“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. –Dom D’Agostino, Tools of Titans
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 ate around 1550 kcal per day and followed a strict ketogenic diet (20-25 grams net carbs, 50-55 grams protein, and the rest of my calories came from fat.)
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
The profile chapters with Dominic D’Agostino and Peter Attia in Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss. Note that Ferriss adapted these chapters from the podcast interviews he did with the two men: Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and the End of Cancer and Dr. Peter Attia on Life-Extension, Drinking Jet Fuel, Ultra-Endurance, Human Foie Gras, and More.
📋 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.