Fasting During Chemo

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zephyr
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby zephyr » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:25 pm

zephyr wrote:I'm starting this weekend and will report back. The literature from my naturopathic physician recommends starting 48 hours before chemo, and says you can have up to 500 calories a day and still get the benefits.


Today is Thursday and I was just unhooked from the pump. I started fasting - a modified fast of less than 500 calories per day - on Sunday and I'll continue through today. 5 days total. The instructions were to start the fast 48 hours before chemo (Tuesday) to get the normal cells into hibernation, and then to fast through all 3 days of chemo. This has been my easiest chemo round ever. Amazing results. I will absolutely continue to do it this way.
Oct-2009 Stage I CC
Jun-2016 Stage 3 (T3 N1c)
Jun-2016 Surgery
Jul-2016 PET: Probable Stage 4 with inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016 Folfox
Jan-2017 Dropped oxaliplatin, continuing with 5FU, added Avastin
Aug-2017 Dropped Avastin, continuing with 5FU
Dec-2017 Chemo stopped working, lung mets growing but CEA stable, considering other treatment options
Jan-2018 Begin Folfiri & Ramucirumab; also receiving Vitamin C & Quercetin by IV every week

heiders33
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:08 am

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby heiders33 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:04 pm

Interesting! Has anyone tried to do this with Xeloda, where you have to eat something with the pills?
36 year-old female
May 2017: Dx rectal cancer at T3N2M0
MSS, no genetic mutations
June-July 2017: 28 days of chemo/radiation
September 2017: laparoscopic LAR surgery with loop ileostomy
October 2017 - February 2018: six rounds of mop-up XELOX
March 12, 2018: reversal

Lee
Posts: 5506
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby Lee » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:09 pm

zephyr wrote:
zephyr wrote:I'm starting this weekend and will report back. The literature from my naturopathic physician recommends starting 48 hours before chemo, and says you can have up to 500 calories a day and still get the benefits.


Today is Thursday and I was just unhooked from the pump. I started fasting - a modified fast of less than 500 calories per day - on Sunday and I'll continue through today. 5 days total. The instructions were to start the fast 48 hours before chemo (Tuesday) to get the normal cells into hibernation, and then to fast through all 3 days of chemo. This has been my easiest chemo round ever. Amazing results. I will absolutely continue to do it this way.


Wow, most interesting!!! What type of food did you eat (500 calories). I just can't imagine getting by with so few calories without passing out, especially after a few of it.

Thanks for the update

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

zephyr
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby zephyr » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:17 pm

Lee wrote:
zephyr wrote:
Today is Thursday and I was just unhooked from the pump. I started fasting - a modified fast of less than 500 calories per day - on Sunday and I'll continue through today. 5 days total. The instructions were to start the fast 48 hours before chemo (Tuesday) to get the normal cells into hibernation, and then to fast through all 3 days of chemo. This has been my easiest chemo round ever. Amazing results. I will absolutely continue to do it this way.


Wow, most interesting!!! What type of food did you eat (500 calories). I just can't imagine getting by with so few calories without passing out, especially after a few of it.



I wasn't very imaginative but it worked for me. I planned it out ahead of time and made sure everything was here so that I didn't need to go into a grocery store. It turned out to be easier than I expected. I started the morning with herbal tea because I found that coffee was a little harsh on my stomach. I didn't eat anything until/unless I felt true hunger; if it was just boredom, I found something to do or sipped on vegetable broth. Usually around 11:00 a.m. or later I made a 1-egg spinach & mushroom omelette (120 calories, including a tiny bit of Irish butter for flavor and easy flipping) and that often got me through the day. If I wanted more later, I sipped on vegetable broth or had a cup of organic vegetable/barley soup (60 calories per cup, Cedar Lane brand from Costco). If I just needed crunch, I cut up a cucumber and munched on that (about 16 calories per cup). I made sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water/broth/herbal tea every day because I read that staying hydrated would prevent headaches that sometimes occur if you're dehydrated during fasting. Next time I might add grilled asparagus spears from Trader Joe's (about 100 calories for the whole bag of 4 servings) or some cantaloupe (about 60 calories per cup) or a little bit of hummus with cut up vegetables (about 120 calories depending on the ingredients and amount of hummus).

I was told it helped to avoid heavy meals of meat, fats, and pasta few days ahead of the fast to make the transition easier.

Below is the vegetable broth I made ahead and froze in small freezer baggies to keep on hand. It has more flavor than any vegetable broth I've ever tasted, including a bit of sweetness that I like. There are several ingredients that make it look daunting but it's actually pretty easy to make. There's a video at the end of the recipe where she demonstrates how easy it is to make and mentions substitutions.
https://www.rebeccakatz.com/magic-mineral-broth/

I'm seeing a naturopathic physician who specializes in oncology and has the blessing of my oncologist. The N.P. was the doctor who gave me instructions and the go-ahead to fast, and she's only an email or a phone call away if I have questions or run into problems. I don't think anyone should consider fasting during treatment without first checking with their doctor.
Oct-2009 Stage I CC
Jun-2016 Stage 3 (T3 N1c)
Jun-2016 Surgery
Jul-2016 PET: Probable Stage 4 with inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016 Folfox
Jan-2017 Dropped oxaliplatin, continuing with 5FU, added Avastin
Aug-2017 Dropped Avastin, continuing with 5FU
Dec-2017 Chemo stopped working, lung mets growing but CEA stable, considering other treatment options
Jan-2018 Begin Folfiri & Ramucirumab; also receiving Vitamin C & Quercetin by IV every week

Bschreibs
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:22 pm

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby Bschreibs » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:14 pm

zephyr wrote:
Lee wrote:
zephyr wrote:
Today is Thursday and I was just unhooked from the pump. I started fasting - a modified fast of less than 500 calories per day - on Sunday and I'll continue through today. 5 days total. The instructions were to start the fast 48 hours before chemo (Tuesday) to get the normal cells into hibernation, and then to fast through all 3 days of chemo. This has been my easiest chemo round ever. Amazing results. I will absolutely continue to do it this way.


Wow, most interesting!!! What type of food did you eat (500 calories). I just can't imagine getting by with so few calories without passing out, especially after a few of it.



I wasn't very imaginative but it worked for me. I planned it out ahead of time and made sure everything was here so that I didn't need to go into a grocery store. It turned out to be easier than I expected. I started the morning with herbal tea because I found that coffee was a little harsh on my stomach. I didn't eat anything until/unless I felt true hunger; if it was just boredom, I found something to do or sipped on vegetable broth. Usually around 11:00 a.m. or later I made a 1-egg spinach & mushroom omelette (120 calories, including a tiny bit of Irish butter for flavor and easy flipping) and that often got me through the day. If I wanted more later, I sipped on vegetable broth or had a cup of organic vegetable/barley soup (60 calories per cup, Cedar Lane brand from Costco). If I just needed crunch, I cut up a cucumber and munched on that (about 16 calories per cup). I made sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water/broth/herbal tea every day because I read that staying hydrated would prevent headaches that sometimes occur if you're dehydrated during fasting. Next time I might add grilled asparagus spears from Trader Joe's (about 100 calories for the whole bag of 4 servings) or some cantaloupe (about 60 calories per cup) or a little bit of hummus with cut up vegetables (about 120 calories depending on the ingredients and amount of hummus).

I was told it helped to avoid heavy meals of meat, fats, and pasta few days ahead of the fast to make the transition easier.

Below is the vegetable broth I made ahead and froze in small freezer baggies to keep on hand. It has more flavor than any vegetable broth I've ever tasted, including a bit of sweetness that I like. There are several ingredients that make it look daunting but it's actually pretty easy to make. There's a video at the end of the recipe where she demonstrates how easy it is to make and mentions substitutions.
https://www.rebeccakatz.com/magic-mineral-broth/

I'm seeing a naturopathic physician who specializes in oncology and has the blessing of my oncologist. The N.P. was the doctor who gave me instructions and the go-ahead to fast, and she's only an email or a phone call away if I have questions or run into problems. I don't think anyone should consider fasting during treatment without first checking with their doctor.


Hi Zephyr,

Sounds like you had awesome results from the fasting. I'm going to speak with my oncologist and give it a shot. I would also like to connect with your naturopathic physician who specializes in oncology. Would you mine sending me their information? Thanks so much!

zephyr
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby zephyr » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:12 pm

Bschreibs wrote:
zephyr wrote:
I wasn't very imaginative but it worked for me. I planned it out ahead of time and made sure everything was here so that I didn't need to go into a grocery store. It turned out to be easier than I expected. I started the morning with herbal tea because I found that coffee was a little harsh on my stomach. I didn't eat anything until/unless I felt true hunger; if it was just boredom, I found something to do or sipped on vegetable broth. Usually around 11:00 a.m. or later I made a 1-egg spinach & mushroom omelette (120 calories, including a tiny bit of Irish butter for flavor and easy flipping) and that often got me through the day. If I wanted more later, I sipped on vegetable broth or had a cup of organic vegetable/barley soup (60 calories per cup, Cedar Lane brand from Costco). If I just needed crunch, I cut up a cucumber and munched on that (about 16 calories per cup). I made sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water/broth/herbal tea every day because I read that staying hydrated would prevent headaches that sometimes occur if you're dehydrated during fasting. Next time I might add grilled asparagus spears from Trader Joe's (about 100 calories for the whole bag of 4 servings) or some cantaloupe (about 60 calories per cup) or a little bit of hummus with cut up vegetables (about 120 calories depending on the ingredients and amount of hummus).

I was told it helped to avoid heavy meals of meat, fats, and pasta few days ahead of the fast to make the transition easier.

Below is the vegetable broth I made ahead and froze in small freezer baggies to keep on hand. It has more flavor than any vegetable broth I've ever tasted, including a bit of sweetness that I like. There are several ingredients that make it look daunting but it's actually pretty easy to make. There's a video at the end of the recipe where she demonstrates how easy it is to make and mentions substitutions.
https://www.rebeccakatz.com/magic-mineral-broth/

I'm seeing a naturopathic physician who specializes in oncology and has the blessing of my oncologist. The N.P. was the doctor who gave me instructions and the go-ahead to fast, and she's only an email or a phone call away if I have questions or run into problems. I don't think anyone should consider fasting during treatment without first checking with their doctor.


Hi Zephyr,

Sounds like you had awesome results from the fasting. I'm going to speak with my oncologist and give it a shot. I would also like to connect with your naturopathic physician who specializes in oncology. Would you mine sending me their information? Thanks so much!


I'm in Arizona and the practice I'm using is Naturopathic Specialists in Scottsdale.
https://www.listenandcare.com
The head of the practice is Daniel Rubin who has won lots of Top Doc awards. He specializes in oncology. I'm seeing Melissa Coats who also specializes in oncology and was referred to me by another colon cancer patient. I've met them both and they're both terrific. But if you're not in the Phoenix area, here's the URL where you can search for someone in your area:
http://www.naturopathic.org/AF_MemberDirectory.asp?version=2
The category you want is Cancer and then put in your zip code or city/state.
If you want any more info, feel free to PM me. Good luck!
Oct-2009 Stage I CC
Jun-2016 Stage 3 (T3 N1c)
Jun-2016 Surgery
Jul-2016 PET: Probable Stage 4 with inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016 Folfox
Jan-2017 Dropped oxaliplatin, continuing with 5FU, added Avastin
Aug-2017 Dropped Avastin, continuing with 5FU
Dec-2017 Chemo stopped working, lung mets growing but CEA stable, considering other treatment options
Jan-2018 Begin Folfiri & Ramucirumab; also receiving Vitamin C & Quercetin by IV every week

User avatar
CRguy
Posts: 9454
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:00 pm

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby CRguy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:12 pm

heiders33 wrote:Interesting! Has anyone tried to do this with Xeloda, where you have to eat something with the pills?

Glad you asked this question my friend !!!
The short answer should be = " NO ! Do NOT try this at home :shock: "

The reason :

Xeloda ( capecitabine ) is a pro-drug oral pill which is ingested, absorbed and metabolized into a number of ACTIVE chemotherapeutic forms by the liver AND at the site of the tumors. Eating at the prescribed time is ESSENTIAL to enhance absorption of Xeloda so this chain of events will occur properly. IF you don't eat as required, the absorption is not optimal and you are effectively defeating the purpose of using an oral medication and limiting the effectiveness of your chemo.

zephyr is on an I.V. infusion chemo regime ( Folfiri + Ramucirumab ) where the active drugs are delivered directly into the blood and effective immediately. Oral absorption is not relevant in this setting.

Fasting may help to control the nausea related side effects of some chemo protocols but it is debatable whether or not it actually enhances effectiveness of chemo.

For my reasons in stating this, please refer to my other 9,346 post on this forum where I have discussed at length my views on alternative / holistic / naturopathic options for cancer patients for the past 10 years, and why I chose strictly Western Medicine for my own situation.

YMMV

Best wishes
CRguy
Caregiver x 3
Stage IV A rectal cancer/lung met
10 Year survivor
my life is an ongoing totally randomized UNcontrolled experiment with N=1 !
Review of my Journey so far

Lee
Posts: 5506
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby Lee » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:56 pm

Thank you zephyr for the update. I'm not on chemo now so will not be fasting. But I am gonna try that broth recipe. I make a veggie soup from scratch, so I will try making the broth from scratch next time.

Did you by any chance lose weight with this fasting? When I was on chemo, I was under Dr.'s order not to lose one single pound.

Thank you and good luck,

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

TXLiz
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:31 pm

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby TXLiz » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:49 am

Although chemo made me nauseous, if I did not force myself to eat, I got so weak I could barely move about normally on infusion days. I’d go back to get the pump off and be struggling to sit in the waiting room chair if I didn’t eat. My blood sugar got really wacky during chemo and even if I did eat before infusion days it would be low.

The nurses always chided me to eat...but I WAS eating.
Vomiting and blockage 9/19/16 46 y F
R hemi colectomy 9/20/16
Stage 3 B CRC, located in cecum
3 out of 16 lymph nodes positive
perineural invasion/lymphovascular invasion
infiltrating, mod differentiated adenocarcinoma with a mucinous component
separate tumor nodules present in pericolonic adipose tissue
MSI-high
Baseline PET scan clear 9/16 CEA 0.5
FOLFOX 10/16- 3/17
April 16th, CT scan clear. CEA 1.1
Lynch "inconclusive"
Colonoscopy 10/5/2017 clear

jortego128
Posts: 277
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:47 am

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby jortego128 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:37 pm

Our very own DK37, the late great Dr. Tom Marsilje, had an amazing writeup / self experiment on this very topic. It is incredibly interesting, and those thinking of trying fasting before chemo should read it. Long story short he claims it helped him personally a LOT with the post infusion symptoms. Be advised he was not trying to convince others to go this route, but as a scientist he gave it a go using himself as the guinea pig and he just documented HIS results.

https://adventuresinlivingterminallyopt ... fast-lane/
DM 57 yrs old dx 6/8/15 T:4a N:1b M:1
KRAS G12D and TP53 C242fs mutations
Poorly Differentiated, Prominent Signet Ring Component(~50%)
Microsatellite Stable, 3 of (13)lymph nodes positive
15 Liver mets, largest 3.2 cm
Prim. Resection, Right Hemicolectomy 6/21/15
Start Chemo 7/20/15
2 rounds FOLFOX, 1 round FOLFOX +Avastin
CT 8/28/15, met growth, largest 4.5cm
4 rounds FOLFOX+Avastin
CT 11/06/15 mets stable, lungs clear
Begin FOLFIRI+Avastin 11/17/15, Stop chemo 1/26/16
Entered Paradise 3/11/2016

zephyr
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby zephyr » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:28 am

jortego128 wrote:Our very own DK37, the late great Dr. Tom Marsilje, had an amazing writeup / self experiment on this very topic. It is incredibly interesting, and those thinking of trying fasting before chemo should read it. Long story short he claims it helped him personally a LOT with the post infusion symptoms. Be advised he was not trying to convince others to go this route, but as a scientist he gave it a go using himself as the guinea pig and he just documented HIS results.

https://adventuresinlivingterminallyopt ... fast-lane/

Thank you, jortego128, for posting the link! As you said, it was an incredibly interesting blog post. My experience was similar and I read new information that was very helpful.

Lee wrote:Did you by any chance lose weight with this fasting? When I was on chemo, I was under Dr.'s order not to lose one single pound.


Not so far... I'm really working to make up the lost calories during my recovery week. That said, if anyone else decides to try this, it's important to break the fast gently. Eat light meals for the first 24 hours or so. Your stomach might not feel so happy if you try to eat a large and/or heavy meal right away.
Oct-2009 Stage I CC
Jun-2016 Stage 3 (T3 N1c)
Jun-2016 Surgery
Jul-2016 PET: Probable Stage 4 with inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016 Folfox
Jan-2017 Dropped oxaliplatin, continuing with 5FU, added Avastin
Aug-2017 Dropped Avastin, continuing with 5FU
Dec-2017 Chemo stopped working, lung mets growing but CEA stable, considering other treatment options
Jan-2018 Begin Folfiri & Ramucirumab; also receiving Vitamin C & Quercetin by IV every week

User avatar
hopeful
Posts: 1372
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:43 am

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby hopeful » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:58 pm

I have been following this fasting topic for a while, and it certainly seems like there could be something too it. I'm the caregiver for a long term colon cancer survivor (who's out walking several miles per day and back to normal except for some annoying neuropathy) and am interested in the topic for obvious reasons, even though my husbands treatment was over in 2010. It's certainly worth some research. If you do a search on "Fasting cancer Longo FMD" you'll come up with lots of articles and youtube talks and interviews. Can it have protective properties after the fast is over? He seems to think so. It's certainly worth a look.
Caregiver to husband diagnosed 11/09 stage IIIb colon cancer
Surgery 11/5/09
12 rounds FOLFOX beginning 12/18/09
Folfox finished 6/3/10
Last scan Jan 2015
NED since Dec. 2009

mariane
Posts: 608
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:16 pm

Re: Fasting During Chemo

Postby mariane » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:51 pm

I tried to eat the low calories diet during the time our Tom posted much about the Longo approach to chemo.
I had rather unpleasant experience. I tried it during my 2 treatments with 5 FU only back in 2016. Overall bad experience. I felt weak. After one of the treatments my oral Herpes virus activated so it was a visual sign of my weakening immune system. I did not try it later. My personal experience was bad and I would not recommend it.
The posts written by CRGuy are very wise. Thank you!
Being on chemo due to higher stage cancer, patients really need to carefully look into their body weight. There were several studies that patients with higher body weight lived longer with stage 4 cancer. Dieting may negatively affect immunity. Harsh chemotherapy agents are more destructive for the body during fasting. You need food to regenerate.

Interesting link:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4831285/
mom of 8 years old twins, dx @ 40 with upper rectal cancer, 10+ liver mets in 6/2015, CEA 140
chemo: 8/2015 - 10/2016 - 4xFOLFIRINOX, 2xFOLFOX, 8xFOLFIRI, 10x5FU, HAI pump -12xFUDR
4 surgeries, complete pathological response
CEA<2 since 10/2015
NED since May 2016

I praise God for every day with my family!


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