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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Is living with and surviving an incurable cancer like multiple myeloma (MM) a good thing or a bad thing? Are radiation tattoos positive or negative mind-body therapy?
I was diagnosed with MM in early 1994. I live with many long-term and late stage side effects from my conventional MM therapies from my original diagnosis through the next several years.
I have a radiation tattoo on my neck. The dots are a few inches from the scar I received from the surgery to remove my cancer lesion- the original multiple myeloma marker.
I didn’t think much about this tattoo until a friend of mine asked me about it a few years ago. “What are those dots on your neck?” asked Matt.
At first, I didn’t know what Matt was looking at. And then it came to me. “The marks are a radiation tattoo.” I said. I realized that I felt, well, sort of proud. The look on Matt’s face told me that he felt embarrassed asking me about my cancer.
I didn’t really understand what I was feeling at the time. I later decided that I was proud to tell Matt and a group of my high school classmates that I had a permanent marker given to me by the radiation tech. the day of my first radiation treatment. It’s taken me years to get here but I now feel as though living with an “incurable cancer” makes me feel proud that I have beaten the odds.
Don’t misunderstand, I live in fear of a relapse or a secondary cancer. I struggle daily with the many side effects from my original aggressive conventional therapy. I also struggle daily with the fact that this aggressive conventional therapy didn’t help. It only hurt. But that’s the subject of another blog post.
I understand that there are cancer survivors out there who might prefer to have an invisible tattoo. Looking in the mirror and seeing a reminder of your cancer can be difficult for survivors- negative mind-body therapy.
However, please consider adopting the view of MM survivorship that your experiences, your scars, tattoos, everything- may be positive mind-body therapy.
Yes, you must learn to manage your MM both mentally and physically. But remember Friedrich Nietzsche’s saying “that which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
To learn more about coping strategies or other mind-body therapy to manage multiple myeloma, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
“During your radiotherapy planning session, your radiographer (sometimes called a radiotherapist) might make between 1 to 5 permanent pin point tattoo marks on your skin. For some types of radiotherapy, for example, electron treatments, you won’t have tattoo marks.
Your radiographer uses the tattoos to line up the radiotherapy machine for each treatment. This makes sure that they treat exactly the same area each time…”
“The skin markings are needed to ensure that radiation therapy is given in the exact same spot during each treatment session. However, previous research has found that the permanent tattoos remind breast cancer patients of their disease for years after treatment, lowering levels of body confidence and self-esteem…”
“…As a 20 plus year survivor of an incurable cancer, multiple myeloma, I would like to offer 3 statements that convey a different approach from the statement above and I would like to link a cancer survivor’s blog post below…”
“…Most people suspect that the mind plays a role in cancer care but the problem has always been that medical science refuses to study and understand this role. Cancer patients, survivors and caregivers are left to their own thoughts and feelings about how their mind might play a role in their cancer care….”
Do you have a radiation tattoo?
Do you want people to define you by your cancer?
Do you want your radiation tattoo to define you?