I’ve talked to at least four people in the last week who are starting chemo and wanted to post this note to anyone else just some things that I found helped me get through it.
Anyone who has gone through it knows – it sucks. Remember what you are doing though, you are turning your own body against itself, which is not natural. Just relax and rest as much as possible and let the drugs do what they are supposed to do. SAVE ALL OF YOUR ENERGY. Remember I am not a doctor so always talk to your doctors! I am someone who got through chemo…
If you don’t already have your hydroflask get that today. Get the kind with the straw-cap for easiest sipping all day. Drink a gallon of water the day of and days after you have your chemo dose. Turn yourself into a human fountain, water sips in all day, water pees out all day. It will help keep you from feeling icky on the inside and don’t worry the chemo will still do what it’s supposed to do even with all that hydration. Don’t drink anything with caffiene! No sugary drinks! Just water and coconut water is your liquid diet during chemo. I can’t stress to you how important this is.
Eat SOFT food and a lot of it! The first thing to start to feel terrible is your digestion so make it as easy as possible to move food through you. Try to eat as much as you can now to stay strong. Do NOT eat any processed foods, dairy or animal products there is too much risk of chemicals in them and your body will be weak to these and not doing what it’s supposed to be doing.
Boil potatoes and vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and celery until they are just a little bit soft then blend in a blender and eat over quinoa. No spicy food or citrus, your body will hate you for that. Eat lots of poi, hummus, sweet potatoes, chew your food all the way until it’s completely liquid in your mouth before swallowing. Make smoothies with nut butter (mac nut, almond or walnut not peanut!), apple bananas and unsweetened almond milk.
If you are finding that you’re losing your taste remember to be constantly sipping on ice water when you are getting your chemo as it doesn’t like cold and most likely won’t hit your mouth as hard. Get a lot of protein from walnuts, kidney beans, chic peas, chia seeds, pistachios (chew them all the way!), and free range eggs (NOT farmed! you can’t be having any other chemicals in your body right now).
3. STATE OF MIND
This is where you are telling cancer you love it but it’s not welcome inside you anymore. It sounds weird but develop a mantra and believe it. This is also where you need to find things that make you laugh hard. Comedians, TV shows, cat videos, anything that makes you laugh is what you have to be looking at – nothing that gives you anything but joy! No more scrolling in any social media feed – there’s some terribly toxic things out there! You need to be only consuming love and joy during chemo. The happiness at this point is so very crucial – fake it until you make it. Tell yourself you love yourself too much to allow the cancer to stay. “I love you cancer, thank you for this lesson but you are now welcome to leave.”
4. IMMUNE SYSTEM
Chemo is going to kill your immune system – there are a few supplements I’ve found to work great for keeping my blood counts up: Turkey Tail and Marrow Plus. I took two Turkey Tail in am/pm and three Marrow Plus in am/pm. Look in to doing high dose vitamin C therapy (ascorbic acid) weekly to help with the toxic side effects of the chemo, there are a few naturapathic doctors that have this (no it’s not usually covered by insurance =/).
You won’t want to do it but try to do it. No cardio or crazy heavy weight stuff just at least try to get a yoga mat and stretch. Anything to keep your circulation going right now is CRITICAL. Just try it. You will feel better for it, even try a walk around the block just to be moving a little bit an hour before the sun goes down when it’s that beautiful golden hour and take in the beauty and wonder that is nature. You don’t want this poision to be sitting anywhere stagnent in your system.
6. MASSAGE and ACCUPUNCTURE
Remember to dress in a loose comfortable top or just ask to wear one of the hospital’s smocks. Button-ups work good and pants that are easy to pull down as you should be going to the bathroom a lot (drink so much water!). Wear socks always wear socks keep your feet warm. Drink cold pressed fresh juice to get great nutrients to all your organs because your liver is going to be pissed that you are poisoning it with chemo.
8. HAIR LOSS
Depending on what chemo you are doing and how much of it you are pretty much going to lose your hair. I am so so happy that I got my eyebrows tattoo’d on before it all fell out. I didn’t want to scare people. The hair on my head took at least 6-7 treatments before I was shedding all over my house and finally got a short haircut. Sometimes it might not fall out at all. Wait to see. The most comfortable way to deal with no hair in the beginning I found was a silk scarf, but in the summer in Hawaii it was actually just dealing with it and going bare. Nothing felt good on my head. So I just got the biggest earrings I could find instead. It doesn’t last that long and it’s kind of fun being that weirdo in the doctor’s office that just doesn’t care. Try it!
Most important thing: remember you can do this. You will have bad days just ride them out and focus on good things, what’s important in life: love. Animals, nature, family and children are very good at bringing out a genuine happiness, but do whatever you can find works for you. If you want you can use my soundcloud playlist to calm your brain or my youtube cancer channel to envoke happiness and wonder =) I’m praying for you! cw