So far so good with treatments - is diet attributing to this?

gina racc's picture
Posted by gina racc in HER2+, on 24 Sep 2013, 04:23PM

I started my treatments of Herceptin & the chemo Abraxane at the end of June, 2013, a month after being diagnosed.

I have had 4 Rounds; a round being Week 1- Herceptin & Abraxane, Week 2 - Abraxane, Week 3 - free.

At the end of Round 4, CT scans & ultrasound showed that my boob lump was reduced by half & the spots on my lungs were imperceptible with the largest spot (10mm) down to 4.9mm.

I also had my portacath removed at this stage as the scar was not healing and the portacath seemed to be working its way out. However, it did function well deliving the cocktails :)

As all has been going so well, my oncologist allowed us to take a 2 week holiday to the big island of Hawaii which I had booked before the BC journey began. So with a dose of Herceptin only,  here I am, feeling very good & normal, apart from being bald & probably the only person hiking that is covered from head to toe to avoid the sun! :)

When we get back in early October, a new portacath goes in & Round 5 starts. After Round 6, I will have surgery to remove what's remaining of the lump & a margin.

Throughout the treatments I have been feeling relatively well. Tiredness, some metallic taste, sun damaged skin scabbing & now healed, skin rashes, hair loss, sore finger & toe nails would be all I can really think of.

I have been 95% strict with my diet; lots of green & colored vegetables, red meat 3 or 4 times a week, fish & chicken, very little sweet food (not appreciated due to the metallic taste), the odd glass of red wine, very little gluten & no processed food with as much organically produced as possible, green & peppermint tea, fresh turmeric & ginger tea every morning. Just about every morning, a green juice plus  a smoothie with a number of anti-oxidant foods in it as possible.

Walking, some easy yoga & meditation also.

So wondering if this is part of the reason I'm dealing with the treatment so well? Appreciate hearing about other people's diet & excercise regime. Cheers Gina




Hi Gina

Deanne's picture

Glad to hear you are doing well on treatment so far.

I have stuck to a similar regime as you as far as diet and exercise is concerned, minus the red wine. For me I prefer to avoid all alcohol because of it's links to cancer.

I think it helped me to get through Chemo in as good as condition as possible but did find it depended on the drugs as to how well I felt with side effects. Some drugs are just tougher or our body just reacts more to some.

If you find you are feeling well with what you are doing then I think that means you should stick with it. I found it helped me to feel better knowing I was doing what I could to help my body cope with treatment and the cancer. I would rather feel positive about things if I can as it improves your quality of life.

Well done on taking a positive outlook and I really hope it continues to work well for you.
Deanne xx

Thanks Deanne

gina racc's picture

Thanks for your encouragement & support! As my husband says, 'we must be doing something right, stick with it!"

Every now & again, the little glipse of doubt or what if turns up, but for me keeping focused on the positives & having the like minded relatives & friends on board certainly helps.

I'm surprised my focus has enabled me to be away from home, not worry about my work/business & know that within the next few months I can go home & then travel for the checkups.

How to make the life style changes to remain balanced & not get on the rollercoaster will be the next challenge :) But for now, it's get rid of my hitchhiker who is not welcomed!

Good luck with your final stages of treament. Hope the radiotherapy goes easy on you.



mona63's picture

Well im kind new to all this but right after surgery i just really went off sugar, chocolate and wine; i had made some changes to my diet when i was perimenopausal but in the last month have done similiar to what you are doing--and got some good books from the library about diet and cancer.  im doing this not knowing what impact it has -however i do feel like it is my way of contributing to wellness, and as a bonus i have two daughters so like that im doing maybe preventative diet stuff for them as well-- we are enjoying our new way of eating

less meat, broccoli, tumeric, red, purple and orange veg etc...

Good to hear

gina racc's picture

Hi Mona

It is a journey of discovery! My oncologist has a naturopath who has a scientific background so feel confident asking either of them questionsl Over the years I've heard of so many 'cures'.

I was unable to have children but did do IVF so wonder how much that had affected the BC. Then menopause,so tried diet to help.

I have 10 female cousins, all younger than me on this side of the family so try to make them aware to be vigiliant without being paranoid. 

But I certainly always feel better when eating well & getting excerise.

I don't spend alot of time on this site but do find lots of positivity.

All the best with your journey, Cheers Gina

Same same

positive3negative's picture

Hi there,

I'm half way through my chemo for triple neg and I'm also experiencing very few side effects. My diet is similar to yours, minus the wine. I've been shocked to read that just 400ml of wine a night can double your risk of breast cancer. I know so many women that share a bottle over dinner with their husband. Hardly excessive and no warnings on the bottle, but it's as much of a carcinogen as cigarettes. 

I'm finding keffir yoghurt great for the probiotics and reducing nausea.

I'm adding hemp seed to my breakfast (organic oatmeal) along with manuka honey.

Tumeric in everything savory.

I'm going easy on vegetable juice because my oncologist explained that my chemo works by oxidising the cancer, so overdosing on anti-oxidants is counterproductive. I'm eating loads of fresh vegetables and a couple of pieces of fruit a day. I'm craving pink grapefruit!

I'm buying organic as much as possible and eating organic, grass fed meat because it has higher omega 3 content. Google 'cancer and omega 3' and there's research that a higher omega 3 diet helps with chemo.

I'm eating loads of mushrooms of as many varieties as possible after seeing Paul Stamets TED talk. Fascinating! (But don't take the mushroom supplements until after chemo!)

I've ditched any vitamin or other supplements other than vitamin D on my onclogist's advice.

I've detoxed my body care. No more muti-chemical products. I've got Grants toothpaste (from Coles) and it's much kinder to my mouth. I'm only using rose hip oil on my face. I've got a natural liquid soap in the shower and I follow that with either coconut oil or hemp oil while I'm still wet. The oil emulsifies with the water. I use a hand towel to dry off the excess to keep the laundry sensible. It's a bit of a messy process but my skin has never felt better, my nails don't get split cuticles any more and because coconut oil is anti-fungal, no tinea or anthing fungal! 

I figure that anything toxic I put in my body is one more thing for my T cells to mop up, and right now I want them mopping up cancer. 'Toxic' includes things I put on my skin because we all know it's a permeable membrane (that's why nicotene patches work). I also think of excess food or unhealthy food as 'toxic' because what my body can't use as nutrition it needs to dispose of in some way.

I'm also doing gentle yoga and meditation, though not as often as I should.

Sounds like we're onto something.

I think it's also worth noting that I asked my oncologist if morning sickness during pregnancy was any sort of predictor for nausea during chemo. She said it definitely was. I didn't ever have morning sickness so some of this might just be pathological. 

Less toxins to deal with!

gina racc's picture

Hi, great to hear what you are doing. Yes, have to agree with the less toxins the body had to deal with the better for the body to work.

The coconut oil is great - I find it beneficial to my skin & scalp. Another use & this may sound aweful but first thing in the morning- rinse mouth with water & then swish about 2 tbsps of coconut oil or similar oil for as close to 20 minutes you can manage, then spit out (not down the drain & it won't be beneficial to the drain). I found it helped stop plague build up & another friend who suffered bleeding gums, has now got no problems.

My oncologist has not problems with the anti-oxidants in food eg goji berries, maqui berry powder etc as the body will use what it can. High dose intravenous types eg Vitamin C is a not allowed. A glass of red wine is also suppose to be ok but it's very occassional that I will actually feel like it or it taste right.

For years I've been juicing, using as much bio dynamic or organic food as possible, avoided processed food & used chemical free skin care products so have to wonder, why? But have been a highly energetic person, always on the go,doing 3 things at once & probably more stressed than I'd like to admit.

But as the oncologist says - she cannot pinpoint what gave me the cancer; could have been partly hereditary, stress, a chemical from years ago......but one thing I have learnt,  it's time for me, slow down & let go of many things.  Keep being heathy in what I put into the body, control as much as I can in my environment & especially stay positive witih mind power.

You mentioned pregnancy & I need to research more about the percentage rates of BC with women who have had IVF. Over 10 years ago I went through 4 rounds of IVF (unsuccessful) but the synthetic hormones certainly put me into a mess mentally. When I realised this, I seriously detoxed & within a month felt like a new or back to normal person.

Hence I've always been conscious of medications & avoided HRT medication wtih menopause.  Another comment that has come up is BC & women who have had breast reductions?

Things for the to do list ......

Cheers, Gina


positive3negative's picture

Me to with the coconut oil in the mouth, although only for five minutes.

This is an Indian Auyevdic practice known as 'drawing' (you probably know that) and I've also found it great for mouth care.




  • Category:  Those diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Support focus:  Early Breast Cancer, All Cancer

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