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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Unfortunately, there are few if any studies that draw a clear line from stress to multiple myeloma. More than likely my diagnosis of multiple myeloma was caused by working in a commercial printing plant from ’88-’94.
The NYT article linked and excerpted below cites a study that shows how stress can increase inflammation, a known cause of cancer. Many of the evidence-based therapies in MM cancer coaching such as supplementation (antioxidants), nutrition, lifestyle, detoxification and even mind-body therapies have been shown to reduce inflammation. In my experience, myeloma requires a combination conventional and non-conventional therapies.
Further, the article “Can Stress Cause Cancer” does a good job of explaining what we mean when we talk about stress- Acute? Chronic? I will say that once we have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, we need to do everything we can to reduce all forms of stress in our lives.
I was diagnosed with pre-MM in early 1994, developed full-blown MM almost exactly a year later. Ten months later signed the papers selling my business. I did signed papers the week before I entered the hospital to have an autologous stem cell transplant.
Though I loved my job, it caused me a great deal of stress. No business, no stress…
Can reducing stress and inflammation reduce your risk of myeloma relapse?
I am both a long-term MM survivor and MM cancer coach. I have remained in complete remission from my MM since early 1999.
“Stress may counteract the beneficial effects of a healthful diet, a study in Molecular Psychiatry suggests.
The study, a double-blinded randomized trial, looked at 58 women who first ate a meal high in saturated fats, the kind found in meat and butter. Then, one to two weeks later, the women ate a meal low in saturated fats. The only difference between the meals was in the ratio of saturated fats to unsaturated. In all other respects — the number of calories, types of food, and amounts of fat, carbohydrate, and protein — they were identical.
Before each meal, the women completed several well-validated questionnaires assessing symptoms of depression over the past week and the number of daily stressors in the past 24 hours. Researchers took blood samples before and after each meal.
Among women who had low levels of stress, markers of inflammation tended to be higher after eating the meal containing high levels of saturated fat than after the low saturated fat meal.
But for women who had high levels of stress, those differences disappeared — they had high levels of inflammation even after the meal that was low in saturated fats.
“The surprise here is that stress made the healthier-fat meal look like the saturated-fat meal,” said the lead author, Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, a professor of psychiatry at Ohio State University. “Stress is doing things with the metabolism that we really didn’t know about before.”
While an irritable bladder is the heart of my sleep issues, the real mind stressor that I live with is the threat of either a relapse of multiple myeloma, or a treatment related secondary cancer
While an irritable bladder is the heart of my sleep issues, the real mind stressor that I live with is the threat of either a relapse of my own cancer, multiple myeloma, or a treatment related secondary CA. Treatment related secondary cancers are the sixth most common cancers in the U.S. today.
Living with uncertainty of any kind is challenging at best, and since I have neither the working knowledge of how to make a good martini nor the belief that such a remedy would work to my body’s benefit, I turn to holistic supplements sometimes to help me sleep. Melatonin, inositol, a Vitamin B complex, is very helpful for calming panic attacks, stress related anxiety, and general restlessness. Getting rid of stress is impossible. We all live complicated lives with little hope for seeing into the future, but a night’s sleep respite from worry is good for the body, the mind, and the soul.
An additional helpful exercise is the Emotional Freedom Technique– a part of acupressure therapy. By stimulating different points on the body, stressful energy is released. I have found it exceptionally helpful, especially when my anxiety clouds my judgement.
“Objective- to describe fatigue, sleep, pain, mood and performance status and the relationships among these variables in 187 patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM) and conduct an analysis using the correlates of fatigue…
Results- Patients newly diagnosed with MM presented with fatigue, pain, sleep and mood disturbances, and diminished functional performance. The regression model, which included all of these variables along with age, gender and stage of disease, was statistically significant with a large measure of effect. Mood was a significant individual contributor to the model.
Conclusions- Among patients with MM, fatigue, pain, sleep, mood and functional performance are interrelated.
The Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is the psychological acupressure technique I routinely use in my practice and most highly recommend to optimize your emotional health. Although it is still often overlooked, emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing – no matter how devoted you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body’s ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way.
“The biggest obstacle for the women at the retreat was not the willpower to get healthier, nor was it holding a vision of our future selves. What overwhelmed us all was clearing the trauma from less than a month before. We could, after all, still see the plume from the World Trade Towers from the retreat location and there may have even been a hint of the acrid smell of the devastation that was more real than imagined…
Now about tapping for sleep….
One of the more common problems I hear from adults when it comes to getting to sleep is what EFT expert Georgina Noel describes as “busy brain syndrome”. We’ve all experienced it. We haven’t cleared enough space in our day for a peaceful, intentional bedtime ritual that helps us transition to sleep. Or we wake up in the middle of the night after one of our REM (rapid eye movement) cycles and can’t get back to sleep because of our mind is going over an event from the day…
What about waking up in the middle of the night?
We all have those moments when we obsess about how much sleep we’re missing. Experts suggest we get out of bed rather than toss and turn so that the bed is a positive cue that it’s time to sleep.
When this occurs, just tap. You don’t have to know what you’re tapping for, you can simply breathe and tap. If you’re concerned that tapping will wake you up even more because it’s too active, you can imagine you’re tapping. Either visualize it or – if you’re a kinesthetic person, imagine how it feels to tap on the sequence of points…”