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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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Surviving Multiple Myeloma But w/ PTSD? Mind-Body Therapy

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“There needs to be greater awareness that there is nothing wrong with getting help (mind-body therapy) to manage the emotional upheaval — particularly depression, anxiety, and PTSD — post-cancer.”

Conventional oncology focuses on the multiple myeloma (MM) patient’s body. As a long-term MM survivor, I can tell you that many of us cancer survivors need therapies for our mind as well. A wonderful example of this is a long-term side effect of mine- post-traumatic stress disorder aka PTSD. According to the studies linked below, mind-body therapy can help.

For the record, I don’t think my PTSD is as serious as a returning veteran’s PTSD. We have very different experiences. However, it is traumatic to face and live with incurable cancer. Once we have endured high-dose aggressive therapy such as an autologous stem cell transplant we must live with the fear of both a relapse of our original cancer as well as the real prospect of a treatment-related secondary cancer.

The good news is that there is a host of evidence-based mind-body therapies that have been shown to help our brains heal. Here is my evidence-based collection of mind-body therapies for the cancer survivor.

In addition, here is a link to a cancer survivor’s website about PTSD. Though I have never met Steve Pake, I can relate to his writings about PTSD.

Are you a cancer survivor? Do you have Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? 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:

Quality of life and mood predicts post-traumatic stress disorder after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

“During hospitalization for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), patients experience a steep deterioration in quality of life (QOL) and mood. The impact of this deterioration on patients’ post-HCT QOL and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms is unknown…

In this study, we demonstrate that a significant proportion of patients undergoing HCT report PTSD and depression symptoms at six months post-HCT, further illustrating the substantial psychological burden endured by this population.

Importantly, patients’ experience during their hospitalization for HCT, particularly their QOL decline and increase in depression symptoms during hospitalization, strongly predicted an increase in PTSD symptoms and impaired QOL at six months post-HCT.

These findings highlight that the physical and psychological symptoms patients experience during hospitalization for HCT represent the extent and degree of the trauma leading to long-term complications such as PTSD. We can no longer view the HCT hospitalization period as a natural and unmodifiable aspect of the HCT process. Future research efforts should be directed at modifying and reducing the physical and psychological burden patients experience during hospitalization for HCT with the hope of improving their post-transplant adjustment and recovery.

Many cancer survivors are living with PTSD

“A recent study showed approximately one-fifth of patients with cancer experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) several months after diagnosis, and many of these patients continued to live with PTSD years later…

Although PTSD is primarily known to develop in individuals following a traumatic event such as a serious accident or natural disaster, it can also occur in patients diagnosed with cancer…

Clinical evaluations revealed a PTSD incidence of

  • 21.7% at 6-months follow-up,
  • with rates dropping to 6.1% at 4-years follow-up.

Although overall rates of PTSD decreased with time, roughly one-third of patients initially diagnosed with PTSD were found to have persistent or worsening symptoms four years later…

Many cancer patients believe they need to adopt a ‘warrior mentality’, and remain positive and optimistic from diagnosis through treatment to stand a better chance of beating their cancer. To these patients, seeking help for the emotional issues they face is akin to admitting weakness,” said Dr. Chan. “There needs to be greater awareness that there is nothing wrong with getting help to manage the emotional upheaval — particularly depression, anxiety, and PTSD — post-cancer.”

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