Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
October 21, 2019
My remarkable recovery from the scariest days of my cancer journey has surprised everyone. It’s hard for me to believe that I have come so far in such a short time.
My bedridden status started on August 21, 2019 when I fell and severed the femur of my right leg, the humerus of my right arm, and severely bruised my right ribs. I was in pain and in a hospital bed until September 16th when my recovery began in earnest.
After my devastating fall on August 21st, I became extremely depressed. I was a self-proclaimed victim, physically compromised, and incapable of the dignity of going to the bathroom by myself. But when my physical therapist helped me get out of my bed confinement on September 16th, my attitude perked up immediately. He helped me function like a real human being. My outlook began to blossom. I was returning to my original positive mindset.
With my wife’s tough love encouragement and my family’s support, I began to flourish. I restarted my integrated nutritional protocol, my PEMF Therapy, and an appropriate exercise program based on my physical recovery. You may not believe how far I have progressed.
My Natural Plan
As I have described in many of my writings, my overwhelming goal has been to maintain a quality of life while confronting this incurable disease of IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma. My integrated and unconventional healing protocol is similar to my plan before my fall. However, I have made some tweaks. In essence, here is what I am doing today to help my body heal naturally:
- Nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory foods with avoiding most grains, added sugars, polyunsaturated vegetable and seed oils, and processed foods where chemicals have been added
- Supplements to support my bone metabolism, immune system, and oxygenation of cells
- Specific phytonutrients that have been shown to destroy cancer cells
- Detailed protocol to support and maintain a healthy microbiome, mucosal layer, and epithelial lining of my gut
- PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) Therapy to improve my mitochondria and assist in strengthening my skeleton
- Daily exercise program to strengthen my leg muscles and regain functional mobility
After starting physical therapy, I got rid of the catheter and had the dignity of going to the bathroom on my own. Eventually, I was walking with my walker around the house, down my driveway, and on the sidewalks in my neighborhood. I was able to get into a car as a passenger to go places I used to go in the past – like shopping with my wife and going out to restaurants. Since I could get out of my house now, I could see my oncologist and orthopedic surgeon to assess my recovery.
My oncologist, who is the most empathetic physician I have ever met, has been reading my blogs with amazement of my progress. He will continue to monitor me as I continue my out-of-the-box healing and conventional protocols.
When I met with him on 10/11/2019, we had an intense talk. He told me that I have an extreme risk for further pathological fractures. In other words, it is likely I would experience other devasting fractures just as I did on August 21st. That fall was the beginning of the scariest days of my life. I must do whatever I can do for myself to help prevent this from happening again.
My oncologist then highly recommended site-specific immunotherapy which was recently approved by the FDA. This is an IgG1 kappa monoclonal antibody that will attach to malignant myeloma cells and destroy them. He has preapproved me for this treatment, and I will start shortly. It involves infusion appointments weekly for 8 weeks, then biweekly for another 8 appointments, and finally every 4 weeks as needed. I will also take a unique medication once a month to prevent further pathological fractures. This is a subcutaneous injection.
Based on what I went through after my fall, I must do what makes sense to me to prevent other pathological fractures. Once again, my primary goal is to maintain a quality life for my remaining years. For these reasons, I am integrating these conventional treatments along with my extensive natural approach to strengthen my body.
Another Pathological Fracture
Well, before I could go to my orthopedic surgeon to evaluate my compromised left leg and the healing of the right side of my body, I had another pathological fracture.
This time I did not fall. I was lifting myself out of my hospital bed at home on October 16th, when I felt a deep and piercing pain in the thigh area of my left leg. The pain was intense, and I could not get out of bed. I knew what was happening. I called EMS and was transported to the ER. (I am becoming way too familiar with my local hospital’s ER!)
I suffered another fracture in my femur area but not a severe fracture. However, it required surgery to repair the fracture and stabilize my weakened left femur. I now have two bionic legs.
Surgery went well, and on October 18th, I was transferred as an in-hospital patient to Roper Rehabilitation Center, which is recognized as one of the supreme rehab centers in South Carolina.
The Rehab Center will get me back into the best shape and function that I can achieve to maintain my quality of life. For me, active rehab may continue as long as 14 days.
Following the repair of my broken right femur in August, my right leg healed about an inch shorter than my left leg. This is affecting the balance of my hips and could create other problems if left uncorrected. So, I will require a “lift” to be added to my right shoe to bring my leg lengths into balance.
All along my journey, I had no idea how long I would stay alive. For the most part, my attitude was clear to live a quality life and to support my body’s ability to heal itself. Now, I am incorporating two conventional modalities that are very specific for my bone marrow cancer. As I indicated when I started writing about my journey in September 2018, my intention was to incorporate the best of conventional medicine and the best of natural therapies to treat my cancer and support my physical body. I will continue with this process and will continue to be as productive as I can be. This cancer will not keep me down.
To quote Robert Frost, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Al, you and your journey are both heroic in our family’s eyes. It comes at such a high cost (we obviously realize), but we want you to know that we’re enriched and elevated by your wisdom. And your outlook, life, and commitment to your values. We are with you in all of this. Yours, Charlie Asher and family
I follow your journey with great interest. You are doing amazingly well. May God grant you wisdom as you continue, and quality of life.
Please, if you haven’t heard of him, google “Sean Stephenson”.
He recently died at age 40 when his wheelchair overturned. He had osteogenesis imperfecta and suffered hundreds of fractures in his short life, the final one being fatal.
However, in terms of having a positive message and mind set, he was amazing. Reminds me of you 😉
Love you and the writing! Keep up the good fight. Your work is important.
I am thinking positive thoughts about your recovery. Thank you for keeping your supporters informed about what you are thinking and doing. Please keep an open mind about all healing modalities that are available to you.