Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Exercise and brain cancer

Exercise and brain cancer is a very complex subject that I would like to revisit later. I am able to function fairly well now but it was a very long journey with many uncertainties. Walking up and down the hall at home used to be strenuous exercise for me not long ago and stairs was a nightmare. I still can't believe what I can do now. I continue to be wary of tumour recurrence after being informed by my oncologist it would probably be 'sudden, unexpected, and will likely leave me with right sided paralysis because of where the tumour was located' but that is why I'm trying all I can to keep it away! I seem to be doing alright so far, let's hope that continues. 

Ketosis has become an exciting journey and I love how it alleviates and manages a lot of my symptoms when I get it right but exercise can be a challenge (trying to maintain 'therapeutic ketosis for cancer management). This morning I decided to do a little experiment (my meds often send me into a deep sleep and I wake up ridiculously early)...

So here it is, my workout experiment this morning- I performed a series of slow to medium tempo, perfect form, wide grip pull-ups and filmed it. I made sure go all the way up and all the way down following very strict form from a hanging position, my feet never touch the ground. I managed to stabilise blood glucose and ketones throughout the exercise session and pushed myself with the aim of increasing strength long term. Recovery time between sets was 5minutes over 10 sets of 5 repetitions.

Cancer patients are advised not to push themselves with exercise because it usually increases blood glucose and reduces blood ketones which I have found to be very true in the past so I wanted to find a way of increasing strength over time while I continue to show noticeable improvements in my general health. I do my exercise very early in the morning before I take my epilepsy medication (levetiracetam-generic Keppra) because I have no side effects at this time. Otherwise this exercise would be virtually impossible, that is how bebilitating these drugs can be, even at small doses. 

I am very light weight and these drugs really affect me personally, when I was on a cocktail of these drugs at high doses I couldn't even walk in a straight line and really suffered to function. It is remarkable how much I have improved since being on strict keto. I'm hoping to switch back to Keppra next week as the branded form doesn't affect me as badly as the generic type. That will be interesting to see. My drugs were switched without my permission because they are cheaper and the NHS is trying to reduce costs but apparently they are not allowed to do this so I have an appointment with my GP later today to discuss this. I find that if I have a high fat meal with my medication the side effects are dramatically reduced, early on I experimented this theory by increasing carbs first, then protein, and fat was definitely the big difference. Obvious to me now but this was nearly a year ago!

Below are stills from the video I made this morning. it's pretty boring to watch as it's so long but if you wish to watch it to prove this isn't fake I would be happy to send it to you! I might put it on YouTube as a sleeping aid.


  1. Hi Andrew!

    I've been following you in this journey for several weeks now and you inspire me to take care of myself a lot.

    May I ask you what you eat on a daily basis? Only vegetables and fatty meat? Butter? How many grams of protein? And carbs? Can you be as much specific as you can on this? What foods have you found to be problematic even if they are ketogenic macro-nutrient wise? You mentioned nuts, cream etc. Do you completely avoid those foods?

    If the video you mention here is about tracking ketone levels during exercise, I'd want to see that.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration. Keep it up!

    1. Thank you! I find it difficult to answer your question because what I do is specific for my needs. I avoid nuts and cream as they are migraine triggers for me and because nuts contain 'anti nutrients', however I do very occasionally consume a small amount of macadamia nuts just for variety. Cream is controversial as it contains casein and lactose so I just avoid it but mice who are implanted with human glioblastoma cells seem to do well on a KetoCal formulation in research studies so my concern may be completely misguided. I find the research on animals very encouraging and fascinating.

    2. I would say in terms of macronutrients I consume around 170g fat, 65g protein, and 5g carbs per day. I also do bodyweight resistance exercise every other day, 10 sets of 5 repetitions because this protocol seems to keep my bg stable throughout the workout and it is still very challenging. I chose compound movements and have just started but I'm already seeing strength gains.

    3. I have attempted to upload the video to YouTube but it says it is too long! I will try to cut it down.

  2. On the theme of exercise during Cancer therapies, Berkshire have been running a program based on Cicuit training wi a vary wide scope for progression. The interesting thing is that they've picked up on a balance of cardio and resistance exercise rather than be a majorly cardio /aerobic style.

    It is a trial but I was surprised that there wasnt at least an an optionor a request to do some basic measurements. For example, I was worried by my muscle atrophy whilst on Dexamethasone, which I can demonstrate (through my own records) stopped and has even slightly reversed the atrophy whilst on the course. Glad to see that the exercise is beginning to be seen as a palliative therapy to fatigue ( says he, 3 week after radio/chemotherapy still getting 10k steps and more per day. LOL.

  3. How my daughter was saved from grand mal seizure.
    I am not really a fan of sharing my personal private story on the internet but i decided to do this because this joy is too voluminous for me to hide. My daughter which i took over 8 years after marriage to conceive had her first seizure at age 6 and ever since then it has been from one seizure to another in school, in church, at picnics. This got me worried because she has a bright future that i do not want epilepsy to become a hindrance, i tried several doctors in Texas and none could help with an effective cure. I went on the internet and saw testimonies about a treatment for epilepsy which a doctor offered and i was interested, i got in contact with him and i was able to get the medicine for my daughter which she used for 3 months as he instructed and it has been over 6 months now she is doing just fine without any allergies or aftermath effects. If you are suffering problem try to reach him too on ( i can count on him for a cure for you too.