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.
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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 end-stage 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. I received an end-stage diagnosis in September of 1997.
You read that last sentence correctly. I was told I was “end-stage” in September of 1997.
Unfortunatetly, Dr. Rassiga didn’t offer any mind-body therapies to me. For that matter, 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. So all MM survivors will reach end-stage eventually.
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…”
“Patients with advanced myeloma experience a high symptom burden particularly near the end of life, making timely hospice use crucial. Little is known about the quality and determinants of end-of-life care for this population, including whether potential increases in hospice use are also accompanied by “late” enrollment (≤ 3 days before death).
Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results-Medicare database, we identified patients ≥ 65 years diagnosed with myeloma between 2000 and 2013 who died by December 31, 2013. We assessed prevalence and trends in hospice use, including late enrollment. We also examined six established measures of potentially aggressive medical care at the end of life. Independent predictors of late hospice enrollment and aggressive end-of-life care were assessed using multivariable logistic regression analyses.
Of 12,686 myeloma decedents, 48.2% enrolled in hospice. Among the 6111 who enrolled, 17.2% spent ≤ 3 days there. There was a significant trend in increasing hospice use, from 28.5% in 2000 to 56.5% by 2013 (Ptrend <0.001), no significant rise in late enrollment (12.2% in 2000 to 16.3% in 2013, Ptrend =0.19), and a slight decrease in aggressive end-of-life care (59.2% in 2000 to 56.7% in 2013, Ptrend =0.01).
Patients who were transfusion-dependent, on dialysis, or survived for less than one year were more likely to enroll late in hospice and experience aggressive medical care at the end of life. Gains in hospice use for myeloma decedents were not accompanied by increases in late enrollment or aggressive medical care. These findings suggest meaningful improvements in end-of-life care for this population…”