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Jan 17, 2018 08:54AM
After I was diagnosed with bone mets at the get-go I decided to make a number of changes. One of them was to exercise everyday. In the beginning it was just about taking walks in the forest. 10 years later I am still exercising daily but have a very varied routine. I think as with any medicine, dosage and type of exercise is important and should be personalized. You can't have too much nor too little. I also paid more attention to my upper body than I ever did.
Second was diet. I increased my antioxidant consumption and fiber intake not through supplements but by eating foods rich in them, up to 10 servings a day. These days I get about 7 a day. I also started intermittent fasting at some point but stopped after a year, or rather increased my eating window. I still get a 13-hour fast a day on most days as opposed to 17 or 18 then. I try to eat low-carb and low sugar to maintain my weight. Christmas time is a big exception, vacations another. At various points and for periods lasting at least a month I tried aspirin, metformin, melatonin, anti-inflammatory meds (e.g., Celebrex, glucosamine and chondroitin), antihistamine. I figure in a month I could kill cancer cells and let my body recover from the meds after. My onc was happy to prescribe my "cure" of the month. I also had natural "cures" like broccoli sprouts (everyday for a whole summer), watercress (after the sprouts caused a thyroid nodule), fish oil, massage (daily for 3 months, really healing!!), acupuncture. I also cut down on alcohol to just 3 deciliters of wine a day (1 glass). I feel there's more wiggle room for me with regards to estrogenic effects of wine and food as I'm 10 years past menopause (chemo-induced). So far so good. Next month I will be NED 10 years.
There has been a lot of press lately on our gut microbiome. And thinking about it, the things I have done might have changed my gut microbiome to enhance my immune system enough to kill circulating tumor cells or micrometastasis not seen on imaging. Exercise supposedly can change the microbiome without a change in diet, improving insulin resistance. I actually have very low blood sugar and insulin levels now. This could be the reason,
A high fiber diet also reduces inflammation and may help increase estrogen metabolism and excretion. More studies are needed
A tumor suppressor called PML which studies show are related to tumor growth in breast cancer can be targeted by statins, so this could be another therapeutic direction. A low fat diet could also help as suggested by this study for prostate cancer. I try to avoid saturated fats but love olive oil. As long as my cholesterol numbers are good I won't worry about all the cheese and dairy I eat, which I figure is good for my bones.
One last plug for leafy greens, a mainstay of my diet.
8/2007, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 2/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
3/25/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)