I started on Taxol with the biologics Herceptin and Perjeta 3 weeks ago. I get the biologics every 3rd or 4th treatment, and I get the Taxol every week. The thought behind doing it every week is to minimize the side effects.
Day 1 after Taxol with the biologics, I had bone/joint/muscle pain along with neuropathy, which is tingling/burning in my legs, arms, hands and feet. I had some of the other side effects that I won’t get into. Swell! The oncologist had suggested that I start taking prenatal vitamins (I need the B vitamins and folic acid) along with 20 g of L-Glutamine every day. I was able to get the prenatal vitamins and start taking them right away after my last AC chemo. I was too sick with that stupid virus to go get the L-Glutamine until I started the Taxol.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that you buy at a nutrition store, either in powder or pill form. Some people use it to preserve muscle tissue after a workout. It’s better known for countering the side effects of chemotherapy. For the amount I need to be consuming, pills weren’t going to work. Damn.
I got the L-Glutamine powder, which is supposed to be unflavored. Yeah, nice try. I first put it in my lemon flavored water. OMG, it was awful. Next thought was some sort of smoothie. For some reason, a lot of fruits just don’t appeal to me in the dead of winter. I suspect it’s the amount of sunlight that we get in winter along with vitamin C that determines this for me. Back in MN, I craved oranges and tangerines in January. When I moved to Houston, that craving in winter went away. When I moved up to the Tri Cities of WA back in 2009, we had more than 30 days in a row where we didn’t see the sun. I craved oranges like crazy. Hmm. Here in Seattle, it’s still sort of gloomy in the winter, but I’m not craving oranges like I normally would. Then again, I’m also taking a lot of vitamin C to help counteract the chemo, so… Then it dawned on me to put it in bubble tea.
I have a kind of favorite Vietnamese restaurant next to one of the grocery stores I frequent. I stopped in the store on the way home from chemo that 2nd week, and I also went in to the restaurant, ordered my favorite vermicelli salad and 3 bubble teas to take home. I got Mango, Blueberry and Almond – all strong flavors – and my go-to flavors as well. All 3 worked great with the L-Glutamine. The almond flavor, when I was done, turned out to be really sweet. Like almost sickeningly sweet. After researching the flavor powders and recipes, I also realized that putting the flavor powder in with almond milk was just adding sugar to the drink. Then I realized that I didn’t need the flavor and I could just drink it in almond milk. That takes care of two problems – getting the L-Glutamine in and staying away from sugar. Easy squeezy and done.