Tracy manages her weight and cancer treatment on keto and carnivore
Keto and carnivore have changed my life beyond anything in my wildest/hopeful dreams. I was introduced to Keto, or should I say re-introduced to Atkins, by a coworker who had lost a noticeable amount of weight. Because it came from a woman’s magazine I really wasn’t on board with it and felt the need to research it. Keto has benefited my life way beyond weight loss: I have a few auto immune diseases, I’m insulin resistant, and I’m obese.
After about three months research I started keto in January 2018. I stayed below 20 total carbs. Weight loss was slow, but weight loss was not my number one priority after having done the research to learn how to manage my auto immune without meds and lower my A1c and my fasting insulin. In August 2018, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went back to YouTube and the books to learn about keto and cancer. The most valuable thing that I learned was sugar is cancers favorite fuel. I oncologist does not agree with me on this but I don’t need his blessing. Not throwing him under the bus, he is very open minded and one of the few MDs on board with me and Keto.
I had a bilateral mastectomy and 27 lymph nodes removed on the right side. The chemo protocol was Taxol and Adriamycin + Cytoxin. Pretty mean shit. Of course, I had all the side effects that go with chemotherapy from hair loss to vomiting and loss of appetite, but my overall health was far better because I existed on a diet of pastured eggs, olives, avocado, liverwurst and Swiss cheese. I know that sounds like pregnancy kind of food but it kept me in really good shape. My plan was to eat two meals a day for the three days leading up to chemo and then I would fast for 2 to 3 days following chemo. I did use an electrolyte replacement. LMNT had some really good flavors that agreed with me or I would just have sea salt in water.
Unfortunately, I could not finish the second chemo protocol because I developed bilateral pulmonary embolisms and was 80% on room air. So, I missed the last two treatments of Adriamycin Cytoxan. My oncologist was confident that I would do well even though I had also opted to skip radiation. I was taking an aromatase inhibitor from July 2019 through August 2022.
In July 2019 I was told that my cancer was gone. I would have to do 10 years of the aromatase inhibitor which prohibits the body from making estrogen from testosterone. My cancer was HER++. Estrogen loves fat and now I became more focused on getting rid of my excess body weight. Visceral fat secretes all sorts of things that also make you sick. I was sarcopenia & post menopausal and could not even do curls with a 2 1/2 pound weight!
Luckily, I live alone and I’m not tempted by other foods and I started to learn more about the carnivore diet as the extreme elimination diet. As a sidenote, I have suffered from depression since childhood and was hopeful that this would help manage depression. I knew I was low in protein and wanted to get my protein only from food: I do not eat shakes or snacks or bars. I might try Ben Bikman’s Hlth Shake (more to come on that.)
At any rate, I did not gain weight during Covid and I am probably down around 80 pounds. I weigh in Measure once a month but I just have a simple bathroom scale so I don’t live and die by that number. My A1c is 5.1 and my endogenous insulin is down to 11. My goal is to get my A1c into the high 4s and get my endogenous insulin below 5. My endocrinologist is not on board with any of this; therefore, I simply lie to her. I did ask for Metformin though during chemo because my A1c shot up to 6–insulin was sky-high, too.
This spring I enrolled in a breast cancer study for patients with metastasis. I learned that my cancer has metastasized beyond the lymph nodes. I was gutted. It is liver Mets and obviously there’s nothing that can be done except to take the oral chemo and a shot (IM) as long as I can tolerate it.
I’m having a very hard time eating anything. This is where I think I’m going to consider Ben’s shake. My blood glucose is fine and I still have ~30 pounds to go and could certainly fast, but I miss eating something besides the electrolyte. I’m very strict with the diet it’s more than lifestyle now because it’s part of my medical protocol.
Shawn, thank-you so much for being on YT & cutting through all of the BS. You may not know how much we, or at least I, rely on you for guidance because it just can’t be found in the local community and these doctors have their head so far up their arses. One doctor asked me if I were challenging her medical degree with my Google degree. WTF?! I told her I am with the patient 24/7 and am the one who ensures compliance. I won’t do anything that I don’t understand, and I’m sorry I don’t have some type of a medical degree.
Thanks for going against the grain.