Cancer meds: the good, the bad & the ugly

As some of you will know my mum lost her life to cervical cancer just over four years ago. She went against the recommended course of treatment, completing around two thirds of the radiation and none of the chemotherapy. She instead chose to focus on alternative therapies, Vitamin C injections and don’t even get me started on the psychic operations. By the time she realised how close she was to death she wanted to do exactly what the doctors had been telling her. But it was too late. She lost a very winnable battle and I don’t intend to do the same.

The chemo tablets

These are called Temodal (short for Temozolomide) and I have to take one a day for five days in a row, every 28 days. So essentially by the time I’m finished one cycle, I’m only about three weeks away from starting the next one. My last cycle will be in December of this year.

I have to wake up and take a Zofran (anti-nausea) tablet, wait an hour then take 350mg of the Temodal tablets, then wait another hour and eat. After breakfast I take my other meds and vitamins. I don’t really have to wake early, but I set my alarm for 5:30am so I can eat before it gets too late. It’s pretty rough taking the tablets on an empty stomach, I can actually feel the chemicals being absorbed. But as soon as I put some food in there I feel a whole lot better. The tablets leave me absolutely exhausted at a minimum and sometimes very ill on a bad day. The annoying thing is I have no idea how each day will pan out, sometimes I manage a light workout or walk, other days I can’t even leave the house.


To prevent seizures I take one 500mg Keppra tablet in the morning and one in the evening. I will be on these for the rest of my life. At first I found that pretty confronting, but I haven’t noticed any side-effects so now I’ve made my peace with them. And if I never have another seizure in my life then it’s without a doubt worth it!

Sertraline / Zoloft

I started on these anti-depressants to help with my anxiety attacks which came back after my mum passed away and the end of a relationship. I was about to come off them around the time I was diagnosed … my GP and I decided that would not be a good idea.

Curcumin (turmeric tablets)

Turmeric has incredible anti-inflammatory properties and I have to thank my friend Rhian for putting me onto these. I have two each morning. They’re very orange and very big and not particularly fun to consume, but I know they’re doing me good.

Magnesium & Vitamin B

This helps with relaxation and stress so I generally take two before bedtime. If I’m having a rough night I’ll reach for the Valium instead, but I’ll always try the magnesium first.

Vitamin B is also great for stress and overall wellbeing. Again very big and not exactly flavoursome, but I’m a fan.

Cannabis oil

Numerous studies abound as to the positive effect cannabis oil has on brain tumours. No one really knows why they help, only that they do. The oil has all of the THC removed (the stuff that gets you ‘high’) so all that’s left is the highly beneficial cannabinoids. I take a half a teaspoon just before bed each night.

So that’s my regime! Sometimes it feels pretty shitty to be on so much medication, otherwise I feel positive because I know it’s doing its job and keeping my tumour stable. Here’s hoping that continues.




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