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Chapter 8, More Letters to and from L.

(Sorry, this was out of order chronologically and is now re-numbered as #8 instead of #7)

Letters to a Friend, #3

October 21, 2008

Dear L,

It’s such a blessing to be in touch with you at this time. I see it as more than a coincidence that we had lunch together this past summer and could connect on this very important issue. I do keep coming back to “A Cancer Battle Plan” and am so glad I have a copy.

However, as much as I’d like to say I’ve got it all figured out now, I’m still unsure of my best course of action eating-wise. I know that getting the results of the tissue analysis will help some, but I also expect the doctor who delivers that news will also be armed with the usual pharmaceutical options and I’m not interested in that route. At least, not now. I’ve read enough to give me hope in the body’s own ability to wipe out the cancer.

However, I have some major battles going on with my diet right now. For one thing, I can’t seem to get enough calories and continue to lose weight I can’t really afford to lose! I think it has to do with my lack of clarity regarding food combining. What exactly constitutes protein in a vegan diet? Right now, I’m not eating meat, fish, dairy or eggs, but I may add yogurt back in. Anyway, if we can combine vegetables with proteins and vegetables with grains, but not proteins with grains, does that mean proteins are seeds, nuts and legumes? And therefore I shouldn’t combine them with grains? Then there’s the ground flaxseed which I need to add to my diet somehow. Should I consider it a protein and not eat it with grains? And if I add yogurt back in, can I no longer eat it with oats, seeds and raisins? HELP!

With all my attempts to combine food right and major on live foods and keeping the alkaline/acid balance I’m stressing too much and not eating enough! Any advice?

I’ll try to summarize what I’m doing now:  (Some of what I was doing when I wrote this in October ‘08, I am doing differently now and some of my many questions and dilemmas about foods and food combining have since been resolved, thank the Lord!)

From wake-up to noon, I eat fruit, usually twice during that time and I’ve started adding Vit. C in the mornings, (working up to 4-5 grams at least 3 times a day, but now at about 2 grams X 3). In a week or so, I should receive the Kyo-green (purchased and sent by my sister-in-law’s sister in Seattle, who is also now taking it and very happy with the benefit to her compromised immune system–I’m so glad others can also benefit.) I’ll start taking that in the morning, too.

Around noon I drink carrot/beet juice every day. About 1/2 hour later, I have lunch with whatever supplements we’ve found here. That’s mainly Vit. C and E, Spirulina, cod liver oil, and since surgery, I’ve started taking gac oil again. (Gac oil is from a local “fruit” and has been used here and in China for centuries for its healing properties, but it was considered too “hot” a food to take when I was drinking the herbal tea.) I haven’t decided about going back to the herbal doctor, yet. Maybe I’ll wait until I get the results of the tissue analysis. (April ‘09: I’m back on the herbal tea, but have now “graduated” from drinking it twice daily, to drinking it twice a day for two days then skipping two days, then drinking it again for the next two days. My doctor says my stomach, liver and kidneys are all doing much better! What an answer to prayer!) Then I will also know about soy products, I guess. I usually have salad and cooked veggies or veggy soup with potatoes or beans or rice.

I usually have about 3 Tbs of ground flaxseed added to some concoction of fresh and cooked vegetables. That’s a very boring flavor, by the way. That’s my other main dilemma–how to add flavor to all these veggies. I use some olive oil and apple cider vinegar on my salads, but worry about getting too much acid. I hardly use any other seasonings or flavorings and am steering clear of soy products, so my meals are not what I’m sure they could be if I knew what would be safe to add and how much, etc.

You said, “We did add flax seed oil to our salad dressings, but did not mix it with cottage cheese as she suggested as we had read a lot about the mucus that dairy products produce and how some people think cancer thrives on mucus. I think I would want to try that plan now, however, since I know more about it.” What do you think about dairy products? I’ve had yogurt every morning for years and really wouldn’t mind adding it back in for some variety if it would make it easier for my body to absorb the flaxseed oil from the ground flaxseed. And as I said above, I like it with oats. (J. brought back organic oats from Europe, but I haven’t eaten them because I don’t know how anymore! They were part of my breakfast routine, but now I only eat fruit for breakfast.)

For dinner, it’s usually some variation of lunch, actually, now that I think about it. And I add seeds to both meals. What do you think about all this? I’m willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary for good health, but I’d like to have a better handle on what is flexible and how to balance things out so I’m not stressing over food!!!

I’d like to start drinking green tea again, it’s full of antioxidants, but is it a no-no?

Another problem I have, a bit related to food, is that when I take in too much in the way of fluids (which can be very little in reality) at dinner, I wake up in the night to pee and can’t go back to sleep for a couple of hours. If I don’t have enough liquid with the flaxseed powder, it will clog my system, and I get thirsty! Woe is me!

What do you think about all these troubles I’m pouring out to you? Sound familiar or sound crazy? Sorry to burden you with this drama, but you happen to be the one person who made herself available who could actually be of some help on this complex subject! And I’m very thankful for you! I hope you don’t regret it now! Ha!

I’ll have to stop here in order to send this off. I actually started writing it 2 days ago, but just in bits and pieces. Today, I finally got time to finish it. So, thanks again for your offer to help. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a good day and don’t worry about me. Most of this is over dramatized. I’m fine and I’m sure this will all get sorted out sooner or later.

Lots of love,

Me

Reply from L. #3

October 22, 2008

Dear_____,

It is completely understandable that you are stressing! There is simply too much to think about and no one there who can help guide you. You should not be losing weight–you are already quite thin. D. did lose a lot of weight on this diet but he could afford to as he was about 30 pounds overweight when he began it. Are you eating avocados and bananas? They are higher in calories than many fruits and the avocados have very good oils. I would try to find a way to add them to your breakfast line-up.

I sort of think the seeds (which are protein) should only be eaten with vegetables. So you could make salads that have seeds. Maybe you should eat 5 meals a day so you are getting enough foods and you don’t continue to lose weight. I don’t know what to say about the ground flaxseed. I guess it is a protein and might be best added to salads. As for yogurt, I guess I would add it to my diet as well and maybe could be used as a snack between all your meals. Are you mixing flax seed oil with cottage cheese as Budwig suggests? I think I’d do that as a snack as well.

I think you are right that this diet is very boring and bland. Try to add herbs (cilantro, dill). I can’t remember what we did about salad dressings–olive oil and lemon juice or lime juice, I think. I think we avoided vinegars. Actually lime juice is alkaline whereas the vinegars are acid. I would cook onions and garlic and add them to my raw or steamed vegetables. Lots of garlic and onions every day.

There is so much controversy about soy, but some people think miso soup is very good. I just found a very useful web site that summarizes the Cancer Battle Plan diet and adds information about other cancer diets.

If you look up Nutrition: A Cancer Battle Plan, you should be able to find it. It is a part of the Wellness Directory of Minnesota. This site summarizes the controversy surrounding soy products. D. was able to eat soy and I think that is how he managed on this diet for three years. If you have to eliminate it, I think you could add small amounts of white fish. This web site recommends this, as well. I think you need to be careful not to get too thin or weakened and some steamed fish might be necessary for you. I guess I would just make sure to eat them with vegetables and no carbs. (This site also warned about not stressing your body too much in the beginning with this very different style of eating.)

I think organic oats are very good for you but you may have to eat them alone. How to eat them with vegetables–that is a challenge. I wonder how they might be if you cooked them in a broth with carrots and sea weeds. Not very delicious sounding…

My own views are that green teas are really good, but I remember reading no caffeine, so I really don’t know what to say. D. did not drink tea or coffee during those three years.

I guess I wouldn’t have the flaxseed powder at dinner so you can avoid drinking too many fluids. Try to get most of your fluids by 5 p.m. (can you get distilled water?) I have the same problem and try not to drink anything with dinner or I have to get up and pee also. My insomnia has been a gigantic nightmare but I have discovered a wonderful solution. I listen to taped stories on a recorder with ear phones when I wake up at night. Usually, after 5 or 10 minutes, I am back asleep, with the ear phones in place and the stories continuing. If I don’t do this, I lie away tossing and turning for hours. I have tried meditation, drugs, hormones–and nothing works like the taped stories. I think the anxiety we feel when we wake up is what keeps us awake. If we can reduce the anxiety and think about something else, we can pass out again.

These woes are so familiar. Do not worry about bothering me. I want to think this through with you, and wish I really were an expert or could recommend one. You aren’t hypoglycemic, are you? I am and that makes this diet very challenging for me.

I am so very glad that we re-connected again at lunch this summer. Please let me know your lab results and write again soon about your diet challenges. I keep you in my thoughts all the time.

Lots of love,

L

To an old friend who also has cancer, I wrote on October 23, 2008:

I’m at least a month and a half behind in many ways–ever since I had the biopsy done. So, that coupled with my recovering from surgery done last Wednesday and the weakness I feel from lack of proper sleep and too low calorie intake means some things don’t get done! Like replying to e-mail! So please write, but don’t feel bad if I don’t reply right away. I always check e-mail ’cause I thrive on the encouragement! I’m amazed at how loved I feel. You never realize how many wonderful people are in your life until something like this happens. It’s awesome! It’s convicting, too. I should write more of my wonderful friends and family more often, before something happens so they know, if and when it does, that I love them and am praying for them.

Comments»

1. Up to Chapter 8 now! « My Gift of Cancer - June 13, 2009

[…] 2 more chapters of my cancer journey. This included more correspondence between my friend L. and I (Chapter 7, More Letters to and from L) and my decision regarding surgery (Chapter 8, To Cut or Not to Cut–And How Deep?). Read all […]


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