Kicking Chemo Side Effects to the Curb....


Right along with the cancer.

While I feel very fortunate to have experienced what I would consider "limited" side effects from my 6 chemo treatments, there is no denying that chemo took it's effect on my body, it wasn't nice, and I hadn't expected it to be.  But, now that chemo is over with,   I can't help but constantly think about getting it out of my body (and most certainly out of my mind!).  Admittedly, I feel 10 times better than I did 4 weeks ago, and I even feel better today than I did last week, but I've still got a long way to go before I'm back to normal!  Much to my constant disgust, the side effects are still there, they are hanging around like bad pennies, and daily my obsession with getting rid of the lingering effects deepens.  (As soon as I'm done writing this post, I'm going to buy a cucumber and tomorrow, I'm going to detox.... )

And of course, I'm always thinking ahead... Thinking proactively, I am very concerned about side effects of my chemo that may rear their ugly heads at a later date.  After all, the miracle chemotherapy drug, Perjeta, is relatively new, and long-long term side effects may not be as clear as what they are with some of the other chemo drugs that were administered to me.  With that being said, going forward my goal is to create the healthiest "me" possible in order to limit the pains down the road from my chemotherapy and my radiation, and limit my chances of ever going through cancer ever again... because, frankly, it just really hasn't been that much fun!

As I see it, this is a 3 part process:  Improving the actual physical condition of my body, improving  & repairing the condition of my interior organs & blood, and maintaining my overall positive mental health and well being.  (Please hold the comments, folks.  I'm trying to be positive here, and comments about my sanity or my mental health just aren't needed!) However, I need to have a little bit of patience with myself and this process, recovery doesn't happen over night.... damnit, and patience is not my greatest strength!

Unfortunately for me, even though the chemo is over, I've got a few lingering issues that I am intent on remedying in the best manner possible.  Most irritating and concerning at this point is one of the more common side effects of the Taxotere: neuropathy; tingling of the fingers and toes.  This lovely addition to my life started after my 4th treatment and caused a reduction in the amount of Taxotere that I was administered during my last 2 treatments.  However, this pain in the fingers and toes remains even though the chemo has stopped, and I'm really not interested in sitting around waiting for it to just go away- even though the oncologist insists that is exactly what will happen.

The lovely tingling is not my only issue, although it's definitely the most irritating and is constantly on my mind.  My workouts and all of the walking I have been doing, have eased the intensity of the tingling, but it's not going away fast enough for me.  So, I did what I always do when I have a problem I need to solve, and no, I did not call the oncologist.  They always want to write a prescription, and well, I'm just not programmed that way.  So, I got online and started reading- I am a firm believer that for most everything there is a natural solution that does not involve a hundred icky side effects.   What I found will probably be of great interest to my fellow cancer warriors.  (Please keep in mind as you're reading this that one of my goals is to improve my health overall- not necessarily just getting rid of the creepy tingling...)

My big find is Chlorella.  How have I never heard of this before, or was I just not paying attention?  (I'll go with not paying attention.)  Hang with me here for just a second, because before this sounds good, it's going to sound really bad.  Chlorella is an algae.  Yep, you read that correctly.  What caught my attention is the uses for this "algae".  Not only is is used for preventing cancer, but it well known for reducing the side effects of radiation treatments (yes, I've already ordered myself up a bag!).... It can help stimulate the immune system (which we all need after being filled with all of those toxins for so long....) and help to increase white blood cell counts.  In addition to a ton of other things this algae is capable of, it can be used to increase energy and to detoxify the body.  Sounds good, right?  I am all about detoxification at this point.

So, what do you do with this?  Well, you mix it with a smoothie of course....  I am going forward on the theory that what I eat is going to be directly linked to the quality of my blood....  blood has a direct link to my blood vessels and my heart, (which also has potential to be a victim in this whole process.) and to my fingers and toes.  So, really all I need to do here is improve the quality of the blood that's flowing to all parts of my body, and everything should return to normal... (or the new normal anyway.)

One article that I read said I need to "Dance with antioxidants."  Well, I love to dance, so this oughta be fun!  I knew about the wonderful powers of antioxidants, and have been taking a super-food supplement since I finished my  chemo, but now I'm learning even more.  I am on a mission to create greater blood flow, and boost new healthy cell growth.  The powerhouses in this little number are going to be raw cacao, acai berry, blueberries, prunes, pomegranates, kale, brussels sprouts, beets and red peppers.

So, for the next several days before my surgery, I will be dancing with as many antioxidants as I possibly can.  For breakfast this morning, I had a spinach, banana and lemon smoothie.  And, I must say it was positively divine!



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