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Your doctor STRONGLY suspects a brain tumor. Immediate actions?

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  • Your doctor STRONGLY suspects a brain tumor. Immediate actions?

    After THE immediate reaction, which may or may not require your running to the restroom (if all around you are lucky, anyway), you're ready to take on whatever may or may not be coming your way and are not about to waste time while waiting on confirmation, the specifics regarding said mass and preferred treatment. Hopefully, most of us would have some small amount of relief in knowing that we are very selective about what we put into our bodies and that we've had sound overall health practices in place for years. After that split second, though, I'm pretty sure most of us would very quickly jump to thoughts of what we can do while at the mercy of technology and the lovely and delightful machine that is the insurance industry.

    What would you add to, subtract from or change about your diet? Your workouts? What other changes or improvements would you make in your everyday life in an attempt to provide your body, mind (and spirit) with optimal "nourishment"?

    Looking forward to reading any and all responses - the diversity of this board is a great thing in this instance. Thanks in advance.
    Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.

    - Robert Louis Stevenson

  • #2
    There are a LOT of different brain tumors, ranging from totally benign to highly malignant. So getting that question answered is pretty critical. There is a lot of imaging (CT, MRI, etc) that probably will need doing, and possibly surgery. Treatments vary depending on the diagnosis; some are more effective than others, of course.

    What would I do? I think while the evaluation is going on I'd solidify my low carb diet and maybe purify it even more of grains and possibly milk. I'd do exercise, but not chronic cardio (that may reduce immunity.) I"d be sure I had good family support around me and would try to avoid the temptation to not tell anyone to "save them pain."

    I also personally would invoke a lot of prayer for myself and from my fellow church-members. Studies have actually been done on outcomes with prayer and the results are mixed with some showing benefit, others not much, but none of the studies have shown HARM. There are also some controversial studies showing improved quality of life and survival in cancer patients (we don't yet know if this is malignant, right?) who attend support groups so I would definitely ask about those.

    I would also clean up as many stressors as possible, just unload the unimportant stuff as quickly as I could. I'd clean up my sleep hygiene, get on a good consistent schedule with 8-9 hours/night with little change in the sleep/wake times day to day.

    I'm part of the "medical establishment" and would unquestionably pursue standard treatment, supplemented with the above. All of us in medicine have seen people pursue some alternative, have it fail, and then come back with a huge tumor and say, "OK, Doc, your turn." after it's really too late. Sometimes the initial tumor would have had a decent cure rate.

    I hope and pray for a benign tumor in your case and a great response to treatment. It is scary and my heart is with you.

    Doc Jim
    10/2/12: 169 lbs, 37"waist
    Now: low 150's, 33" waist


    • #3
      Lots of gelatin and connective tissue. Minimal muscle meat and dairy.
      No unsaturated fat.
      My opinions and some justification


      • #4
        If I had a terminal brain tumor I would quit my job immediately and go hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


        • #5
          Oddly perfect timing on this post for me since I got similar news on Monday, but my news was possible lymphoma in the lymph nodes around my intestines. After getting all my specialist appointments set up, I had too much time to think so I started Googling. I also researched some here but most of the threads devolved into spats so I took a few of the links here from people I trust like Neckhammer and Paleobird and started reading. I am now limiting how much time I spend researching because I am trying not be as obsessive as I was those first two days. It has been a few days of wild emotions but oddly today, I am a little more even keeled.

          While I am waiting, I feel so out of control of the process. The two things I do have some control over right now are my diet and activity levels. I dropped all sugars from my diet and reduced my starches, going back into ketosis. While there may be questions as to its effectiveness, there is nothing that I have read to suggest it is harmful. I would rather try it with the possibility of it helping then do nothing. I already ate a pretty clean diet and am still making sure I am eating a wide range of vegetables and protein sources with small amounts of lower carb fruits. In addition, I am taking probiotics and eating prebiotic foods, including small amounts of RS. I was doing this before as well. Assuming they find cancer, I will continue this along with whatever standard medical treatments are recommended.

          Here are a couple of articles that talk about NK and cancer. There are many more out there too.
          Is there a way to exploit the metabolic quirk of cancer? The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D. The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D.
          What Causes Cancer? Part I Diagnosis: Diet

          From what I have read, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, at least five times a day and strength building exercise is recommended, even during treatment. Gentle stretching was also recommended. Those recommendations may need to be adapted based on each persons situation. I am breaking up my exercise into smaller chunks due to extreme fatigue. Plus walking for more than short distances is really painful right now. I have been using my elliptical most of the time because it is less jarring and am still trying to find some strength building exercises that are not too painful. I can do some body weight exercises but anything that pulls or pushes on my abdomen is painful. I am still gardening for both the mental aspect and it is a little exercise. Plus I get some nice natural vit D. Exercising During Cancer Treatment

          I am going to do some research this weekend on what vits and minerals I need to make sure I am getting. I finally told my sisters today what is going on. I was a little hesitant to do that before I knew more, especially since we have a family member that died from Lymphoma but I feel better having told them. Talking about it and getting support are important. Hubby isn't really ready to deal with it yet since it is just a possibility at this point so we have been having short conversations about it and I have been keeping it light.

          I am trying to completely turn off my mind about an hour before bed and have been trying meditation. In the past I have had problems with insomnia during times of stress, so I may need to follow up with my doctor on that if I start having problems now. Sometimes it is hard to turn off those wild thoughts when it is dark and quiet.

          I hope at least some of this was helpful. Hearing this kind of news can be life changing, even if it turns out not be cancer. I wish you the best!
          Last edited by vh67; 04-11-2014, 03:16 PM.


          • #6
            Ketogenic diet. Google ketogenic and cancer.


            • #7
              I'd start IMMEDIATELY with the Gerson Therapy.
              52 year old Male
              Goal: 185lbs
              April 10th: 220lbs


              • #8
                I like Doc Jim's advice. Hope for the best, but don't do anything too drastic until you know what you are dealing with. I have heard Robb Wolf talk many times about how certain types of cancer can only use glucose as fuel, so going on a ketogenic diet can help starve and shrink those tumors. However, not all cancers are the same and a ketogenic diet is not always appropriate or helpful:

                Lifting Meet Nutrition, Water Intake & Salt, Supplement Dosing, Genetic vs. Nutritional, Mono, Brain Tumor – Paleo Solution Episode 118

                I'm hoping for the best for you, Jen.


                • #9
                  And I would NOT suggest the Gerson therapy. It might work, it might not, but it has not been subjected to scientific testing that I've ever seen and it's expensive.

                  There was an excellent article many years ago, I think in the New England Journal of Medicine, about different kinds of medicine: you know, conventional vs alternative, mainstream vs eastern, etc. The conclusion was there are two different kinds of medicine: TESTED and UNTESTED.

                  Hey, I'm on a Paleo/Primal board doing low carb! I'm not exactly a minion of the establishment, but there are outstanding success stories in boring old conventional Western medicine, in great part because of our discipline to test things.

                  Sorry about the rant but sad stories of "what might have been" prey on my mind.
                  10/2/12: 169 lbs, 37"waist
                  Now: low 150's, 33" waist


                  • #10
                    Gojengo and VH I have no experience in this area but I just want to say my heart goes out to you and I'm praying that it is malignant.

                    I think you are wise VH to limit the amount of research you do until you get a solid diagnosis.

                    I agree with Doc Jim there are times when following the medical protocol is the best course, and alternative approaches can be used to augment protocol but not replace it.
                    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


                    • #11
                      You mean NOT malignant, Forager.

                      I'm having an emergency course in Cancer, since my wife was diagnosed about a month ago. So much to learn.

                      What I can say is reach out to your support. Its all around you and comes unexpectedly. When someone says to let them know if they can help, find something for them to do. It is so awkward to stand by and watch someone having this issue and not know what to do to help. Lots of people will help. Just ask.


                      • #12
                        Oops, thanks for catching that.
                        Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


                        • #13
                          Um... well, aside from freaking out I would probably go full ketogenic. Eggs, bacon and heavy cream. And I don't really like full ketosis but I'm told it can help with that...
                          Out of context quote for the day:

                          Clearly Gorbag is so awesome he should be cloned, reproducing in the normal manner would only dilute his awesomeness. - Urban Forager


                          • #14
                            I would go full keto.
                            link to my journal


                            • #15
                              I am so grateful for all of the responses and sound advice. I feel like I should clarify a couple of things, though, as after I read back through my initial post I was a little concerned that it might come off like an "I need attention" thread. That was definitely not my motivation - heck, I was originally going to infer that the patient in question is my friend! However, I really do appreciate the well wishes, positive words and great suggestions. I actually didn't freak when the "A-HA!' moment occurred and we realized that there's really not much else that could be causing the craziness that's gone on within my body for some time now. I'd suspected it as well, but spent a lot of time and energy trying to prove that it ISN'T something lurking inside my noggin. Now that we are waiting to get the MRI done in order to confirm or rule out the presence of something, I immediately began thinking about what I can do in the meantime to ensure that my body is as strong as it can be.

                              Diet-wise, I'm happy to say that the way I already eat is very much in line with the suggestions here and others I've read elsewhere or heard from doctors with whom I work and whose opinions I respect - even better, doctors who recommend AND follow primal/paleo diets and many principles of PB. I'm still open to any additions, of course.

                              My plan (and my gut) is that IF there's something in there, it's benign. If the MRI results don't fall in line with my plan, though, I'll feel a little more confident knowing I'm already doing what I can when it's time to get the show on the road and start doing what needs to be done.

                              Thanks again for the replies. Vh67, Pilot (and Mrs. Pilot), my heart goes out to you and you'll be in my prayers. I hope you'll keep us updated if you can.
                              Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.

                              - Robert Louis Stevenson