This blog was written by Clio Muir about how introducing a more healthy diet helped to aid in the continued healing of her husband’s prostate cancer. I hope you learn something new for your loved ones or yourself in this article.
“Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates 400ish BCE
Let’s escape COVID-19 for a minute, and talk about another important topic: prostate cancer.
It is estimated that 33,330 men will die a year of prostate cancer.
My Husband Was Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer One Year Ago…
We were up in Alaska, taking care of our grandkids, so their parents could have their first vacation alone in ten years.
Rick was surprised to answer his phone and hear his doctor’s voice. They have an almost twenty-year relationship, but nonetheless, it was an ominous surprise. He had just seen him the week before because he’d tripped and fell trail running, and had broken his nose. Doctor Ho took advantage of having him in the office and did some routine blood tests. He wanted Rick to get another test done when we returned because his PSA had risen.
The Week We Returned, He Had Another Blood Test
Eighteen months before his PSA (prostate-specific antigen) was 2.8. In March when his doctor called it had elevated to 4. Another blood test in April showed 4.8 and so a biopsy was scheduled.
The biopsy results showed he had slow-growing cancer on the left side of his prostate. I was shocked, I couldn’t imagine a fast-growing tumor. But his urologist told us it was the “good kind” of cancer, and that Rick would probably die of old age. That information gave a sense of solid footing from the dropping elevator I felt like I was riding on. With his encouragement, we opted for Active Surveillance Therapy: a blood test every three months, an MRI in one year, or another biopsy.
Hours were spent reading everything and anything regarding his diagnosis. It was especially nice because we read out loud to each other a lot anyway, and listening to him, taking notes, and switching off was a beautiful way to absorb some pretty scary information.
I’m the Cook
It was amazing after a one-hour meeting with Rick’s urologist a couple of days later, nutrition was never brought up. The next morning I emailed his doctor and asked about changing his diet to a more healthy diet. He said if he had to choose, he’d try vegan. We were eating a California diet consisting of fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, chicken, occasionally lamb, and a ton of eggs and cheese. In our reading the night before, we stumbled onto a fascinating article published in Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School; Lifestyle therapy for prostate cancer: Does it work?
We encourage any of you rethinking your diet, or have been diagnosed with slow-growing prostate cancer, look this paper up. Information is everything. Let your doctor know what you’re thinking. The bottom line of the one year study was, by eliminating all animal fats, eggs, dairy, and meat, adding exercise and meditation, “Blood samples from the lifestyle treatment group inhibited prostate growth by 70%. While samples from the control group inhibited growth by only 9%.”
This Was a No-Brainer!
Overnight we became vegans. Well, “almost vegans” after I found a case of our imported Wild Planet White Anchovies in the pantry that we had just spent $40.00 on. These anchovies are packed in olive oil, 3oz. of which deliver 19 grams of precious protein. So, except for occasionally having fish, we adhere to a vegan diet.
By the way; Rick decided to give up all processed sugar… that was huge but doable. And he doesn’t drink alcohol. He’s a perfect test subject.
I Thought It Would Be a Tough Transition
We were motivated though, and luckily living in California where there is a constant source of fresh seasonal produce there for the picking; veganism became my new obsession. Fortuitously, there are fabulous products to choose from, for instance; Kite Hill Dairy Free Yogurt, Nasoya Organic Tofu, Anthony’s Nutritional Yeast (loaded with; Thiamin B-1, Riboflavin B-2, Niacin B-3, Pyridoxine B-6, Folic Acid B-9, and Cyanocobalamin B-12… WOW!) and Soyrizo (vegan chorizo, fabulous), just to name a few.
In this wonderful age, with all this information at our fingertips, why wouldn’t we do everything humanly possible to choose a healthy diet.
Instead of ice-cream every night for dessert, I’ve been baking apples and serving them topped with dairy-free yogurt and a delicious sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg. We substituted banana for jelly, and his beloved PB&J has changed to PB&B. I found some Cacao Nibs and added ¼ Cup to simmering dairy-free milk for a night-time treat. There is no end to what one can do, once one makes up one’s mind and commits. Meaning me. Rick bought me for my birthday this year my new go-to cookbook; The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook: Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.
Every Day Is An Adventure In My Kitchen
While getting his teeth cleaned, Rick’s dental hygienist told him, her brother was diagnosed seven years ago with the same kind of cancer. Her brother swears to God (because he drinks 6 ounces of grape juice every day), the cancer has totally stopped growing. So short of throwing the kitchen sink in the mix, we’re leaving no stone unturned; he’s drinking grape juice every day. And now that he is retired, we’ve started the old world habit of eating a lunch called ‘supper’ and having a very light snack for dinner.
Check my blog; www.cookingforyoumylove.com where I’ll be following that new development.
And The Big News Is…
Rick’s last PSA test (one year later) was 4.6, and his MRI results showed no change in the tumor, just a little blueberry. I envision it shrinking away. He ran his fastest seven miles the other day and came home happy.
Here is an invitation to escape with me, for a few minutes on Fridays where you can read about the journey happening in my kitchen and our lives. Get informed in a really fun way about how important whole grains are in our healthy diet. Join me as I share fun recipes pilfered from a series of French murder mysteries. If I’ve learned anything in life, I’ve learned; Inspiration is everywhere!
Do you have any comments or questions about this blog? Please let us know in the comments at the bottom of this page!
This article was written by Clio Muir.
About Cooking For You My Love and Clio Muir
Besides being the author of cookingforyoumylove.com, Clio is a wife, mother, grandmother, a daughter, sister, friend, a cook, artist, bibliophile, (big time).
Clio is a poet, author of a memoir, an inveterate student of history, avid thrift store shopper, an ardent Oakland A’s baseball fan, lover of the Olympics and finds herself more and more obsessed with hawks and crows.
Visit her blog at www.cookingforyoumylove.com