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Friend with breast cancer at 30 years of age, want to help but she's doing chemo

CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

My North African friends hardly would understand why anyone would be vegetarian, so I don't even try to talk raw with them.

But my friend just got diagnosed with cancer. She's going to do chemo, and of course I am not going to criticize that it would be totally inappropriate and alien to her and her family.

I live in another city but will go up to visit. Apparently she is pretty weak.

What should I bring? Chlorella? Spirulina? Maca?

What will make her stronger? Bring up her defenses without interfering with her treatment? Will it all be usesless because of that horrible, horrible chemo?

Comments

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    Also, if anyone knows of any retreats/wellness centers she could go to I would love to hear about it. I know it would be long, and plus I don't live with her so I can't keep her raw if she ever did agree to it. But I would be willing to think about sending her to one of them. Maybe then in the summer she could stay at my place.

    This all sounds very idealistic, but I'd like to help. Starting with the supplements and then thinking big...

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    PS she only speaks french and arabic. How could I send her to get better somewhere where she will have the stress of a language barrier?

    (I could always do the program with her and translate and teach her english! if she doesn't already know some...)

    This is starting to sound childish and idealistic.

  • blueyzblueyz Raw Newbie

    First of all I wish fast healing to your friend. My brother recently went through chemo, his after being diagnosed diabetic and he's only 29. He finally is thinking a little more health related(sigh, took long enough and I guess my talking about what I do and not preaching started sinking in on at least the diabetic part). I know with him the biggest part of him feeling so weak was that on days he went for treatment would be very stomach sick. Perhaps if she is dealing with the same then a mint or ginger tea would be good(mint might feel more cooling).

    You don't sound childish at all, and while I wouldn't push raw foods on her perhaps you can bring up items that you know are healing. I find people are more accepting of that notion and will try it. Maybe make her some smoothies that will be gentle on the belly yet have some good fats/proteins to give her some energy.

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Carnap~

    Your concern for your friend is very evident and your efforts to find a solution for her is admirable. You are a true friend.

    I support people in improving their well-being with incorporating a non-toxic option. If you are interested in more info, feel free to email me (email addy is in my profile).

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    Thanks, Bluedolfin, I'll keep that in mind ! Will contact you once I do a bit more serious research so you don't have to deal with someone who has no clue!

    The thing is, I have my work cut out for me. My friend comes from Morocco. Moroccans have a very high esteem in the French medical system (where I live). Everyone sends there family to France to get treated. If I come in and say it is all bunk, they will think I'm nuts. If I come in with a bunch of research and well founded arguments, they might not be interested. Some of my friends have high level degress, but some have no intellectual life. So it is hard to know how to present the information I plan on accumulating.

  • internettouristinternettourist Raw Newbie

    If she speaks English and is interested in speaking to others who have cancer, you might suggest that she visit www.crazysexylife.com . At you tube there is a trailer of Kris Carr, the website originator's, cancer documentary "Crazy Sexy Cancer." Raw foodists would like the Crazy Sexy Gerson Group in there. My parents hardly believe what I say. They go to doctors a lot just like their friends. But they do recognize that I am healthy. My mother has recently started being a little more healthier. But that old false stuff about drinking milk and requiring protein cannot get out of their head. They just love it so much. They won't listen to anything else.

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Carnap~ I look forward to hearing from you when you are ready. Knowledge level is not an issue (part of my "job" is to educate)... the important issue is motivation... If there is motivation, there is a way. :)

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Carnap~

    How is your friend doing? How is your research going? Did you receive my reply to your email?

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    Yes I'm still thinking about it.

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    I have not seen her. I agree with everything you said, I will reply now with my dilemma.

  • the best way to cure cancer is to fast. digestion takes up so much of your body's energy. eating all of the time will take up so much energy leaving little to heal the body and get rid of the cancerous cells. it's best to do an all veggie juice/water fast. take your friend somewhere that specializes in fasting. my boyfriends friend had cancer. it had spread everywhere. he gave up on conventional medicine and went to a holistic doctor. the doctor put him on a detox program and he is now cancer free. that really sucks that she's doing chemo. it's really bad for recovery. it wears down your body so much.

  • sisterbeckysisterbecky Raw Newbie

    Take her some tea (like the ginger, or peppermint that someone already suggested). That would be my guess. Or, send it to her if she is too far away. Just knowing that someone cares is more important than anything imho. Though I tend to think "we" as a society, do not take advantage of alternative medicine and nutrition enough, I would be cautious about pointing out chemo cons right know. (You probably wouldn't anyways, you sound too caring of your friend.). But, I do know several people that the chemo did kill the cancer (or anyways, they are still alive today). Just be there for your friend- just like you are doing. And of course, once the chemo is over, that may be a better time to try to gently suggest some nutritional stuff. The body can do some miraculous healing on it's own- so you don't want to point out that her treatment isn't good for her. The mind is very important, she needs to think that her treatment will work. Mind of matter? To discourage her choice of treatment now would only hurt her (imo). But, you've already mentioned you wouldn't do that, so I'm preaching to the choir:-) Just support her, and be gentle. You sound like a very compassionate person. Oh, and as an after thought. Whatever you do will not be "useless." Even if her treatment doesn't work and kill the cancer, showing her support is really more important than if it can physically help her. The emotional is just as important.

  • Hi Carnap

    I am a breast cancer survivor and I was diagnosed at 31. I'm 33 now and trying to make myself healthier through eating a better diet. I had a lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy, chemotherapy and radiation. If I knew then what I know now I'm not sure I would have done chemo or radiation only because the cancer had not spread. Anyway, I agree that you should support your friend in her decisions and try to only give her factual information. I had many people wanting to give me their opinions and it only aggravated and sometimes confused me. I also agree that a positive environment is the best for healing. For me being positive came easy and maybe it's because the people around me were always positive as well. There were also many people who prayed for me from many different religions. I believe in being positive and the power prayer no matter your religious preference.

    During my treatment I was lucky to also be working with a naturopath. He prescribed supplements for me and a nutritionist made food suggestions. One of the most important vitamins are B vitamins for energy. I think B's are in dark leafy greens and spirulina? I took spirulina during my treatment and I think it helped me quite a bit. I don't know how long her treatment will last, but you may also want to check out http://www.youngsurvival.org. It's a site specifically for young people with breast cancer and some people give tips on what they did to counteract chemo side effects.

    I hope your friend is doing well. If you need any more information let me know.

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    Thank you so much! Great info!

    I was doing research but never wanting to say anything as it is not my place, even thought I wanted to take her by the hand and force green smoothies down her throat and make her eat vegan!

    But I had thought right away of Spirulina and you confirm that this is a good idea. I'll check out the site. Thanks.

    Hope you are doing well.

  • bittbitt Raw Starter

    yes the best you can do is just give her things that will give her a bit more energy to fight off the side affects of chemo. i think green juices or smoothies or anything with greens will help. whatever she is up for. and just being there for her.

  • Raw would only help if she's going to go the naturopathic route, otherwise it's best to keep herbs and high vibe food away until after chemo; the body does not work the same way it normally does when it is undergoing chemo treatments.

    If she is going through them, she should follow her doctor's orders to the t, then during recovery she can up the greens and start juicing and using teas and herbs and whatnot.

    I'm not saying Gerson-type therapy doesn't work, I'm just saying it's either-or. The body is being poisoned when it undergoes chemotherapy, but that is the POINT of chemo, therefore anything supporting the body's natural healing process would not vibe well with the chemo. Unfortunately it's all or nothing one way or the other, for now.

    But as I said, for recovery raw would definitely be helpful!

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    That's what I was afraid of. My mom has always said to be careful about mixing traditional and natural because it could interfere with the actual treatment. Thanks.

  • corecriescorecries Raw Newbie

    There are some plants called adaptogens that are very helpful .

    These adaptogens return the homeostasis in the body and are great for recovering after serious illness.

    I will recommend Jiaoculan (Phentaphyllum Gynostemma) to boost the immune system after she is done with the chemo. It is very effective and a good tea also. It goes a long way..

    If there is a lot of weightloss, no appetite and general weakness, a special brew made mainly from fishwort is also another very effective medicin.

    This one you have to search online for, and they are available from thailand probably cheaper that anywhere else.

    If you are interested they do sell through OTOP which is a approved by the government and King :)

    BEst of luck to your friend

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Carnap~

    Just because something is called "natural" does not mean it is non-toxic. It is important to know if the natural product is non-toxic and under what conditions it is non-toxic. Eg. Arsenic is "natural" ... and it is also very lethal/toxic under certain conditions. It is also important to work with someone that is knowledgeable about the "natural" products that one is considering taking especially when combining the usage with allopathic treatments and/or if there is a life interrupting condition involved.

  • rawcanadianrawcanadian Raw Newbie

    The China Study suggests that we can literally turn cancer on and off like a switch, and that low protein diets allow the body to fight off cancer.

    If you give her anything raw, it should be something low in protein so stay away from nuts and seeds, even though it may be animal proteins that cause the problem.

    Fresh organic juices made up of fruits and veggies might be your best choice, since the family members would be least likely to question the juice, but if they seen things they never saw before, they might not agree with it. (maybe put the juice in a some kind of bottle like V8, so they won't even know that you made it)

    We must always keep in mind that we can only help people that want help, or else all of our efforts fall on deaf ears.

    If you can find some material for her to read (in french) like The China Study, this may help as well, as long as her and her family excepts the study as fact. A lot of people look at the study and ignore it, just like smokers ignore the studies that says smoking is bad for us.

    I'm sure there is more material out there, and that people are more willing to believe credible sources of information.

    So if you try to explain something to them they might think you literally lost your marbles, and the family might turn on you, so you have to be careful. Because most people will only believe that there is only one way out, and they might even think there is nothing wrong with their diets in the first place, and think that they are healthy , when in fact they are not.

    To mention that their healthy diets of dairy and meat might be the cause of disease would be unbearable to them.

    What we don't want to do is shock her body with a different diet while she is doing chemo. However, small changes while on chemo should work. Add a couple of extra servings of fruits and veggies, like the juice I suggested, per day for the first week, and then maybe add a couple more servings the second week .

    Anyway, good luck and all the best to you and your friend.

  • "However, small changes while on chemo should work."

    "The China Study suggests that we can literally turn cancer on and off like a switch, and that low protein diets allow the body to fight off cancer."

    The 'switch' the study is referring to is most likely the gene for the overproduction of cancerous cells in the right condition. This is true. Low protein diets, and raw vegan diets for that matter, have shown amazing promise in allowing the body to fight off cancer.

    HOWEVER the one factor that is missing here is chemo...chemotherapy changes the chemistry of the body. I may be mistaken, but I am under the impression that chemotherapy relies on a repressed immune system, among other things, otherwise the immune system would attack the chemotherapy itself. This is why cancer patients gets sores in the mouth and must be extra vigilent about infection, as there is little immunity to fight it off. Same with oxidation; I am under the impression that chemo acts in a simlar fashion to free radicals in the body, damaging cells during a specific phase of cell regenisis. Putting foods with high levels of antioxidants or immunity enhancing features would therefore negate the chemotherapy. That is not to say it would render the chemotherapy useless; it would simply create a bit of an 'uphill battle' for the chemo. Either that, or the phytonutrients and the antioxidants in the food itself would be rendered useless, in which case the patient wouldn't really notice a difference in how they feel; it would be as if they were eating regular food.

    The main problem people face when undergoing chemotherapy is lack of appetite or nausea. For someone who has never tried raw food before, this may create more problems than it solves. High fat foods, like nuts and seeds, are also not tolerated well by the patient who suffers from lack of appetite and nausea. The vegetables might not prove palatable, as excessive chewing can aggrevate problems with nausea. Green smoothies? Sure, if the patient is up for it and the idea does not sound unappealing to them. It's really your friend's call.

    All this is about nutrition DURING chemotherapy. But after chemotherapy, I think raw foods would be great...it would almost be as if your friend would be starting with a blank slate with her body, and when all the cells start to rebuild themselves you can help her supply them with outstanding nutrition, then her body would be better off than before! Perhaps while she's going through chemo you can give her information so that AFTER chemo, she can start trying some stuff out. I think it would be a little stressful to try and get her to eat stuff that's completely new now, even if it is only a couple of meals a week. Sometimes getting ANY food down during chemo is a struggle!

    Best wishes to you and your friend!

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    Thank you all. My friend is doing well. They said she was looking in good spirits this week (I live two hours away by train).

    The only obstacle I have is the mentality. Surely, after treatment is over, I would love to implement some kind of health regimen. Butt...since I am dealing with all women, and we all know how competitive women are, I am already getting some passive aggressive comments from my friends about my passion for health, biology, and other domains.

    Sometimes I think if you are more knowledgeable than your friends, or very passionate about something, they perceive you as a threat....

    It is frustrating.

  • readingatworkreadingatwork Raw Newbie

    Not sure how much time or money you would like to spend. A care package is always nice. You could make her a notebook of things to make, like juices and just list the ingredients, keep it simple. You could make a list of superfoods, maybe a magnetized frame or something she could put on the fridge. i googled arabic speaking naturopath doctors and got this link. http://www.fatiguedoctorlist.com/?cat=25 If she's going to do the chemo regardless, then I would find an Arabic doctor with holistic intent regardless of location and he can surely find someone for her. While she's resting up she can get familiar with the ingredients. In the notebook you could do all the googling for her since she will be too tired and overwhelmed to look herself. For example, find her nearest healthfood store w directions and a number, etc. Also, instead of flowers, you could send someone to her house to do reiki. With good intent, the right people, and a bit of visualization, she should be able to make small healthier changes. Best wishes.

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