1 (edited by Iowagirl Thu, 10 Apr 2014 06:38:35)

Topic: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

I saw a post somewhere on here about Fractionated Chemo.  That is, the chemo is given more closely together and for longer hours, which supposedly cuts down on side effects and also supposedly keeps the chemo attacking the cancer cells while keeping the immune system more intact to also help fight off the cancer. 

I am going to Mayo tomorrow and am sure that they will suggest  post surgery chemo, but the theory behind this method makes some sense and I want to know if anyone out there has tried it and how it worked. 

I had a 5 cm  x 4 cm x 4 cm main tumor with a quarter inch secondary tumor very near the main one....located in the left outer lobe.  They removed part of my left liver node with a 2.2 clean margin and 6 out of 6 lymph nodes were also clear.  The tumor was confined to the hepatic parenchma.  Perineural and venus invasion was "not identified" in the path report.  I am staged as pT2b.  The tumor is moderately differentiated and is non-neoplastic.

Also,  I am wondering about IV Vit C during chemo.  I've read that it helps with chemo side effects, but am wondering if that is true or if it is quackery?????
Has anyone had this during chemo and what did you think....did it help?
Julie

"Just for today, I can get through anything."  Hey....I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor.  The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences or knowledge.  As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.

Re: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

Julie -
I don't know about the chemo but I do know that there is no "set" treatment for cc. As you can see we are all over the board on what we all are taking.

As for the Vitamin C I am sure that Gavin posted a link to a research article about Vitamin C that had to do with the Vit C. It was a small retroactive study about patients who had good results with the infusion. It had to do with the way the body metabolizes the Vit C infusion versus the oral variety. I am not sure that it would be hurt and if if could help.....

KrisV

Any advice given is based on my experiences and should not be substituted for any medical recommendations. Please speak with your provider before making any changes.

Re: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

Dear Julie, my daughter's BF had Lymphoma and after 2 years of treatment decided to go natural pathic. He had Vit C infusions to the tune of 50K for a year and felt great. We never knew if he was in remission or if it was the Vitamin C. After a year the Lymphoma came back with a vengeance and he passed this last Dec. at the age of 52. I am one of those who does not believe unless it is scientifically proven. At any rate what ever one does they should always consult their ONC first.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

My husband had TPN and we did request additional Vitamin C to be added.  Did it help?  I don't know, but it also caused no problems.
Hugs,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

Thank you for the info on the Vit C.  I don't doubt that it may have some kind of good effects on the body, but it sounds like it's untested and in general, it's used more by wholistic type doctors.

"Just for today, I can get through anything."  Hey....I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor.  The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences or knowledge.  As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.

Re: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

Julie, good girl! You learn fast little Grasshopper. It probably will not hurt unless one has Diabetes but nothing has ever been proven especially with CC. CC has a mind of it's own and again no one should try anything without asking their ONC. Sending giant hugs!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

Lainy,  As to the Vit C, I had not considered whether Vit C would be an issue with diabetes.  Sigh.  Of course I am a type 1.5 , insulin dependent diabetic (the steroid, Prednisone, killed off some of my insulin producing parts of my pancreas about 18 years ago .  I also have insulin resistance due to weight, which is why I am a type 1.5....a not so well known type).  ANYWAY.....I digress.  I am concerned about how my diabetes will react if I am given steroids during chemo.  I just was given two steroid pills to try to forestall a possible allergic reaction to a CT Scan contrast.  With the current two insulins I take, a long acting background insulin and my short acting mealtime insulin, I was coming up with blood sugars last night and this morning of 223 and 235.  Part of that may be due to two of my surgical incisions having healing issues (I somehow popped two incisions which led to weeping and tissue death....but superficial according to my surgeon...healing in a week or week and a half).  That can also send up blood sugar. I'm going to update my intro post with the news from my Mayo appt today.

"Just for today, I can get through anything."  Hey....I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor.  The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences or knowledge.  As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.

Re: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

Julie, I just posted on your other post but not only do we have Birthdays together, I too have Diabetes and take insulin. When I was on Prednisone it was for over 2 years and I went from 125 to 172!!! Then my newer Gastro Guy weaned me off, thank God, and I am back down to 130. Point is that with that extra weight off the numbers really dropped but it did take about 4 months. Numbers still not low enough but usually 130 -  180. I tell you between the colitis and the Diabetes there is not much left to eat. I tell you no one ever told me that I would be so busy at this age seeing Doctors! Today the ONC but it is just to talk and schedule my next CT Scan in 6 months. Tomorrow my Remicade infusion for the Colitis and Friday a consult with a 2nd Neuro Surgeon on that tumor in my head (benign). Rather spend that time meeting a nice man!!!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

Lainy, you are my birthday buddy.  How fun!!!  I will start chemo sometime shortly around my birthday this year....not sure if that's a curse, or a present to myself.  I'd really like to get past Easter and even my birthday before I do the first infusion, but if my incisions are healed, I know they want me to start as soon as possible.  It really depends on them. 

Oh....I know what you mean about preferring to spend time meeting a guy rather than going to Dr. appointments and obsessing over treatments.  I'm happily married, so I'm not "looking", but this whole thing sucks up so much time that I could be using to do fun things....things I've planned to do after my Nov retirement.

And.....I sure wish I could be spending the money for something more fun as well.  Our Co-pay went from $5000 per year to $12, 000 per year on Jan 1st, 2014, due to the new insurance plans.  We've already more than me that co-pay of course.  But, thankfully, the new plan does have Mayo in their network.  About 5-10 years ago, they did not for a number of years because Mayo and our insurance wouldn't play nicely together with billing.  Gah!!!

Thanks for your comments about diabetes and steroids.  It's been a concern of mine as I read about treatment during chemo for side effects.  It was a steroid that started my diabetes....and I was diagnosed having diabetes initially with an A1C of 13 (and oddly enough...I had NO symptoms, other than I urinated one extra time per day if I happened to stay up all night working....otherwise, I didn't....and I normally only go to the bathroom a couple times a day at most). 

When you were on the steroids, how high did your BG numbers go?  Did they have your increase insulin ....either baseline or mealtime during the time you were on the steroids?

Now that I'm home from Mayo, I have more questions. (I had a list of 23 for him when we met at Mayo on Tuesday.....<grin>)  I can call my internist/oncologist, but I want to maximize a phone call so I'm not calling all the time. 

I think we've decided to go back to Mayo to have a port installed...not so much because of the lack of expertise of our local doctors to do it, but because of the extreme difficulty the local nurses seem to have putting in an IV.  The last local gal blew out two veins (I wasn't surprised, considering her technique) and I had to insist that she was DONE.  Prior to that, for a liver biopsy, there were  8 attempts to insert an IV, by about 4 different nurses, before they agreed to finally call IV therapy with their ultrasound machine.  Then, Tuesday at Mayo, the guy who put in the IV prior to my CT scan did it first try and with hardly the feel of a pin prick.  I was in tears prior to him doing it...I was so crazy upset over having to go through the IV thing again.  My bad experiences here in town with this have extended back many years, so it's not that I've just had recent bad luck.  Some people are better at this than others, and really the others just shouldn't be doing it....but I suppose it looked like a good career choice for a paycheck.

"Just for today, I can get through anything."  Hey....I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor.  The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences or knowledge.  As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.

Re: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

Julie I know what you mean about the needles. I have good veins but they roll. Yet, some get it on the first try and other have to be fired! When my Glucose was at it worst from the Preds I could easily hit 300 to over 400. I felt like a walking sugar jar waiting to explode! But my Endocrinologist was very understanding as he knew it would not be forever, still I wonder what damage it may have caused. Guess it would have showed up by now. Oh, I take about 10 units before each meal and then before bedtime with another long acting insulin. (Novolog daytime/Lantus before bed) Got more important things to worry about.  HA, I always say wish all I have spent these 3 years on Medical sure would have given me a Fabulous Cruise. Teddy and I always had a dream of going to Sicily and Israel as they are only 4 hours apart by plane. Still a dream. Well off to get my Remicade  infusion and it better work this time. Catch ya on the flip flop!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

Julie -
You are the first person that I have heard refer to the type 1.5 diabetes. My husband has that and everyone looks at me like I ma crazy when I try to explain it....even some doctors. My husband had radiation as a teenager which hit his pancreas so he doesn't produce enough insulin and then he has the insulin resistance due to age and weight. Although at this point even though he lost weight, he's only been able to drop taking meds, not his insulin.

The steroids after the chemo did play with his blood sugars some. He popped up in the mornings from less than 130 to low 200's but usually after three days it returned to normal. I just made sure that he ate more protein right after chemo which helped some. His A1c has actually been better through all of this. It used to run 9-10 and now usually less than 8 although I suspect it is more related to 50# weight loss in the last year. His Lantus insulin has dropped form 50 units twice daily to 20-30 units twice daily (more if taking steroids) and then hardly using his sliding scale.

While your wounds are healing though, I do suggest that you increase your protein intake. Your body needs more while its healing so it can use the protein as building blocks. Stuff like Glucerna to supplement meals can help. Carnation Instant Breakfast is pretty good too and we found it in premixed bottles that he likes too.

Hugs, KrisV

Any advice given is based on my experiences and should not be substituted for any medical recommendations. Please speak with your provider before making any changes.

Re: Has anyone tried Fractionated Chemo? IV Vit C?

Kris,

Thanks for the idea of upping my protein intake.  No one has said that to me before....at least not that I remember.  Then again, I'm normally very organized, but while up at Mayo, I took an extra blood pressure dose by mistake....and really dropped my BP....to the point that I wasn't talking right, was dizzy and had some vision issues while we drove the three hours home.  When we got home at 4 p.m.....my BP was 92/47.  YIKES!!!  And at THAT point, I was actually feeling BETTER. 

I've been worrying some about the diabetes issues and chemo, so it is good to hear from someone who has dealt with the two and a little of what to expect. While the tumors were in my liver, my blood sugar actually dropped like a rock.  I even had a spontaneous low, the week before I was diagnosed, which I later discovered on my own, is a sign of liver cancer.  My blood sugar had been 7.7 at the end of Dec, but by the time of surgery, it was 6.9.  I was really relieved to hear 6.9 because the surgeon said she would not operate if it was over 8.  One of the team told me that she probably would anyway, but it wasn't lost on me. 

My blood sugar has been up in the last two weeks more....taking more insulin, which the Mayo doctor said was probably due to the infection in my incisions....makes sense.  I had thought it also might be due to the liver regenerating and kicking out more glucose again, but he didn't think that was the case.  In fact, I was surprised that he didn't see any regeneration...it looked to him like the entire left lobe was gone, but it wasn't.  I've read the surgical report....they look two sections of the left lobe.  So, I really don't know what is going on there.  Our appointment had to come to an end, but he said I could call him anytime...leave a message and he'd get back to me as soon as he could ...probably the same day.  I need to get my questions lined up for the poor guy again.  I think I may be a challenging patient for him.  On one hand, I know enough to understand all the medical mumbojumbo, but that just precipitates more questions. 

VERY interesting that your hubby also is a 1.5 type diabetic patient.  I was beginning to think I was the ONLY one.  smile   There's nothing like being special, is there? 

Better go...hubby has gone to bed.

Julie

"Just for today, I can get through anything."  Hey....I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor.  The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences or knowledge.  As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.