Question about diet and exercise?

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lmliess
lmliess Member Posts: 329
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I am new to this site and I love it! You all are so positive and that really helps me deal with my cancer issues. I was diagnosed 12/1/08 with rectal cancer with possible mets to the liver. I completed 5 1/2 weeks of chemo and radiation and I am now waiting for my PET scan Feb 17 to see what type of surgery we will have to do in March. In the meantime, I am trying to find 'the perfect' diet and exercise plan so I can help my body beat this and recover. I am just curious if any of you have followed anything specific? I keep ready about all vegetatian, the Ornish Diet, the alkaline diet....and I am going nuts! I have been trying to eliminate red meat and sugar. I have pretty much given up my daily Diet Dr Pepper, all fast foods and I got a juicer, but at this point I am a bit overwhelmed! Any ideas?

Linda

Comments

  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375 Member
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    Welcome to the board!
    Hi Linda!

    Welcome to the board... so sorry you had to find us, but now that you have, pull up a stump and make yourself at home :)

    Hehehe... the question about diet and exercise is a real loaded one... and I can certainly understand why you are overwhelmed. Whether it's a diet for fighting cancer or a diet for maintaining health without a cancer DX, there are only about a kajillion and one diets out there with every one of them having people who will say this is the only one that will work. Likewise, that will go for advocates of exercise... there are a kajillion and one different exercise regimes that are "THE BEST AND IF YOU DON'T FOLLOW THIS YOU WILL BE A FAILURE" advocates out there.

    What it all boils down to is, you know your own body and what it is comfortable with... the level of exercise and what kinds of foods it will tolerate. Also, with the help of your doctors/nutritionists, they can give you suggestions of foods to avoid/eat during various stages of your treatment. IE: after surgery, depending on what kind of surgery you end up having, they may suggest eating less of Food A and more of Food B... and will give a reason why they suggest that. As for exercise, again... depending on what level you are comfortable with normally and then what adjustments you may have to make around surgery or treatment, your doctors will be able to help you with this. But as a general rule of thumb... everything in moderation will be just fine :) If, due to treatments, you are losing copious amounts of weight, then they may suggest upping your carbs or any kind of food that you can keep down. If you are gaining weight, then cutting back on those same kinds of food. Everyone's mileage will vary.

    Welcome aboard!!

    Hugggggs,

    Cheryl
  • tiny one
    tiny one Member Posts: 465 Member
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    diet
    I fought colon cancer and won. I stayed very active after my surgeries and all during treatment. I found all during this I would do a little bit then rest do a little bit then rest. I felt better and kept physically strong. During treatment though I ate whatever tasted good, which was pretty much everything. You may want to eat meat that is leaner. At least once a week treat yourself. The only reason I eat different now is due to my ileostomy reversal. Chicken doesn't seem to bother me or cause me to be in the bathroom as much. The main thing is your determination and your support system. Lots of love and backrubs and don't forget the chocolate. God bless.
  • dixchi
    dixchi Member Posts: 431
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    tiny one said:

    diet
    I fought colon cancer and won. I stayed very active after my surgeries and all during treatment. I found all during this I would do a little bit then rest do a little bit then rest. I felt better and kept physically strong. During treatment though I ate whatever tasted good, which was pretty much everything. You may want to eat meat that is leaner. At least once a week treat yourself. The only reason I eat different now is due to my ileostomy reversal. Chicken doesn't seem to bother me or cause me to be in the bathroom as much. The main thing is your determination and your support system. Lots of love and backrubs and don't forget the chocolate. God bless.

    Fresh
    I am not into juicing; a lot of beggies and fruits, raw, messes up my system
    but I attended a Cooking for Wellness program and they stressed fressh veggies
    and fruits, cooked. I am eating more beets, cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms.
    Pomegranite juice is currently considered to be a super anti-oxidant so I am
    drinking organic prepared juice. I love blueberries and they are also good
    anti-oxidants. I also eat salmon, canned and fresh and try to have more
    fish and less red meat in general. Hope this helps.

    Barbara
  • ldot123
    ldot123 Member Posts: 272
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    dixchi said:

    Fresh
    I am not into juicing; a lot of beggies and fruits, raw, messes up my system
    but I attended a Cooking for Wellness program and they stressed fressh veggies
    and fruits, cooked. I am eating more beets, cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms.
    Pomegranite juice is currently considered to be a super anti-oxidant so I am
    drinking organic prepared juice. I love blueberries and they are also good
    anti-oxidants. I also eat salmon, canned and fresh and try to have more
    fish and less red meat in general. Hope this helps.

    Barbara

    Eat Well
    Hi,

    I am a moderate in regard to diet. I do eat less red meat and try to increase fruit and veggie input. I do like to have the occasional drink and I do exercise. I even got a personal trainer, however I am 2 years out from surgery and chemo. It took me a long time to get the energy to exercise. One of the best things you can do is walk. It is not hard on you and it has proven benefits.

    Cheers, Lance
  • 2bhealed
    2bhealed Member Posts: 2,064 Member
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    Ok, here goes....
    Welcome to the Semi-colons!

    I am an energetic supporter of diet for healing what ails us. Colon cancer is 80% dietary related, so for me, it was the obvious place to start. I opted to not do any chemo for my Stage III sigmoid colon cancer 7 1/2 years ago, so diet was imperative. It was the foundation of curing my cancer post surgery.

    But where to start? It is a dilemma since, as Cheryl pointed out, there are a zillion programs and diets out there. But I have to say, in my research there were a few common denominators of successful diets that cured cancers. Everyone is different with unique chemical make-up so finding the one personalized for you is key.

    Personally I found success with a juicing protocol mixed with a simple macrobiotic diet. It was geared towards alkalizing my system and providing optimum amount of live enzymes which are the healers. Cancer is said to not be able to live in an alkaline environment so juicing fresh organic veggies can do this quickly. The macro diet allowed my body to detox (along with the juicing) because I was refraining from any animal products and eating steamed veggies and brown rice. This helped my digestive system to not have to work so hard so the energy could go into healing my body. It all makes sense and is not voodoo. While eating in moderation is a good program for maintenance, it was not an aggressive enough approach for me to cure my cancer. Cuz that's what it was all about for me--going for the cure.

    My exercise program consisted of walking, running, Nordic skiing, biking, and most importantly, yoga. In my research, again, the common denominator of people who successfully cured their cancer was yoga. Juicing and yoga seemed to pop up in most of the anecdotal evidence of cures. Yoga helps to bring fresh blood and oxygen to areas that can become stagnant. Moving things along helps so much. It's also such a great stress reducer and we can all use some of that!

    Massage and acupuncture were also an integral part of my healing protocol. I went for weekly "treatments" for 6 months instead of the chemo treatments. It was like going to a spa every week. I was under the care of a Naturopathic Doctor, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, and my Mayo Clinic oncologist (who was very supportive).

    I have remained cancer free for 7 1/2 years so something must be working. There are no guarantees in life, but I have no regrets for my choices.

    My sister died of intestinal cancer when she was 33 after years of being misdiagnosed; and when I was dx'ed 9 years later with colon cancer, I opted to go a different route than she.

    I hope this helps. I think the pH diet is seriously a good one for healing cancer.

    Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

    peace, emily the juice chick
  • lmliess
    lmliess Member Posts: 329
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    2bhealed said:

    Ok, here goes....
    Welcome to the Semi-colons!

    I am an energetic supporter of diet for healing what ails us. Colon cancer is 80% dietary related, so for me, it was the obvious place to start. I opted to not do any chemo for my Stage III sigmoid colon cancer 7 1/2 years ago, so diet was imperative. It was the foundation of curing my cancer post surgery.

    But where to start? It is a dilemma since, as Cheryl pointed out, there are a zillion programs and diets out there. But I have to say, in my research there were a few common denominators of successful diets that cured cancers. Everyone is different with unique chemical make-up so finding the one personalized for you is key.

    Personally I found success with a juicing protocol mixed with a simple macrobiotic diet. It was geared towards alkalizing my system and providing optimum amount of live enzymes which are the healers. Cancer is said to not be able to live in an alkaline environment so juicing fresh organic veggies can do this quickly. The macro diet allowed my body to detox (along with the juicing) because I was refraining from any animal products and eating steamed veggies and brown rice. This helped my digestive system to not have to work so hard so the energy could go into healing my body. It all makes sense and is not voodoo. While eating in moderation is a good program for maintenance, it was not an aggressive enough approach for me to cure my cancer. Cuz that's what it was all about for me--going for the cure.

    My exercise program consisted of walking, running, Nordic skiing, biking, and most importantly, yoga. In my research, again, the common denominator of people who successfully cured their cancer was yoga. Juicing and yoga seemed to pop up in most of the anecdotal evidence of cures. Yoga helps to bring fresh blood and oxygen to areas that can become stagnant. Moving things along helps so much. It's also such a great stress reducer and we can all use some of that!

    Massage and acupuncture were also an integral part of my healing protocol. I went for weekly "treatments" for 6 months instead of the chemo treatments. It was like going to a spa every week. I was under the care of a Naturopathic Doctor, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, and my Mayo Clinic oncologist (who was very supportive).

    I have remained cancer free for 7 1/2 years so something must be working. There are no guarantees in life, but I have no regrets for my choices.

    My sister died of intestinal cancer when she was 33 after years of being misdiagnosed; and when I was dx'ed 9 years later with colon cancer, I opted to go a different route than she.

    I hope this helps. I think the pH diet is seriously a good one for healing cancer.

    Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

    peace, emily the juice chick

    Diet and exercise
    Thank you for your replies. I think I am leaning towards the alkaline diet too. Lots of green veggies just make sense to me so I am going to se how my body reacts. I am finally getting some energy back - which might be all the supplements my Natropath Dr has me on, so I think I can get a Walking/Yoga progam going up until surgery March 10. I need to research the macrobiotic diet a bit too.

    And I TOTALLY agree with the saying "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food". I passed up a burger at lunch for a veggie burger and broccoli.
  • PGLGreg
    PGLGreg Member Posts: 731
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    ldot123 said:

    Eat Well
    Hi,

    I am a moderate in regard to diet. I do eat less red meat and try to increase fruit and veggie input. I do like to have the occasional drink and I do exercise. I even got a personal trainer, however I am 2 years out from surgery and chemo. It took me a long time to get the energy to exercise. One of the best things you can do is walk. It is not hard on you and it has proven benefits.

    Cheers, Lance

    walking
    ldot123 said: "One of the best things you can do is walk." I happen to have this reference at hand to support this, "Studies Suggest Exercise Improves Colorectal Cancer Outcomes", from the NCI, http://www.nci.nih.gov/cancertopics/treatment/colon-and-rectal/exercise, which says "Compared with participants who reported less than three MET hours of activity per week, those reporting 18 or more had their risk of death from colorectal cancer cut by 61 percent and their risk of death from any cause reduced by 57 percent." (Where three "MET hours" is what you get from "walking at a moderate pace for an hour").
    -Greg
  • Mike49
    Mike49 Member Posts: 261
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    I went vegetarian
    the vegetarian route for me, and I focus on powerfult antioxidant foods, I have been at it for about 6 weeks and it works good for me. I think CheryHutch is right its whatever works for you. The dietitian at the oncology clinic says I can eat whatever I want, but I have been moving toward vegetables and tofu and lots of berries and fruit. Whatever you feel you are making the best of. I think the alkaline is smart, I use the PH test strips and I am pretty alkaline already.

    Good luck
    MIke
  • Kathleen808
    Kathleen808 Member Posts: 2,342 Member
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    diet and exercise
    We have been looking into this as well. Here is some info from Dr. Lenz. We have also read the studies about the importance of diet and exercise. Also, note the info about an aspirin a day after chemo is done. Hope this gives someone some good info.

    Kathleen


    From the Desk of Dr. Lenz
    Diet, Exercise, and Obesity

    Posted by Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD on January 23rd, 2009
    Tags: diet, exercise, recurrence

    Patients always ask what they can do. Well, there is a lot they can do to reduce the risk for tumor recurring after successful surgeries.

    Recent studies have clearly shown that diet is directly associated with the risk of tumor recurrence. People who eat primarily a Western diet are significantly at higher risk than those patients whose diet has less red meat, processed sugar, desserts, and French fries. You can change your diet and reduce your risk of tumor recurrence.

    You can change not only what you eat, but also how much you exercise. Daily exercise, such as walking for one hour, can reduce your risk by 50 percent — more than any chemotherapy can. For patients who are obese, weight loss will not only reduce risk for diabetes or heart disease but also decrease your risk of colon cancer.

    Exercise, diet, and weight loss go along with significant changes in your body. Our immune response and reaction to stress, response to inflammation and tumor will all change the better shape our bodies are in. Every environmental change will impact the biology in our bodies. We need to strengthen our bodies to fight off the cancer. These studies show clearly that diet and exercise can easily do that.

    Other data also show that taking aspirin every day can reduce the risk also by 50 percent.

    All this is in your power. Please discuss these with your oncologist. In my own practice we stress the point of weight loss and exercise as well as diet.