Dutch Puff

green drink

The more research I do, the more roads lead to a ketogenic diet in order to prevent brain tumor regrowth. A ketogenic diet is basically an eating pattern that facilitates the conversion of fat into a form of energy known as ketones. We are not there just yet, but are making shifts in the direction of ketone burning goodness.

Ben and I are living the anticancer life, with multiple cups of green tea daily, turmeric and black pepper in meals, berries, stone fruits, omega 3s out of our ears, and much, much more. Dr. Cao, Ben’s Chinese medicine doctor, also has Ben drinking green drinks throughout his radiation treatment to prevent dehydration.

meatzaThe research is crystal clear that carbohydrate and sugar rich foods contribute to feeding cancer cells. Consequently, those were the first items we cut out. We are currently eating high anticancer foods; no sugar, no dairy, no gluten, wheat, and none to extremely low amounts of rice and other starches. I would have to say that the paleo diet most closely resembles our current eating habits. I must admit that I tend to raise a skeptical eyebrow at popular eating fads, and that is exactly what I did with the paleo diet for a good long while. Surprisingly, we found we entered the paleo diet world from the backdoor. Only after cutting items out, and integrating other anticancer foods, I realized that all those paleo recipe websites offered us delicious culinary options to fight brain cancer. Paleo won. I am a believer. The final straw was a little email from my sister-in-law titled meatza. I’ve been perfecting my meat-pizza ever since.

The ketogenic diet is a world away from Ben’s previous life of starting the morning out with a cup of coffee and creme-filled croissant, but the deeper I go into the research, the clearer it seems to me that a ketogenic diet is an excellent preventative choice for someone with brain cancer. So, we are making the changes, one by one, towards a ketogenic diet. Eating a very specific and intentional diet for medicine and healing is a completely new world for Ben, and so I continue to move slowly, and keep my research hat on, in order to bring the most delicious anticancer, paleo, or keto foods into our kitchen, and onto Ben’s plate.

Here is a recipe that was made for me by a friend on a recent trip. I was very excited to find out that her and her fiance were eating paleo, and had an incredible breakfast treat for us! The original creator of the dutch puff is this guy. He has a pretty cool blog about living the paleo diet. The thing I love about the dutch puff is that it has all the flavor and consistency of a breakfast pastry without the main ingredients being flour and sugar. Ben loves it, and I make it in place of our Sunday waffles, or if Ben is really missing his pastries. It does have some carbohydrates in it, so it is not an everyday breakfast meal. Here it is:

dutch puffDutch Puff

Ingredients:
Approximately 13 eggs (3 cups)
1 can coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla1/3 cup of coconut flour
1/3 cup arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup blueberries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Put 1/2 stick of butter into a 9×13 inch pan, and place into the oven.
3. In the blender mix 3 cups of eggs (approximately 13 eggs), 1 can of coconut milk, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
4. While the blender is running, add 1/3 cup of coconut flour, and 1/3 cup arrowroot powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
5. Pour mixture into pan when butter is browning and bubbling but not burnt. Quickly disperse blueberries into pan.
6. Cook about 25 minutes or until center appears solid.  Sides will puff up a lot. I mean a lot- way more than in this picture (it was my first one).

Per serving (1/12 of the pan):

With Blueberries No Blueberries
Calories 182 175
Fat 12 12
Carbs 10 8
Fiber 2.2 1.9
Sugar 2.7 1.5
Protein 8.5 8.5

Dog Spooning

LouieToday marks the end of the third week of radiation. Visions of our dog curled up on the couch have been dancing through our heads. Our apartment in Seattle has a brown blanket that we regularly confuse for our long lost pup. I can assure you that there will be ample dog spooning this Memorial Day weekend.

Last night, after much feasting with friends and stories of hair falling out from chemotherapy, Ben’s own hair fell right out. (Very convenient timing, Lord Vader.) He now has a good two inch receding hairline in the spots where they are blasting him with the death ray. Did I mention that Ben was given the privilege of naming the equipment? The facility is brand new, and the beam didn’t yet have a name before Ben dubbed it Lord Vader. We are still using his cottonwood salve on his radiation spots, and that particular moment of hair dropping out called for some loving words and caressing of bald spots. I promised Ben that if his hair doesn’t come back, I’ll give him some really cool cornrow patterns around it. Lord Vader

Ben has a little more than two weeks of radiation left. He is feeling good about still having energy, and continuing TaeKwonDo and his daily walks around the city. He is feeling the cumulative effects of treatment, and is taking everything day by day. Ben is very excited to be home for three days, and I am in the same boat. I cannot wait to be home with my animals, and putter around in the garden. Have a great weekend!

 

To Blog Or Not To Blog?

I’ve been wavering on how to document/communicate our experience as we navigate the “big C”. At first, it was all I could do to keep family and friends updated and support Ben through what felt like a dream. After his craniotomy, and once we were home for a bit, the scientist in me took over and I began researching. I started with library books. I ordered stacks. There is a lot of crazy bullshit out there.

My first big lead in the book department was Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky. (The baboon guy from Stress: Portrait of a Killer. It’s on Netflix. Watch it.) There is a lot of good neurobiology in his book. After some great finds in scientific journals, TED Talks, and podcasts, I really hit the jackpot with Anticancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber. I drank the kool-aid. Anticancer echoed all the research I was doing- all the studies on PubMed, the antiangiogenic TED Talks, the science podcasts. The fact that a scientist/doctor/brain cancer survivor wrote a beautifully crafted book that pieced together the scraps I was pulling together on my own made my heart sing. Anticancer led me to Dr. Richard Beliveau, and his book Foods That Fight Cancer. Another leader in the field of anticancer foods.

As for our close friends and family, if you want to understand the basis of our battle philosophy, it is firmly rooted in the Anticancer book. Read it, and have insight into our new way of life. New CoverWe are walking our own road, ready to fight, and arming ourselves with the anticancer environment, anticancer foods, anticancer mind, and anticancer body. I hope that you find what you are looking for, and I hope that this blog inspires you.

Proton Beams


Lasers!Good morning to our friends and loved ones. This is Ben’s second week of radiation treatment. His skin is starting to turn red and purple, showing the points of radiation entry into his brain. Ben is brave and strong, but with each treatment he can feel it weakening him.

 

 

That Rat Bastard Tumor

We have Taekwondo set up to help offset the major fatigue effects, and Ben is seeing his Chinese Medicine Doctor weekly to help his brain and nervous system as it undergoes so much radiation. He is now on medication for seizures, and this is causing its own troubles. We are grateful to know he is less likely to have seizures, though. Please keep us in your prayers and support, we really are undergoing some of the hardest parts right now in these next few weeks. Please visualize Ben’s healthy brain being protected from all the scary side effects of radiation.

Lord Vader

Please visualize The cancer in Ben’s brain being destroyed, every last cell, as he undergoes treatment. Please hold us in love and light, visualizing his medication calming his seizures, and having no other side effects. Thank you for helping us through these times.

Custom Mask

The Day Has Come

After much thumb twirling, Breaking Bad / Twin Peaks watching, and head-healing, the day has come that Ben begins treatment. Lucky for me, our morning move to Seattle and early afternoon radiation session was topped off with a return trip to Olympia that night for a graduation ceremony. Yay. Graduating is pretty anti-climatic when you still have two major tests to complete, and your life is supporting your husband through radiation treatment for brain cancer. Did I mention I’m excited? Luckily, my travel partners were awesome, and the keynote speaker was even more exciting. Who would have guessed?

Proton beam radiation has begun. Ben could feel it, he said he smelled something (His brain burning!?!) and he saw lights when they hit him. Crazy!

Seizure

Hi folks, thanks for all the love and support. Ben had a grand mal seizure this morning. His first, it was a big one and hard on him. Currently we are at Saint Pete’s Hospital in Olympia and hope to be released soon. He is doing good, alert and aware when awake- sleeping now. Please no visitors, just lots of Team Unicorn love and prayers right now. We also had just received our date to begin radiation treatment. We hope to still begin proton beam radiation therapy on Monday up in Seattle, but things may change after this event. As always, his neurosurgery and oncology team is taking good care of him in this time. Keep us in your powerful thoughts. Thank you for everything you do. Much love, Charlie

Chinese Medicine

Cherry BlossomsThank you for your kindness and generosity. We are continually touched by the expansive love that is our community. Ben is gaining strength daily and has even attended the gym for some light training. Today, he had his first ever acupuncture and is now working with a Chinese Medicine Doctor to support him through radiation treatment and recovery. We are so grateful that Ben can experience this level of care in these times. Much love!