Friday, September 16, 2011

Eating for Survival

Three years ago one would find me in the middle of the night bargaining Please go away! I'll do anything!
Now that the threat seems to be gone (or at least strongly diminished) it is easy to break promises or at least resolutions. What can I do? According to my research, not much other than check for local recurrences (difficult as my breast is a scar infested,  lumpy rock now; I could check for distal recurrences too but by the time they show any symptoms, it is too late). One thing I can do is change my diet. TNBC seems to thrive on high levels of glucose. Some success against TNBC has been found by using metformin, a glucose lowering agent, for even non-diabetics. Exercise lowers glucose too. My glucose levels never have been high, probably due to the exercise. The more obvious solution would be to limit consumption of quick metabolizing sugars and starches (high glycemic indices) to slower ones. I try to do this by using more whole grains but still I crave too much junk. I rarely eat fried foods any more (high fat diets have been linked to breast cancer). I should cut out alcohol completely. Alcohol interferes with the metabolism of estrogens, both natural and unnatural, causing spikes that at least feed the estrogen positive variety of BC. I do take lots of Vit D (low levels associated with many types of cancer) and some calcium (I am cautious with this one as it has interfered in the past with my Synthroid).

Near my house, there is a mostly vegan Indian restaurant (they serve a few paneer (cheese) and yogurt dishes but vegan besides that) that uses very little fat and uses 'back-to-roots' grains or seeds (millet, barley, flax, sesame, amaranth, and quinoa) versus 'modern' grains (rice, wheat, rye, oats). Their motto includes a culinary encounter of flavors, tastes,nutrition and healing by food. Steve and I ate there the other day. I liked it very much. I should eat all my meals there until I can get things under control. I also resumed my cancer survival cooking class. This week's topic was cooking with herbs. Some spices and herbs may have anti-cancer properties (turmeric and ginger come to mind) but they make low fat food more palatable.

Later in the week, Steve found himself with an unscheduled day off. We should do lunch. I asked, where?
Anywhere I'd like. I suggested a Vietnamese place. He agreed with a sigh. Yeah, poor Steve with me always getting my way. I then changed my answer to a steak place as it was his day off and besides, next week I will be in "Little Viet Nam" where Shanna for the moment, lives. Also I had gotten my way with the healthy place a few days before.

During my class the other night, another group came in for a meeting. With varying amounts of hair loss, these ladies were clearly still in treatment., an unhappy flashback. In their group was a woman who was diagnosed with TNBC the same week as I was...panic..did it come back? Turns out it was for a lecture on breast reconstruction. She had had a mastectomy but apparently now is considering this.

The Cancer Support Community (their new, impossible for me to get right, name) has a fund raising project: The Brides Project. They take donated wedding dresses and sell them to those with limited means..a win-win deal. I donated the 'never worn' dress that's been hanging around for 10 years now. Maybe they can use a maternity model too, I'll check.

My Brazilian traveler finally checked in this morning. He is still enjoying himself and they want him to stay longer. However, with his promotion, he has a new supervisor who wants him to do his "American 'work ASAP and did not give him permission to stay beyond what was originally agreed. The Brazilians have given him a busy schedule too in the off hours. This weekend: the turtle beach. It is not hatching season. Good intentioned tourists come in from all over the world  then to help hide the eggs from the predators and then guard the babies as they make their perilous journey to the sea. Lots of sea birds hovering over them wanting a turtle snack. During the off season, they are rehabilitating injured sea turtles so I guess that is what he will see. Also, one of his co-workers is in a blues band and has invited Josh to the club where he is performing. Josh went clubbing with them to the wee hours last night but is enjoying the new culture. A few months ago, some of the Brazilians were here. Their favorite store? Best Buy. Josh must have driven them there 5 times.

I will be gone when he returns. It will be Shanna's moving week to her cute community.

A day off from running even though it is ideal out there for that. I will plant a few of the perennials I purchased yesterday though I will have to uproot a few overgrown plants to make room for them.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Hard for me to remember things each and every subject in this post Sue. In your position, I would definitely be looking at reducing sugar/glucose in your diet. I believe that all cancers feed off it although it is interesting that my doctors do not discuss the benefits of dietary changes. Love the freshness of the Vietnamese cuisine.
Sue, apologies for spelling errors these days. Seem to have lost my memory to a degree


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