Sunday, March 25, 2018

Small and big changes I am making in my diet and lifestyle to defeat cancer.

Here are the small and big changes I have incorporated into my life since January this year on realizing I can't depend on conventional medicine alone in my attempt at surviving brain cancer:
  1. Eat a couple of cloves of raw garlic everyday with breakfast : One of the very first things I tried because it is so simple to take it on. After biting into full cloves of garlic - and burning my mouth and blackening my teeth (which my daughter constantly reminds me of with "You have dirty teeth." πŸ‘ΆπŸ˜‚) - for a couple of weeks, I have now finally arrived at the right way to consume raw garlic: Chop it up into as small pieces as possible, set it aside for 10-15 minutes for it to lose the sulfurous odors, then mix with my breakfast.
  2. Completely drop Sugar from my diet : This turned out to be an easy task to do since I was already doing it for 6 days of the week while I was on the Slow Carb Diet last year. I just had to extend the diet to all 7 days of the week.
  3. Completely drop refined grains from my diet : There goes my life-long staple diet of rice and wheat. This again was easy to accomplish because I was already doing this as part of the Slow Carb Diet. Now Lentil, Beans, Tofu, Eggs, greens, and Soya Chunks form the bulk of my diet.
  4. Completely drop dairy products from my diet : This was something new I had to try on. So out goes milk, butter, paneer & yoghurt. Replaced by soya/almond milk, Sauerkraut & Tofu.
  5. Eat raw food (greens, vegetables, berries, ...) in the form of salads/smoothies regularly : I was doing this earlier as well; so an easy transition. These days I have discovered a new taste for Greek/Mediterranean Salad; that is my go-to dish if I am eating outside.
  6. Have a cup or two of Green Tea daily : Totally new habit for me.
  7. Consume Curcumin + Piperine supplement daily : Another new habit for me. For the first batch, I mixed the curcumin and piperine powders (10:1 ratio) with honey. For the second batch, we are trying out Ghee as the mixing agent. Yes, yes, Ghee is a dairy product, I know.
  8. Read / Re-read / Read yet again - all the P. G. Wodehouse novels there are : Nothing puts me in a better mood - with joy and love towards everything & everyone in the world -  than the absurd & silly comedies written by that master of farce - Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
  9. Get help with life from a coach : In general, I have been stressed and frazzled by many things life throws at me over the last couple of years. To counter this, and maintain a healthy frame of mind, I have been having a weekly coaching call with Dave Rudbarg - a friend from my Landmark Education days in New York. Since the coaching calls started in January, these weekly conversations have been very beneficial in making me see my blindspots and appreciate all the accomplishments & good things in life that I am prone to discount & dismiss.
  10. Replace on-going unproductive & harmful mental chatter with Ho'oponopono mantra : Ever since Dave introduced me to Ho'oponopono mantra ("I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you"), I have been using it to calm myself down when agitated/upset, and it has been making a huge impact on my ongoing mental health. Gone are the ongoing self-criticisms about the one embarrassing thing I did in 1997, the thing that my wife did last week to offend me so much, the thing that happened on that project in January that caused so much mental anguish, that stupid thing happening over there, etc. To be replaced by a sense of forgiveness and peace.
  11. Spend more time with family and myself, and not feel guilty about it : I have missed many a day of work this year - which my freelancing career makes possible (at a cost) - to spend time with my wife & daughter, or to rest to recover from the residual fatigue from the chemotherapy / radiation therapy. For the large part, I have been able to not beat myself up on it as I used to do previously.
  12. Make regular exercise an integral part of life : One of the goals I took on at the beginning of the year is to run at least 30 miles every week. So far, I have been able to do that all of the weeks this year, except two - one in January when I was hampered by an abdominal muscle strain, and this past week when I decided to rest and recover after running the Los Angeles Marathon last Sunday. With plans to run at least 4 more marathons this year, I am quite sure I will be having regular exercise throughout the year.
  13. Minimize usage of, and keep distance from, my cellphone : While there is no way to directly connect cellphone usage to brain tumor incidence, in my case there is a small probability that my cellphone usage might have contributed to the brain tumor. I have had an Apple iPhone ever since the first-generation iPhone came out in 2007. I don't use it a lot as to be deemed excessive, but when I use it, I do tend to use it with my right ear. The tumor showed on the right side of my frontal lobe. So there could be some connection. In any case, I have been minimizing the usage of my cellphone recently. When I have to use it, I use it with headphones or with the speakerphone.
  14. Snack on Dark Chocolate regularly : πŸ˜‡
I think those are the most important ones I can think of right now. 

There are a lot of advice out there about how to deal with Cancer. Often conflicting. Everyone has this one favorite tip that they want me/cancer patients to consider. After going through many resources (books & blogposts, etc.), I have zeroed in on the following as the authoritative resources on which to base my decisions about dealing with Glioblastoma:
  1. Kelly A. Turner's book Radical Remission : Surviving Cancer Against All Odds : This book has a lot of practical advice based on research with long-term survivors of various types of Cancers. 
  2. David Servan-Schreiber's book Anticancer : A New Way Of Life :  The author of this book survived brain cancer for a long time before succumbing to a recurrence. One of the last things he wrote talks about him paying the price for not heading his own advice. Loads of practical advice here as well.
  3. Book, movie, and Blog by long-term Glioblastoma survivor Ben Williams : Who is more authoritative on the topic of surviving Glioblastoma than a 21 years survivor?
  4. Book and Blog by long-term Glioblastoma Survivor Cheryl Broyles : Her blog is the first place I learnt about the holistic approach to dealing with a brain tumor. 
I have not yet completed going through and adopting from all these resources. I will continue working on it over the next few months and blog about important changes.

Not all of these changes were easy to take on. However, as I mention in my blogpost about facing the threat of imminent death:
Keeping early death as an outcome on one side makes it easy to make huge changes like dropping sugar completely from one's diet.


  1. hey, Ive just discovered your blog. prayers for you! you are correct! you have to supplement conventional medical treatments with your own cures! you should read about baking soda. one man claims to have cured himself of prostate cancer by taking baking soda mixed with water a few times a day. it effects the PH of your body. cancer needs to have an acidic environment to thrive. baking soda is a base. i think it could work! my dad died of glioblastoma last year. i wanted him to try several unconventional treatments i found, but he was just too sick. he was normal one day and the next we thought he had a stroke it took lots of his personality and his ability to talk from the very beginning. you are fortunate to have your wits and be able to make important decisions! i will be following you!

    1. Thanks for the encouraging comments! Sorry about your Dad.

  2. I am honored to know and be known by you. Thank you so much for your acknowledgment. I love you,brother.


The story so far

It has been a month since I decided to start a blog to journal my journey with Glioblastoma Multiforme after bei...