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March 19, 2018 10:13 PM

Using Keto To Cope With Chemo

New diets come and go all the time. One making waves right now takes a lot of discipline, but promises high rewards.

The Keto Diet is the latest craze in health. In fact, a KELOLAND woman says it helped her deal with the hardest time of her life.

"It killed the cancer, but it also killed me," Rose Bosworth said. 

Chemotherapy was no walk in the park for Bosworth. The 71-year-old was diagnosed with CLL, or chronic lymphocytic leukemia, in 2006. 

"Just part of a small community and you're involved in so many things in the community, and then all of a sudden you can't do those things. And you can't participate in your grand-kids' lives. You can't go help them out to babysit and you can't go to their activities, or those functions. That's the hard part," Rose said.

Her family could see the trauma the treatment was causing for their strong Grandma Rose.

"She had gone from this vibrant woman that I knew as my mom, to this kind of ashen, zombie like person that kind of looked like my mom," Annette Bosworth said. 

With another treatment weighing on everyone Annette, her daughter, decided to do some research.

Annette was dealing with a lot at the time; you may have seen her on the news. Between the loss of her practice and a failed Senate run, she dedicated her life to her mother.

"I'm pretty sure if I was seeing patients the way I had planned, I would have skipped some appointments or I would have said, 'Oh mom, I'll just get the report from the doctor.' I wouldn't have slowed down, been present, and I sure as heck wouldn't have spent months studying ketosis," Annette said.

That research led her to several studies showing the possible benefits of the newest diet craze.

"The basic to a Keto diet is it's mostly fat. So 80-percent fat. Almost no carbs, you can practically say no carbs and then you're safe. And it's low protein," Annette said. 

Annette admits it sounded crazy, but she was willing to try anything. She even wrote a book on the science behind Ketosis.

Hy-Vee Dietician Anna Heronimous agrees a change in diet can play a big role in recovery during the fight with cancer.

"Definitely getting a lot of radiation to the body. So refueling with those fruits and vegetables. Those vitamins and minerals. Keep getting your energy boost. It's also really important to get in your protein because a lot of times when you're experiencing any type of radiation you might not be as hungry for protein," Heronimus said. 

Heronimus suggests talking to an expert before drastically altering what you eat.

"You definitely don't want to be going on some crazy diet especially when your body needs to be healing itself," Heronimus said. 

Heronimus' advice for people struggling with energy is to plan ahead with pre-made snacks and healthy meals.

For Rose, the results of changing her lifestyle were dramatic. 

"You get up in the morning and you're not like, 'Oh my goodness. I have to make breakfast, or I need to make breakfast.' Or whatever. It's like, holy Hannah! I feel awesome today," Rose said. 

In Annette's book, "Anyway You Can", she describes the first time they saw real results at a checkup with Rose's doctor.

"Maybe it won't be quite as bad. Maybe it won't double. I had no hopes that they would drop by 30-percent. From that moment when we thought that she was going to get a dose of chemo, it was another year before she needed chemo. In that year, life came back. Like her brain had energy. She was focusing. She was happy," Annette said. 

"When you get a positive and a good report after you've been through so much, it is amazing. I mean it is, it's like a gift that nobody else can give you," Rose said. 

Rose credits her doctors, modern medicine, and Keto for saving her quality of life. But it's the intangible factor that really made its mark on Grandma Rose. 

"I mean, you can't give up hope. I don't care what happens to you in your life. You can never give up hope," Rose said.

There is something called the Keto Flu, which happens during the beginning of the diet and makes you feel sick the first few days. Annette says this should fade.

Anyone who is changing their diet significantly should see a medical expert first.

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