Hubby has squamous cell carcinoma mouth and 2 lymp nodes involved, stage three cancer.
Does anyone know what works naturally for the immune system?
He will do radiation and 2 sessions of chemo in three weeks.
Not sure what you're asking...natural treatment for the cancer, or natural remedies for the immune system suppression that sometimes happen with chemo?
Do you know what type of chemo he'll be having? I'm surprised that they're only planning 2 chemo treatments. I believe the usual course for this type of cancer is 4-6 treatments, that is, if they use taxol. Can't say for other types of chemo, but I was treated for a cancer that had similarities to both squamous and small cell, and the chemo used was a combination of taxol and carboplatin. But then, I'm only an expert on my own case, lol...so I could be wrong about the number of treatments, especially if they're using some other type of chemo.
As for immune system problems, again I speak only from my own experience, but my white blood counts didn't go so low that treatment had to be delayed, and I didn't catch any colds during the course of the treatment.
He will be getting 3 chemo treatments. I thought it was 2 but we had our chemo meeting yesterday and turns out they are three weeks apart (I thought 1 in third week and 1 in 6th week for some reason) They told us yesterday it is 1 in first week with first radiation, 1 in the end of third week and one in the 7th week of radiation and then he will be done.
They gave us a choice, (Doctor was not nice about that either!). He told us about cisplatin and how rough it is and basically said we don't have that much of a chance anyway. After scaring the hell out of us hubby said screw chemo and then he told us about a second choice which is far less aggressive and doesn't promise problems during and after the treatments are done, this one was carboplatin.
Supposedly with the cisplatin he needs to be hospitalized for risk of vomiting and being very sick (common) and there will be kidney issues, liver issues, neuropathy (common) and a whole whack of other creepy stuff to happen but the oncologist seemed to think it is the only choice we have. After hearing about the carboplatin when hubby said screw the cisplatin, (some of those vomit and other issues MAY happen and some lowered blood levels). Then we said we'll see ya later and we'd call when we make our decision. We are going with the carboplatin. His blood levels are all in great shape, numbers are as good as a healthy man so we think he has a great fighting chance.
Whats odd is we saw several people at the clinic and they all seemed to give us hope and yet this chemo doc took all that away in his first minute with us by rushing the cisplatin thing at us and telling us we had little chance. He was mean, to the point of telling us prognosis's of this kind of thing are low and then when we had questions he said he had other patients to get to (this after he made us wait almost 30 mins and he was in a room beside us the whole time plugging away on a computer)
Ok my rant is over, now after walking out of there with our guts all turned upside down we decided he is a jerk and we are doing better then his numbers anyway. Oh ya, we also asked if he would tell us what the blood tests counts were, He opened his folder and then closed it and said he'd give us a copy before we go home. That didn't happen so I phoned his nurse today and she read em off. We are going to get a release form done so they have to provide all we ask for now.
Anyway I am looking for both types of natural helpers, for immune system and cancer. I have him on lots of stuff already and the growth has stopped and one of the lymph node lumps is getting smaller, about half the size it was three weeks ago, He feels great other then the fact he has this tumor.
We picked up some MCP, (modified pectin) today and are starting on that. We have a week to see if we can get this stuff to help him along. It inhibits the colonization of cancer in other places and studies are showing it removes metals from the body.
Gotta header to bed soon so will check back in tomorrow, Have a great night all.
I'm so sorry you had such a terrible experience with the Chemo doctor...if it were me, I would definitely seek out another doctor.
I was told that carboplatin AND taxol work very well for squamous. In fact, prior to taxol, the statistics for survival for my type of cancer were less than 20%, but that has improved dramatically since taxol came into use in the 90's.
As for nausea...carboplatin can cause nausea too (taxol does not...more about taxol later). The trick to managing nausea with chemo is for them to give IV anti-emetics, such as zofran or kytrel BEFORE the chemo is introduced. Then you usually get oral meds to take for the next several days, along with compazine suppositories. I had absolutely NO nausea with carboplatin, but my doc was very aggressive in preventing it.
While taxol doesn't cause nausea, it does frequently cause muscle and joint pain and neuropathy. Since I have both fibroymyalgia and diabetes, taxol was quite difficult for me and it did cause quite a bit of neuropathy...BUT, it eventually went away several months after the treatment stopped. Meanwhile, I would say it is WELL worth it...I had 3rd stage poorly differentiated cancer (meaning, it looked a bit like squamous and a bit like small cell, but not enough so they could say for sure what it was.) I had 4 treatments with the taxol/carboplatin chemo and then, after I finished that, I had six weeks of radiation therapy to the area where the tumor was.
All I can say is...it'll be 10 years this coming October since I finished all treatment! So, despite the fact that the chemo kept me quivering in pain on my couch for 4-5 days after each treatment, I would go through it again in a heartbeat if I had to.
As for natural treatments, unfortunately I can't add much to that discussion as, with my complicated medical situation, I don't take anything without my doc's approval. Too many things can interact, and it's just too risky for me. But hopefully what you're doing is going to help your husband a lot. But definitely check with whatever doctor you end up using for the chemo and radiation to make certain there's no contraindications for whatever you're giving your husband, especially once he starts chemo. And definitely - ask for another chemo doctor!!!