I have been learning a lot about appropriate diets for cancer remission and prevention. Per the integrative oncologist Dr. West at NatureMed in Boulder, I have had contact with Remission Nutrition and am starting with their book. It is deep and meaty and I have only gotten so far, but at least part of the gist is good, deep nutrition, organic, and low carb, especially sugar-free. Ketogenic basically. I will continue to learn how to do this appropriately. It is another step beyond Paleo which I used to adhere to reasonably well. I kind of abandoned it after living in France for a year because I stopped feeling the effects of wheat on my joints (possibly French wheat is different or less poisoned). I had been doing Paleo to avoid the family tendency to rheumatoid arthritis, and it worked like a charm. Then at some point I found I didn’t need it, and voilà, I jumped ship wholeheartedly back into mostly Standard American Diet (SAD) (maybe not quite — I didn’t go all McDonald’s and Dairy Queen), and I think I’m paying for it now.
In terms of Parts, per IFS, I think I had a part that was tired of being denied all the sugary, sweet, yumminess of pastries, ice creams, and the current American obsession with expensive, flavored coffees. So I allowed myself to become completely addicted, and I do mean addicted, to those same expensive flavored coffees. Coffee by itself is pretty yucky to my palate, but add cream and flavored syrups, and OMG! to die for. Maybe literally. No I’m not going there, at least not yet. But what I’m reading does give me pause.
One, ovarian cancer, according to Dr. Christiane Northrup in Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom, tends to show up more in cultures with high dairy fat consumption. And I was having BREVE lattes. Do you know what a BREVE latte is? A little bit of espresso and like a whole cup of half and half. SO delicious!! And SO MUCH fat! My cholesterol hit the roof during that year of overindulgence, and so I changed to whole fat coconut milk instead, which brought it back down. But I think that primed the pump for this cancer for me.
Two, Sugar. The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, the book referenced above, goes to great lengths to explain just how bad sugar is for us and how much cancer loves it. It is cancer’s only food source, unlike other healthy cells which can process other forms of energy. So removing excess carbs, which Americans get by the boatload, effectively starves cancer. That is a good thing. I don’t even want to know how much sugar I was taking in in the flavored syrups in my breve lattes. Ugh. SO delicious, and so deadly. Priming the pump, take two. (Sorry Andrea at my favorite coffee shop, nothing personal, and certainly my own choice and responsibility.)
So now, I am watching sugar intake like a hawk, and can feel that the addiction to sugar, which lights up the same neural pathways as heroin and cocaine, is loosened, and I don’t crave it as much. And I am starving the cancer.
Surgery has been set for June 25th. Next week, I will have a few pre-op appointments, and a CT Scan to see if it has all shrunk enough for surgery to be successful. I suspect it will be fine as my CA-125 number was last measured before the last chemo at 115, and the goal is 35-50. I don’t know where the CA-125 is now. But it must be lower, mustn’t it?
I have to say I’m a little more worried about surgery than I was, say, about losing my hair. I have a little bit of work to do to get myself okay about it. I have been learning more about what to expect, have been encouraged to do guided visualization, and have been leant a book from my PCP at Healing Gardens entitled Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster by Peggy Huddleston. So I will begin to read and implement that in preparation.
I believe I will be booked into the hospital for 3 – 5 days, but maybe with enough preparation, it will be more like 3, rather than 5. I have also gotten pre-op instruction about which herbal supplements to continue or to quit, and when, so that all works well together, and maximal healing can occur.
Also, I heard back from the genetic counselor regarding my testing, and I have no genetic abnormalities. It is possible still, she said, that the tumor itself might have genetic abnormalities and that the oncologist will want to have it tested after removal. I don’t know yet.
Which brings me to Solidarity. Kind of a fancy word. Maybe overstating it. I thought maybe Support would be slightly better, but I do like the stronger meaning of Solidarity.
Basically, we could use some help in the upcoming weeks from our friends and family in NoCo.
We’ll be creating a list of needs/wants in the next few days, so if you feel able to help with some basics while I’m laid up, we would gratefully receive.