The Way Ahead, and the Keto Kid!

Well, we have have safely returned to Colorado, and we made it home in time for Christmas!  It was a mixed blessing, with lots of fun (and a few presents) for our little one and a beautiful new layer of snow in the morning, but very few decorations and no tree.  Still, the greatest blessing was being home, and being (mostly) healthy.

Last week I had the staples removed by my regular doc/PA at the base, and put all the necessary paperwork in for the referral to the University of Colorado Cancer Center in Aurora, just south of Denver.  The first of those appointments was last Thursday, where I met with the “Nurse Navigator” (which has to be the coolest job title ever).  The oncology nurse did a complete case history review, copied all the records I brought, and looked at the recommendation from Dr. Chu at Cedars-Sinai.  Dr. Chu recommended a “radiation boost,” followed by some kind of chemotherapy.  This could be temozolomide (temodar), Avastin, or one of the newer therapies like Opdivo or Optune (click the links for more details).  The nurse at UCCC seemed to agree, but it will ultimately be up to the doctor to decide.  I see the actual neuro-oncologist (Dr.Douglas Ney) on Tuesday the 17th, along with several other members of the multi-disciplinary team.

We also met with an oncology dietitian yesterday (Saturday).  This is a registered dietician who has spent at least 2,000 additional hours working specifically with cancer patients, and passed a comprehensive examination covering cancer care.  Most of these dietitians work with cancer patients who are going through active treatment (chemo and/or radiation), working to help them maintain a healthy weight, find foods that they can tolerate without getting sick, and so forth.  However, some — including the one we met with, from Nutrition Foundations — also work with survivors who are trying to prepare their bodies to fight cancer.  She helped us work through a mountain of research (mostly done by Angie) about how diet and nutrition can help fight (and even eliminate) cancer.  The end result is that for now, and until I complete radiation, I am on a strict ketogenic diet.  That is a long, long discussion, but the bottom line is a very low-carb diet that is high in fats and protein, which will eventually help “starve” the tumor of the fuel they need to grow.  It’s far from proven, but the evidence is gathering, and approaching the point of being what I would call conclusive.  There are studies like this one from the National Institutes of Health, as well as many individual stories like this one where a ketogenic diet has helped a patient fight cancer, or has even been shown to reduce tumor size or slow tumor growth.  Probably the best overall article I’ve found on the topic is here, which provides a good (though scholarly) overview of the evidence to date and how the diet actually affects cancer.

So, that’s where we stand.  No more potatoes or bread or pasta for me, and both Angie and I face a steep learning curve when it comes to everything — meal planning, shopping, cooking, eating out, snacking, and how this affects other areas of our lifestyle (fitness) and Ellie.  At the end of the day, if it helps (and the evidence is almost conclusive that it does), it’s worth a try.  I’ll see the neuro-oncologist on Tuesday, and hopefully have more to report.  Until then, bring on the avocados!

~ by MichaelMoyles on January 16, 2017.

8 Responses to “The Way Ahead, and the Keto Kid!”

  1. Oh, GREAT blog update, Mike ! Eager to follow these links and learn more about ketogenic diets… Let us know how things go with your Tuesday appointment… Love you, Mom


  2. Love ya and promise the “stress-fits” will calm eventually! 😘 We are in this together!

  3. Yes, yes! You may be interested to know the pediatric neurologist who met with us about Annika’s epilepsy gave us a lot of information on the ketogenic diet to treat epilepsy. In children, it’s a bit different, and commonly called a Modified Atkins approach due to the patient’s very young age, but the evidence is there to the tune of 75% or so of those who suffer epilepsy can move to drastically reduce and often completely eliminate their seizures through a ketogenic diet. It is something we are researching for Annika, too, and have received a referral to a pediatric epileptologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital to explore this and other options. I’ve read a lot about it and as you already know, it will be pretty tough…but I agree: totally worth it. Nothing to lose, dearest. Go for it!

  4. Thanks Mike, when you have time, I would appreciate more info on diet and cancer. I seem to be growing tumors well but we have not had a diet discussion for treatment beyond making sure I get enough calories.

    Hang in there buddy. Praying for you every day! You remain an inspiration.

    S/F Mike

  5. Been doing similar meals for almost a year and can help with blogs, advice, and of course prayer.

  6. Kale, lots and lots of Kale, that should help. Kidding. I have been reading a lot on diet and carbs due to my dad having dementia and the 50% chance I will acquire it some day. All the unhealthy carbs etc are so problematic for the brain. He has frontal lobe dementia by the way so I was really seeing the many miracles God provided for you since you don’t seem to have impairments that involve the frontal lobe. We are starting to mill our own grain and I have drastically reduced my “store bought bread” intake and also reduced sugar. I can tell a difference in the change in my taste buds so have faith….the beginning will be hard but after you adjust you really lose the taste for so much of that stuff. Here is a shocker…coffee is not as appealing to me either. I am starting to enjoy tea….Crazy right? Praying for you guys!

  7. Thrilled to see the many miracles in your life!

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