Had my second cycle of chemo 9 days ago (docetaxel) and again fasted for 3 days (day prior, day of chemo and day after). Again, I experienced no nausea or vomiting and I actually went away on holiday and walked 4 miles each day. My appetite has been good but I am not overweight so I’m focusing on regaining the weight lost due to fasting. I did experience the muscle/joint pain but not to the extent that I needed painkillers. These pains lasted for about 4 days. The main problem for me has been constipation which is quite common apparently on a water fast. This is not helped by the steroids and anti nausea drugs so am concentrating on eating a fibre rich diet to avoid this in future. Definitely think that fasting is helping with side effects and friends and family have remarked that I look well (although I have now lost my hair and am sporting a wig). I try to run or walk everyday but this has not been possible with the weather.
Hope this helps and will keep posting my experiences.
Good luck everyone. It’s great to hear from you all.
thanks for your post re the steroids. I will definitely take the steroids earlier to see if this makes a difference.
sorry for the delay in responding. To be honest, after my first fast I didn’t really pay much attention to what I ate although it was relatively healthy - a baked potato tuna and salad. However, I’ve since learnt that baked potatoes are v high carbs and may not be the best thing to eat to break fast. I will probably make some vegetable soup or have some fish and vegetables or salad and take it from there.
I will post at the weekend to let everyone know how it goes.
About the steroids keeping you awake, I told my nurse and she said to take them earlier. On the box it told me to take 4 at 8 am and another 4 at 4 pm so I did that the first couple of days after chemo but was awake all night. The nurse said to take 4 at 7 am and the next 4 at noon, I slept much better doing that.
I was never sick either and I took my steroids on an empty stomach with no problems at all.
i fasted for my first EC chemo on 25 May. I took all the steroids prescribed to me for 48 hours after and I just had a spoonful of egg mayo with them (rather than carbs). The main problem with the steroids was the insomnia but found I slept really well once I finished them. I didn’t need the anti sickness pills they gave me as I didn’t have any nausea. (They advised me to take them only if I needed to)
2 weeks down the line, I feel good - no tummy problems, mouth sores etc. Ive been out walking every day and even ran for 2 miles yesterday. I’ll be starting my fast again on Wednesday ready for next Friday as I really believe this has helped.
Hope this helps and good luck.
I had my ffirst chemo on Friday 25 May and fasted from Wednesday evening 23 May until Saturday teatime. I felt very slightly nauseous the morning after (Saturday) but my appetite since the fast has been really good. Apparently, anecdotal evidence from patients who have fasted on chemo found that they lost a few pounds during the 4 day fast but found they put it back on prior to next chemo. I am definitely going to keep a sharp eye on my weight though.
Hope this helps
thanks for your reply. I’m pleased for you that your side effects seem to be relatively mild and it also gives me additional motivation to continue. I also employ a similar mental picture of the greedy cancer cells gobbling up the chemo whilst the healthy cells are having a nap.
Definitely going to continue with the fasting .
I too took the decision to fast during chemo ( epirubicin and cyclophamide) having read a lot of medical journals regarding the tests on mice and anecdotal evidence from other patients re the lessened side effects and also the theory that fasting protects healthy cells. It helped that I have been on Michael Mosley’s 5 2 and am familiar with fasting.
i was due to start chemo 23 May so started fast on 21 May for 4 days. This did not go to plan however because I had my chemo cancelled as something new had shown up on a pet scan. So I ate on the Tuesday evening. This turned out to be something inconclusive so chemo rescheduled for Friday 25 May. My husband was worried about me fasting because I was losing weight so we agreed that I would do 3 days fast - Thursday Friday and Saturday till evening. So far my only side effects have been 1 hot flush and insomnia due to steroids. My appetite has been good and I went out yesterday for a meal and a few drinks. I will definitely continue the fasting unless something changes with my health.
how do you do the fast when you have to take medications with food? Have to take Prednisone every day the first 5 days of the cycle so that would break the fast?
I'm very curious how the 24 hours prior fast compared to the 48 hours fast? Contemplating fasting before first treatement but just worried about doing it for so long.
What fast mimicking diet did you follow? Thanks!
How did your fasting go? Did you feel that it helped with your side effects?
How did your second treatement go? Did you fast prior as well? Thanks
Wow I'm so glad to have read your post. I've been looking for information and my husband also has lymphoma and will be getting R-CHOP for the first time this Wednesday. He really is interested as our naturopath recommended 48 hours- starting 15 hours prior to chemo. 72 hours seems like such a long time. Of course I'm really worried about the amount of weight he will lose. Curious is you are on a vegetarian diet? Good luck with your treatment.
Hi! I have just tried fasting through chemo for the first time. I have lymphoma and receiving R-CHOP chemotherapy.
I read a lot about Dr Longo's research before I did the fast and consulted with my oncologist, who was really supportive because I have good organ function and a healthy weight. For my last two meals before fasting I ate low carb to help ease the pain, then only water and herbal teas for 72 hours before my appointment and 24 hours after receiving the 'red devil' chemo injection. The fasting is tough but not as tough as chemo! I continued to take all of the drugs as prescribed (including steroids).
This was my 4th cycle and the difference in my side effects has been amazing. I have much less nausea, a clearer head and am more myself than any of the other cycles. I will continue to do this for the next 2 cycles! Good luck!
This is where you can find problems. As a cancer patient (I had found) that if you dont ask questions and kick up too much of a fuss, everyone is marvelous - but as soon as you say "what are the alternatives" you get looked on as a trouble maker - it is far harder for the oncology team to give one to one individual care. I had many discussions on what I was willing to "consent to" and not. I would agree the plan with the oncologist then the nurses would question it on the day - it was a pain in that it would take longer for them to double check what the Onc had written. In the end I was sick of it so changed hospitals and put in many complaints about the old one.
The only evidence I could find on the benefits of steroids were that were given "routinely". Yes, they can help with sickness and they do provide cover for allergic reactions to the chemo. I didn't need any help with sickness, I had it covered, I also took two differnt antihistimines to help over come this, but I still had questions and confirmations at each cycle...
All I can say is read, read and read some more... Consent is your friend, no one can do anything to you without your fully informed consent. Do what is right for you and your own personal circumstances.
As I didn't take steroids with the FEC, I was not planning to take any fo the T part either. I 4personally felt that most of the symptoms were caused by the steroides. I compromised and agreed to 4 mgs prior to the chemo (none the day before) and the 10mgs after the chemo IV. The only reason I agreed was the anaphalaxis for the T is so much more of a concern than FEC. I also did cold extremities for toes and fingers which helped me to not lose my nails (similar to cold capping). I found the FEC acute and over with, whilst the T really took its time but the symptons got worse with each, but manageable...
Yes, the first time I was awake and felt like I had jet lag but after I took them earlier I was fine.
It is much more comfortable for you if you take the steroids with the T because it leads to massive water retention and severe side effects if you don't. That is why they give them to you. Also I changed how I took the steroids after the chemo. I stepped down over 5 days not just two because that way the side effects do not "hit" you at full force. The fasting keeps away the tummy trouble, mouth ulcers, sloughing skin etc but it does nothing for the fatigue. You might be OK because remember I had all my treatments as the T and the effects are cumulative. Anyway the fatigue is bad and resting does not help you to feel better but stepping down the steroids after means that the effects are waning by the time you have your last dose.
But don't worry because you will come out the other side and if it does that to you, think what it is doing to the bad cells.
Hi had all docetaxel (The T) and I took the steroids on an empty stomach without any problems at all. I had my chemo in the morning and from the day before I took them at 7.00 am and before noon. I did that because when I took them as they said I was awake all night so the nurse said it was fine to takem them early.
On the box they wanted me to take 4 at 8 am and another 4 at 4 pm.
I now get EC90 every third week. have been fasting for 1 /12 day before every chemotherapy session with EC90 - in addition I take a tablet called Akynzeo (300mg) one hour before the injection. Also 3 tablets with Dexmetason 12mg one hour before the injection. I have had no side effects, no neusea and sleep very well. I eat raw ginger and drink ginger tea all the time. But yes - I believe fasting is one big reason why I can go to meetings and live almost normal the moment I get up from the chair after the injection.
So glad to read about fasting during chemo. I was on the ketogenic diet before diagnosis and had stumbled upon this. Not know ing that a few months down the road i would need it.Just got diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer start chemo next week so this is so helpful will definitely take this route. Love this site thank u ladies for ur help
Hello I had my first treatment on Jan 19 I fasted 2 days before drinking only lemon water and black coffee. The day of the chemo I did have orange juice was feeling little weak and I ate a small meal late evening after my treatment. I have to say I had no side effects from the chemo whatsoever. I cannot believe how good I feel. Very pleasantly surprised. I was tired from lack of sleep the 3 days I took the steroid but other than that it has been good. I have my second treatment on feb 9 I am hopeful to have the same reaction.
Please don't worry about it all because your fears are far worse than actually getting any treatment. I will not tell you that it is easy because it can be challenging BUT lots of us have had chemo and radiotherapy and are alive and now well because of it. Take each day as it comes and you will get through it all xxx
have not had any chemo, or radiaton yet.
doing all the pre opt stuff first.
really want to do the fasting also.
I do not want to have vomiting, or nausea,
I have 4 children and need to be at my best.
My husband is very supportive.
God has been in all of this.
I am scared of what it feels like to have a poison injected
I am also scared of the burning of the radiation.
any advice would be so helpful.
God bless you all for sharing.
I would like to recommend a documentary which is available on Amazon Prime free if you have prime and about £3.50 if you don't but anyway it is called The Science of Fasting.
The whole thing is interesting but if you fast forward til about 40 minutes into it you will see Valter Longo and his experiments with chemo and cancer. You will see the mice that lived if they were fasted and those that died or were extremely ill after chemo if they were fed.
He shows you what happens to healthy cells and what happens to cancer cells.