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The location: A clinic in the UK, specialising in using metabolic therapy to treat cancer, with the focus on high-doses of intravenous Vitamin C and nutrition.
The science: There are hits and myths about sugar feeding cancer but consensus is that sugar is a definite no-no. This includes fruit which contains high-levels of fructose, a type of sugar.
Because of this, all of us at the clinic are on a strict diet which includes no fruit, only veg.
(I’m finding this challenging and so am slowly transitioning, still permitting myself an apple and two bananas a day as I find it promotes, er-hem … regularity. )
We’ve all had the same nutritionist, so a lot of our food taboos are the same: no fruit, no wheat, no dairy, no coffee or tea, minimal meat etc. etc.
The nutritionist’s name is Shareen and when we’re gathered together for the intravenous vitamin C session, the discussion invariably drifts towards food, comparing notes on what we’re allowed and not, with the inevitable “Shareen says …”.
We waxed wistfully about the good-old-days when we could sit at a cafe and just indulge.
My fantasy was a scone, still warm from the oven, slathered in butter and sandwiched with a thick layer of clotted cream and jam.
Someone developed a headache during the IV C infusion and the doctor advised her to eat more, but she couldn’t. She needed something that would raise her blood sugar quickly.
I suggested a banana.
Chorus: A banana?
(you would have thought I’d suggested a Mars Bar or chocolate fudge cake)
“You mean Shareen says you can eat bananas? You have a banana?”
(no, I actually have a box of Godiva truffles)
“Er … I may or may not have a banana which may or may not exist, but if I did have one, you’re welcome to it. And no, Shareen didn’t say I could have a banana.”
(I think a drug smuggler would have had an easier time. )
In the end I revealed where the contraband was stored, and the doctor went and got the banana.
The woman held the banana with a reverence usually only accorded to the host in a Catholic mass. There was a collective drool as she peeled and ate it slowly.
It was the best banana she had ever eaten, she declared. The first she’d had in two years.
This blog is dedicated to all those women (and men) who’ve had similar banana moments in their search for a cure for their cancer. The journey isn’t always easy, but there are moments of indulgence and joy!