Friday, September 28, 2007

Low Carb & Cancer Follow-Up

I posted information yesterday on the benefits of a low carb lifestyle for cancer patients. Today I got some very interesting feedback from a low carb forum I frequently visit. ShonMarie generously shared the story of her sister's battle with breast cancer.

(For the original cancer post, click here or just scroll down a bit.)

"WifeZ, thank you for posting about the cancer/sugar component on your blog. Let me first say, I really enjoy your writing. My younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30. That was 23 yrs ago. At that time, I did read what little there was about the cancer/sugar/insulin component - mostly from Atkins. She followed that regimen for 23yrs and although the cancer continued to spread, it was a slow process. She had many good years and we had much fun together. She was diagnosed with metastases to the liver 2yrs ago and, at that time was given 6mos to live. She continued on her low carb regimen and lived 2yrs. She died this past January. I definitely attribute her 23year "survival" to the low carb way of eating. She couldn't eat much in her last weeks, but we had her for all those years. And even though she suffered, she always had a smile for people whom she met. She never burdened others with her illness. Friends would always tell me that she looked so good - never looked like a "cancer" patient, even though she went through many rounds of chemo and radiation. I miss her so much, but I thank God for His gift of her to us. And she never once was angry - kind of viewed her illness as a "gift" to bring her closer to Our Lord.

So, thank you for writing about these connections - hopefully others will read it and pass on the news. Btw, my sister's oncologist DID espouse the benefits of the low carb woe(way of eating), and he is one of the leading oncologists in our area. There is hope! "

When I asked her if I could pass on the doctor's information she provided me with the following;

He is such an intelligent, amazing and caring man. His name is John Petrus, M.D., he is board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology and practices at Akron General Medical Center, Akron Ohio. He is also on the staff at Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine. He was wonderful with my sister, Patty. My mom also had breast cancer. It showed on a mammogram, but her physician failed to tell her for 10 Years!!! Fortunately, it was contained, but she did have a mastectomy and radiation. She did well from that, but died on the table while having a pacemaker replaced. Dr. Petrus was also her oncologist and she had such confidence in him. Dr. Petrus was always so amazed at how well my sister did. She had an extremely difficult cancer - a type that is rarely seen. He would always take her info to meetings and lectures and present her data to tumor boards. That she was able to survive as long as she did is truly a miracle. She had so many surgeries - one of the most critical was when the cancer spread to her bone and completely destroyed her sternum. She had to have muscle taken from her hip and placed where the sternum was in order to protect her heart and lungs. Her body was mutilated from all the surgeries, but she was truly a fighter. And with more grace and class than I could ever hope to muster with an ingrown toenail!"

Then when I asked if I could share her sister's story with my blog readers, she replied...

"I don't mind at all. I think anytime we can share our stories, we might just have an impact or give hope to someone. Here is a link to my sister's obituary. I would just like you to have a glimpse of what she was like. She was wonderful. We all miss her so very much. She has a twin sister and we were and are all so close. Thank you, Linda, for your kindness and willingness to share."

No ShonMarie.....THANK YOU! By sharing your sister's story you are showing that low carb/high fat, even if it doesn't cure the cancer, can extend and add to a person's quality of life. I am so glad your family was able to grab those extra years you otherwise wouldn't have had.

Your post also points out that there ARE professionals out there who DO get it. (I was seriously worried there for a minute!) Unfortunately they are toiling away fighting volumes of bad information and bad public perception. These individuals need to be supported and applauded. They and their work should be receiving the press coverage, NOT the same old stories saying to eat glucose ladened fruit and avoiding healthy fat. That garbage isn't helping anyone.

Thanks again ShonMarie.


Robert Su, M.D. said...

I happened to see your blog that was posted almost one and a half years ago. I am curious about the extent of low carb diet Shon Marie's sister had all her last 23 years before she left the world. Although I agree that low carb diet was her life-saver for those years. However, it is important that she must have maintained a pretty much stable of low normal blood glucose level at all time to control and even cure the cancer cells.

I would appreciate more information about her diet.

BTW, please visit my website where I write my blog weekly.

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