For a weekly treatment you can't fast for 4 whole days so I would fast for 48 hours before and then a few hours after. It is the hours before that are protective of your good cells especially those lining your gut.
I just started today. Had my last meal for the next 48 hours or so this am. Have done a few previous fastings to get ready for this longer fasting. Have gotten up to 18 hours without any problems and felt as if I could easily go longer.
Ali you really have to check out this man:
In a nutshell fasting and low carbs diets starve cancer cells.
In practice this is a 3 day water only fast about once a month and then One Meal a Day or an eating window of 4 hours meaning that you do not eat for 20 hours a day. When you do eat you have minimal carbs, I cannot do keto which means high fats so I just keep my carbs to less than 80 to 100 every day when I am eating.
hope everyone is well.
i am now 2 weeks on from my fourth chemo whilst fasting and wanted to give you an update on my experiences, side effects etc. I am on TC x 6.
I would like to say that I am not a health freak by any stretch of the imagination. Although I expertise regularly and am not overweight, I enjoy eating out and the odd glass or 5 of wine and prosecco. I eat red meat and dairy and love cake.
i have done 2 fasts eating about 300 cals once a day (eg tuna salad) in the early evevening and 2 fasts drinking just water and tea. I found no difference with the side effects and have not taken the anti sickness meds post the last 2 chemos and have had no nausea or vomiting and my appetite has been very good.
i have, however, felt extremely tired for about 5 days after but this is manageable and I have still managed to go out for a walk, ironing, light housework etc. I have been wearing the cold hands and feet protectors during my chemo and have not experienced any problems with neuropathy.
BUT MOST INTERESTINGLY, I had an mri scan after the third chemo and was told that my tumours (I have 3) had shrunk by about 60%. I was told by my consultant prior to starting chemo that my type of cancer (lobular)does not respond well to chemo as it is slow growing so he was understandably very pleased also. After I finish the 6x DC I am having 9 weeks of taxol so am hoping for a very good final result prior to surgery as I was originally to.d that my cancer was inoperable.
Could this be down to the fasting? Who knows but it’s certainly food for thought (no pun intended)
have a a fantastic weekend everyone.
The easiest way to prepare for it is to stop breakfast from tomorrow and have an eating "window" say noon til 7 pm or what suits you. When you can easily do that drop lunch a couple of times a week. From there it is easy to do 24 hour fasts - 6pm dinner then 6 pm dinner the next day.
Once that is a doddle (and I promise it gets to be) then anything longer is easy because the "hunger" nevers gets any worse!
What happens is that if you have been a "grazer" as in while you are awake seldom do you go a couple of hours without eating or drinking something your body gets used to that routine and it reminds you when you are not feeding it as usual. So you need to re-train it.
Then the next tip is to have a fatty meal and not many carbs the last meal before your fast I would have a smoked salmon omlette and a salad. No chips, bread etc this is ultra important because then your body has the right enzymes in your gut to keep your insulin low (insulin makes you hungry). When I did it I found it very easy BUT I did a lot of research and these days I eat one meal a day and every few month put in a 3 day fast to keep my IGF-1 levels lower.
This is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j15GKS8apo
ive been away on hol so have tried to have a holiday from cancer too 😂
I have seen the mice before. I think this footage appeared on ‘the science of fasting’ on Netflix. It’s certainly very persuasive.
4th chemo today so I will report my experiences on the thread in a few day. I’m trying to rest because I felt extremely tired after my last chemo. Think I did too much.
thanks for the heads up on the mice
@JacqB There is also some newish research that a ketogenic diet can be used to treat Alzheimer's and other diseases of cognitive decline. It will be interesting to see how our understanding of the metabolic origins or triggers of disease will evolve over the next few years.
I’m not at all surprised that your friend advised you to look at diet. I love it when doctors and researchers stand up and speak for fasting 😊
I’ve been low carb/ keto for a while and have always found that when truly in ketosis I feel amazing. Alert, energetic and very clear headed. Unfortunately I have a tendency to fall off the wagon and eat too many carbs and drink too much wine, although I have curbed both since my diagnosis.
I gather most info from dietdoctor.com. It’s an amazing website run by metabolic superstars! The info re fasting relates more to weight loss, but there are nuggets about chemo, all supportive.
I may well email the doctor when the chemo is finished, and as I’m on the ROSCO trial, I will inform them too as a part of the trial is monitoring wellbeing. I don’t know if my little N=1 experiment has any value as I have no way of knowing how I would feel on a standard diet?
Last T tomorrow and my Pac-Man is definitely going to be sugar free!
I hope you are feeling as well as possible and keep glowing!
@JacqB A friend of mine who is a cancer researcher in the US immediately told me to cut down my glucose as much as possible when I told him about my Dx. (He's a co-founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation -- which researches how to influence blood supply to tumors -- and did a TED talk a few years ago on what to eat to beat cancer.) I didn't know that glucose ws used as a contrast for MRI -- totally makes sense, but also fascinating.
Obviously, the brain only operates with glucose and ketones, so cutting glucose requires careful management. IIRC from earlier in the thread, it sounds as though you have read up ketogenic diets (and how to monitor for when your body has entered ketosis, to afford good brain energy while going low glucose/carbs). I'm not yet in a place where I can dedicate the time and resources to getting into ketosis every day, but I've pared back my glucose/carbs a great deal. The big point of resistance I've experienced when talking to doctors and nurses about fasting / ketosis / etc. are their concerns about how this might interact with the fatigue and immmunosuppression that come with chemotherapy. It is a delicate balance.
Plus, Longo's mice models are very encouraging, but there is limited data on humans -- and I don't know if it will ever be possible to do a true study of the effects, since it's kinda impossible to do an experiment on the effects of fasting on chemotherapy where subjects don't know if they're in the control or condition arm. But there seem to be so many people trying it, it would be interesting to see if a "natural experiment" might provide some data in support. Have you thought about sharing a report of your experience with Longo?
Jacq you were right, ORS contains glucose. Not a good plan for the fasting days. I have had only raw veggies and thick vegetable soup for the last 40 hrs and it went better than expected, although thinking about food ALL THE TIME. I am a dietician by training and have become a bit creative about the 'almost' fasting. Intend to keep a diary of what I eat. For tomorrow I have prepared two bottles or ginger water with lime to take to the hospital. Now nicely cooling down in the fridge. And a nice, red, juicy red beet salad. It is great to have some control back! Will be in the hospital from 8-5, hope all will go well. Bring it on, Mama is ready!
At the tail end of 2017 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 bladder cancer with lymphatic system involvement. I fasted for 36 hours prior to and 24 hours after completing each cycle (4 cycles MVAC with a week off in between each cycle. MVAC - Methotrexate, Vinblastine, Adriomycin, Cis-Platin) with Neulasta on the last day of each cycle for immune support.
I had minimal side effects until after the last cycle when I got a nasty case of “Methotrexate Mouth”. Terrible mouth sores! Under my tongue, down my throat, etc.! This extended my fast for an additional 5 days! which landed me in the hospital with screwed up electrolytes and severe weakness! After discharge I fell down in the parking lot of a local restaurant and wound up with a cracked skull and brain surgery to remove a clot on my brain.
I rate the results as mixed. I was initially given a “complete remission” diagnoses 2 months later but I still am dealing with the neurological effects from the fall!
If you do this please pay attention to any side effects from your chemo! I was warned about the “Meth Mouuth” but got careless and am paying for it!
thanks for your quick reply, will check the ORS for glucose. I just packed cucumber and bell peppers for lunch in the office and my hubbie will make vegetable soup for tonight. Let's get this show on the road!
I am about to start my combination of chemo and immune therapy (PCT-Pertuzumab) on Wednesday. I have Paget and Invasive breastcancer (ER-,Pr-,HER2+). I have decided to try the fasting (48 hrs before and 24 hrs after). I was thinking of using ORS. Anyone experience with that. I am from the Netherlands and determined to keep working trough all of this. And scared...
Thanks for the update Ali, not sure if you have seen this video but look at the fed mouse at about 42 seconds in and the fasted mouse at about 50 seconds in.
That is what made me do it and it worked like a dream for me:
Thought I’d give an update on the aftermath of my docetaxel chemo last Tuesday after fasting for 3 days.
i have felt really well but on Thursday (2 days post chemo) I felt extremely fatigued and spaced out, more so than before (this was my third dose). I have been prepared for this as I understand that the tiredness is cumulative. However, I have had no other side effects apart from this and by Sunday, I felt back to normal and have been for a short run this morning. I have had no nausea and did not take any anti nausea meds after the pre chemo pill. I have had no digestive tract issues or sore mouth. The achy flu type symptoms have also been much better this time. In a nutshell, I really believe the fasting helps with side effects and will continue with this regime throughout my treatment.
i will update again prior to my next cycle in case I get any side effects further down the line. I did experience some issues with my skin 10days after my second cycle but changed my cleanser which I felt was too harsh and this cleared up.
Hope everyone stays well.
I am having round 3 tomorrow of docetaxel and cyclophosphamide. I went to see the breast surgeon last Wednesday for an update as I am having chemo first to shrink tumours (I have cancer in both breasts). Both he and the breast care nurse commented how well I looked but I have not said that I am fasting (no one has asked). More signifantly, he said my biggest tumour had become softer and more mobile which indicates the chemo is working at this stage which I am relieved about as apparently my type of cancer (lobular) is slow growing and therefore does not always respond well to chemo.
I started my fast last night and have eaten some very low carb soup this eve (around 300 cals). I’m having water all day tomorrow but will probably have some more soup again tomorrow evening.
will update on my side effects in the next few days.
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.