Diet! Do I? Don't I?

Diagnosed with 3c in Oct 13 at age 46. 2 kids of 16 and 19 at the time. Had usual surgery - chemo- debulking surgery- more chemo. Avastin. Just 6 months off avastin and it was back again!! - just finishing 6th cycle of Carbo and gem. Had a couple of people talk to me abou a diet - their friends had cancer and have been on the diet and it has 'never come back!' It wasn't ovarian cancer they had which probably makes a big difference! I'm tempted but it's quite radical for me. No meat. No dairy no wine!!! Dilemma - do I try it? And if it recurs again I can say I had a go! Or do I enjoy what I enjoy in the reality it it very likely to recur again??!! We are very sociable and eating out plays a big part in our social calendar - I'm not sure how difficult the diet is going to be to follow when eating out. Google comes up with all sorts of positives for the diet but no clinically proven trials I can see. Ideas and thoughts please ladies. Has anyone else radically changed their diet? If so was it hard and worth it? If I don't do it and it returns will I wish I had given it a go??? Only you ladies understand the dilemmas that go on in our heads!! And yes it's 425am - wide awake with the steroids time!!! Good morning all.

Gail xxxx

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24 Replies

  • Hi Gail. It's a difficult one isn't it. So many claims about eating certain foods to keep the cancer at bay . I've just been diagnosed with a recurrence after 5 1/2 years and asked my CNS about diet. We eat a Mediterranean diet in the main which includes a glass of wine with dinner most nights. She said the emphasis was on LIVE alongside the cancer. I am just about to start the gem/carbo in a couple of weeks. I know we all react differently but how did you find it?. Take care . Chris xx

  • The Gem Carbo in terms of side effects has been easier than the original Carbo taxol - usual fatigue and aching but no real nausea or neuropathy - but it did affect my bloods more so ended up at cycle 6 yesterday with a reduced dose. 5 1/2 years is great for you but I can imagine the disappointment now. Best wishes to you xX

  • Hi Gail,

    Yes it's hard to decide what to do for the best, my oncologist just recommended to have a good varied diet with plenty of fresh Vegetables, glass of wine when you want it, and enjoy what you're eating 🍹😊.

    On some cancer drugs food tastes awful, and a glass of wine revolting lol. It's great when you can really enjoy your food again.

    We know that this terrible disease could reacur at any time ,so why not enjoy eating out with friends and family, and enjoy one of life's pleasures.

    Take care marg x

    Oh those sleepless nights 😴😳 hope your able to have nap in the day.

  • Thankyou - yes that's my feeling - but there is always someone trying to put a spanner in the works suggesting things - we are all different but at least you lovely ladies understand. Yes usually feet up in the afternoon watching all the quiz shows!! Xx

  • I have just been on the course run by Penny Brohn UK (see their website - looking at holistic treatment) 'Living with the Impact of Cancer' and they emphasise good but not obsessive nutrition - as long as you're 80% good balanced diet with lots of fruit and veg, lean meat, grains etc you are fine. 20% leeway for the glasses of wine etc. I thought this was sensible advice - also enjoying your food gives happy vibes and if you're less stressed the cancer will keep away, or so they say.

  • I've just been looking at that - it looks really good. Did you get a lot out of it? X

  • It was amazing! The medics saved my life but they didn't tell me how to live it - I already had a good idea, and the course underlined everything that is good for your wellbeing. I was inspired by the participants too - nobody looked like they were ill - we were all just making the best of things even though some had had real struggles. It was good that they addressed the psychological aspects of a cancer diagnosis not just for you but for friends and family. Well worth it. It wasn't too 'fringe' either - all scientifically backed up.

  • Can also thoroughly recommend Penny Brohn... The residential Living Well course has a really good segment about diet & nutrition along with other bits about emotional and physical well being. They also have specific nutrition and cookery courses.... I needed to lose the chemo weight I put on and found Slimming World combined with Penny Brohn's advise worked for me!

  • Hi there - I see a nutrionist and I follow a Paleo-style diet. The cancer still came back but I feel very well, and it certainly helped me recover from my 4th op last summer. Do what feels rights for you. I eat meat and drink coffee and wine. I avoid wheat and dairy. - Nicola

  • Thankyou for your reply - wow 4 ops we do have a lot to put up with with this cruel disease! X

  • Yes, I feel the same way and agonise over my diet a lot. I try to eat a mainly plant based, alkaline diet, no dairy, lots of green tea, fresh vegetable juices and some fish and chicken, and all the supplements like turmeric and chlorella but it is hard, especially when you go out and have to watch others tuck in. I crave cappuccinos! My nutritionist did say that the odd treat is good for us because of the feel good endorphins which are beneficial for the body! Stressing and obsessing about diet is not good for our cortisol levels My big downfall is chocolate, but at least it is the dark sort! I have a glass or two of red wine at weekends too. I really don't know if diet makes any difference especially in Ovarian Cancer, it seems to me that oncologists don't really believe it does but that more integrated holistic doctors and researchers and authors such as Chris Woolams firmly believe in it. Good luck with whatever you decide, but make sure you enjoy your life too. I would love to hear from anybody with OC who has had success with diet.

  • Thankyou for your response. Yes I would love to hear from someone too. Most of the evidence is no dairy but otherwise sensible eating- and like you say good endorphins are very good for us x

  • Oh my goodness - how many of us beat ourselves up and research for hours to find the holy grail of health again? I too have the same dilemma as a lot of my social life revolves around eating out. I have realised that if I eat what I I call normal amounts of dairy and wheat, it's too much for me and my body grumbles (headache/indigestion) so I try to moderate those food groups. I also limit red meat. I do take food supplements and have increased ginger and cruciferous veg. I feel healthy doing this (although struggling with being a couple of stone overweight). I'm 5 years post diagnosis and feeling good (one recurrence) so I'm sticking to doing what I'm doing!

    Sandra x

  • Sounds like you are doing all the right things and I guess enjoying life is what we all need to do. Good luck xxx

  • I finished chemo on the 12th Nov 2015 after 2nd recurrence eat and done the normal things ie meat dairy and wine,1st of Jan 2016 turned over a new leaf,hardly any dairy no red meat no processed foods and a glass of wine here and there.on Friday 10 th of June 2016 I was told it is back.I was first diagnosed the 10th of Jan 2014,iam quite fit so hoping to beat it again,iam stage 3c.hope this helps you make you mind up,love yvonne x

  • Sorry to hear that you've been told it's back, fresh news for you and I hope you are being supported. Positivity is so important to keep ourselves going and you have it so I send lots of positive and happy wishes and thoughts to you today.

    Take care

    Clare xx

  • Im so sorry that like me you are back on this roller coaster but I think that has probably answered a lot of what I was asking. I think prob a healthy diet that you enjoy is probably the answer instead of a very restrictive one. Good luck with your next round xxx

  • Hi Gail, there are so many fads out there and just sheer coincidences to boot. If it was as simple as a diet, we would all have been put on this special diet instead of the NHS spending thousands of pounds on each of us for chemo and other drugs. In my opinion, a good healthy diet and live and enjoy your life is the order of the day. Ann xo

  • Yes I think your right Ann and I can't find any good trials or medical evidence to support the fad diets - certainly the consultants don't seem to agree with them! And your right about living and enjoying life and if that means socialising over a pub lunch and glass of wine then I think my question has been answered - Thankyou xx

  • HI gailhay, I think everything in moderation, no salt avoid processed foods, eat veg and a bit of meat. I do juice once a day with green apples, celery spinach and ginger root. When I remember I sprinke Tumeric on my dinner. I like the odd sweet and cake but there is really no proved diet out there. I think the body needs a certain amount of fat and this helps when you are on chemo as you lose your reserves at least I do anyhow.

  • Hi gailhay,

    I don't think there is any proven diet that at the moment will make us live longer and until anything is proven I will do everything in moderation and watch my weight, keep fit and enjoy every minute, am here in Turkey at the moment eating the Mediteranean diet and enjoying every minute, so, don't stress too much, but just take advice

    Carole xxx

  • i am not aware of any diet which will assist women like us as far as the cancer itself goes. a healthy diet is always wise, but i for one intend to enjoy eating what i like while im lucky enough to be in remission. am stage 4---and intend to enjoy each day as much as i can, while i can. no interest in depriving myself. would give different advice to a healthy young woman just starting out.....but in my condition---fooey!!! bring on the wine and the chocolate!

  • Just had my check up yesterday-clear!!!! I have 3 months off, a little life-time.

    Penny Brohn in Bristol were fab for me, I donate monthly & will def go back.

    The stem cell surgeon I spoke to at Care Oncology advised NO SUGAR, (the big one in his view) no white carbs or canned food. Meat twice a month-I make it venison or lamb, both of which I love. Fish twice a week. I have chickens & grow fab fruit & veg.

    Red wine? Hmmm, 2 really good glasses a week!!! A week! I almost cried & I'm ashamed to say it's more like 10 a week, but I never drink anything else.

    If u look at my earlier posts though, you will see Care Oncology also have me on a drug repurposing trial which includes metformin, I believe this probably levels off some of the glucose if I slip?? Don't know for sure.

  • I don't believe it makes much difference. I watched a programme last night from catch up tv The Truth About Healthy Eating. It was really interesting. I also watch food unwrapped. There has been a lot to suggest that milk has health benefits, something promoted for hundreds of years, but faddy eating has promoted alternative milk products, which show have little benefit except for the profits of the manufacturer.

    LA xx

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