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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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Multiple Myeloma Chemotherapy- Late Stage Chemobrain?

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“These findings parallel observations in studies of (multiple myeloma) survivors with cognitive difficulties (chemobrain). MRI scans of these patients’ brains revealed a condition similar to leukoencephalopathy.”

After more than 25 years, a side effect of my multiple myeloma chemotherapy aka high-dose autologous stem cell transplant called chemobrain, chemo-fog, or “Post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, is coming into focus.

While more than 80% of cancer patients encounter short-term memory loss during active therapy, according to the study linked below, their chemobrain usually heals.

Unfortunately, “a subset of patients, particularly those who have been administered high doses of chemotherapy, begin to experience these cognitive side effects months or longer after treatment has ceased and the drugs have long since departed their systems.” 

I did not undergo the chemotherapy drug called 5-FU, discussed below. I am a long-term survivor of a blood cancer called multiple myeloma (MM)- I am not a survivor of one of the cancers mentioned in the study linked below.

However, I do believe that one or more of my high-dose MM chemotherapy regimens acted in a similar fashion to 5-FU.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that my conventional MM treatments cause a variety of short, long-term and late stage side effects. I’m posting and writing about the study linked below because research has identified why some MM survivors develop chemobrain long after they’ve finished chemotherapy administration.

Further, up until now, I’ve read study after study dismissing chemobrain as a short-term side effect of MM chemotherapy treatment that goes away a few short months after one’s chemotherapy has concluded.

As a long-term survivor of an “incurable” cancer, multiple myeloma,  whose chemo regimens did little for me other than create a series of debilitating health challenges, my problem is with a team of conventional oncologists who prescribe a host of therapies that damaged me more than my cancer did.

The study below documents how my oncologists simply didn’t know what they were doing.

To add insult to injury, they charged me hundreds of thousands of dollars for the therapies…

The issue for the newly-diagnosed MM patient reading this, is to propose possible therapies to minimize or even prevent chemobrain. While there is limited research into the issue, I believe that nutritional and supplemented antioxidants can benefit newly diagnosed cancer patients. 

Specifically, I supplement with omega-3 fatty acids in an effort to maintain and heal my own myelin sheaths. Research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids can heal damaged myelin sheaths.  

Further, I exercise daily, detox, and play brain games daily. I believe that my chemobrain symptoms have improved significantly since I first began experiencing them in the late ’90’s.

Have you been diagnosed with multiple myeloma? What therapies are you considering? Scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Researchers Detail Chemotherapy’s Damage to the Brain

“A commonly used chemotherapy drug causes healthy brain cells to die off long after treatment has ended and may be one of the underlying biological causes of the cognitive side effects – or “chemo brain” – that many cancer patients experience. That is the conclusion of a study published today in the Journal of Biology

This study is the first model of a delayed degeneration syndrome that involves a global disruption of the myelin-forming cells that are essential for normal neuronal function“ …Because of our growing knowledge of stem cells and their biology, we can now begin to understand and define the molecular mechanisms behind the cognitive difficulties that linger and worsen in a significant number of cancer patients.”

Cancer patients have long complained of neurological side effects such as short-term memory loss and, in extreme cases, seizures, vision loss, and even dementia. Until very recently, these cognitive side effects were often dismissed as the byproduct of fatigue, depression, and anxiety related to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Now a growing body of evidence has documented the scope of these conditions, collectively referred to as chemo brain. And while it is increasingly acknowledged by the scientific community that many chemotherapy agents may have a negative impact on brain function in a subset of cancer patients, the precise mechanisms that underlie this dysfunction have not been identified…

While these effects tend to wear off over time, a subset of patients, particularly those who have been administered high doses of chemotherapy, begin to experience these cognitive side effects months or longer after treatment has ceased and the drugs have long since departed their systems. For example, a recent study estimates that somewhere between 15 percent and 20 percent of the nation’s 2.4 million female breast cancer survivors have lingering cognitive problems years after treatment..

5-FU is among a class of drugs called antimetabolites that block cell division and has been used in cancer treatment for more than 40 years. The drug, which is often administered in a “cocktail” with other chemotherapy drugs, is currently used to treat breast, ovarian, stomach, colon, pancreatic and other forms of cancer

The researchers discovered that months after exposure, specific populations of cells in the central nervous – oligodendrocytes and dividing precursor cells from which they are generated – underwent such extensive damage that, after six months, these cells had all but disappeared in the mice

These findings parallel observations in studies of cancer survivors with cognitive difficulties. MRI scans of these patients’ brains revealed a condition similar to leukoencephalopathy. This demyelination – or the loss of white matter – can be associated with multiple neurological problems

“It is clear that, in some patients, chemotherapy appears to trigger a degenerative condition in the central nervous system,” said Noble. “Because these treatments will clearly remain the standard of care for many years to come, it is critical that we understand their precise impact on the central nervous system, and then use this knowledge as the basis for discovering means of preventing such side effects.”

Noble points out that not all cancer patients experience these cognitive difficulties and determining why some patients are more vulnerable may be an important step in developing new ways to prevent these side effects…”


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