User
Re: Eating but still losing weight

I agree with Maz. We also were told not to take antioxidants while on chemo as they can be counterproductive. I know there are different views on this and the intake of sugar, but no one wants to lessen the efficacy of chemo after all you have to go through getting the treatment. I think it is important to eat a good, varied and healthy diet with a bit of everything. Also many people receiving chemo find many foods taste awful, so it is a matter of eating whatever you can enjoy. I am sure the oncologist will keep an eye on your friend's general condition. It is certainly not a "you are terminal anyway" message, though some doctors can appear to be so matter of fact and forget how fragile our state of mind is when going through this. These days, so many people are surviving Stage 1V.

All the best to your lucky she is to have a friend like you!
Husband dx July 2003, advanced rectal cancer stage 111C; myself dx July 2006 indolent lymphoma; husband dx February 2010, stage 2 prostate cancer.

Old 08-25-2005, 07:25 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
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edinaman HB User
Re: Eating but still losing weight

I agree with what has been said. My onc and nurse practioner both stressed trying to eat healthy. At my chemo class they said it is probably wise to avoid some of your favorite foods, because they may taste awful during chemo and you may not be able to eat them after chemo because of the association. I found that I ate much more fruit during chemo, it was almost as if my body was craving it. Chemo can also affect your sense of smell. The smell of some foods can make you nauseous. It becomes a learning experience to find what you can and want to eat.

Old 08-25-2005, 10:58 PM   #5
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mystic heart HB User
Re: Eating but still losing weight

Thanks you guys!

It's good to hear you say "so many people are surviving stage IV these days". It's hard to know how to get that kind of information (changes in survival rates over time, latest findings on efficacy of various chemo's, etc.) and inspiring to know that it's something to realistically hope for!!!

I will share your thoughts with my friend. I like the idea of trying to avoid negative associations with favorite foods - this disease already takes too much from people.

Are there any foods she should definitely avoid? I'd heard that flax seed should be avoided however someone else told her it's okay if it's ground up. How does one find this information?

I wonder why her colon isn't absorbing nutrients - is this common after resection? My mom and brother both had part of their colons removed (for other reasons - not cancer) and didn't struggle with this.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Much love, hope and continued strength to (((all of you)))

Old 08-26-2005, 07:25 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: England
Posts: 705
ktee_uk HB User
Re: Eating but still losing weight

Dear Sue

Hope your friend takes heart from all the survivor stories on this board.

When husband first went on chemo the advice was to eat what you feel like, but due to reduced immune system he had to avoid anything considered high risk for bacteria. That meant no live culture dairy products (pasturised milk or yogurt was ok), no salad unless home grown and thoroughly washed, no eggs, no reheats from microwave.

Fruit was good in moderation but he finds his colon less tolerant to raw fruit and veg than before his resection. Had to be washed and peeled though.

hope this helps
ktee (wife to stage 4 survivor of 2yrs4months)

Old 08-26-2005, 08:24 PM   #7
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mystic heart HB User
Re: Eating but still losing weight

Thanks Ktee,

Is your husband in remission? Had his cancer spread at all? Glad to hear about his success...

Doesn't everyone on chemo have a weakened immune system?

Yes, my friend was extremely grateful for the posts I forwarded to her, she promptly sat down to a bowl of spaghetti with olive oil and tomatoes! She's been struggling since she saw the homeopath 2 days ago because she felt as if the little bit of info she knew was now 'all wrong'...and wasn't eating enough for fear of eating something harmful!! Not good! So yes, thanks to everyone for their wisdom and hope.


Old 08-28-2005, 09:04 AM   #8
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ktee_uk HB User
Re: Eating but still losing weight

Dear Sue

Husband was diagnosed as stage 4 which meant that the cancer had spread to distant organs. In his case the primary cancer had spread across to his bladder and had metasised (mets) to his liver. He had 13 months of treatment including surgery, chemo and radiotherapy. He has been clear since his treatments finished.

Please keep everything crossed for him as he sees his liver sugeon this Thursday for more tests. My head and my eyes tell me he will be fine but my heart is all chewed up again till he gets his results at the end of Thursday.

regards to all

Old 08-28-2005, 02:16 PM   #9
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mystic heart HB User
Re: Eating but still losing weight

crisscrossed and in my prayers ktee....

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