Archive for the "General" Category

215 Card on Hospice? – Apparently Not!

As our Mom, the Cancer Warrior, battles on the timing now is 4.5 years since her diagnosis.  She is on Hospice and getting pain management drugs from them.  This is one really great thing, about Hospice.  Hospice pays for all pain medications as well as some other drugs.  They don’t pay for everything but we’ve found one substitute that they will pay for so at this poing all drugs are covered. 

Well the pain is very strong and if she were not on any drugs then the level would be intolerable.  Additionally, as her doctor describes her tolerance level, if either he or any of us were to take the same amount of pain medications that she is consuming in a single day we would be in a coma.  Pain medication blocks the brain’s pain receptors but the body gets busy creating more so that is why the pain medication levels typically need to be increased over time.  This does not necessarily mean that the cause of the pain is getting worse, just that the amount of pain medication needed to block the pain has increased.

One of our good friends recently started taking a marijuana product to help with her pain from crippling arthritis.  She told us about how nice the clinic was and how impressed she was with the level of knowledge and the different types of products, differing ways of taking it, regulated dosage increase paths, and the different symptoms certain strains effect better.  As our Mother is deeply opposed to smoking any products we liked that the product had capsule or oil forms.

Several times over the past year we have discussed this alternative with my Mom’s doctor.  He always says that it is not that good for pain relief but it is good for nausea, depression and appetitie.  At our last visit we brought it up again since at times her pain is very bad.  He said sure, she could try it and then tried to write a prescription for it going through Hospice.  We don’t know if this is the way it is in California or if it’s just our Hospice’s policies but they informed us that if she decided to go on any marinol or marijuana product that she would have to go off of Hospice.  They way they explained this is that since they are in charge of controlling the pain medication and since they do not dispense marijuana they would not know how much she was injesting so would not know how much current pain medication they should cut out.

So that’s it.  Her choice was to not take any marinol products and stay on Hospice or forgo Hospice and take her chances with the 215 world.  Of course, she chose Hospice, but too bad she doesn’t get to experiment with another pain control substance.

Sugar – The Real Bad Guy

According to Dr. Robert Lustig we all weigh 20-25 pounds more than we did 30 years ago.  Our genetics didn’t change, just our environment.

We are obese.  And remember that the current recommendation from the World Cancer is for you to be as lean as possible without being underweight.  Additionally, sugar is supposedly “food” for cancer and should be reduced as much as possible.  It’s easy to be addicted to sugar, how often do I find myself walking by the refrigerator when sugary things are in there?!  It just seems to call out to me… and in weak moments I will give in BUT in strong moments I will toss out those offending sugary foods.  Yah!

Rebounding and Lymphatic System

There is a video on google videos about rebounding (or jumping on a heavy duty, well built mini trampoline) and it is compared to a full body lymphatic flush.  The lymphatic system does not have a pump to help move lymph throughout the body like other organs for example the heart.  So rebounding (protected jumping) helps move lymph up the body.  She also compared rebounding to a full body massage and in addition it is also an aerobic exercise.  See the video  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9022365608459518126&hl=en&emb=1#

My comments:  The Cancer Warrior has been rebounding for over a year and with her cancer her groin lymph nodes no longer work so she’s constantly working on her lymphedema in her right leg.    Her right foot also has drop foot.  She  has been bouncing following a simple DVD but although she has not ever been able to complete the entire tape, nor can she jump high enough to clear 3 inches, she has been bouncing and lifting legs, and rotating, and stretching etc… We believe this exercise is not only keeping her heart healthy but has so many other benefits, especially with her lymphedema.

Please visit our REVIEWS page for more information on how the Cancer Warrior uses a rebounder (actually David Hall’s Cellerciser ).  Please comment and share with all of us.  Thank you.

Rebounding and Lymphatic System

There is a video on google videos about rebounding (or jumping on a heavy duty, well built mini trampoline) and it is compared to a full body lymphatic flush.  The lymphatic system does not have a pump to help move lymph throughout the body like other organs for example the heart.  So rebounding (protected jumping) helps move lymph up the body.  She also compared rebounding to a full body massage and in addition it is also an aerobic exercise.  See the video  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9022365608459518126&hl=en&emb=1#

My comments:  The Cancer Warrior has been rebounding for over a year and with her cancer her groin lymph nodes no longer work so she’s constantly working on her lymphedema in her right leg.    Her right foot also has drop foot.  She  has been bouncing following a simple DVD but although she has not ever been able to complete the entire tape, nor can she jump high enough to clear 3 inches, she has been bouncing and lifting legs, and rotating, and stretching etc… We believe this exercise is not only keeping her heart healthy but has so many other benefits, especially with her lymphedema.

Please visit our REVIEWS page for more information on how the Cancer Warrior uses a rebounder (actually David Hall’s Cellerciser ).  Please comment and share with all of us.  Thank you.

Cancer Warrior’s Daughter Shares Story

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T6YNaepdhE

In this video, Rose Ragan shares a bit of her story about why this website came about.

Nutrition Video – Liquid Nutrition for the Cancer Patient

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEqhDOOCKKU

As the video illustrates there are a lot of side effects from chemotherapy. Dr. Cathcart talks a bit about avoiding the side effects with good nutrition and suggests:
1. more frequent smaller meals
2. drink an hour before and an hour after eating to allow digestive juices to stay at full strength
3. you can take vitamins and minerals that may help side effects of chemotherapy and also may help enhance the treatment itself

Further discussion from Rose Ragan
Two of the most worrisome side effects of chemotherapy are excessive weight loss and the loss of appetite. Lots of patients undergoing treatment do not want to eat much and so it becomes harder to boost the nutrition intake. With supernutritious liquid products getting better nutrition becomes that much easier.

Please comment and share your own viewpoint.

Nutrition During Cancer Treatments

Nutrition During Cancer Treatments

By Crystal Brown-Tatum

When diagnosed with cancer, the dietary goals for most healthy Americans can drastically change; especially during and after cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. There are many side effects to cancer treatments which may affect your appetite including loss of appetite, changes in taste and smell, dental and gum problems, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and lactose intolerance.

Colon cancer survivor Linda Dotie realized that nutrition was vital during treatment. Despite losing twelve pounds during chemotherapy and radiation, she forced herself to eat even when she had little or no appetitite. “I made a conscious effort to eat a balanced meal. I began reading a lot about what I could and should eat.”

Since Dotie was being treated for colon cancer, she avoided red meat and increased her chicken and fish intake. She also found that fresh fruits upset her stomach so she avoided them.

Nutrition recommendations for cancer patients are different because they are designed to help you build your strength and help you withstand the effects of your cancer and your treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the main goal before, during, and after treatments is to maintain adequate calories for weight maintenance and adequate protein to optimize your immune system, strength, and tolerance to treatments.

Dr. Alan Grosbach and Diane Talley, RN, OCN, of Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, confirm that cancer patients face unique challenges with diet and appetite; particularly during chemotherapy. Dr. Grossbach says that keeping a line of communication open with patients is key to identifying nutritional deficiencies.

“In addition to a visual assessment and weigh in schedule, I make it a point to talk to patients about their diet and appetite. I’m also on the lookout for types of cancer which more often cause lack of appetite such as liver or intestinal cancers.” Grossbach says that the most common complaint during chemotherapy is that foods taste different and textures may be unpleasant.

In addition to changes in taste, mouth sores are a common complaint during treatment. Talley recommends a “magic mouthwash” of equal parts of maalox, benadryl, carfate, viscous lidocaine swished and spit out to relieve the pain associated with the sores. The mouthwash can be ordered through a compunding pharmacy.

Next to getting enough calories in the first place, the most important nutritional rule for people with cancer is to focus on getting a well-balanced, healthy diet from natural sources, including fruits and vegetables, with a heavy emphasis on protein. Patients can increase protein in their diets by eating more nuts, peas, milk, cheese, eggs, peanut butter and poultry.

Claudine Schmidt, M.S., LDN, RD, with Willis-Knighton Health System, works with patients on an individual basis to determine food plans based on types of cancer and treatments. “During treatment, healthy cells are damaged and protein is needed to repair the cells and tissues and aid in the healing process. An increased caloric intake is vital for energy as the metabolic rate increases during treatment.”

Schmidt acknowledges that there may be times when patients simply feel that they can not tolerate anything by mouth. In addition to ginger ale and waiting 45 minutes to have liquids after a meal, she suggests giving it your best attempt to eat something light as bananas, rice, applesauce, tea, and dry toast,; commonly referred to as the BRAT diet. The BRAT diet consists of foods that are relatively bland, easy to digest, and low in fiber.

Schmidt points out that cancers of the neck or mouth heighten a patient’s lowered appetite or ability to eat and recommends clear liquid nutritional supplements.

When you’re being treated for cancer, it’s more important than ever to eat a healthy diet and get good nutrition. Eating the right foods before, during, and after your treatment can help you feel better and stronger. Remember, your body is working overtime to fight the cancer and to repair healthy cells that may have been damaged as a side effect of treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

Mrs. Crystal Brown-Tatum is the CEO and President of Crystal Clear Communications- a Houston based advertising agency and public relations firm with whose portfolio boasts work for Fortune 500 companies including Intel, Wal-mart, Comp USA, Best Buy and Audi. She is a one-year breast cancer survivor.

Comments by Rose Ragan

Crystal Brown-Tatum pointed out correctly that it is very important to get enough calories of the most natural source and especially during treatment as the metabolic rate increases. The trouble with consuming more good food is that the patient is used to eating certain foods and there is a definite correlation to health and eating patterns. So some if not most patients are not necessarily changing their diet for the better but are just trying to eat more of their existing diet/

Most cancer patients need to make some drastic changes in their diets. This is the time to find better ways of eating and changing what foods are actually consumed.

Adding in an easy supernutritious liquid is easy.

Please comment and share.