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.
Click the orange button to the right to learn more about what you can start doing today.
I have been living with/ surviving multiple myeloma since 3/94. I have read many books and articles about the health benefits of positive psychology in general and having a positive outlook on life specifically.
Let me be clear. Though I have been surviving multiple myeloma since my diagnosis in 2/94, I do not consider myself to be cured. I can relapse at any time.
It’s important to state at the outset that being diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer makes having a positive outlook on life difficult. Surviving multiple myeloma is all about riding the ups and downs of relapse, remission, etc.
But the article below talks about a study that is the most specific that I have read thus far on the issue as far as cancer survivors are concerned. I found several specific aspects of the article to be essential to my own myeloma survival:
I know I took my life for granted. I was focused on my career. It never occurred to me that I was vulnerable in any way.
Multiple myeloma definitely brought my wife and me closer. Yes, MM certainly strained our relationship. My son has never known me as anything other than a cancer survivor. Alex hadn’t yet been born when I was diagnosed. My cancer has provided many reasons for talking about issues that fathers and sons don’t normally discuss.
My cancer has certainly sparked spirituality in my life.
You are reading this post on PeopleBeatingCancer.org. I launched the Galen Foundation DBA PeopleBeatingCancer in 2004. Working with other cancer patients is my purpose now. Saying that PBC is fulfilling doesn’t describe the half of it.
How long have you survived multiple myeloma? Are you mentally healthier than you were before your MM diagnosis? Do you subscribe to the philosophy that what doesn’t break you makes you stronger?
To learn more about mind-body therapies for MM survivors scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply ASAP.
“Surviving cancer is seldom easy. Treatment can be painful, debilitating, emotionally draining, and financially taxing. And yet, despite it all, a surprising number of cancer survivors report finding a “silver lining” in their cancer experience…
“I think many of us often take life for granted, and a diagnosis, such as cancer, can really make people look at their life and ask, ‘Am I living my life in a way that is most fulfilling to me?’ ” she explains. “They wonder, ‘Are there things I can change or improve?’ ”
After cancer, Lake found a much greater focus on his writing and his relationship with his 11-year-old daughter, whom he now spends more time with. “It’s easy to get caught up in both the ‘business’ and ‘busy-ness’ of life,” he says. “Adding a meaningful purpose requires sacrifices.”
“It’s always better if your suffering has some meaning to it. So if you perceive that it’s teaching you something or changing you in some positive way, there is a reason to keep going.”
On the other side of the coin, cancer can also help bring families closer together. Cindy Hecht was 45 and a divorced mom raising two daughters when she was diagnosed with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma in December 2006. Hecht’s oldest daughter, Carolyn Suna, 14 at the time, immediately stepped in to care for both her mother and her then 9-year-old sister, Lauren.
“We have a deep understanding and appreciation for each other that we might not have had during these ‘hot-button years’ for mothers and daughters,” says Hecht. “I think Carolyn also learned a lot about the power of community as she watched our town and her friends’ parents jump in and help.”
Carolyn, now 17, says she learned that her mother is “one tough lady.” Even when she was bald or vomiting as a result of her therapy, Carolyn recalls that her mother always tried to pretend that everything was fine.
Not everyone will find a silver lining in their cancer experience, of course. For some, it will be the most agonizing experience of their lives and not easily traversed. But Tedeschi says that patients can increase their chances of finding something positive by avoiding fearful thinking.
“Some people are just blown away emotionally, with a lot of worry, fear, and anger,” Tedeschi explains. “They have to somehow make the transition to thinking about their experience in a calmer, more deliberate way so that they can see how it may be changing them. One way is to talk with someone who has already gone through a similar experience, or by joining a cancer support group.”
For Judy King of Pompano Beach, Florida, cancer brought a spiritual awakening. While receiving chemotherapy following her breast cancer diagnosis at age 35 in March 1994, King was casually examining a small blister on her foot when she was struck by the unique healing ability of the body.
King, who had been raised an agnostic, says this simple, yet profound realization helped transform her from an agnostic to believing in God.
“This transition gave me the ability to quit worrying about myself and my treatments and actually ‘let go and let God,’ ” King says. “When my friends ask me to tell them something positive about my cancer, I tell them that because of it, I found God, and I also got a few months’ reprieve from shaving my legs.”
Some survivors find their mission in life after cancer when they decide to become advocates for their fellow cancer patients. While in the hospital with a rare and aggressive form of cervical cancer in April 2008, 36-year-old Sarah Fisher of Phoenix, Arizona, became friends with her hospital roommate, Deborah, who had advanced cancer.
After Deborah’s death in early 2009, Fisher wanted to honor her late friend. So she founded Deb’s Day, a nonprofit organization that enlists salons and beauticians to provide personal care free of charge to seriously ill hospital patients.
“I believe my fight with cancer was actually a good cause, for without it I never would have met Deborah or founded Deb’s Day,” Fisher says…
Cancer patients should never think of the disease’s potential silver lining as an all-or-nothing phenomenon, says Loyola’s Mumby. “People can be feeling the stress of cancer at the same time that they are able to find something positive,” she says. “It’s often a matter of degree. But I think if people are able, at any point in the experience, to identify even a single positive, that, in and of itself, can be very empowering.”