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Thread: Need help: Persistent itching, possible chemo side effect?

  1. #11
    Senior User
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    Hi everyone,
    I'm glad to inform that the condition has improved tremendously because I refused to throw in the towel like my Oncologist did. My PCP prescribed Doxepin, another anti-itch med. I started taking it once a day, just before bedtime because it may cause drowsiness. The dermatologist prescribed Triamcinolone ointment, and someone who is familiar with "natural" medicine suggested to cleanse the body using tea made of Rosemary leaves. I started taking all these medications at about the same time, and within two days the itching subsided dramatically. My skin still looks unhealthy (I'm now three weeks after the last chemo) so I continue with the treatment.
    The ointment is greasy, and after I apply it I also spread over Nivea body lotion "Essentially Enriched".
    I hope this information will be useful to others. Feel free to ask questions.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  2. #12
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi Vincera

    Hmmmm .....I would say the Triamcinolone did the trick..... Doxepin is an antidepressant and rosemary tea is just tea. Might give it a try. Thanks
    Age 62
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a Bulky presentation
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011

    NED AND DECLARED CURED on the 2/01/2013

    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    Still alive in 2019 !

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  3. #13
    Senior User
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    113
    Quote Originally Posted by ChemoMan
    Hi Vincera

    Hmmmm .....I would say the Triamcinolone did the trick..... Doxepin is an antidepressant and rosemary tea is just tea. Might give it a try. Thanks
    ChemoMan: I also thought that Doxepin is "just an antidepressant" but it is also a known anti-itching drug. As to rosemary tea - do you have a substantial knowledge about any possible therapeutic properties of this so called "just a tea" or other herbs with known therapeutic effects? I've learned to respect non traditional medical methods a.k.a "alternative medicine" because sometimes they offer good results. Anyway, I believe that "the proof is in the pudding". I started the Doxepin on Friday, followed by the ointment on Tuesday and the tea on Wednesday. Although this cannot be considered by no means as a double-blind clinical test, the improvement started with the tea. Also, to the best of my knowledge the drugs deal with the symptoms, not the cause. The way I see it, cleansing the body helps to rid the body of the cause. By the way, it's amazing that the same active ingredient is present in both the anti-itch ointment and in Kenalog in orabase (see my post about mouth sores.)
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  4. #14
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi Vincera

    Unfortunately your doctor prescribed 3 different things so it is impossible to tell which did the trick. Triamcinolone is a powerful topical medication and I have had experience with it before and it works fast. I did not say Doxepin is JUST an antidepressant I said it IS an antidepressant, and I also have experience with this drug and I will not take it. I respect your opinion of rosemary tea, but my opinion is that it is a waste of time, plus it tastes terrible, well it does to me anyway, so I won't bother.

    I do thank you for posting the info...it is now up on the board for others to look at and make up their own opinions. Your motives are genuine and your support is appreciated
    Age 62
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a Bulky presentation
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011

    NED AND DECLARED CURED on the 2/01/2013

    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    Still alive in 2019 !

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  5. #15
    Hi Vincera, ChemoMan,

    FWIW, I certainly have no trouble believing that tea can have an effect. For example. the link between green tea and reduced cancer rates is well-documented. But there is also evidence that green tea can block the effectiveness of cancer fighting drugs such as Velcade. So I believe that "alternative medicine" has the ability to do both good and harm.

    In moderation, most anything is probably fine, but you should always clear anything with a doctor before undergoing conventional care.
    My Story: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=11396
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 1AE (localized in colon)
    Began six cycles of R chop 21 3rd Dec 2008
    Finished R chop 21 Apr 2009
    Complete remission as of May 2009
    Confirmed April 2010

  6. #16
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    113
    Hi ChemoMan,
    Thank you for the supportive words. Obviously my motive is to help others.
    I suffered very much when I had my itching and nothing helped. If this post would help one person in need it was worth posting.
    A few corrections and remarks:
    My PCP prescribed the Doxepin but also sent me to the dermatologist who prescribed the ointment. The rosemary tea was suggested by a third person. All I use is 1 teaspoon three times a day so it's not that bad. No noticeable side effects from the Doxepin.
    I could volunteer myself to be a guinea pig and take one thing at a time and see the results, but IMO they all work together.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  7. #17
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    113
    Here's the latest update. Itching is almost totally gone, although the skin has been looking dry and in some places abused " on the arms there are some small dry flat blisters that don't hurt and don't itch. Once in a while I have some itch and I respond by applying Nivea lotion and the Rx dermatological ointment I mentioned earlier.
    I think SingleDad explained the effect of chemo on the skin very well and his interpretation makes sense. Also, having examined my skin now so often because of the itch I realized that I did lose hair almost all over. It just took longer to happen.
    I'm going to try taking saunas as SingleDad suggested.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  8. #18
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1
    Hey hello, I'm new to this. I have completed my chemo on Dec 26 2013, I have just begin itching myself, mainly my legs but also my arms and back. I find it very annoying. It feels like poison ivy with out the bumps. This evening I bathed and the hot water made it worse, I then scrubbed with salt, yes salt and lotioned myself down. The lotion has helped. My hair also has just started to grow back also. I read all the postings and found them very helpful.. Thank you all.

  9. #19
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi Dingo

    Well it's been a while since I posted to this thread.

    I can tell you without a doubt the best thing I tried was plain old Sorbelene cream. You can buy this for a few bucks in a handy pump pack for a half liter or more. It's cheap as chips and works a charm. I do not use it anymore as the problem is now gone but I can honestly say it worked and worked really well. Mind you that is my experience and it is not a given that it will work for you, but hey it is cheap and what do you have to lose. I would smear it on liberally when I got out of the shower and it gave relief for 3 days before I would have to do it again. I finished treatment in 08 and I have not used it since 2011. I found with each passing year I needed to do it less often but every time I did use it I slapped it on big time

    Good luck with it
    Age 62
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a Bulky presentation
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011

    NED AND DECLARED CURED on the 2/01/2013

    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    Still alive in 2019 !

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  10. #20
    Ah, Vincera. One of the saddest things about being a regular here is when people disappear, and you never know how they're getting along.
    My Story: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=11396
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 1AE (localized in colon)
    Began six cycles of R chop 21 3rd Dec 2008
    Finished R chop 21 Apr 2009
    Complete remission as of May 2009
    Confirmed April 2010

 

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