I started weekly paclitaxel today after 4 lots of fortnightly ec. With ec I fasted every cycle, initially 2 days before and 24 post. On final one I did a fasting mimicking diet for 5 days with a few nuts, veg broths, rice crackers and kale/ berry/ lemon/ flax seed/ ginger smoothie. I definitely had the fewest side effects for this last cycle. My main se With EC is dizziness on standing up for the first day or two. I learned that when lying down it was important to sit for a few moments before standing and when I remembered to do this I was okay. My main questions are around details of how to fast on a weekly regimen. I have just fasted around 42 hours pre-treatment and plan to fast for another 16 hours minimum post treatment. I have done this as a water fast as I am fasting for less time. It is quite hard though as I feel less ill from pacli than I did from EC (immediately afterwards) Any experiences?
I realise you posted a couple of weeks ago so have probably found your own answers to your questions. I just wanted to say that I have also completed 4 x AC (all fasted) and have had 3 out of 12 weekly treatments of Paclitaxel. I’ve never had a problem taking steroids on an empty stomach. I did ask the pharmacist why they needed to be taken with food and he said “because some people get reflux” - but fortunately I didn’t.
Now that I’m doing weekly chemo I’m not fasting as long - only 24 h beforehand and around 12 afterwards. I worry it might not be having any effect - but can’t face doing a 72+ hour fast every week!
Good luck & I’d love to hear what you decided & how you’re going.
I have finished with phase one which was four treatments that I just finished nearly two weeks ago was a combo of Adriamycin and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) fluorouracil (5-FU) I took four steroids and four zofan for nausea right before chemo treatment. I took all four treatments fasting, even fasting while taking the steroids. Fasting while maintaining a good diet I believe has helped minimize the symptoms of the chemo and visually it has been working. I will start phase two of weekly tratments for 12 weeks of paclitaxel (Taxol) On Wednesday. I have to take 5 steroids 12 hours before then another 5 steroids 6 hours before for my first treatment. That's 10 steroids I need to take while fasting, not sure if I should do this. Kinda debating, has anyone else fasted taking this many steroids? Or maybe I should just eat something small just when I take the steroids? Anybody have any thoughts or suggestions on this??
Good morning hip5rogmom
I’m glad to hear your treatments are going well. I’m in agreement re no carbs, and I feel our diets are important.
Thank you and good luck to you too for tomorrow xx
Hi, I have a diet of mostly veggies fruts and hormone free grain and veggie fed chicken and fish. I believe a diet with no carbs and no sugar is a must and helps with SE of chemo. I fasted my first treatment around 16 or so hours before and then only 5 hours after and I felt great, the first night I had a SE from the steroid they gave me in my IV the next day I didn't take my steroid prescription cause I didn't feel sick at all, I took them later when I realized the steroid was for more then just feeling nauseous.
Anyway over all I only had one bad day and it was over a week after my first treatment and if I had to put blame on anything it was the pizza I had for dinner the night before. I haven't ate any carbs since and good riddance. I believe a strick diet is also key with treatment.
I have my next treatment tomorrow, going to fast again and see how everything works out. I like the idea of drinking coconut water, very smart. I however will just be keeping orange juice with me and some peanut just in case I feel weak during the treatment.
Good luck to everyone and your battle with cancer. My heart goes out to those who are having a bad time with chemo treatments and I hope somehow what I did that helped me helps you also.
Good morning Laura,
I didn’t fast for the 72 hours, but I completed the intermitted fasting. I drank at least 5 litres of water and 1 litre of coconut water. I ate fruit during my session and put travel sickness bands on as soon as I left the hospital.
I hope this is helpful xx
Hi, I have found out today I’m having AC and start on Monday - I’m having it every 2 weeks. I want to fast 48 prior to my first one and 24 hours after as I’ve read lots but I’m looking for a buddy who is on AC too and looking to do fasting or has done it? I’m a bit concerned about the anti sickness tablets and steroids on an empty tummy x
How are you?
I will be having the same as you (AC), did you have a side effects? And how was your second cycle? X
Many Thanks x
well fasting not going so well but not so bad either lol . Had an apple yesterday and some eggs in the evening. Today just had an apple. Apart from that just black coffee and water. Im starving tho. Got chemo tomorrow.
Hi. Had my first chemo 27th December and suffered very severe nausea for the following 7 days.
It is now 48 hours till my next chemo. Have had a decent breakfast and plan to fast to see if I get fewer side effects for my next chemo.
So water it is for the next 48 hours 😮
When they say the side effects are easier and less they don't mean none existent! My blood counts still went low and I felt rough and tired BUT I was never sick, I did not have diarrhoea for days on end and I did not get mouth sores, thrush, peeling skin or anything else unpleasant.
Like you I seemed to bounce back a lot quicker than other people and it was the contrast between the mice that did it for me. Have you seen that video with the mice? If not I will link to it but it is on here somewhere.
Well a quick update - AC#1 hit me like a freight train in the evening (around 3-4 hours after the infusion) - nausea, dizziness, headaches and exhaustion. I was a bit taken by surprise as I'd had some idea the SEs usually hit after a couple of days (maybe I got mixed up with other drugs). I was miserable and also disappointed the fasting hadn't been a 'magic bullet' after all - I'd been secretly hoping not to experience anything much!
Day 2 was much of the same: nausea, sleeping a lot, and basically feeling like everything had been stripped out of me and I was just an empty shell incapable of doing anything except stare blankly at the ceiling (or sleep). But day 3, I woke feeling much more human and thought maybe I'd turned a corner, went for a 25 min walk and could eat normally (later went downhill and got very tired again).
Today I feel ALMOST back to normal, with just slight nausea (but have not taken any meds), a few taste alterations (water isn't any good, can't stand the thought of coffee or anything sweet etc) and tiredness which is probably more to do with a very disrupted night thanks partly to my daughter deciding to rearrange her room at midnight. It's now about 72 hours since the infusion and I feel mostly back to normal.
So overall... I wasn't sure in the beginning that I'd fast again, but now that I'm feeling better, I'm thinking - if the SEs from AC normally last a week, I will gladly water fast for those 48 hours beforehand if it means limiting the worst effects to a couple of days (while hopefully also causing more damage to the cancer cells). The ~22 hours fasting post-chemo were easy, I couldn't have eaten if you paid me.
OK - well good luck with it and just in case you don't know, it is far more important to fast before the chemo than after. So if you are struggling concentrate on the before
That switch over that you mention is your body going from energy in your gut to stored energy (your fat stores). You have to deplete your gut and the glycogen in your liver before that happens. If you fast for 36 hours or more regularly that switch becomes so automatic that you don't notice and it is why people say "eating makes you hungry".
There are lots of health benefits to water only fasting so please try to stick with it.
Ok I've now had my first dose of AC which went ok (not as bad as I'd feared). I've now been fasting for 56 hours with another 22 to go! I found it got VERY difficult from around the 36 hour mark (I was very lightheaded and weak), but just before 48 hours something switched, and I went back to feeling normal! It was a huge relief as I was thinking I wasn't going to be able to do it again next time. Now I just need to wait & see what the side effects are.
Wow Melba72, even semi-fasting on Christmas Day shows a lot of grit! I'm really glad to hear you're feeling good.
I'm only 10 hours into a planned 77 hour fast (a bit over 48 hours before my first chemo on Fri, then 24 hours from the expected finish time). I have no trouble physically (don't even really feel hungry) but psychologically it's torture! I just WANT to eat because I REALLY like food! The same thing happened when I did a couple of 48 hour practice fasts. I always find myself back on Google, searching for scientific articles and anecdotal reports to reinforce why I'm doing it (but I think I've already read them all ).
Anyway this thread has been very helpful and it's really nice to know that others (even if only a few) are also doing it.
Well I had Herceptin every 3 weeks for 18 rounds and that gives you aches and pains so I took 2 claritin hay fever tablets every day. This is why:
I also had a massive amount of water retention which lasted for ages but my doctor said it would take about a year after my last one to shed that and he was right.
Now I feel and look fine. Once the Herceptin was over the aches and pains stopped after a month and the water retention stayed but gradually it all went in the end.
Thank you Blueash. I did read some of your earlier posts (I think from a couple of years ago!) where you talked about fasting & how you felt it had helped limit your side effects compared to others who didn't fast. I'm interested to know how you're going this far out from the end of treatment. I know a lot of people complain of ongoing issues (pain, tiredness etc) long after chemo has finished and am wondering if you have any of that?
I also strictly limit sugar & flour & fast around 16 hours most days, but I haven't been able to go keto, I'm mostly vegetarian and love my veggies & legumes so would really need a LOT of good evidence to make me give all that up!!!!
Hello, I fasted during chemo and still fast regularly now to keep my blood chemistry in check. I tend to have One meal a Day and put in a 3 day fast every now and again.
If I ever have more serious issues with disease I would seriously consider a keto diet but for the moment I limit flour/sugar but I do eat some carbs and fast for 22 hours or more every day.
It is only a habit that most of us graze all day and the advice to eat 6 small meals a day to keep your metabolism up is outdated. At the end of the day it is your body so the decision must be yours but enough of us have done it to prove that it does make your chemo journey easier to cope with. Read/watch all you can on the topic. I took all my steroids on an empty stomach and had no issues.
I know this thread was started a couple of years ago but has been added to more recently so I am hoping to find someone else who is either currently fasting or intending to fast through chemotherapy. I have my appointment with the medical oncologist next Tue so don't yet know what regime they have planned for me (nor the start date) but have been told I need 6 months of chemo. A colleague with very similar BC characteristics had 3 months of 3-weekly AC then 3 months of weekly Taxol so I'm thinking I might be in for something similar. I've done daily intermittent fasting (on & off) most of this year and have also done a 48 hour water-only fast so I do know what is involved. I intend to tell the oncologist & am afraid he'll be against it but am committed to trying anyway.
Fasting realy helpt al lot! Compared with the first 2 rounds when my wife didn't fasten! A very very big difference. We could still walk 10 km a day! She felt ok. She used to eat 48 hours before the chemo until 48 hours after the chemo only some fruit and/or vegatabels. And drunk tea or water. She did that until the 9 cycle. So the everyday walk and the fasting helped a lot. After chirurgy she was NED. People in the hospital where amazed of her fitness during treatment!
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.