Monthly Archives: October 2012

A healthier lifestyle

Several months ago I went back in for some routine tests & to figure out why I had been so sick. Since I was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer almost 7 years ago now I have had issues with food and absorption of food. I have had to cut out many foods I love because they trigger what is called carcinoid syndrome (CS). I have adapted my diet over the years and I do on occasion cheat. I will have a piece of chocolate every 6 months or so. I had started to not be able to keep food in me and I started dropping weight. By it’s self is not a bad thing, but not 20 pounds in less than two weeks.

I went in to see my doctor and after I got the test results back and he was a little more than concerned. Needless to say he was about to turn my world up side down. He said there was not much more they could do to treat the cancer, but he said we could try some diet changes that might help the health of my liver & other organs. According to tests my liver was not doing well (the type of cancer I have attacks the liver). He told me he wanted me to completely change the way I was eating to see if it would have any effect on how I felt & if it would make any difference on the liver tests. He told me to eliminate all gluten, GMO’s, additives & preservatives & go completely organic. I just looked at him like he was crazy. For me it seems almost (I stress the almost part) impossible not just because of cost, but my gosh I do not see how I can eat out. I am all for eating good healthy food that is good for your body and all but come on… I do still like to eat a hamburger at say Red Robin every once in a while. Or go to Denny’s for a family dinner. On this new diet I fear I will never see the inside of a restaurant again.

He went on to explain all the reasons he thought this would be good for me and well he made some really good points. I am not sold on all of it, but figured I would try to implement parts of it to see if it would make a difference in how I felt. I asked him if he had to pick a part of the new diet he felt would be critical for me to do what would it be? He said at the very least to go gluten free and cut out as many preservatives and additives as I can.

I figured I could handle that. It has proven to be more difficult than I thought. Gluten as you know is in just about everything and you really have to real labels on everything. Over the past two months I have done pretty well. I have done quite a bite of reading on cooking & baking gluten free. I have tried a few recipes & altered a few (just because I can not leave well enough alone). I am still figuring out what I can and cannot eat. I still have quite a few restrictions on food just because of the carcinoid syndrome. Add those to this new diet and well it would seem to many people that I am very limited. I guess I am in so many ways, but I am learning to put variety into my diet where I can.

Now I am not perfect by any means and I do have a huge obstacle I am still trying to overcome. That one obstacle for me is Diet Coke. I know it is probably one of the worst drinks a person can drink. I know this already and I do not need to be reminded thank you. I have cut way back. I am limiting myself to one can a day and we are not buying the name brand. That way I am not as tempted. I actually don’t like this off brand diet pop and I think the only reason I am still drinking it is so I do not have the cold turkey effects of the caffeine. Thinking by next week I can be off the pop completely (I really do not like this stuff LOL).

After two months on this diet I have honestly not cheated. I have had 2 times where I have had something I thought was gluten free and turned out it was not. I do know that when I had the gluten I knew it and actually became ill from it. Which prompted me to go back and check the ingredients to make sure & yes there was gluten in what I had eaten. I have not been tested as of yet (thinking maybe I should) but I have noticed I have not had as many food related issues. I also have dropped about 20 pounds and kept it off. Of course I have a more to go in that department but it is a start.

I think I am convinced enough to continue with the gluten free diet. I have seen some positive changes, nothing earth shattering but convincing enough to keep going. I do like the idea of getting as healthy as I can get. I know it is not going to cure my cancer, but I would like to have a good quality of life.