Going vegetarian - worth the trouble?

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AnnClare
Posts: 241
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:31 pm

Going vegetarian - worth the trouble?

Postby AnnClare » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:06 pm

I've done quite a few board searches and have seen posts where the person was a vegetarian for X number of years and, lo and behold, still ended up with a CRC Dx. Because of this, I felt justified in continuing with my 'normal' way of healthy eating - basically all things in moderation. Nothing restrictive, nothing excessive.

Yesterday I was reading up on Nutritionfacts.org and watched a few videos by Dr. Berger, who wrote "How Not To Die." Has anyone read that book? If so, thoughts? Criticisms? I feel like I've been all over the map since my recent 'upstaging' from 3 to 4. I'm strongly considering giving vegetarianism a try and am ashamed to admit that after just 2 days I feel supremely limited, deprived, and hungry. I'm wondering if it's worth the effort? My workout yesterday was painfully difficult - I had no energy thanks to a super low calorie intake throughout the day. (Not TRYING to limit calories - it just happened as a byproduct of not eating things that I "shouldn't.")

I find myself back to where I was after my initial Dx: scared to eat just about anything for fear it's going to do me in even faster. Any thoughts on this?
42 yr. old female
Rectal cancer Stage 3C T3 N1 M0 - Sept 2015
28 rounds radiation w/Xeloda - Nov - Dec 2015
2/17/16 - Surgery to remove rectal tumor, lymph nodes (2/20+), ovaries & fallopian tubes, temp. ileostomy
3/28/16 - 9/26/16 -12 rounds FOLFOX w/full oxi
Ileo reversal 10/27/16; Port removed 12/1/16
Lung mets confirmed 2/6/17
March-May 2017 - brain mets; brain rad. 5/9-5/29/17

Achilles Torn
Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:41 pm

Re: Going vegetarian - worth the trouble?

Postby Achilles Torn » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:11 pm

I was in a similar boat post dx a few months ago. I went vegetarian and found it tough at first dropped lots of weight and low energy. After discussing it My Onc recommended a "plant based diet" but included wild caught fish and a some organic chicken and eggs.

I found I have to eat frequently to maintain energy. I include lots of high protein/fat veggies like beans, avocado, quinoa, nuts. Home made veggie burgers have been great on some gluten free bread. I also eat eggs 2 times a week organic chicken 2 times a week and fish 3 times a week.

Once you get a diet plan sorted it works well. My weight is back and so is my energy (minus chemo fatigue some days).

I figure it won't cure my cancer. But keeping your body as healthy as possible has to a have a benefit. Even if it keeps me alive 2% longer it would be worth it.

If you haven't read it "Anti Cancer - a new way of life" is a good book to check out.

Cheers
AT
40 yo Male. BC Canada. Sigmoid Colectomy Dec. 2016
Pathology T3N2bM1 19 of 24 Nodes Positive + tumour deposits
PET scan - Para-Aortic and Iliac Lymph node spread. Stage VI.
Moderately differentiated. MSS. KRAS/BRAF Wild.
Mutations: TP53, ERBB4, MLL3, PDCD1LG2, PRKDC, SMAD3
FOLFOX Commenced Jan 9/2017 - Avastin(Bev) added after round 1.
June 2017 Dose Reduction on Round 11 due to Neuropathy.
Good PET Scan July 2017 - on maintenance 5FU/Bev every 2 weeks until progression.

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Youngjen81
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:46 am

Re: Going vegetarian - worth the trouble?

Postby Youngjen81 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:15 pm

Who knows for sure. I had been vegetarian since I was 11. Still managed to get diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer at 35 years old. Personally I worry more about excess sugar and processed foods. I felt pretty healthy eating a ketogenic diet for 4 months after dianosis but found it too restrictive. Now I work towards moderation.
I believe its best to find how You individually can be the healthiest and happiest possible.
Best of luck to you!
Diagnosed at 35 after 8 years of symptoms
T3n1m0, clinical diagnosis, suspicious spot on iliac crest and left lower lung, unchanged
28 radiation, with Xeloda 3000 mg
LAR with temp ileostomy 6-21-16, pCR!
Ileus and blockage, 12 day hospital stay
Port placement 7-26-16
Fofox begins 8-2-16
Mom to 4 boys(2, 10, 11, 22) they are my world!
Mother diagnosed 5/2016
Clinical stage t3n2m0, cysts on liver and kidneys
Last day of chemoradiation 7-28-16, can't wait! It's hard seeing my Mom in pain

kiwiinoz
Posts: 1147
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:44 pm

Re: Going vegetarian - worth the trouble?

Postby kiwiinoz » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:55 pm

I agree that vegetarian diets and / or vegan diets will not prevent cancer.
When I got cancer I went from my typical Kiwi / Australian meat based diet to a plant based pescatarian diet (basically vego + fish) and started exercising a lot more.
I found that the biggest issue for me was getting:
A) enough calories
B) Ensuring I kept a high ratio of carbohydrates to keep my energy levels high.

I am not so fussed about protein as you can get more than enough from a vegetarian diet and in the west, we always exceed our RDA.
For me it was twofold, I wanted to ensure I was in the best health to undergo the operations I was looking for, and I wanted to ensure that my physical condition was the best it could be prior to, and during chemo. Once chemo finished, my focus went more to preventing a recurrence.

I don't think any diet can prevent a recurrence, but I believe that diet has a profound effect on our physical & mental state, also topped with the fact that I am pretty goal driven so I wanted a target to aim for rather than wandering aimlessly.
Stage IV Rectal Cancer (39 Year old male at dx)
pT3N0M1 (wish that was M0)
Diagnosed 05 Dec 2012
LAR 05 Jan 2013
VATS 27 Feb 2013
FOLOFX April 2013 - Sep 2013
Clear Scan 03 Dec 2013 - 22 May 2019
Port Out 26 March 2015

angie1975
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:30 pm

Re: Going vegetarian - worth the trouble?

Postby angie1975 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:31 pm

HI AnnClare

I was not vegetarian when I was diagnosed but thought I would try it. It took awhile to find what worked best for my body type, and I have labs done to monitor my vitamin , minerals sugar and inflammation to make sure I am getting what I need. For me a 90 % plant based diet works best. I eat everything organic including chicken occasionally and wild fish. I also drink a lot of fresh vegetable juice that I feel keeps me energized during the day.

I focus on. What I eat but I do not obsess if I eat cookies and things I know cause inflammation. My ND helps me work on healing my whole body, mentally, emotionally and boosting my immune system. While I know a plant based diet may or may not prevent a recurrence it makes me feel great knowing I'm changing to healthier habits. My ND has place a huge emphasis on emotional wellness and stress reduction, saying it requires you to heal your whole body not just changing your doet. Not sure if any of that helps just my 2 cents.

Blessed
Angie
Stage 3 RC, DX 9/15/15
Prospect Trial, Folfox only
Surgery 2/11/16, successful w/clean margins
1/13 nodes positive
4/11/16clean scan, NED
7/13/16, CLEAN SCAN NED

AnnClare
Posts: 241
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:31 pm

Re: Going vegetarian - worth the trouble?

Postby AnnClare » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:31 pm

angie - thanks for your two cents. :)

Emotional well-being is something I absolutely have to work on. Ever since being 'bumped up' to stage 4, I've felt like I already have a foot in the grave, despite my onc saying, "This is a bump in the road, this is not the end of the road." It's hard to not "go there" when you get devastating news. Today is the first day since getting the news that I've felt like, "Hey, this is NOT over! I am NOT done!"

My mind can go to the dark and scary very easily and I need to work on that.
42 yr. old female
Rectal cancer Stage 3C T3 N1 M0 - Sept 2015
28 rounds radiation w/Xeloda - Nov - Dec 2015
2/17/16 - Surgery to remove rectal tumor, lymph nodes (2/20+), ovaries & fallopian tubes, temp. ileostomy
3/28/16 - 9/26/16 -12 rounds FOLFOX w/full oxi
Ileo reversal 10/27/16; Port removed 12/1/16
Lung mets confirmed 2/6/17
March-May 2017 - brain mets; brain rad. 5/9-5/29/17

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BeansMama
Posts: 959
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:38 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Going vegetarian - worth the trouble?

Postby BeansMama » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:50 pm

AnnClare wrote:angie - thanks for your two cents. :)

Emotional well-being is something I absolutely have to work on. Ever since being 'bumped up' to stage 4, I've felt like I already have a foot in the grave, despite my onc saying, "This is a bump in the road, this is not the end of the road." It's hard to not "go there" when you get devastating news. Today is the first day since getting the news that I've felt like, "Hey, this is NOT over! I am NOT done!"

My mind can go to the dark and scary very easily and I need to work on that.


I know it is hard but you have to stay positive. I know exactly how hard it is.

You don't have any feet in the grave. Tell that grave that it is "number one" in the not so polite way that involves the finger next to your pointer finger - not the thumb!

You my dear are going to kick butt, you will be a total rock star and beat this.

Sending extra prayers and hugs your way.
Beans.
41 yrs old
Tumor found 9/2015
Surgery 1 - 11/2015 LAR and colostomy
Surgery 2 - 11/2015 wound vac
Surgery 3 - 12/2015 revise resection, move colostomy
Mets to liver - tumor inoperable - one add'l met destroyed
Stage IVa (T3 N2a M1a)
Primary tumor 9 cm x 7.5 cm x 2 cm
Beginning Folfox 1/2016 - Failed
Beginning Folfiri and vectibix 8/2016 — Failed
Beginning Folfirinox + Avastin 11/2016 - Failed
Beginning Keytruda 1/2017
CEA drop from 345 to 7.3 after starting immunotherapy
Lynch positive 3/2016

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horizon
Posts: 1532
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:10 pm

Re: Going vegetarian - worth the trouble?

Postby horizon » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:18 am

AnnClare wrote:My mind can go to the dark and scary very easily and I need to work on that.


Try not to be too hard on yourself about this. It's something I've certainly had to deal with.
I'm just a dude who still can't believe he had a resection and went through chemo (currently 8 years NED). Is this real life?

AnnClare
Posts: 241
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:31 pm

Re: Going vegetarian - worth the trouble?

Postby AnnClare » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:44 am

Beans and horizon ~ thank you for that. Your support and encouragement bolster me when I start to feel shaky & scared. :)

Last night my husband and I had finished our workouts and were leaving the Y. There's a free local publication called Health & Fitness, and who was on the cover but my very own onc! I picked up a copy to read the interview, in which he discussed his "calling" to oncology and, even more so, taking an integrative approach to treat the whole patient and not just his/her 'condition.' One of the things he said is that he hates and does not use the phrases, "hopeless" or "terminal" because those are "garbage phrases" that only harm and not help the patient.
Anyway, it was a good interview and made me feel, once again, that I'd chosen the right guy to assist me in this fight. :)
42 yr. old female
Rectal cancer Stage 3C T3 N1 M0 - Sept 2015
28 rounds radiation w/Xeloda - Nov - Dec 2015
2/17/16 - Surgery to remove rectal tumor, lymph nodes (2/20+), ovaries & fallopian tubes, temp. ileostomy
3/28/16 - 9/26/16 -12 rounds FOLFOX w/full oxi
Ileo reversal 10/27/16; Port removed 12/1/16
Lung mets confirmed 2/6/17
March-May 2017 - brain mets; brain rad. 5/9-5/29/17


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