When A Light Turns On…

CTCA has been such a positive experience this time around. My first appointment was with my Oncologist. I can tell he is a very caring doctor and wants me to beat cancer. After catching up for a bit, he asked if I wanted to add chemo to my regimen. I explained to him again about my reservations because of my previous experience and he didn’t push it. We did talk about statistics and how the studies show chemo along with EGFR inhibitor has better success rates, but I told him I just want to see how I feel and do without chemo before I ever consider doing it again. I probably never will, but I suppose you can never say never. He agreed to let me do Vitamin C infusions, but hyperthermia is off the table. It is usually only prescribed for post surgery patients with specific cancer and circumstances. I get it. I can’t complain about it.

My second appointment was with my Naturopath Oncologist. He was the same one I saw last month and he again was very helpful and supportive of my choices. He never brought up chemo and only focused on things that were non-toxic and could benefit me. He asked me if I was taking any new supplements and that’s when I brought out the “big guns.” And by “big guns” I mean unapproved FDA medicine from other countries. I first told him I was on GcMAF and he was pretty surprised.

“Is this really GcMAF?! I thought it was banned everywhere. How did you get this? I didn’t even know if came in a cream and yogurt. I have only researched the shot. This is very good stuff. It has anti-cancer properties. Stay on it.”

Then I brought up the Iscador (Mistletoe Extract).

“You’re doing mistletoe? Wow. That’s good stuff too. Where did you get this? Did your ND in Michigan prescribe this?”

He was pretty happy about the things I added and that I followed most of his advice on things to add to my regimen. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one they see that takes supplements so seriously, so they must like when patients believe and are somewhat knowledgable in their field of study.

Then we started talking about my blood test results.

Every level on my blood draw was perfectly normal except for one thing. My Glucose. Normal range of glucose is 74-106. Mine was 52. 52 mg/dL is in hypoglycemic range. He asked me if I was feeling dizzy, faint, tired or sweaty and I answer no to all of them. He asked if I had breakfast before the blood draw and I told him I did. The other doctors wrote that off as a anomaly or bad blood draw (and so did Aroop), but he does want me to buy a glucose/insulin/diabetic test because he had an interesting theory.

He thinks my body could be running on ketone bodies and suppressing glucose through my diet. Here comes a short biology lesson.

Cancer loves sugar or glucose. High blood glucose raises insulin levels, which stimulates cancer cells to take in and use more glucose—this makes it easier for cancer cells to nourish themselves. Cancer cells are damaged. They do not behave like healthy cells and they don’t stop dividing. They are immortal. They divide and grow until they kill you or you kill them. When you eat a diet high in sugar, you feed cancer. This doesn’t mean just white sugar, this means things like white rice, white potatoes, breads… basically anything white. Those food products break down quickly into glucose and feed cancer. 

The mitochondria of a cancer cell is damaged. Healthy cells have a healthy mitochondria are flexible and can adapt to just about any fuel source, but not cancer cells. In fact, the majority of cells in our body function best when they burn fat for energy. Cancer cells are bad at burning fat, because fat burning requires respiration, which requires healthy mitochondria.

If food is restricted enough to lower blood glucose, then insulin and IGF-1 levels will also be lower, quieting the tumor driving genes and pathways described above. This means that fermentation sputters, it becomes harder for tumors to recruit new blood vessels, and tumor growth slows. Under low blood glucose conditions, insulin’s opposite hormone, glucagon, kicks in. Glucagon stimulates fat burning, which raises ketones and fatty acids in the blood.  Ketones and fatty acids are just breakdown products of fats. Ketone bodies and fatty acids cannot be fermented; therefore cancer cells cannot use them for fuel. Glucose restriction stresses cancer cells. However, most healthy cells prefer to use fatty acids and ketones for energy. Glucose restriction is good for healthy cells.

Glucagon also keeps your blood sugar from dropping too low by turning on a process in the liver called “gluconeogenesis” (making glucose from scratch). This is why we never need to eat any carbohydrates—we are always able to make all the glucose we need out of proteins and fats. 

(Source: http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/dietary-treatment-of-cancer)

So what does all that mean?

The diet and supplements I’m on could be creating ketone bodies in my body and my liver could be creating glucagon naturally to keep the body functioning instead of being hypoglycemic. He said he’s seen patients with a glucose level of 30 and completely functioning and well because the body is built to fight cancer. It still could be a blood draw anomaly, but if not, this is definitely an interesting theory.

I started asking him more about my EGFR inhibitor and even got to talking about immunotherapy and he gave me a way of looking at cancer like I never looked at it before.

Imagine lightbulbs are cells. Your body is the electrical system. A healthy lightbulb, or cell, is turned off. A cancer cell is turned on. Doctors want to turn that lightbulb off. Conventional Chemotherapy throws bricks at it or unscrews it. Once you break or remove it, you’re left with a mess or a broken circuit. Immunotherapy and/or targeted therapies (like EGFR) look for the light switch.

I’m a huge analogy nerd so this made my day. But it’s true. The future of cancer drugs are on the horizon. Doctors are seeing that targeted non-toxic or less toxic treatments are better for the body because they don’t leave a trail of dead cells in their wake. And they work! They look for the light switch or switches and turn off the cancer cell.

And that’s what I’m trying to do through my diet too. I’m convinced I am flipping light switches and I believe I can win this battle. I might have to do more non-toxic treatments and this may take a while. I might have some ups and downs yet to come, but I believe if I stick to this, I can win this war.

I am greater than cancer