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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 Maintenance- Revlimid, Essiac Tea, Explanatory Style-

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Essiac demonstrated antioxidant (12) and cytotoxic properties in vitro (6) (11), but stimulated growth of human breast cancer cells both via estrogen receptor (ER)-dependent and ER-independent pathways (3).

Dear Cancer Coach- I wanted your opinion about essiac tea, please. I am presently on Revlimid and Dex for my multiple myeloma maintenance with Bactrim thrown in a couple times a week to make sure I don’t get Shingles.  I also take a baby aspirin daily.  That’s about it.  My MM has been very stable…moves around a little.  I did develop a second spot spike and it’s at .24 g/dl and holding.  My first spike is holding at about .33 g/dl.  However, my light chains bounce around a bit.  My Kappa is at 2.32 mg/dl, lambdaat .8960 mg/dl.  And ratio is 2.59 mg/dl.
My oncologist isn’t very concerned about the kappa/lambda issue as he says I don’t have light chain MM.  He watches for spikes in my M protein mostly and then also keeps an eye on kidney and liver functions etc.  Those are OK for now.
Lately I have felt the old familiar pain in my torso area beneath my bra line.  This is where I was experiencing pain when I was first diagnosed and at that time it was rather intense and painful (among other places).
I am no where near that level now but am concerned.  I also have some low back pain that I hadn’t had in quite a while.  And, I have some shoulder area pain.  I think this all has to do with my MM but oncologist says it is nothing to be concerned about.  Blood will tell us when something is needing addressing.
I have always listened to my body and thus this isn’t sitting too well with me, but I realize I could be over responding to this also.
What do you make of this and should I be alarmed and do something more…like get a second opinion?  Overall my numbers look pretty good.The oncologist would be OK with me going bck on Zometa which he says helps the pain situation.
Not sure what to do re: this.  I have residual nueeropathy in my feet a wee bit in my fingers.  Neither is super bad but it remains even though I am not presently in Velcade.  Oncologist has talked about putting me on Ninlaro in place of the Velcade if we have to add anything due to that second spike.
Lastly, I was given some essiac tea to try and am wondering if you have had an experience with that?  This was an early natural remedy used to treat cancer in Canada.  The nurse who used it also was a researcher and kept copious notes and says some people were cured through the use of this old indian herbal supplement.  A side affect of this is loose stools and Revlimid also provides enough “relief” in that dept!  So just wondering if you have experienced this supplement/tea or heard from anyone who has?  Thank you.  Marilyn

Hi Marilyn-   Good to read that your MM is stable. I think “spot spikes” are normal. It is the “trend” that is the important thing. Your light chains appear low and can vary so long as they don’t trend upward too high.
Regarding the paragraph where you describe your pain. My view of the entire paragraph is exactly what is discussed in the mind-body guide. The paragraph is an example of your “explanatory style.” I have to explain to myself if I ever get out of bed some morning with lower back pain (I presented with MM originally in my lower back). “Not sitting too well” but “I may be over responding…”
You can always get a second opinion. Or you can always have some form of imaging study done.  However, I don’t see what a different opinion will tell you that you don’t already know. You can treat or not. If your m-spike is low then treating may expose you to toxicity that isn’t necessary. As you know, your low m-spike is telling you that there is a small amount of MM running around inside you. Your choice is to weigh the damage caused by toxic therapies or the damage caused by MM.
Yes, pain is difficult. Yes, we both run the risk of over-thinking or worrying about pain too much. But at the end of the day all MMers have to rely on 1) diagnostic testing and 2) our oncologists. It may be difficult but if your blood work indicates that you are stable then there is little for you to do.
Which brings me to your question about Rene Caisse and essiac tea. I know a bit about essiac teaas an anti-cancer therapy. The good news is that as far as I have read, essiac tea has antioxidant and can be antiproliferative to cancer cells.   On the other hand, my understanding is that this therapy is relatively low-level. It is difficult to promote a therapy without solid clinical research.  Like any of the possible complementary therapies that we MMers can pursue exercise, nutrition, supplementation, detox, etc. are all good and beneficial. You appear to be living all forms of MM therapy- conventional, complementary, mind-body and nutritional.

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


I hope this help. Thanks.
David Emerson
  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

“The exact composition of Essiac tea is unclear, but it reportedly contains burdock (Arctium lappa), sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella), slippery elm bark (Ulmus rubra), and Indian rhubarb (Rheum officinale) or turkey rhubarb (Rheum palmatum).[3] Some formulations may also contain watercress, blessed thistle, red clover, and kelp.[4]…”

“Essiac tea was developed in the 1920s by Rene Caisse, a Canadian nurse, and promoted as an alternative cancer treatment. It is a formulation of four botanicals: burdock root, sheep sorrel root, slippery elm bark, and rhubarb root (1) (2).Essiac demonstrated antioxidant (12) and cytotoxic properties in vitro (6) (11), but stimulated growth of human breast cancer cells both via estrogen receptor (ER)-dependent and ER-independent pathways (3). Studies of its antiproliferative effects on prostate cancer cells also yielded conflicting data (7) (8). Remission of hormone-refractory prostate cancer was reported in a patient (9), but a retrospective study of breast cancer patients found that Essiac did not improve quality of life or mood (10).

Despite unsubstantiated claims (5), Essiac tea remains a popular anticancer therapy…”

Leave a Comment:

Nadiah says 3 years ago

Hi David,

My mother has just been diagnosed with symptomatic MM at age 65. Her treatment plan will be oral medication and weekly injections for 4 months followed by a stem cell transplant. We are based in Australia. How can I get access to this program please? Thank you so much.

    David Emerson says 3 years ago

    Hi Nadiah,

    I am sorry to read of your mother’s MM diagnosis. Before you decide on either her therapy plan going forward or your membership in the MM Cancer Coaching Program, would
    it be okay for me to ask you a couple of questions about your mom and her situation?

    “Oral medication and weekly injections for 4 months” sounds like the standard therapy of RVD or revlimid, velcade, dexamethasone. This is an excellent first step to stabilize your mom at this point.

    Do you know her stage at diagnosis?
    Is your mom experiencing any symptoms? Fatigue? Bone pain/fractures? Kidney problems?
    Do you know or have any of her diagnostic results? Do you know her m-spike aka monoclonal proteins?

    I don’t mean to sound nosey. The amount of chemotherapy that your mom has will definitely affect her quality and length of life going forward.

    If you can give me some insight into your mom’s MM situation, I can tell you what aspects of conventional oncology as well as the MM CC program will apply to her treatment going forward.

    Let me know thanks.

    Hang in there,

    David Emerson

Dawna Hutchinson says 3 years ago

Please send me information on multiple myeloma

    David Emerson says 3 years ago

    Hi Dawna-

    I will be able to send you more helpful MM information if you can tell me more about your situation-

    Do you or a loved one have symptoms (bone pain, fatigue, etc.)?
    Have you been staged? If so, what stage at diagnosis?
    Do you have any organ damage? Kidney, bone, etc?

    Let me know, thanks and hang in there,

    David Emerson

Norma Rutledge says 3 years ago

I have multiple myeloma for 9years, I would like to know if Essiac tonic will help with this mm
it will clean the liver and blood

    David Emerson says 3 years ago

    Hi Norma-

    I have no personal experience with either essiac tea or essiac tonic. My research of each has turned up little about each as cancer therapies and none about liver, blood cleansing. I take milk thistle to cleanse my liver and detox regularly with sauna.

    As MM therapies however, I include anti-angiogenic foods and spices into my daily diet as well as supplement daily with anti-oxidant/anti-angiogenic supplements.


    David Emerson

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