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?”
FDA approved, standard-of-care Multiple Myeloma protocols are designed to use high-dose, aggressive therapies and are excellent at stabilizing the newly diagnosed patient’s MM- the average age being 70, 95% of whom are stage 2 or stage 3.
I was diagnosed at the age of 34 with pre-MM (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.
From my diagnosis in early 1994 to my diagnosis of end-stage MM in 9/97, I underwent
All that toxicity in a little less than 3 years. All for a 35 year old with pre-MM aka early, early stage MM.
On September 30th, 1997, I had an appointment with my third oncologist in three years, Dr. Ann Rassiga. Dr. Rassiga told me that “there is nothing more that we can do for you.”
During the summer of ’97 my wife Dawn did some research on the Internet and found a clinic in Houston, Texas called The Burzynski Research Institute (BRI). I knew NOTHING about alternative cancer therapy. I only knew that I had to do something about my cancer (that was beginning to cause serious bone pain). I didn’t want to go to Germany (Dr. Hans Neiper), the Bahamas (IPT), or Mexico.
In November of 1997 I traveled to the BRI where I began antineoplaston therapy (ANP), a non-FDA approved therapy.
Over the next 17 months my “incurable” cancer retreated and disappeared. I have been cancer-free since April of 1999. Monthly MRI scans documented the progression from end-stage MM to complete remission.
My health insurance, Medical Mutual of Ohio, deemed the non-toxic chemotherapy that took me from end-stage cancer to cancer-free to be “not medically necessary” and denied payment for it.
The autologous stem cell transplant that my oncologist ordered was also “experimental” at the time and NOT FDA approved as of 1995. But for some reason, Medical Mutual of Ohio paid for the ASCT but not Antineoplaston Therapy.
I launched the Galen Foundation in 2004. I created PeopleBeatingCancer.org to blog about and 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:
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.
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.