Diet and CareAcross
The immediate big changes in my life following diagnosis (apart from hospital and doctor's appointments) were dietary. All my adult life I'd been able to eat and drink as I wished without any evident weight or medical problems. Now I start hearing all sorts of messages about the importance of diet in getting (and staying) cancer-free.
I soon found https://prostatecancer.careacross.com. OK its advice and monitoring are computer-generated, but any time I hit a problem, a real-life person got back to sort it. The CareAcross programme with its personalised comments and suggestions really helped me settle, after about 2 months, into a diet and exercise regime that I (and my wife) could live with and that I could believe was going to help in dealing with the diagnosis. CareAcross are very good in keeping you up to date with details of new treatments or research.
So what diet did I follow? Basically vegetarian with no red meat, no eggs, limited chicken and fish, protein from nuts (especially Brazil nuts – 6 a day) and pulses, 5 a day fruit/veg esp broccoli and kale, sensible dairy/alcohol/sugar. As supplements – turmeric (golden paste), ground flaxseed, Omega 3, green tea (Matcha is the nicest)...and 85% dark chocolate.
I'd never done planned exercise before. Mostly 20 mins resistance exercises and running every 2-3 days. When I'm in Wales, up a mountain/wild swimming every 2-3 days.
I feel very well on this diet and go faster/further than younger family members in anything long-or medium-distance. I see it as an important part of staying cancer-free, strengthening the spiritual side of my battle.
10 years ago I was due to have an operation on my right eye, with warnings that it must not be delayed for more than 3 months. I have a precious picture of the retina of that eye, with every single blood vessel joined up perfectly, taken when I asked for re-assessment near the end of the 3 months. The notes sent to my GP by Mr. Lxxxxx from St Thomas's said “the patient's strong religious faith and positive outlook were significant in his spontaneous recovery”.
Diet, for me, is a big part of this faith-battle. Not because of some religious teaching, but simply to make it easier for my body to fight cancer and to keep it clear of what current medical research indicates as risky. I'm not going to shorten the odds against another “spontaneous recovery”.
Speaking to my body
“This doesn't happen. You're regenerating your retina” Mr Lxxxxx told me 10 years ago. I didn't use those words, but I (and others) had been telling my right eye to do that over the previous 3 months. OK, that might sound stupid, but eventually the eye actually did what I told it to do. Not the first time. “Keep believing” said a friend of mine. I did...and it happened.
I could see some of the healing taking place inside my eye so it was easy to know it had happened. Not so easy with PCa, when you have no symptoms. But about April this year I realised that without any white knuckles or mental gymnastics I was believing that the tumour and everything associated with it had done what I'd been telling it to do. It had shrunk, disintegrated and left my body. There was no “doubt in my heart” or in my mind. So I notified my GP and oncologist of my decision not to have any more Prostap injections, because I didn't believe I needed them.
Just like with my right eye, I'd been speaking to the tumour, only this time for about 8 months, on the basis of an ancient teaching that more recently is being given serious attention, particularly in the light of particle physics and quantum mechanics.* “If anyone believes...that 1. what they say will come to pass, and 2. does not doubt in their heart, it shall be done for them”. Just two conditions...and anyone can do it, said Jesus of Nazareth.(Gospel of Mark ch. 11 v. 22-24)
August 2018, after diagnosis, I believed that I could speak and cause changes in my body. I'd seen it happen for me and for many others. But...there was doubt in my heart. I couldn't believe, at that time, for getting cancer-free without any treatment. So I agreed to the Prostap injections – I had 3 with no serious side effects. PSA quickly plummeted from 58 to unrecordable, where it has stayed.
April 2019 – There's no medical proof, of course. Faith is spelt – RISK. The unrecordable PSA could be residual Prostap, but my faith rose over the months to the point where it overtook the doubt. I discovered that 2 friends (one with 12 yrs low PSA, the other with 2 yrs) had each made the same decision as me, for the same reasons. It's happening for them – why not for me?
12 months on, I've gone into a lot of detail, not to prove anything or to proselytise and certainly not to offend anyone, but because I believe anyone can fight cancer this way if they want to and that guys facing a PCa diagnosis need to know all the options to make quality decisions. The forums on Prostate Cancer UK are there to do that and do it so well. And there are those on the forums who one way or another are fighting PCa spiritually. Knowing some of the details of my journey may help or encourage them.
* Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis, James L. Oschman (Churchill Livingstone)