Bruce, Fasting, & Me

By February 10, 2020Mindy

The more we learn about fasting and the effect it has on cancer treatment, the more we are convinced that this is a viable option to add to our cancer battle plan. With Bruce’s PSA number starting to rise again, we are back in the fight. After Bruce’s and my medically supervised water-only fast at the True North Health Center in Santa Rosa CA in August 2018, Bruce’s PSA numbers stabilized for the first time in 7 years. We had a year and a half of no treatments and relatively low stress (until just before and waiting for the blood test results every few months)

The last test result wasn’t what we had hoped and we now have to make some choices. Bruce is scheduled for a PSMA scan at UCLA in March, once again, to see if we can find where the cancer is. In the meantime, we’ll monitor the PSA number and do some fasts. Three weeks ago was his first 5-day water-only fast since going to True North and to say it was easy would be a total lie. It was a brutal 5 days. Bruce has no weight to lose – no reserves as they say at True North – so he is burning ketones by just the second day. This makes him very weak and tired. So for those five days, everything stops. We hunker down and I get a lot of computer work done.

I don’t fast during Bruce’s fast as if I did, I couldn’t take care of anyone. I do what is called fast mimicking. This is eating a fraction of the calories that are normally eaten. I eat a breakfast of groats and fruit with flaxseed. Followed by coffee and then some more coffee. I sip hot lemon water all day. I skip lunch and then around 5:00 I eat a salad with beans. I finish eating around 5:30 and then don’t eat again until the next day. I am a ‘one glass of red wine a night’ drinker but during Bruce’s fasts I don’t drink any wine at all.

After 5 days of fasting, Bruce feels amazing. He says he feels that he is on fire and neither he nor I can contain his energy. It is like all the old cells in his body died and new cells take their place. Oh, yeah that is because that is what happens during a fast. It is called autophagy.

“Autophagy is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells, according to Priya Khorana, PhD, in nutrition education from Columbia University. “Auto” means self and “phagy” means eat. So the literal meaning of autophagy is “self-eating.”

Our next 5 day fast starts on February 16. If this can slow Bruce’s cancer progression then this will be our new normal. Fasts beat the side-effects of traditional cancer treatment any day and in every way.

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