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how to boost immunity before starting chemo in child

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone. We have one more month to wait for a confirming MRI to find out whether DS (5.5 years old) is starting a new round of chemo or not, which means I have one month to get him super healthy before the chemo starts (we are pretty sure based on symptoms that his cancer is back). I was reading up on the drugs he will be on and the dosing and scheduling paperwork the hospital gave us. The drugs they are using this time are a million times worse than what he was on for round one. His blood counts will be greatly affected, sometimes requiring skipping a week of chemo (therefore prolonging the agony of the far away end date - 16 months of weekly chemo) or he may even require blood transfusions to get his blood counts into a safe zone. DS did not handle round 1 as good as they hoped he would, so we already know round 2 will be brutal on him. My biggest concern is his immunity. He will be devastated if he misses a lot of school, but he won't be able to go if his blood counts are near zero.
Any advice on how to get his immune system as strong as possible now and throughout his treatments will be greatly appreciated. Homeschooling is not an option because DS LOVES school too much and pulling him out of public school would make the cancer treatments a million times harder on him.

The only thing I have started so far is a liquid children's vitamin from the health food store that I put in his juice. He also drinks a lot of OJ - not from concentrate, but the real stuff. And he has 2 chewable Vit Cs per day. Any other ideas??
post #2 of 16
Oh gosh, I couldn't read and not respond. I'm so very sorry that your little one is going through this.

You may have already done this, but I wanted to suggest perhaps posting in Special Needs? I believe that there are some parents there with lots of experience with hospitals and procedures ect.

The only idea I had was to see if maybe breastmilk would help him. I think it only takes a little bit to help transfer immunities, if you or someone you trust, (or a donor through milk share or hmbana) were willing to provide breastmilk for your son.
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
Oh gosh, I couldn't read and not respond. I'm so very sorry that your little one is going through this.

You may have already done this, but I wanted to suggest perhaps posting in Special Needs? I believe that there are some parents there with lots of experience with hospitals and procedures ect.

The only idea I had was to see if maybe breastmilk would help him. I think it only takes a little bit to help transfer immunities, if you or someone you trust, (or a donor through milk share or hmbana) were willing to provide breastmilk for your son.
I am so sorry you are going through this.
I always told myself if my child ever got cancer I would relactate. I would pump and pump and pump. Its easy to digest, and full of stem cells and immunities. Probably the easiest this on a stomach when going through chemo.

Vitamin D is also good for treating cancer and boosting the immune system.
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/cancerTreatment.shtml
post #4 of 16
(((HUGS))) to you and your child first off. Do some research to make sure its right for your DS but we do raw milk to boost our immune systems. You can find out more at Real Milk. We've done both cow and goat millk. Goat is supposed to be better than cow but personally I saw more immediate/better results with raw cow's milk from grassfed cows. Goat milk is all we can afford at the moment so that is what we're drinking and its good. My husband won't touch it (he has hang ups about milk in general) but the kids and I love it. HTH

ETA: regarding Vitamin D, raw milk from grassfed animals is a great source. Heat destroys the natural vitamin D in store bought milk so that's not going to help. Plus, most of those animals are not living outside in the sunshine eating grass so that they can make vit D in the first place. You might also want to read on CoQ10 and cancer.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. Breast milk would be a great option, but I weaned DS2 one year ago at 26 months age because emotionally I couldn't do it anymore. The stress of dealing with a child with cancer throws my hormones way out of whack and I wouldn't even consider putting myself through that again. And I don't have any friends with young kids anymore.

Happy Tomato - the Raw milk is a great idea. I will definitely switch him to that.
post #6 of 16
I recommend the book "Beating Cancer with Nutrition" by Patrick Quillin. His book had a lot of good info including what to eat before and during treatment and WHY it was important. I found this book very helpful. Good luck with everything!
post #7 of 16
I'm sorry, I don't have any specific advice. But I couldn't sail by and read your post without telling you that I am in awe of your and your son's courage, and that I hope and pray that he gets through the chemo as easily as possible, and that he goes on to enjoy and long, healthy, happy life with you. I'm so sorry you and your family are dealing with this.
post #8 of 16
I'm sorry.

Vitamin D3. I'd do 2000 IU of D3 per day with him (read up on his particular cancer and D first..but I only know of two non-cancer medical conditions that contraindicate D and all the cancer and D connections so far that I've read look like anyone with cancer should have normal (50's) D levels. My FIL has noticed some positive changes to his cancer when he normalized his D levels (cancer indicators in the blood in his case dropped significantly when they had been rising even though his treatment hadn't yet started).

For immune boosting for my son in addition to D we're doing (you can google these and immune--all have immune system boosting effects in studies):
Epicore
Florastor
Colostrum
Melatonin though he probably doesn't do this to the level to see any real immune effects from the melatonin itself solid sleep and enough of it is important for the immune system.
He also takes a general probiotic from Klaire labs because probiotics can boost but if I were prioritizing for cost I'd do the ones I listed above first for sure. Florastor is a probiotic anyway and a good one.
Over thoughts but again the list above would be my top for immune building.
We do optizinc zinc and it's my choice for zinc supplement. I honestly think food source vitamin C would be best for him if he can intake it via fruits and vegetables especially. I've got this handheld mixer thing I can use to blenderize anything for drinks and it's easier to get quantity of those types of foods in my son that way. It's easy to clean as well as the mixer part just pops in the dishwasher.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerdylan View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. Breast milk would be a great option, but I weaned DS2 one year ago at 26 months age because emotionally I couldn't do it anymore. The stress of dealing with a child with cancer throws my hormones way out of whack and I wouldn't even consider putting myself through that again. And I don't have any friends with young kids anymore.

Happy Tomato - the Raw milk is a great idea. I will definitely switch him to that.
Congratulations on nursing your DS for so long! Not to beat a dead horse- you can try www.milkshare.org to see if someone would donate milk in your area-- many times you can request blood tests ect. Just wanted to offer that up for an option. Raw milk sounds wonderful as well!
post #10 of 16
I know the milk bank I donated to sent out milk to cancer patients. I would contact them to see if they could help. They told me that 3 oz of breast milk per day has been known to help cancer patients going through chemo.

The milk bank was the San Jose Milk Bank. They are wonderful ladies and I am sure would love to help you get more info if you decide to go that route.

I am so sorry your little one is going through this. I hope he tolerates this better now that he is older.
post #11 of 16
I like the idea of milk bank vs. raw milk because there can be (shouldn't be when done well but it has been known to happen) bacteria in raw milk and if his immune system is wiped out I'd be nervous that even something that wouldn't affect healthy people could really take hold in him. This isn't a debate about raw milk safety overall or the benefits of raw milk as certainly both are true. But you're talking about someone with their immune system knocked out so what is reasonably safe for a typical kiddo wouldn't be for him in my opinion. Beyond that and even if the bank doesn't work out, you've got other options that don't carry any risk for him.
post #12 of 16
You might actually get some insight from some of the mamas on the allergy forum, what with all their biochemistry brilliance in tackling allergies.
I would look into the b vitamins as well. Especially B12, B6 and folate. Look at http://heal-thyself.ning.com/notes/1...r_Healthy_Guts for nutrient dense food ideas for healing. Things like bone broth, green smoothies, etc. All doable and not too expensive.
If you get raw milk, kefir it. That way you can be pretty sure any bad bugs has less of a chance of survival and it is packed with probiotics and other goodness. Here is a link on probiotic stuff http://networkedblogs.com/6SNRq

Hugs mama. I have a good friend who went through this. Don't know you, but will be praying for you.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
I like the idea of milk bank vs. raw milk because there can be (shouldn't be when done well but it has been known to happen) bacteria in raw milk and if his immune system is wiped out I'd be nervous that even something that wouldn't affect healthy people could really take hold in him. This isn't a debate about raw milk safety overall or the benefits of raw milk as certainly both are true. But you're talking about someone with their immune system knocked out so what is reasonably safe for a typical kiddo wouldn't be for him in my opinion. Beyond that and even if the bank doesn't work out, you've got other options that don't carry any risk for him.
Along the same lines, home pasteurization is an option for raw cow, goat or human milk.
post #14 of 16
There are a bunch of immune boosting ideas and foods here: Where to start? Help 101


Pat
post #15 of 16
Hi mama! I'm so sorry and I sadly know how you feel as my third son has stage 4 liver disease and is getting a transplant.

Please read Suzanne Sommrs book KNOCK OUT! It has the most amazing information on cancer! Seriously!!!! Please read it.

Stay strong and if you are open to chanting check out this site and contact your locak chapter. I will tell you from personal experience that IT WORKS and if you chant they WILL over come the disease.

http://www.sgi-usa.org/
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I am going to go buy many of these suggestions. I am hoping if I can get him strong in the next month that maybe the chemo won't be as hard on his body.

sbgrace - thanks for the warning on the bacteria in raw milk - I never would have thought of that for our case. I will look into some alternatives....
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