Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
November 14, 2021
Let me bring you up to speed with my Cancer Journey …
- My first goal in my cancer journey was to maintain a quality of life, which I have.
- My second goal was to avoid synthetic chemicals that could destroy my immune system, which is critical for healing the body. This I have done.
- My next goal was to create a set of Protocols which is designed to support a robust immune system. This is also what I have provided for myself.
- And my success from my diagnosis of incurable bone marrow cancer in September 2018 up until June 22, 2021, has been remarkable.
I never claimed to have a cure for cancer or for any other chronic diseases. And I don’t have a cure today. But by improving my immune system through various pathways and becoming metabolically flexible, I have helped my body heal and have lowered the risk of future diseases.
Now, I am facing another challenge in my cancer journey – a bump in the road. I plan to fight it intelligently and overcome the odds again.
But let me tell you, “This bump scared me!”
My symptoms came on abruptly.
It all started with a botched injection of my monthly immunotherapy on June 22, 2021. I wrote all about it HERE. I even wrote about a prescient meditation that may have been a warning for me of things to come HERE.
A Bump in the Road
I saw my oncologist on 10/12/21 because of a progressing pain which I believed was a series of serious treatment side effects that started on 6/22/21 with my monthly injection of Darzalex. The most pain was in my right shoulder and back. Then it isolated to an area of a possible cracked rib at the base of my right rib cage on the front of my body. I also was starting to have pain in my left and right femurs where I suffered fractures about 2 years ago.
In addition to those symptoms, I had diarrhea, headaches, extreme exhaustion, generalized muscle and joint pain, and an irritating cough.
Dr. George, my oncologist, ordered more blood tests.
My CBC showed lower than normal hemoglobin. I had a significant rise in my neutrophil count and a significant drop in my lymphocyte count. My blood chemistries showed increased serum calcium and elevated alkaline phosphatase. My immunofluorescent blood work showed a significant spike in my serum dysfunctional IgA antibodies. (My current diagnosis is IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma with innumerable skeletal lytic lesions.)
My oncologist’s first thought was that my cancer was regrouping and becoming more aggressive.
He put me on dexamethasone 12mg for 4 days on and 4 days off, which I started immediately. The dexamethasone was intended to kill malignant plasma cells.
I returned to his office on 10/19/21 for new blood work. The steroid improved all the biomarkers. He also scheduled me for a new PET Scan on 10/26/21.
Another Possible Cause
Originally, my oncologist believed (and I concurred) that the Darzalex had stopped being beneficial and was the sole culprit. Dr. George recommended that I discontinue my Darzalex therapy, which I did. His concern was that my body was weakening, and I was succumbing to the cancer.
He now believes that my side effects from the botched Darzalex injection on 6/22/21 could have weakened my system and allowed me to contract COVID. All the symptoms were consistent with those of the Delta Variant. However, I never had a loss of smell, loss of taste, or a fever. And the extreme high neutrophil and low lymphocyte ratio is now considered a sign of severe COVID infection. (The spike in my neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio was 42.0; normal should be between 1.0 – 2.0.)
If this was COVID, and my immune system is effectively fighting this virus, then I should recover and return to the way I was before June 22, 2021.
PET Scan Results
My oncologist and I went over the results of the PET Scan in his office on 11/2/21. This was an enlightening discussion.
My PET Scan was disappointing.
It revealed a slight-to-moderate uptick in the multiple myeloma activity. This could be the result of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which stimulated an overgroth of bone marrow cancer cells. These dysfunctional antibodies could not fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, they crowded out the healthier marrow cells, which were trying to function normally. Then, the overabundance of malignant plasma cells created additional bone lesions, increasing the serum calcium and alkaline phosphatase levels as well as deep bone pain.
The Scan also showed inflammation in the colon which is where the COVID virus most likely settled in my body since I had days of diarrhea.
My experience may be happening to many others who have bone marrow cancer. The real science only now is being reported. This may be a “heads-up” for many.
Deeper Dive into Real Science
I believe I am successfully healing from COVID and its complications. I can’t prove this, but I now think my severe side effects from my June injection of Darzalex allowed the COVID virus to invade. But other aspects of my robust immune system are fighting off the virus.
Recently published medical papers are now uncovering the real science.
For example, healthy T cells of the immune system are more resistant than antibodies to threats posed by emerging variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Studies have shown that people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus typically generate T cells that target at least 15–20 different fragments of coronavirus proteins. The COVID vaccines only create antibodies to one specific coronavirus protein. However, contracting the actual virus will generate a large variety of T cells that could snare a virus. T cell immunity is different and possibly more effective than antibody immunity, This T cell activity makes it very hard for the virus to mutate and escape cell recognition, which is what is currently happening for antibodies generated by the current vaccines.
You may have read that Collin Powell was fully vaccinated but died from COVID complications recently. He had multiple myeloma as well as Parkinson’s Disease. Most likely he had metabolic and mitochondria dysfunction. His multiple myeloma (malignant bone marrow plasma cells) might not have allowed the vaccine to produce the proper antibodies to the spike protein in the vaccine. And his weakened immune system might not have allowed him to generate enough effective T Cell activity against the virus.
In January 2021 (Blood Cancer Discovery) and in April 2021 (HemOnc), it was reported that bone marrow cancer patients had a compromised immunity from the vaccines because of the inability to produce the functional and critical antibodies to fight the virus. And typical bone marrow cancer patients have a severely depressed immune system in general. In an article published on 10/28/21 in JAMA Oncology, investigators discussed COVID-19 Mortality and Adverse Outcomes in US Patients With or Without Cancer.
This newly discovered science has definite consequences and ramifications for me. While bone marrow cancers greatly compromise the all-important immune system, my efforts to recreate the strength of my immune system using my Unconventional Cancer Protocols potentially have given me a positive edge.
As the real science unfolds, more and more will be learned about the innate and adaptive immune system, natural immunity, and vaccines.
My Next Steps
As I have said, my enhanced immune system from my Unconventional Cancer Protocols may have been able to deal successfully with the viral infection at home – no hospitalization and no other meds. The goal of my Protocols has always been to recreate a robust immune system.
After the initial COVID symptoms resolved somewhat, I had symptoms of Long-Haulers COVID for a few weeks with generalized but consistent body aches and an annoying dry cough. I know that my immune system is dealing with these symptoms slowly but effectively.
I am relieved with this interpretation because it makes sense to me. And I anticipate recovering well. Today, I’m still a little tired. But the cough from the Long-Haulers is completely gone.
However, I am not in denial of the cancer in my body and what it might do to me in the future. I also know that I most likely will never go into remission. My primary goals are to continue to lead a productive life and to live a quality of life! (I’m going to keep writing and publishing until I can’t. Be Warned!!)
In my case, I have used a shotgun approach to build up my immune system. I am not able to force my plasma cells to become healthy and create all the necessary antibodies it was designed to create. I don’t have, and never have claimed to have, a cure for cancer. But the human body is an amazing machine. There are many additional pathways and methods by which the immune system can attempt to heal.
My course of treatment is to return to my immunotherapy with monthly Darzalex injections. And of course, I’m continuing to be aggressive with my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. They include 10 integrated Protocols I have researched and follow. I tweak them on a regular basis as is necessary. Some may be more important than others, but the sum of them together are more powerful than each on its own.
I’m also adding another whole-food product in significant quantity that has had very interesting research in assisting gut healing, reduction of inflammation, proper bone metabolism, and possibly the reduction of various cancers. It is Bovine Colostrum. I will write a dedicated Blog about this and post it next week. After my research, my “go-to” bovine colostrum is Colostrum-6. I eat it every day.
In the future, I look forward to a negative PET Scan as I had in May 2020. A negative PET Scan of multiple myeloma does not mean remission. But it is a good sign of moving in a positive direction.
And of course, I will continue to be transparent. It is important to me to share my ups and downs will all others who have fears and concerns as I have had.
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