• My Story

    The return of the peach fuzz

    Okay, it’s amazing how fast the human body can regenerate once you stop throwing insults at it. I reached the end of the Cycle 6 three week drug effects period 5 days ago. On the day that would have been my next chemo infusion (BUT WASN’T!! – YEAH!), I headed into the local lab to do bloodwork, curious to see how well I had rebounded from the last chemo session. The results were disappointing. My immune system was still showing signs of significant depression, with White Blood Cells and Neutrophils both seriously down, and I was anemic as hell, with Hemoglobin(Hb) at only 95 (normal is 120-160). Anemia results in…

  • Research

    Deep-diving into the Research

    There has been an exciting development in my mission to get the word out about the power of using a ketogenic diet and fasting to impact on cancer treatment and side effects of chemotherapy. I have been approached to be a lecturer for an online learning program aimed at health professionals, such as doctors, dietitians and pharmacists. It is beyond exciting to be listed as part of the faculty of a program like this, with a potentially worldwide reach to get my message out there. More details will be forthcoming in the next couple of months… I have been asked to share my story and the research that led me…

  • Recipes/Food Prep

    Keto Crack-ola

    There are certain things that make sticking to a ketogenic diet easier. As much as I love meat, eggs, healthy fats and vegetables, there are times when I can’t face another egg, and I just want something that at least resembles a grain product, like bread, cookies or cereal. And sometimes, you just need something a bit sweet. Or something crunchy. That’s where this granola comes in. It’s sweet, thanks to non-nutritive natural sweeteners. It’s crunchy, thanks to the long baking time. It can be eaten dry, like a cookie substitute. It can be a cereal, swamped in almond milk, cream, yogurt or kefir. The basis of the cereal is…

  • Side Effects

    How to Avoid Antibiotic-Induced Diarrhea while Keto

    I’m pretty happy with my gut microbiota most of the time, and I’m also quite protective of it.  Until recently starting chemo, I’ve never had bowel issues that required that I do much for my lower gut.  It just ticked along contentedly.  Since starting chemotherapy and some of its adjuvent medications, I have had to deal with med-induced constipation.  A faithful adherence to my “magic keto flax bread” ( http://www.marthatettenborn.com/magic-keto-flax-bread/ ) has taken care of those issues since the first cycle.  But I have come up against a new problem this week.  Thanks to my suppressed immune system, I contracted Influenza A, resulting in a 2-day hospital admission and some of…

  • My Story

    The plot thickens…hospital admission and Influenza A!

    Every good story has to have certain elements.  An interesting cast of characters, a plot line with ups and downs. Challenges and resolutions to those challenges.  Setbacks and triumphs.  Perseverance and resilience.  I guess if I had simply sailed through six chemo treatments with absolutely no problems, it would have made for a boring story.  A successful one, but boring.  The combination of nutritional ketosis and therapeutic fasting around treatments has been powerfully effective in keeping me protected from side effects and has hopefully potentiated the chemo’s effectiveness.  But the Week 2 effects of the medications are still there, as the chemo drugs percolate away in my system.  Hair loss…

  • My Story

    Playing the Fever Card

    Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. After posting just last week that I had been “blessed to have not even a sniffle of any infection or illness in the past 3 months”, I woke up on Sunday to a scratchy throat.  That was all, just an irritated sensation in my throat.  But it didn’t go away.  I attended church (Palm Sunday), then had supper out with friends at a local brew pub.  Fabulous beef brisket pot roast with no potatoes and extra kale.  Because my friend also has a delicate immune system, I made sure to sit as far away from him as possible, and we didn’t…

  • Side Effects

    Side Effects – the rundown

    In this blog post, I’m going to run down the most common side effects of the drugs I have been given and address each one with a Yes or No for my own experience.  The strength of the fasting and keto diet intervention is clear when you see how little I have been affected by side effects…  For each medication, I have pasted a list of side effects from well-respected websites.  The Nadir refers to the timing of the lowest point in the cycle, with the most impact on my blood values.  When the blood values are too low, chemo can be delayed or dosages might have to be adjusted…

  • Chemotherapy Experiences,  Side Effects

    The Effects of the Dex (it rhymes… 😊)

    Dexamathasone is a steroid medication.  It has been around since 1958 and is quite inexpensive.  Because of its strong anti-inflammatory function, it is used for everything from rheumatoid arthritis to dental extractions, from speeding fetal development in utero to combatting severe altitude sickness for mountaineers.  Sometimes long-term usage, sometimes for a very brief period around a specific medical event. For cancer, it used mainly for its anti-emetic effect.  From Wikipedia:  People with cancer undergoing chemotherapy are often given dexamethasone to counteract certain side effects of their antitumor treatments. Dexamethasone can increase the antiemetic effect of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, such as ondansetron.[16] The exact mechanism of this interaction is not well-defined, but it has been theorized that this effect may be due to,…

  • Attitude

    Between treatment normalcy…

    This has been a frenetic weekend. I wasn’t sure how my energy would hold up, given what we had planned, but now that the craziness is over and I’m back home with my feet up, I can tell you that I was… perfectly normal! This is week 3 of my 4th cycle of chemo. That means that my immune system and blood values are probably all at the absolute nadir – they have been trashed by the chemo drugs and now need to rebound in time for my next treatment in 4 days time. Despite that, I feel perfectly normal. My energy level feels about the same as it would…

  • Chemotherapy Experiences

    Counting Cycles

    Today is Day 4 of Chemo cycle 4, so I am now 2/3rds of the way done. Sort of… The world counts it that way – the moment that the drug drip stops, you are done the next cycle. But in real life, that’s just the beginning.  Each chemo cycle starts for me about 3 days before the actual day of drug administration.  That’s when I head into the lab to get blood work done to determine my response to the previous cycle and whether I have recovered enough to have the next set of medications.  Since all chemo is toxic and causes extensive damage in the body, the effects…