How long after chemo will I feel better? It’s a fair question to ask, and it’s one I get asked a great deal. My answer is to that question is that it all depends on how proactive you are. Here’s what I mean by that.
This is THE most important article for you to read if you have just finished chemotherapy or radiation so please do take the time to read this critical information and feel free to share it with your friends who are currently going through or have just finished chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy and Radiation Are Toxic to Our Bodies
Chemotherapy drugs and radiation are both highly toxic to our bodies – even the anesthesia from surgery can glug up your body. Once chemotherapy and radiation have been completed and these strong treatments have done their job, the body is often filled with toxins – not just from the drugs and radiation, but also from the cancer cells that have been killed off.
Our bodies do a pretty good job of detoxing all on their own – or at least they do when we are healthy. But when we’ve been through these therapies, our body isn’t what it was. We’re tired, am I right? In fact, probably exhausted. Our bodies have become overloaded with toxic residue, some of which can remain in the body for years – even decades. That is, unless you know what to do.
It’s really important – and I’d say CRITICAL – to detox your body from these toxins because an overload of toxins in your body causes immune suppression [1,2], among other problems. It is your immune system on which you are relying to keep well and not have to go through cancer again, so this is super important.
It’s truly urgent to detox your body from the ill effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. I’d suggest starting as soon as you feel strong enough, but not before two weeks past the last chemo or radiation session. Be sure to check with your doctor or naturopath before embarking on any detox program to make sure you are strong and healthy enough.
Here’s a quick list of eleven things you can do that will help to get you started detoxing your body.
How To Detox Your Body After Chemotherapy & Radiation – 11 Tips
1. Rebuild Your Immune System – Since your immune system is your first line of defense against cancer and all other diseases, you must rebuild it because the chemotherapy and radiation treatments will have blasted the hell out of the very thing you are relying upon to stay well. As I said, your body may eventually do this on its own, but the process is generally quite slow and you don’t want to give any open doors to stray cancer cells. Here’s my page with tips on how to rebuild immunity: 8 Ways To Build A Super Strong Immune System.
2. Colonic Hydrotherapy – Colonic hydrotherapy can be of assistance not only after chemotherapy but also during to help alleviate the terrible constipation that often results from chemotherapy. Your doctor or nurses may argue the need for colonic hydrotherapy (one nurse told me that we are designed for those wastes to move ONE way and we shouldn’t go against that) but I chose not to listen – the arguments for colonic hydrotherapy far outweighed her opinion. It really helps tremendously. It is a gentle and effective method for cleansing the colon – it is, in fact, the very best thing you can do to cleanse the upper reaches of the colon – places that enemas just can’t reach. Colonic hydrotherapy has an extensive history going back to ancient Egyptians and probably before that.
3. Liver Cleanse – Periodically doing a liver cleanse is absolutely essential, because this one organ is responsible for over 500 very important functions in your body. Filtering your blood and cleansing it of impurities and undesired things is just the start of what the liver does! There are many therapies which help to cleanse the liver, but one of my favorites is the coffee enema – which also helps to cleanse the colon. Bang! Two birds with one stone. If you haven’t heard of this before, you owe it to yourself to learn more about coffee enemas. Sign up for my newsletters, I will teach you.
4. Drink Lots of Filtered Water and Herbal Teas – This may seem simple but drinking lots of filtered water and herbal teas is one of the best things you can do to help detox your body after chemotherapy and radiation. How much do you need? We used to be told that we need to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, however, newer studies have shown that as long as you are sipping away on water all day and don’t go thirsty, you are likely getting what you need. Add a slice of lemon or lime for some antioxidants, flavor, and additional cleansing power. Herbal teas are also wonderful to help the cleansing process, particularly dandelion root tea which is a great liver cleanser (just don’t drink dandelion tea all the time – it’s most effective for use during a specific liver detox).
5. Juicing Organic Produce & Making Smoothies – The value of juicing and smoothie making cannot be overemphasized. The living enzymes and nutrients that are contained within freshly prepared juices and smoothies help to flush away toxins, rebuild the immune system, provide us with instant energy, help your body fight against cancer, and help to build up the blood. It’s so much better than taking a multi-vitamin because the nutrients are in a form that is most acceptable and assimilable by our bodies. Try any combination of beet, carrot, cucumber, broccoli, apple, ginger and lemon. Berries like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are also great – they are full of antioxidants and are potent blood cleansers – and all are cancer fighters. I have loads of articles on my website about the benefits of juicing, so be sure to check them out.
6. Circulate Your Blood – Walking, dancing, doing yoga – all of these things will help to detox your body. If you aren’t feeling up to that yet, simply bouncing on a rebounder (one of those mini trampolines) for 10 minutes two or three times per day helps to get your heart pumping. That gets your blood circulating and stimulates your lymphatic system to move, thus flushing toxins out of your body. Dry skin brushing is also beneficial – again, if you don’t know about that, just subscribe to my newsletters, I’ll teach you.
7. Eat Lots of Fiber – Fiber in the diet helps to grab onto toxins in your digestive tract. It also helps to remove excess estrogen from your body (again – two birds with one stone!). Fiber soaks up toxins like a sponge, and speeds up the elimination process. You can get loads of fiber from eating whole grains, beans, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. There are also plenty of fiber products that you could choose to add to your health regimen. One very good one is freshly ground organic flaxseed. Organic psyllium husks would be another good choice.
8. Herbal Medicine – There are many herbs and essential oils which will assist you in detoxing after chemotherapy and radiation. As I mentioned, dandelion root is a particularly good herb for liver cleansing, and so are yellow dock root, turkey rhubarb and Oregon grape root. I would definitely recommend seeking the advice of a qualified naturopath before taking herbs, however. A naturopath can help to guide you as to which herbs are best for you, dosages and possible drug interactions.
9. Avoiding Food-Borne Toxins – Your best course of action is to avoid processed and sugar-laden foods, as well as conventionally raised (or GMO) produce and meats, as these will not assist the detox process. Eating plenty of organic fruits, vegetables and free range lean meats like organic chicken (if you’re a meat eater) is much more conducive to keeping your system clear of toxins. I don’t even recommend fish anymore since Fukushima happened – even our deep sea fish are showing traces of radioactivity.
10. The Detox Bath – There is something so restorative about a hot detox bath! Hot water opens the pores and assists perspiration to take toxins away. By adding Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate), these two minerals help generate enzymes that work to clean up the body. Use at least 1-2 cups of Epsom salts in the bath. To make it a totally revitalizing experience, add lavender essential oil for its calming effects, or ginger which also helps to open the pores and is a good natural anti-inflammatory. If you don’t have Epsom salts, use plain old baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in the same amount – or mix them half and half. Both help to neutralize the effects of radiation. You might also add 1 cup of bentonite clay – in particular sodium bentonite clay, which is a potent detoxifying agent.
11. Detox Your Skin Care – If your body and skin care products are laden with toxic chemicals, many of which are known to be hormone disrupters, you are taking all of those toxins into your body. Our skin absorbs everything we put onto it and puts it into the bloodstream. I have a saying “If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.” It’s so important to use organic body products and cosmetics. All the time, not just when you are detoxing your body. Or make your own – I’ve got loads of recipes for doing this.
I have only touched the surface of this subject! There’s so much more to know! If you would like help in learning more specifically how to safely and effectively cleanse your tissues and organs of toxins from chemotherapy, radiation and even surgery, I have created a powerful how-to course to teach you. It is a collaborative project with naturopath Judy Seeger, the Cleanse Queen herself! For more information, click here.
 Environmental toxins impair immune system over multiple generations – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191002144257.htm —
 The Capacity of Toxic Agents to Compromise the Immune System (Biologic Markers of Immunosuppression) – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235670/
About Marnie Clark
Hi I’m Marnie Clark, breast cancer survivor turned coach. I have 20 years of experience in natural medicine. In 2004/05 I battled breast cancer myself. You can see more about my journey on my page Breast Cancer Diary.
I’ve been healthy and recurrence-free since 2004 and in 2012 I became a Breast Cancer Coach because I became aware of the fact that whilst there is now a wealth of information on the Internet, much of it is confusing, conflicting, and sometimes just wrong!
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