Another Option/Coup de Grâce
After two years of steady research and experimentation (on myself). I am coming to the end of my cancer story. I know now that cancer is a metabolic disorder just like diabetes and heart disease. Once your metabolism has been altered to express cancer, its circulating stem cells and circulating tumor cells, never go away (Cancer cells, besides reproducing uncontrollably, lose cohesiveness and orderliness of normal tissue, invade and get detached from the primary tumor to travel and set up colonies elsewhere). It takes ten years for a tumor to grow to a billion cells. That is the smallest size visible to an MRI or a PET scan. While it's growing to that size, it's sloughing off cells and they are circulating and embedding wherever your blood stream and lymphatic system takes them. There is a chemical response between the primary tumor and its daughter cells. The primary tumor inhibits its daughter cells from metastasizing by not allowing them to build a blood supply while it's still around (endostatin) and the daughter cells, the circulating tumor and stem cells wait until the primary tumor is removed to chemically release proteins which make blood vessels respond to their demand for feeding (angiostatin). This is the metastatic progression of cancer. Just as in diabetes, once you become a diabetic you are a diabetic for life, so is the case with cancer. Metabolically your system has been altered. You can control diabetes by using metabolic medications and watching what you put in your mouth. The same is true for cancer.
The bad news is that I don't think that there are any medications out there that will "cure" the cancer. As a metabolic disease it can be controlled but not permanently erased. As long as you go back to feeding the cancer, it will come back as well. The good news is that like a diabetic you can control it and even make it invisible to an MRI or a PET scan. You can live a normal life and even learn to enjoy the lifestyle. After two years on the diet I have found that I have boundless energy. (Much more like a 20-something then an almost-60-year-old.) My eyesight has improved. My blood work has improved (to that Healthy 20 something level). I sleep well and most importantly I'm never hungry and I weigh in at my pre-wedding weight of forty years ago. My chemotherapy is metabolic. Metformin, DCA, and Curcumin. In the future I'll probably add 3BP, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and Ketone esters.
I am resigned to the fact that I can never eat anything off a grocery shelf that has been processed. My grocery shopping is mostly circling around the walls of the supermarket where the fresh dairy, meat, fish and vegetables are kept. I rarely venture into the aisles unless I need some spices or paper goods. I'll never go back to eating the way I did before my diagnosis. My hope is that in the future there will be a drink that will raise my ketones (ketone ester already exists; it's just too expensive to mass produce at this time) and I will add another 25g to 30g of low glycemic vegetables to my diet. I really miss them. That my diet will look more like a restricted Paleo diet. And I will start to exercise again. It's really hard to not dance at a wedding. (I'd dance for a bit and then go check my blood glucose after 10 or 15 minutes to see if the dancing was elevating my glucose level though the production of lactic acid. I'd then have to stop and stand on the side lines for the next 2 hours.)
What have I learned from this whole experience? First and foremost is that G-d is kind. That he prepared me for this challenge since before I was born. Whatever understanding and intuition I've had to deal with this and look for another option come from Him. I've always loved mysteries and He has given the tools to solve this one. My difficult upbringing which could have made me feel sorry for myself instead has taught me coping skills and has given me the discipline to be able to cope with the Restricted Ketogenic Diet. Hazal (our Sages) tell us that: "The same way you make a blessing on the good things in your life , you need to make a blessing on the bad." I feel that the amount of divine intervention in my life is quite remarkable, as it probably is for most people. I found that what and whom I needed in this life journey has been provided for me steadily throughout my life. From ending up in Neve Yerushalyim as a teenager to meeting my husband, to my children and grandchildren. My life has been one blessing after another. I now see the cancer as a blessing too. It forced me not to be complacent in my life and to enjoy every moment. I love my life, cancer and all. Through this whole ordeal I could never say that I was in remission, or call myself a survivor. (That's for people who have been through surgery, cytotoxic chemo and radiation.) I could never complain about my cancer because through it all, I've never really had a sick day since the day I was diagnosed. I guess Dr. Seyfried was right, that treating your cancer metabolically should make you healthier when you're done than when you started out. That's what happened to me. When all is said and done I wouldn't change a thing.