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Long-Term Multiple Myeloma Survivor- If I Knew Then What I Know Now

I went under the knife four days later and woke up eight hours after that. Dr. Makely gently explained that I had multiple myeloma.  I was told that myeloma was an incurable but very treatable (?) blood cancer.

It took me years to figure it out but conventional oncology’s definition of treatable is very different from my definition of treatable. My oncologist prescribed chemotherapy and radiation treatments that caused short, long-term and late stage side effects that I struggle with to this day.

I am much more likely to die from one of these long-term or late stage side effects than I am of my MM at this point. 

The worst part is that the toxic therapies did little to hold off my MM. In September of 1997, less than 3 years after my diagnosis of cancer,  I was told I was end-stage MM- “we can do nothing more for you”…

Ever wondered about the saying “The Cure is worse than the Disease?”

I was diagnosed at the age of 34 with a Single Bone Plasmacytoma aka pre-multiple myeloma. Not even full blown MM. None of the MM statistics applied to me.

Painful experience taught me that the more chemo and radiation the patients has, the greater the risk of short, long-term and late stage side effects.

I learned the hard way that toxicity from chemo and/or radiation causes more damage and is just as dangerous as your cancer.

Since achieving complete remission in early 1999, I’ve learned that there are dozens of evidence-based, complementary and integrative therapies that research has shown can both reduce toxicity while enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiation and/or can kill MM.

Nutrition, anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory/anti-angiogenic supplements and lifestyle therapies such as exercise and whole-body hyperthermia can kill cancer as well as help us keep us myeloma survivors strong before, during and after therapy.

My myeloma experience illustrates why conventional MM oncology is only a small piece of the cancer care picture. Newly diagnosed MM patients and long-term cancer survivors must use the best of both conventional evidence-based and non-conventional therapies.

The Multiple Myeloma Cancer Coaching Program provides my answer to “I wish I knew then what I know now”- both conventional and non-conventional MM therapies. 


I launched the Galen Foundation in 2004. I created PeopleBeatingCancer.org to communicate with fellow cancer survivors and provide information about my primary cancer, Multiple Myeloma, as well as the short, long-term and late stage side effects of those therapies that caused so much damage to me including:

  1. Chemo-Radiation-Induced Short-Term Side Effects
  2. Chemotherapy-induced Aging
  3. Chronic Non-Cancer  Pain
  4. Risk of Treatment-related Secondary Cancer
  5. Corticosteroid-induced Avascular Necrosis
  6. Chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction-Chemobrain
  7. Chemotherapy & Radiation-induced Nerve damage-CIPN and RILP
  8. Chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy-heart damage
  9. Chemotherapy-induced Atrial Fibrillation- Afib
  10. Chemo-induced hypertension (high blood pressure)
  11. Chemotherapy-induced Hemorrhagic Cystitis-irritible bladder
  12. Radiation-induced Dysphagia
  13. Radiation-induced Xerostomia-
  14. Chemotherapy-induced Deep Vein Thrombosis- blood clot
  15. Managing Mental Health as a Cancer Survivor-

I have remained in complete remission since 4/99 by living an evidence-based, non-toxic, anti-MM lifestyle through nutrition, supplementation, bone health, mind-body and lifestyle therapies.

  • I live with more than a dozen serious long-term/late stage side effects. Conventional therapies caused a great deal of harm and provided no real benefit-
  • I manage these side effects by living an anti-cancer lifestyle DAILY-
  • I look forward to my birthdays. Getting older is a badge of courage for me. Unlike most cancer patients, I want to be defined by my cancer. My scars are another type of badge of courage for me-

Providing evidence-based, non-toxic, anti-MM therapies through the PeopleBeatingCancer MM Cancer Coaching Program is my purpose in life. I’ve learned that if you are diagnosed with cancer knowledge is power. 

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

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