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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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Myeloma – Bisphosphonate vs. Supplements

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Dear Cancer Coach- We spoke last year. I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma almost 2 years ago and my blood and marrow show Minimal Residual Disease (MRD)- thank God.

I underwent induction previously for my multiple myeloma therapy. I have reached MRD status. Here is my question: My Labs show minimal residual disease (MRD). Because my myeloma is being controlled, I would like to avoid bisphosphonates and take bone building supplements instead. Do you have any experience with this?

I continue to take low-dose Revlimid maintenance therapy (25 mg 3x per week) and low dose aspirin.
Also taking lots of supplements, especially for bones.
And a few more…Also, a variety of essential oils rubbed on my spine.
Most importantly I maintain my optimism and do EFT Tapping and other energy options when I need to.  (In my experience healing comes to those who heal their emotional stuff.)
I would appreciate hearing from you about declining bisphosphinates, either by phone or email.
Thanks so much for the work you do. Julie

Hi Julie-
I am glad to read that you have reached minimal residual disease aka MRD status after your induction therapy. That is excellent news.
To answer your question, yes, I have experience with both bisphosphonate therapy as well as non-toxic bone health supplementation. I underwent bis. therapy when I was first diagnosed with MM in ’94.  As far as I know, everything went well. No side effects, no bone damage.
I have taken bone strengthening supplements for years. Further, I exercise moderately but frequently. In other words, I practice non-toxic bone health therapies pretty much daily. My list of bone health supplements listed in the MM Cancer Coaching Bone Health Guide overlaps your list of supplements.
The short answers to your question about taking bisphosphonate therapy is:
  • My personal feeling is that your need to undergo bone health therapies depends on any/all bone damage that you have sustained from MM- in other words, how strong are your bones currently?
  • You are the patient and final say to what therapies you undergo- your oncologist can only make recommendations. 
Further,  I will say that:
  • low dose maintenance Revlimid
  • vitamin K2 and
  • fucoidan
All exhibit anti-MM action. Your lifestyle appears to be both bone strengthening as well as cytotoxic to MM.
I am cautious about any MMer undergoing any toxicity for almost any reason. Because low-dose maintenance Revlimid has been shown to increase OS (length of life) undergoing this toxicity is for a reason.  I see no reason to add any toxicity if you are strengthening your bones through nutrition, supplementation, exercise, etc.
Lastly, I agree with your thinking about mind-body health.

Please watch the video below to learn more about the evidence-based, integrative therapies to combat treatment side effects and enhance your chemotherapy.

Bisphosphonate therapy is routinely recommended by MM oncologists. This is part of the standard-of-care for all newly diagnosed MM patients. There is nothing magic about bisphosphonates.
Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.
David Emerson
  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

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