• What lifestyle-dietry changes have you made since finding out you had cancer or finishing treatments?

    Asked by CakeLady on Monday, October 29, 2012

    What lifestyle-dietry changes have you made since finding out you had cancer or finishing treatments?

    Having just finshed treatment for advanced NHL I am struggling with diet and lifestyle changes. I did not have much time to consider options or alternative treatments before starting r-chop. Now that my cancer is in "remission" I am wondering if there is anything that I can change to keep it from coming back. I am reading The Gerson Therapy and watched the video about Dr. Burzynski. There is so much information how do you process all of it? Because I am a baker and caterer I would have a difficult time eliminating sugar completely. I try to eat a healthy whole foods diet with some processed usually "sweet" or cracker, chips type foods also. I am not diabetic and am about 20 lbs. over my suggested weight. As my oncologist suggested do I enjoy the life I have (have left) or do I switch to carrot juice and coffee enemas? I understand eating well and exercise but wonder if juicing and no sugar will really make a difference. Do natural lotions, shampoos, make up?

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • cancervivor's Avatar

      Hi Cakelady, I had Hodgkins 24 years ago, I have made very few changes if any really, in my eating. I am still here, maybe a little over weight, 10#. If I had to knock off sweets I would be in trouble. I LOVE the sweets.

      Lots of information out there, lots of people saying the sky is falling and we all need to start eating Kale and Beets. Each to their own. I believe that if that made such a difference and it would prevent or cure cancer, we would be doing that instead of having radiation and chemo.

      We are all allowed to believe what we want. Search out the information you need and make your own decision based on your needs and lifestyle.

      Best of luck to you in keeping the Hodgkins beat down.

      over 8 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar

      Forget Burzynski. He's a quack. Just another in a long line of people offering false hope to the vulnerable. The "video" is a movie he had made which presents only his version of facts. It leaves out such facts as the complete lack of clinical studies supporting his treatment, The fact that other researchers have been unable to duplicate his results, and the fact that his clinic charges an awful lot for ineffective and/or dangerous treatments.

      If you want a more healthy diet, go for it. A truly healthy diet, and not some quack panacea, can't hurt. It might even help. But, frankly, a simple balanced diet is all you really need. Take your oncologist's advice. Enjoy life. You might have a lot more of it than you believe. Why make it a burden?

      over 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Please do not get sucked up into extreme scams that claim to prevent cancer. They are just total BS. Certainly improving your diet, staying or becoming active, not smoking, etc. are good things for anybody, whether they have had cancer or not. But even those things are not going to prevent a recurrence of cancer.

      over 8 years ago
    • tnblondee's Avatar

      I really like Kris Carr "Crazy, Sexy Cancer". You can check her out at kriscarr.com and see if you can find her documentary anywhere about her journey.

      over 8 years ago
    • CakeLady's Avatar

      I ordered the DVD, and 2 books about/by Kris Carr. I watched the trailer for the DVD and felt that even if I can't make the changes I will not feel so alone out here! So hard for friends and family even though they are very suportive to truly comprehend what it means to have cancer. This is a wonderful site; thank you to the developers! Many wonderful people here to share with. Thank you all and God Bless.

      over 8 years ago
    • Crash's Avatar

      I have added Tumeric to my breakfast. I have oatmeal every morning. I add Tumeric, Ginger & Cinnamon. Tumeric is supposed to prevent Cancer and improve the memory, Cinnamon is supposed to lower blood pressure. I forget what Ginger is supposed to do. ;-)

      over 8 years ago
    • Thanks4Mayo's Avatar

      I had to change my diet - I simply couldn't (and still can't) eat "normally". So I stopped eating breads, meats, pasta, salty snacks and began living on fruits, vegetables and fish - the classic Mediterranean diet. Low and behold, I lost 60# in six months, my cholesterol and blood pressure are lower than they've been in 20 years, I feel great and I love the food! It takes a bit of time, but the "new norm" becomes the norm. Whatever you decide to do, give it some time. And you'll have plenty of time! Good luck.

      over 8 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Especially if you're in remission - Chose Life!!!!. I was told (Stage IV OVarian Cancer) that I had six months left to live... in February of 2006. No one knows the days of your life but our Lord. My suggestion (Just me... no medical degree) Eat healthy - take off the extra pounds. I see you are lovely, (Twenty pounds should be fairly easy, if you just cut out the fattening things and drink lots of water)..Those blender drinks and 'cancer foods'... I don't trust them. I lost my sister-in-law to her trusting someone that would spare her the discomfort of Chemo.... I've been cancer free for almost 7 years now... I had asked to fight... my oncologist put me on "The Hard Stuff" my feet and fingers are a bit numb, but I can still dance with my husband. Do what your oncologist is telling you to do... eat healthy: exercise; and drink 8 glasses of water and if exercise is boring... DANCE#

      over 8 years ago
    • MsScribe's Avatar

      Ahhh a question dear to my heart! I am an athletic 54, one year out from advanced NHL and 6 r-chop ...and boy do I grave sugar. I should point out that I was not in menopause before the rchop and now I am. I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis and no gall bladder. I had breast cancer three years ago so I can't have any estrogen therapy whatsoever. Now I can't have any treatment for the RA either! I am either sweating or freezing!

      I don't wear makeup very often but I use standard face lotions. I use perfume and dye free soap, detergent and fabric softner. I don't eat a lot of processed foods, I never drink soda, I don't eat fast food, I drink decaf coffee and I eat a lot of veggies...but I am addicted to my glass of wine at dinner and God help me if my husband bakes desert, or buys ice cream! My metabolism is ridiculously sluggish and I struggle with keeping my weight down nowadays, no matter how much I exercise or how little I eat. Like you I have struggled with the idea of changing my lifestyle, and giving up alcohol and sugar. If nothing else, to lose some weight.

      But, they are my last vices. They are my only vices. I enjoy my glass of wine, I think it helps me digest my food and relaxes me so I can fall asleep without medication. Which is worse-Taking Xanax and a sleeping aid every day or having a glass of wine? I already get depressed because of all the aches, pains and sweating - the discomfort and the fear of the cancer returning is always going to be there.

      Right now my choice is to keep drinking my wine and eating an occasional desert. But I admit I feel guilty about that too - as if I'm not doing enough to keep the cancer at bay. My daughter is a vegan and very conscientious about clean, natural products. She also practices yoga and spiritual healing. She's a fantastic kid AND she would probably prefer me to be on carrot juice and meditating 4 hours a day!

      Let me know what you decide. I am still struggling with that choice. But part of me says "XXX it!" I have a 50% chance of this returning and it could easily kill me if it does. I'm going to live life to the fullest for as long as I can. I make many healthy choices, and I do read labels and watch the quality of my food. But my goodness, chocolate tastes great!

      over 8 years ago
    • warrior3's Avatar

      I agree with Harry and nancyjac. A healthy, balanced diet cannot be bad for any of us. But neither can a piece of chocolate cake or a glass of red wine now and then (okay, more "now" than "then"). I know I would feel deprived if I gave up the things I so enjoy! Live life, love life :)

      over 8 years ago
    • GENMAR47's Avatar

      Hi CakeLady. I was diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer 4 months ago and haven't started treatment yet. I realized that my diet basically stinks, so I went on a modified vegetarian diet given to me by my nutritionist and approved by my cancer doctors. The diet is helping me a lot. Is it a cure? Probably not. One thing I will tell you is don't fail to treat yourself to a food you like occasionally.The biggest change I have made is mental. Before the cancer, I was angry all the time, didn't like myself or anyone else. After diagnosis and getting over the shock, I decided to be happy, not worry about things, enjoy each day, be thankful for life and spread as much cheer as I can. They say laughter is the best medicine and I believe it. I find humor in the smallest things and truly enjoy myself. I firmly believe in a mind-body connection. If you are already beaten in your mind, you can't beat the cancer in your body. I guess I am saying go for it, do what ever you like, let the cancer know you are ready to fight, enjoy life and be happy. It took me a lot of years to come to that realization.
      Best wishes, a good journey and a long happy life.

      over 8 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Yep, that's the ticket. Make zero life changes and remain your doctor's patient.

      Don't ever give anything up until you have a better replacement. I don't do it professionally (I'm a writer) but I can make a cake or a pie or even bread without the slightest bit of sugar and they look good and taste simply divine.

      I only eat animals with one leg. :-)

      I am a DRS. Disease Recovery Specialist. There is lots of literature to back me up including the following example:


      I am more extreme than most as I am a gung ho near total raw foodie. I only cook artichokes. I can make delicious mock near everything from ice cream to salmon and tuna and chicken salad. It isn't easy because society is so dead set against it and the corporate mantra of buy more try more junk is pervasive. Eat more yeast. Open more cans of sterile nutritionless packages and cans.

      You should look into it. Set yourself free. You can find me on FaceBook:


      Burzynski, BTW, no longer treats in the same way he did before the Texas State government hounded him and threatened to take his license unless he modified his treatment which means, I guess, unless he stopped being so successful with his treatments of those certain cancer stricken folks with no other hope.

      You might be amazed at how good raw combinations actually are. I am not tempted by processed commercial foods because the unprocessed ones, as long as I eat well, are so much more delicious. Most of this addiction to processed food is emotional. Please stop by and say 'hello'.

      Should you be curious, my book is offered @ http://www.blujay.com/geekling and I offer a 20% discount to everyone from Whatnext.

      Nothing ventured, nothing gained and nothing keeping you from backing off if you take a step you aren't comfy doing. You already know you need to do something or you would not be asking the question. You just need to look around, experiment, and find your own "sweet spot" for life and vitality.

      Best healthy wishes,

      over 8 years ago
    • CakeLady's Avatar

      Thank you everyone that has posted an answer. I appreciate everyone that replied and gave advice. I am sure I will be making some changes, just knowing there are 3 guys (a husband and 2 sons) in my life that won't want to make the changes I do will make it harder for me. And cooking for a living trying to make what "most" will eat is what makes it more trying. Extreme changes I don't see it but better choices I know I must. I know that only God knows the numbers of my days so I will move forward with that in mind and enjoy what life I am given.

      over 8 years ago
    • LisaLathrop's Avatar

      Kris Carr is an awesome resource! Her books are full of humor and common sense, too. A product that helped me out tremendously was Visalus...better know as Body by Vi. It's a meal replacement shake that when taken 2x per day, complimented with 2-3 100 calorie snacks and 1 healthy meal, results in excellent nutritional benefits, weight loss, and lean muscle growth. Within 2 weeks of using the product, my "chemo brain" was virtually no more, I had TONS of energy, and my 55 lb weight gain during treatments was starting to dwindle down. Check out my site:
      www.cancerkaleidoscope.com for more great health & wellness products I have benefited from. And http://lisalathrop.bodybyvi.com/ for information on ViSalus. Good luck....and stick to it. Change never "tastes" great....but it is worth it in the long run....and soon you'll aquire the taste and be thankful for it.

      over 8 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      BTW, a lady who I often see at some pot lucks (pot lucks are a great resource - check out 'raw food' on www.meetup.com in your area) bakes cakes for her living. She no longer eats what she bakes. She said it was confusing at first until, hahaha - she was joking I'm sure, she simply simply stopped licking her fingers.

      She had the same sort of cancer as me and is semi retired so she has it a bit easier than you. Her hubby has also joined her in the changes of food direction.

      I have a new FB group:


      if you still have interest. Be aware that one of the things Ms. Carr doesn't mention is that you need to eat a LOT more food if you are going to eat all veggies and prepare them without cooking. To me, the secret is fresh and sprouted.

      You needn't go whole hog. Just make one simple recipe for the whole family or only for yourself.
      If you like it, make another. You might be able to get up to one uncooked vegetable meal per day. Use this little mind trick .. if it looks like a burger or like a pizza or scrambled eggs, the men in your life will eat it. Make it easy on yourself and start off with a soup.

      Please do let us know what changes, if any, you have made.

      Best healthy wishes.

      almost 8 years ago

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