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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The issue of multiple myeloma side effects is hidden in plain sight. What would happen if after your oncologist told you that you had multiple myeloma, he/she said “and by the way, your toxic therapies will cause short, long-term and late stage side effects that can make your life miserable and may even kill you?”
It is well-established that chemotherapy and radiation cause:
And it is the system-wide problems caused by DNA damage, senescence and inflammation that are at the root of every side-effect experienced by multiple myeloma patients.
In fact, one of the best kept secrets of conventional oncology is that while chemotherapy and radiation kill cancer, chemotherapy and radiation also promote the relapse of that cancer. (read more 4, 5)
I am both a long-term myeloma survivor but one who suffers from more than a dozen serious side effects resulting from aggressive conventional therapies. No oncologist ever warned their newly diagnosed patient about possible serious side effects much less mentioned evidence-based therapies shown to reduce or prevent those side effects.
The conventional or traditional approach to myeloma treatment is:
None of these conventional topics mention short, long-term or late stage side effects. None.
Years after my FDA approved, standard-of-care myeloma therapies, I am more likely to die from my side effects than I am to die of multiple myeloma.
And no, those therapies did not put me into complete remission. I do not attribute my long-term survival to conventional therapies. That’s another post.
In my experience, there are three classes of multiple myeloma side effects.
Though short-term side effects are important and can be managed, this post will focus on life changing/life ending long-term side effects from toxic myeloma therapies- chemotherapy and radiation.
No one ever died from chemo brain or peripheral neuropathy. But talk to a patient who suffers from these well-documented side effects and ask them how their life has been affected by this side effect. You might hear that old cancer saying “the cure is worse than the disease.”
Like all side effects the challenge is to identify each as early as possible and to also identify possible therapies- both conventional and evidence-based non-conventional therapies. In other words, managing your side effects are every bit as important as managing your incurable blood cancer.
For example, I figured out I was suffering from chemo brain a few years after my autologous stem cell transplant.
I decided that my chemo brain should be treated like brain damage. So I decided to pursue every type of brain health therapy I could research- exercise, brain games, nutritional supplementation, etc.
While I don’t believe my brain health is that of a young person (I just turned 64), I will say that my chemo brain has largely healed. I don’t experience any of the memory loss, difficulty multitasking, lack of facial recognition, etc. that I did back in the early 2000’s.
According to research, the top 5 most common causes of death to myeloma patients are listed below.
Unfortunately this study does not specify if toxicity is involved in any way in the deaths from multiple myeloma . By this I mean that multiple myeloma can be recorded as the formal cause of death, but kidney damage can contribute to the survivor’s death. And chemotherapy can cause as much kidney damage as myeloma can.
This is what I mean when I say that side effects are hidden in plain sight.
What the above linked study does say is that a higher percentage of myeloma survivors die following an autologous stem cell transplant than myeloma patient who don’t.
The three main issues are that:
Are you a newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patient? Are you suffering from side effects caused by your chemotherapy and/or radiation?