“Cancer..” she dropped while her eyes betrayed that she shouldn’t have.
“She didn’t.” I thought.
“Cancer!?” I bit back. “Uhm, nope, thank you. I’m just here for a pap smear.” I tried staring her out.
But beneath my gaze, I noticed that I was holding my breath. I hoped she wouldn’t. Or maybe that she would.
I needed this to end. Couldn’t have her elaborate on her threat. And thus, I toned down, “Please, stop. You’re scaring me. I’m just here for a pap smear.”
A month earlier, I had done a health screening. I was visiting my parents in Sarajevo, and my mom insisted on the checkup.
Everything was fine, I was told–except for that infection and inflammation down under.
Mild problem. It would likely go away with a round of antibiotics. But to be sure, I was advised to follow up once I finished the dose.
And so here I was, back in Singapore, translating the results of my first pap smear to Dr. Chan, and asking for a second one.
Dr. Chan, in return, had asked me why I didn’t have any kids, being 32 and married and all. It was a bad start, and soon we were arguing about what my previous results meant.
She thought I needed extra tests. And when I declined, out of distrust, it looked like her last sales pitch was cancer.
In the end, I won the argument. Got my pap smear, and got out. I then bought a bowl of cut fruits, my new, now-already-old, equivalent of the old sugar drug, and swallowed it.
Dr. Chan turned out to be right. I did need further tests. The second pap smear showed that the inflammation was still there, and moreover, that atypical cells were present.
I needed a biopsy. And in August, I had one, which told me that I didn’t have cancer. But that I did have precancerous cells lining up my cervix, and that they were in a pretty shitty stage, CIN 3.
If I didn’t do anything about it, these precancerous cells would likely develop into cancerous ones. Cut them out was the option at hand. And I was okay with that until I wasn’t.
The complications didn’t seem trivial.
A sentence that I remembered reading kept hovering in my mind:
If you don’t have cancer and you do therapeutic fast 1 to 3 times a year, you could purge any precancerous cells that may be living in your body. –Dominic D’Agostino
If there was a chance that my body could heal itself, how could I not try?
Twelve weeks later, the Friday before Christmas, I was waiting for a take-out order, when out of boredom I called back an unknown number. It was nurse Khwan.
“I’m trying to email you the results right now,” she said, “It’s CIN I.”
“CIN I?” I urged.
“Yes, CIN I.” she confirmed.
I gasped, “CIN I, CIN I. It worked…”
It was over.
“Yes. We were all a bit skeptical,” nurse Khwan confessed, “But yes, whatever you did, it worked.”
What I Did
Calorie-restricted ketogenic diet
I followed a strict ketogenic diet: 20-25 grams of net carbs, 50-55 grams of protein, and the rest of my kcal came from fat. On average, I ate around 1550 kcal per day.
I ate only once a day within a daily 4-hour window.
I did three 5-day water fasts, one every month.
- The Complete Guide to Fasting – Jason Fung
- Keto Clarity – Eric Westman and Jimmy Moore
- Keto for Cancer – Miriam Kalamian
- Tools of Titans – Timothy Ferriss
📋 Cronometer · App for tracking your diet. It has great support for the ketogenic diet and also syncs with the Apple Health app.
🍳 DietDoctor · For keto recipes that don’t look disgusting
🌡 Keto-Mojo · The device that I use to measure my glucose and keto levels
🥥 Perfect Keto · I’m using the MCT Oil Powder and Exogenous Ketone Base. The company’s marketing is off the charts, no doubt, but I’d like to think that I chose them because they use far less crappy ingredients in their products than their competition.
I kept putting off sharing everything I know about fasting and going keto because I couldn’t make the time to write the elaborate post that I have in mind.
But then, I realized that I could take the concept of Minimum Viable Product (MVP), often used in web development, and apply it to my writing.
An MVP is a product that is sent out into the world with only its bare but must-have features. The bells and whistles are added later, little by little, and usually following the feedback of the first users.
With this idea in mind, I figured I would publish my minimum viable post. Starting with an intro, and what I believe are the essential bits that you’d need to start your own metabolic therapy if you were to find yourself in a similar situation.