When Hal Livergood came to Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville for treatment of his prostate cancer, it was because his doctor and personal research told him protons were the best treatment option for his case. There was just one problem. Mr. Livergood shared that his radiation oncologist at Provision, Dr. Marcio Fagundes, advised him that he would need to lose weight, otherwise treatment would not be an option.
At 455 pounds and faced with a life-threatening disease, he wasted no time. He met with Provision nutritionist and registered dietitian Casey Coffey, and together they created a clean, real, whole foods diet and he began exercising two hours a day—cardio in his home pool spa plus a strengthening regime.
“I lost 50 pounds in just a few months,” said Mr. Livergood. By the time he was ready to start proton therapy, he had lost 90 pounds in all. His edema disappeared. He noticed that he felt better. “Between Casey and Dr. Fagundes, they’re saving my life in more ways than one,” he said, while he worked on developing a workable diet that reduced carbs and focused more on proteins and whole, unprocessed foods.
“I have lost thousands of pounds over my lifetime,” said Mr. Livergood, with diets ranging from liquid to fat free. But after learning about the chemical reactions of the food in the body, necessary balance between protein, carbohydrates and fat, he made changes for the long-term. And he says he doesn’t even want the junk food he once ate on a regular basis. “If it’s killing me, I don’t want to eat it,” said Mr. Livergood.
While he was in treatment at Provision for his prostate cancer, he had to adhere to a low-fiber regimen required for prostate cancer treatment, which involves patients cutting out legumes and whole grains, and reducing dairy consumption. Now that he’s done, with treatment, he expressed his enthusiasm to continue his new lifestyle. “I’ve got another 120 pounds at least to lose,” he said. “I’ve got to stay on the program.” Hal’s wife, Nancy Lee, was alongside him every step of the way—losing 18 pounds in the process herself. Hal credits the support he received at home and during treatment as crucial to his experience.