Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
May 11, 2020
Based on my recent PET Scan, I’m cancer free! This has been a long time coming – 21 months to be exact since my diagnosis in September 2018. But first, let me catch you up to date.
I have a bone marrow cancer, which is a malignancy of my plasma cells. From my research, I believe that these malignant plasma cells running around in my bones and blood system were born when I was in dental school in the early 1970s. While seeing patients for 6 years in the school’s clinics, I could have been significantly overexposed to free mercury from placing mercury fillings in patients and to low dose ionizing radiation from the numerous dental x-ray machines in the clinic. I wrote about how I contracted multiple myeloma in a previous post.
The fact is that it only takes one cell to create a malignancy. If that damaged cell does not die naturally (apoptosis), then it could grow exponentially into a full-blown cancer. But it might take years or even decades for a malignancy to manifest clinical signs and symptoms. This path most likely occurred in me.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about thriving. You might imagine the joy I get from maintaining my quality of life for the most part over the last 21 months. However, I experienced a serious setback that landed me in the hospital and then in hospice for several months around the fall of 2019. At that very difficult time in my journey, I was preparing to die.
But since then, my path forward has been encouraging and reassuring for my immediate family, close friends, and me. My goal, aside from healing my body, has always been to maintain a quality of life. Longevity never was at the top of my list. However, I never went into remission.
At my first meeting with my oncologist in 2018, he told me that my malignancy was incurable by conventional medicine. To get to where I am today, I rejected chemotherapy and researched various unconventional protocols to help my body heal naturally. My protocols have not stayed the same. On the contrary. I’ve tweaked my therapies significantly since starting them right after my diagnosis. And I also incorporated cutting-edge conventional treatment along the way to help my body fight its fight.
The major categories I included in my Protocols are: Diet, Gut Health, Immune System, Bone Metabolism, Mitochondrial Support, Targeted Immunotherapy, and Efficient Exercise. If interested, send me an email, and I’ll send you a PDF of my current Unconventional Cancer Protocols: Dr.Danenberg@iCloud.com.
An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a procedure that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within the body. My original MRI, which was taken in September 2018, helped my doctors diagnose the bone marrow cancer which was coursing through my body at that time.
My original MRI revealed that I had a 2.6 cm soft tissue growth adjacent to my spine around T6 area. In addition, the scan showed a vertebral compression fracture in the area of T4/T5, several cracked ribs, and a hairline fracture in my pelvis.
I had a new MRI on 4/29/20 which showed the soft tissue lesion shrank to 2.2cm. But the MRI could not identify the activity of the cancer cells. In addition, the MRI confirmed the bone lesions peppered throughout my skeleton were the same as 21 months ago.
My oncologist wanted to get a better picture of what was happening with these cancer cells throughout my body. So, he ordered a new PET Scan. (My first PET Scan was in September 2018, and my last PET Scan was in June 2019. All showed signs of active cancer.)
A PET Scan creates a 3-dimensional picture of the inside of the body. PET stands for “positron emission tomography”. Radioactive glucose is infused through a vein to “light up” areas of the body where cancer cells are active. Cancer cells “eat up” glucose for their energy source. If there are no active cancer cells, the PET Scan will be completely negative.
So, on May 8, 2020, I had a new PET Scan from head to toe. My oncologist called me at home that Friday night. He first said, “Al, put your wife on speaker phone.” Then he preceded to read the radiologist’s interpretation of the PET Scan.
George, my oncologist, explained that the PET Scan showed no active cancer cells. I had him repeat this several times. I could tell he was beaming. Without a doubt, my wife and I were emotionally struck. The essence of this report was that my entire body was free of active cancer cells.
Now for the reality. I’m not out of the woods yet. Some of my specific cancer blood tests still report a high level of protein from malignant plasma cells. These test results may reflect the dead or dying cells that my immune system has not metabolized so far. Also, I still have severe and innumerable lytic lesions throughout my skeleton as a result of the destruction up to this point from this aggressive cancer. My risk is dangerously high for additional pathological fractures. I must be prudent and proactive to protect my bones from breaking. So, I’m not able to say that I am in complete remission today. But maybe I am close!
My Unconventional Cancer Protocols make up my therapeutic blueprint, which helps heal my body. For the most part, they have allowed me to survive and thrive as best as possible over the last 21 months. I am awed by my recent results and grateful to all who have supported me in so many ways. As I move forward, I will continue with all my protocols to assist my body. And I’ll keep updating my progress.
I’m not popping the champagne or dancing to the music just yet. That would be premature. But I’ve put the bubbly in the fridge and am booking the band. Hopefully, you’ll get an invitation to the party soon.