Multiple Myeloma an incurable disease, but I have spent the last 25 years in remission using a blend of conventional oncology and evidence-based nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle therapies from peer-reviewed studies that your oncologist probably hasn't told you about.
Click the orange button to the right to learn more about what you can start doing today.
I have come to believe that my mental health is just as important as my physical health in managing my multiple myeloma. The links below show the studies that cite how important mind-body therapies are to MM patients and survivors.
I understand that mind-body therapies don’t get much respect when it comes to a MM diagnosis. All I am saying is that the mind-body therapies below are complementary therapies to be added into your regimen and that they are what I have been doing for years now.
I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in February of 1994.Several years of aggressive conventional therapies led to remission, relapse, remission, relapse and finally, “there is nothing more we can do for you.“
The challenge faced by newly diagnosed MM patients is that the oncologist they work with will focus exclusively on toxic therapies that are designed to kill MM.
And that’s fine…as far as this therapy goes. I believe that all MM patients need at least a little toxic therapy during their lives as MM patients.
However, anyone who has lived with MM for any length of time will tell you that there is much more to living with an incurable blood cancer than toxic therapies.
The mind-body therapies discussed below are those that I happen to think are beneficial. Full disclosure. I am not any type of mental health professional. The therapies linked below are what I think has helped me over the years. I will not take it personally if you tell me that I am wrong.
For example, I do want to be defined by my cancer. Managing my MM is the most challenging endeavor I have ever faced in my life. But like I said, feel free to disagree with me.
I am both a long-term Multiple Myeloma survivor of an incurable cancer and Myeloma cancer coach. To learn more about evidence-based, non-toxic, therapies to manage your multiple myeloma scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
Attitude as mind-body therapy:
1) Take responsibility for your health.
I don’t mean to sound trite here. You make all decisions about your body. Your doctor and others can make recommendations but you are the final say. There was a fundamental shift in my thinking when I decided that my oncologist was no longer in charge of my cancer, the fall of 1997.
2) Find a sense of purpose-
There has got to more of a goal for you than remission or even a cure. It can be seeing your daughter/son graduate/marry, it can be achieving a goal within an organization, it can be most anything. But the purpose has got to be more than your health. For me it is PeopleBeatingCancer. Researching and writing about cancer, coaching cancer patients, survivors and caregivers, all of it is extremely gratifying for me.
3) Understand and live positive psychology-
This is not about being cheerful or thinking happy thoughts. The field of Positive Psychology described by Dr. Martin Seligman in the video linked above brought a fundamental shift in how I thought about the ups and downs that come with cancer (explanatory style).
4) Grow spiritually-
Please notice that I didn’t say to become spiritual or “you need some churchin’ up” (Blues Brothers-Cab Calloway). I said to “grow spiritually.” The simple experience of facing death will help you grow spiritually.
5) Be Proud to be a cancer survivor–
The two cancer philosophies that I disagree with most often are “Cancer as war or She beat cancer to the end…” and “I don’t want people to define me by my cancer…” I feel the exact opposite. I look at cancer as a chess match, as if I need to out-think cancer, not beat it.
Further, I’m proud of my scars, both mental and physical. I no longer sweat the little stuff. I’m more spiritual. I give more. Has cancer made me a better person???
Practicing mind-body therapy in your daily life-
6) Moderate Daily Exercise–
In many ways, moderate daily exercise is the ultimate mind-body therapy. Before, during and after active therapies, countless studies prove that moderate exercise changes how your genes express themselves, help you loose weight, help you sleep (see #8), just feel better…
7) Be social-
Whether in a marriage or a committed relationship, cancer survivors live longer if you and your primary caregiver are partners.
8) Quality sleep-
Some the most commonsense therapies can be the most effective for cancer patients and survivors. A good night’s sleep for instance.The articles linked above cite that sleep is difficult during therapy and lack of restful sleep may worsen your cancer.…
Breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation, massage, aromatherapy, sauna- I consider all of these as being relaxation therapies…
It took me a few years to figure it out but talking to someone about my cancer experiences helped me a lot. I still have “a bit of the OCD” and I think there may be a little PTSD still drifting around my head but talking to a professional talker was important therapy for me.