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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-“Your Brain after Chemo” aka Chemobrain

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I began experiencing the symptoms of Post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment aka chemobrain in the years that followed my conventional therapies for multiple myeloma

I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in early 1994. I underwent induction therapy in the spring of ’95 and had an autologous stem cell transplant aka high-dose chemotherapy, in 12/95. I began experiencing the symptoms of Post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment aka chemobrain in the years that followed my conventional therapies. Managing my “incurable” cancer, short, long-term and late stage side effects since 1994 has led me to cancer coaching through PeopleBeatingCancer.org.

“Your Brain After Chemo” is an excellent blog for those survivors looking for information about the side effect called “chemobrain” or “chemofog.”

I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. I work with cancer patients on a range of cancer-related issues. Do you have chemobrain? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Multiple Myeloma Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


Welcome to My Blog Idelle Davidson is an award-winning journalist, a breast cancer survivor, and a recipient of the Cancer Support Community’s (West L.A. Chapter) 2009 Pillar of Strength Award.

Blog post below are helpful for those of us hoping to understand this frustrating side effect better-




Chemobrain Healing Nutrition

Can what you eat, can nutrition help to heal side effects such as chemobrain? The research linked below is not definitive on the issue. But living with chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction aka chemobrain since 1999 has taught me that:

  • Nutrition, 
  • Supplementation, 
  • Lifestyle Therapies and 
  • Brain Games

can improve chemobrain dramatically.

I was diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer called multiple myeloma in early 1994. I underwent aggressive chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplant. If you had seen me walk out of the Hospital after my ASCT in December of 1995 you would have said I was 100% back to normal, aka healthy.

Short term side effects such as alopecia and nausea are just that-short term. It is long-term side effects such as

  • chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction 
  • chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy 
  • chemotherapy-induced Cardiomyopathy and 
  • avascular necrosis 

that are long-term and late stage adverse events that are much more serious and can negatively impact your quality of life forever.

The research linked below points to nutrition to possibly health my chemobrain. My point however, is that non-conventional therapies such as nutrition can help chemobrain survivors heal their cognitive dysfunction.

Scroll down the page, post a comment or question if you’d like to learn more about evidence-based, non-toxic therapies.

Thanks and hang in there,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Nutrition Tips for “Chemo Brain”

“Food & Nutrients for Brain Health

There is currently no consensus on any particular diet or nutrition strategy that has been proven to improve brain health. However, we know that there are several delicious foods that deliver nutrients that are impor­tant for brain function.

1. Fish and seafood. Fish, especially salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines, are full of healthy fats that are essential for brain health. Although research has focused on the omega-3 fats in fish, many other nutrients are beneficial to health that are available in fish, including protein, B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, and potassium. I typically recommend to people with cancer to eat fish at least 2 times a week.

2. Nuts. Another great source of healthy fats are nuts. Many people ask me which nuts are best for health. There is no wrong answer here, because all nuts are good for you. I suggest choosing a variety of nuts, and selecting the ones that suit your taste and budget. Nuts provide plant proteins, as well as fiber, B vitamins, calcium, iron, and antioxidants. In addition, they don’t require any preparation. Just grab them and enjoy.

3. Avocado. Avocados have become quite popular recently, being named the hipster’s favorite food! But avocados have always been delicious and full of healthy fats, as well as other important nutrients. Most of the fat in avocados is monounsatur­ated fat, which is the best type of fat, and people should get more of it…

4. Oils/fats. Many of my patients are confused about which oils to use. For brain and heart health, we focus on omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats. The oils that provide the best sources of these fats include olive oil, peanut oil, and canola oil. However, any oil (including vegetable oil) that is liquid at room temperature, is mainly unsaturated fat.

Saturated fats, such as butter and coconut oil, are solid at room temperature. These are the types of oils people should eat less of; these fats have important functions in things like baking, but not in brain health.

Many people ask my opinion about coconut oil, and I typically recommend that coconut oil can be a fine alternative to butter, but it’s not a good idea to switch from olive oil to coconut oil. The reason is that olive oil is monounsaturated (the good fat) and coconut oil is saturated fat (that should be eaten less of). And I definitely don’t consider coconut oil to be a “health food.”

5. Fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are a very broad food category, but they are extremely important in optimizing your nutrition, especially when it comes to brain health and to eating an anti-inflammatory diet pattern.

By consuming a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, you will be sure to get several antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are essential for promoting healthy tissue.

Some of the most researched food categories are cruciferous vegetables (broccoli family), berries, soy-based foods, leafy vegetables, and beans or legumes…”

Friday Fix: Can Mind-boosting Foods Help Chemo Brain?

“For everyone who has walked into a room and forgotten why they went in – we know that brain fog can be a normal occurrence. For cancer patients being treated with chemotherapy, brain fog – or chemo brain – can interrupt daily activities and be frustrating.

To learn whether patients can do something to help chemo brain – or delay age-related cognitive decline in people who are not on treatment …

The American Cancer Society provides helpful coping strategies for chemo brain and suggests increased vegetable consumption, as this may be linked to maintaining brain health with aging.

“Interestingly, there is now more research looking at the role of diet in preventing or delaying disease-related or age-related cognitive decline,” Jeannine said. “Studies are also looking at a combination of interventions including diet, exercise and cognitive training.”

Jeannine points out that it’s still unclear if it’s your diet that directly supports brain health – it may be more so that diet is staving off other diseases, like heart disease which may also affect brain health. Other research is looking at gut microbiome, or flora, and its connection to brain health, and there are several current studies that examine the role exercise may have in improving brain function among cancer survivors…

The MIND diet is one – it combines both the Mediterranean diet (healthy foods and traditional flavors from the Mediterranean) as well as the DASH diet (portion control mixed with healthy foods). The DASH diet has been shown to lower high blood pressure, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Though the MIND diet was strongly associated with slower cognitive decline, this is based on observational studies and further studies need to confirm this effect, Jeannine said.

The Mediterranean diet, MIND diet and DASH diet have many foods in common, some of which you’re already including in your daily meals. The diets emphasize fruits, vegetables (to include green leafy vegetables: kale, collards greens and spinach in tossed salads), whole grains, legumes, fish, nuts, unsaturated fats like olive oil, and low amounts of red meat and sweets or refined sugars.

The MIND diet specifically encourages people to eat from these 10 healthy food groups: leafy green vegetables, a variety of all other vegetables, berries, whole grain, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, wine and olive oil.

As to whether mind-boosting foods like these can help chemo brain, more studies need to be done. But bottom line – eating healthy is a plus, any way you slice it…”

Clearing the fog: a review of the effects of dietary omega-3 fatty acids and added sugars on chemotherapy-induced cognitive deficits

“Mechanisms underlying these cognitive impairments are not fully understood, but emerging evidence suggests that chemotherapy induces structural changes in the brain, produces neuroinflammation, and reduces adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

Dietary approaches that modify inflammation and neurogenesis are promising strategies for reducing chemotherapy-induced cognitive deficits…

…we focus on the often opposing actions of omega-3 fatty acids and added sugars on cognitive function, neuroinflammation, and adult hippocampal neurogenesis….

We propose that a diet rich in long-chain, marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids and low in added sugars may be an ideal pattern for preventing or alleviating neuroinflammation and oxidative stress…

Cognitive impairments associated with chemotherapy are well documented, and can significantly compromise quality of life. Evidence suggests that chemotherapy influences cognition through reductions in hippocampal neurogenesis and neuroinflammation, which affect memory and cognitive function.

This review highlights dietary modifications that may have the potential to protect against or ameliorate some of the negative cognitive side effects so commonly associated with chemotherapy treatment.

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