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When I went to church as a little kid I remember thinking that there were a lot of old people in the audience. I wondered why that was. Living through multiple myeloma (MM) taught me that the nearer we think we are to the end of life, the greater our struggle is with issues such as the meaning of life.
It is unfortunate, however, that conventional oncology doesn’t give any guidance, any help to patients with multiple myeloma. MM, after all, is incurable in the eyes of conventional oncology.
Now that my end-stage cancer is in remission (that’s different blot post) I feel as though I understand many of the larger issues that healthy people simply have never had to grapple with. And that’s okay…
But I will say that I understand the articles linked and excerpted below because of living with multiple myeloma since 1994.. In a nutshell, multiple myeloma patients with stronger spirital grouding do better. For the record, stronger spiritual grounding can be many things.
Is your MM advanced? To learn more about evidence-based mind-body therapies scroll down the page, ask me a question and I will reply to you ASAP.
“Individual meaning-centered psychotherapy (IMCP) significantly improves psychological outcomes and spiritual well-being among patients with advanced cancer (multiple myeloma) compared with enhanced usual care (EUC) or supportive psychotherapy (SP), according to a study published in Cancer.
Many patients with advanced cancer experience spiritual and existential distress, and the number of psychotherapeutic interventions with an emphasis on spirituality is growing. Previous studies evaluating these interventions, however, have led to mixed results, and were never completed in large, systematic clinical trials…
Patients in the IMCP arm had small-to-moderate but significant treatment effects for 5 of the 7 outcome variables assessed compared to patients receiving EUC (no-treatment comparison): quality of life, spiritual well-being, sense of meaning, desire for hastened death, and anxiety…
IMCP significantly improved quality of life and sense of meaning measures only when compared to SP. There were no significant improvements reported among patients who received SP.
Results show that IMCP effectively improves quality of life and spiritual well-being among patients with advanced cancer (multiple myeloma), and reduces psychological distress. The authors concluded that “moreover, although this intervention was designed for patients with advanced cancer, the focus on (and utility for) enhancing meaning and quality of life may have broad applicability across a range of illnesses and conditions in which physical and psychological functioning is adversely affected.” ”
“For cancer patients, religion and spirituality (R/S) measures are associated with measures of physical, mental, and social health outcomes, according to three reviews published online Aug. 10 in Cancer…
“When we took a closer look, we found that patients with stronger spiritual well-being, more benign images of God (such as perceptions of a benevolent rather than an angry or distant God), or stronger beliefs (such as convictions that a personal God can be called upon for assistance) reported better social health,” Sherman said in a statement.”
“Many researchers have conducted literature reviews on the impact of religion and spirituality on cancer patients’ (MM) health, but none have taken such thorough and painstaking efforts to analyze the data in such detail.
“To date, this series of meta-analyses represents the most comprehensive summary and synthesis of a rapidly growing area of psychosocial oncology: the role of religion and spirituality for patients and survivors managing the experience of cancer,” said Salsman…”