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Smoldering Myeloma- Raw Food Diet?

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Dear David- I have was diagnosed with Smoldering Myeloma (SMM). I did not want chemo, or radiation, or a bone marrow transplant. I started eating a mostly raw food diet instead.

I had a couple blood tests since and my MM was being controlled with my counts slowly heading in the right direction. The oncologist was encouraged by my blood counts and said he wanted to see me again in 6 months.

Then I had a very stressful three months with lots of problems in which I did not stick as strictly to a raw food diet as I did previously. I also injured my back at work, which was very painful and added to my stress. It was taking weeks to heal.

This injury made me consult my doctor. That led to X-rays, and another blood test. My numbers were much worse than in the previous two blood tests.

Some of my numbers, which were already higher than normal, actually doubled! I have an appointment to meet with my oncologist in a few days.

I expect him to tell me I must now get chemo, and other traditional therapies, or I will die.

I wonder if it is too late for me to turn things around holistically if I am willing to be more stringent with a natural cancer-fighting raw food diet? NDSMM patient

Dear NDSMM patient-

I am sorry to learn of your smoldering myeloma diagnosis. Several things to consider.
As you probably know, smoldering myeloma is a term for pre-cancer, pre-myeloma, not full MM. It can be normal to have relatively normal blood and urine numbers but still have bone involvement. My guess is that your back pain was a myeloma lesion in your spine- (a small collection of plasma cells).
Depending on your other diagnostic testing, you can undergo local radiation to the specific site of the lesion, perhaps undergo a procedure called kyphoplasty, and not undergo chemotherapy.
A diagnostic number can increase without it being too serious. For example, if your monoclonal protein (m-spike) increases from .5 to 1.0, you are still considered to be pre-myeloma. A diagnosis of myeloma is an m-spike of 3.0- if you are in Canada and Europe, your unit of measurement puts that at 30.
I do not want to give you a false sense of hope. Other diagnostic numbers of yours may have increased and may be causing challenges for you as well. For example, if your lambda freelight chains have increased they may be causing kidney problems.
The important thing for you to understand is that even if you progress from SMM to a MM diagnosis, you are early stage myeloma, meaning myeloma stage 1. This means your prognosis is much better than the usual newly diagnosed myeloma patient. 
As for your question to “turning things around” I would encourage you to continue with a diet and lifestyle that includes-
  • exercise,
  • sleep,
  • good nutrition (lots of fruits and veggies),
  • no tobacco,
  • little alcohol, and
  • specific nutritional supplementation
shown to be anti-angiogenic or apoptotic to monoclonal proteins.
I will send you the MM Cancer Coaching course nutrition guide below. Please watch the Ted Talk given by Dr. Bill Li to learn about anti-angiogenesis.
This “holistic” lifestyle, as you say, will pre-habilitate you (see the article linked below) in effect enhancing your response if you do have chemo and keep you in shape as a myeloma journey can tax the human body.
Lastly, a diagnosis of myeloma stage 1 is early and may not require the “standard-of-care” induction and stem cell transplant that is often pushed by oncology. My guess is that you are relatively young- under the age of 60?
I mention this because if you are in your fifties, you goals may be to live a quality life for decades to come. If this is the case, I encourage you to read and consider a low-dose approach to your future therapies.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Good luck,
David Emerson
  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Cancer prehabilitation—a short review

“Cancer prehabilitation uses the pretreatment time period to prevent a treatment-related functional decline and its subsequent consequences, and therefore occurs between the time of cancer diagnosis and the beginning of acute cancer treatment.

This intervention has been shown to improve

  • functional status,
  • physical and psychological health outcomes and
  • decrease overall health care costs-

Currently there are several unimodal and one multimodal cancer prehabilitation regimens. Unimodal cancer prehabilitation includes exercise only, and multimodal cancer prehabilitation regimens are combinations of different interventions such as exercise, patient information and education, nutrition, psychologic counseling such as psycho-oncology, smoking cessation and reduction of alcohol consumption.

Both approaches have the goal to improve physical capacity and mental health and to enable cancer patients to cope with the upcoming stress of the specific cancer-related treatment they need.

Furthermore, cancer prehabilitation can support cancer patients to better participate in cancer rehabilitation after cancer treatment and maintain their ability to engage in premorbid activities. A growing body of scientific evidence confirms the importance of cancer prehabilitation…”

Dietary intake is associated with risk of multiple myeloma and its precursor disease

“To conclude, in this population-based screening study we found that high intake of fruit during the adolescent period and whole wheat bread during the midlife period may reduce the risk of MGUS later in life and that high fruit intake in late life may reduce the risk of progressing from MGUS/LC-MGUS to MM. Our findings suggest that food intake might alter the risk of developing MGUS and progressing to MM…”

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Kathryn Guillaum says last year


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