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Thursday, November 18, 2010

A day of chemo

On Thursday, November 18, 2010, Carl got his chemotherapy with the main chemotherapy drugs Irinotecan and Vincristine. I say main drugs, because there are other drugs that they give along side of the chemotherapy drugs. They got blood drawback from his port (after a time) without the use of TPA. Carl got oral doses of 8mg Zolfran (also known as Ondancetron), and 10 mg Dexamethasone. Through the IV they gave him 0.2 mg of atropine. These first 3 drugs are given to prevent side effects from the main chemo drugs. The main chemo drugs follow - Carl was given 241 mg of Irinotecan in saline through the IV over 60 minutes, followed by 2 mg vincristine in saline over 15 minutes. We spent the time watching the parts of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 1.

I hope these drugs are effective and that Carl can continue getting them for quite some time. At the end of the month the Doctors will check to see if the drugs are holding back the tumor.

Thank you again for all the encouragement and prayers.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November Chemotherapy

On Thursday, November 11, 2010, Carl started a course of chemotherapy that featured the drugs Irinotecan and Vinchristine. The 'protocol' for this chemotherapy is a dose on Day 1 and Day 8. On Day 21, the patient can start the course again. The Day 1 and Day 8 doses are delivered through IVs into his port. He gets these doses at the outpatient Froedtert Cancer Center Day Hospital.

Under this protocol, Day 8 is tomorrow, Thursday, November 18, 2010. So tomorrow we will once again trek down to the Cancer Center. Carl will be connected to the IV for around 3 hours, making this one of the shorter chemotherapy sessions, although with the registration and waiting, we will end up being at the Cancer center more then 1/2 of the day.

Carl 'completed' one course of chemotherapy with the drug Irinotecan before, getting the drugs on Monday, October 18, 2010 and Monday, October 25, 2010. He tolerated the Irinotecan well, so the Doctor added the Vincristine to this course.

I hope these drugs are effective and that Carl can continue getting them for quite some time. At the end of the month the Doctors will check to see if the drugs are holding back the tumor.

Thank you again for all the encouragement and prayers.

So, isn't this kind of a boring post? I hope the photos from one of our trips to the pumpkin farm make it more cheery.

This last photo shows one of the side effects of the Adriomycin chemotherapy. (photo taken October 17, 2010.) Carl didn't loose all of his eyebrow or eyelash hair like some people do, but wow, did it thin out. Already his hair (and eyebrows, and eye lashes) are growing back in. Another reason I hope that Carl can use these drugs for quite some time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Feeling tired

Carl said to me today - 'I just don't know why I feel so tired right now.'

Hmmm... let me think? Maybe a large dose of Irinotecan and Vincristine on Thursday has something to do with it?

Or possibly surviving a weekend with four active children.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Diet changes due to Cancer

Carl goes through the cancer treatments with a good spirit, and follows the Doctor's advice. What else are we doing to battle the cancer? Actually there ARE some dietary things we are doing which we hope will help crush the cancer cells.
Raspberries Cancer diet berries and Agave Nectar

My sister-in-law sent me the book titled "Anti cancer A New Way of Life", written by research Doctor, David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD. The information on the dietary changes Anticancer diet Omega 3 eggswe are trying come mostly from this book. We told our Oncologist about the book, and he encouraged us with a anecdotal tale of one of his patients. There is a quote in the book - "All great truth goes through three phases. First it is ridiculed, then violently attacked, and finally accepted as self-evident." It might take medicine 20 years to accept some of the data in this book regarding diet, but Carl can't wait that long.

The scientific data points to the conclusion : People who want to protect themselves from cancer should seriously reduce their consumption of processed sugar and bleached flour.
(Fruit without sugar or syrup can be unlimited, fructose and glucose are different). There are many more dietary pointers.

There is an epidemic of cancer in industrialized countries and particularly Western countries. The epidemic is real, and the difference between "East and West" is shown to be not due to genetics. Cancer is a disease of "rich people".

Understanding what has changed to create this epidemic of cancer is important. Three major factors are identified.

  • The addition of large quantities of highly refined sugar.
  • Changes in our food due to changes in farming and animal raising
  • Exposure to a large number of chemical products.

Over hundreds of thousands of years, our bodies genetically became accustomed to a diet of fruit and vegetables, with occasional meat or eggs. The essential fatty acids of Omega 6 and Omega 3 were balanced, there was very little sugar, and no flour or cereals. Our ancestors sugar consumption averaged about 4 pounds (of honey) a year.

Today, 56 percent of the 'Western diet' calories come from three foods sources NON-EXISTENT to our ancestors: refined sugars, bleached flour, and vegetable oils.

the 'Western diet' contains over 10 times more Omega 6 then Omega 3.

Today Western human sugar consumption is between 50 to 150 pounds a year.
The high fructose corn syrup "new ingredient" makes things worse.

Cancer is out of control cell growth. Sugar nourishes cell growth. Cancer is largely dependent on glucose, the form of digested sugar in the body. White flour also contributes to glucose.

Some specific anti cancer dietary changes we are trying:
Carl tries to be a very low sugar diet. Basically
sugar is evil for Carl. He tries to use Agave nectar instead of sugar to sweeten tea, or lemonade. I encourage him to not drink sodas.

I encourage Carl to take a daily green Tea supplement, turmeric supplement (with pepper to increase absorption 2000%), and Omega 3 flax seed oil (as pills - Carl refuses to take the liquid form).

We are eating berries (raspberries and blue berries and strawberries) often. Summer was great this year, we would on some days buy and eat $7.00 of raspberries and strawberries when they were in season.
We also eat a lot more veggies (asparagus, etc.), but this tapers on and off.

We try to use only Omega 3 eggs, which cost 3-4 times as much as normal eggs. Paying $3.00 for one dozen Omega 3 eggs doesn't seem to make sense, so I find myself hoping the words 'Omega 3' are more then ink on the label.

In the past, our family is are good at short spurts of well intentioned plans that fade eventually. We will see were this one goes. All of these dietary changes aren't cheap. But I hope they will be effective.