Posted by Maggie
I mentioned that one aspect of what I'm doing to fight the cancer is diet. For those who are interested, I'm following a diet called the ketogenic cancer diet.
I've always been a believer in paying attention to what you eat. "Garbage in, garbage out," doesn't just apply to data. It makes sense that if you put junk food in your body, your health will not be as optimal as if you don't.
In the early '70s I was a strict vegetarian. My daughter's hyperactivity was controlled better by removing meat, sugar and preservatives from our diet than any drug that could be given her. We remained on that diet for many years, and while we did not consume refined sugar, we did use honey and lots of fruit. We also ate dairy products, and eggs. Looking back, if I had it to do again, I'd cut back on those.
As time passed, the children in the house grew up and made their own choices, which included adding meat back into their diets. I eventually began eating fish and chicken but never touched red meat again.
For years I was misdiagnosed with regard to stomach problems, until just a few years ago when I found I had celiac disease (inability to tolerate any form of wheat or gluten) and an intolerance to dairy products, particularly casein. I've gotten that under control, and while it's not an easy diet to maintain, it
is worth it to feel healthy.
Then came the cancer. One thing I read was that people who have had long-untreated celiac disease have a higher probability of developing certain cancers. It is frustrating to think I could have missed this, with a proper diagnosis earlier, but that's water under the bridge now.
My current diet eliminates all grains, not just wheat. The theory of the diet is that cancer cells feed only on sugar and carbohydrates. If those are not present in the body, the cells have no food and begin to die. In one of the many studies done on this diet, a patient had significant (80%) tumor reduction size in 6 weeks. Of course, if you go off the diet, you feed the cells and it can grow right back, so there has to be other treatment, such as radiation and chemo.
I started the diet on January 2. I did not start radiation and chemo until January 23. On January 25 I felt my toes and was able to move them. My radiologist doctor was amazed, but did not expect much further. He certainly did not expect to see me walk, which he saw yesterday. (Okay, just a few feet, and with the walker, but hey, I am getting around!) I doubt he spent 20 minutes studying diet in medical school, so I did not expect him to agree with my thought that it's the diet that's begun the shrinking of the tumor. But I believe it's true.
So what do I eat? My main goal each day is to consume zero sugar and zero carbs. The diet allows a few, but I find a goal of zero keeps me on track. I eat eggs, avocados, good fats --tumors can't feed on fat--chicken, fish, and unstarchy green vegetables. Nut and seed flours replace grains, and I use a minimal amount of them. Sound boring? It is not. Everything is freshly prepared, as no mixes or pre-prepared foods are trustworthy. Flavors are great, I eat small amounts every 2-3 hours and am rarely hungry. So far I have lost only about 10 lbs. and most of that was in the hospital. Not losing weight at this stage is critical as I have no reserves. It's kind of nice having people tell me to eat!
Some months ago, my daughter Amy, who also cannot eat wheat, gluten, or dairy, and I began working on a web site that will offer a variety of allergy-free diet plans and lots of recipes. Her diet and mine were similar when we began this, and her two daughters have the same intolerances we have plus others. We've had fun testing new recipes and making improvements during the two weeks she's been visiting to help me transition into my treatment.
We planned to launch the site this winter. Now we've delayed it to build a section for recipes for the cancer diet. We plan to take the site live within a couple months. I'll post a link when it goes up, for those of you who might be interested.
Meanwhile, on the art front, we set up a new painting space for me yesterday. I have too many doctor appointments today, but tomorrow I hope to paint and then post a blog with my setup and painting to share with you.