Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
June 4, 2023 [printfriendly]
This is not the story I wanted to share with you yet. I’ve prepared for this, but the reality of it is another subject. My intentions ever since my diagnosis of incurable multiple myeloma have been to maintain the highest quality of life possible and to be transparent in my journey.
After my diagnosis and dire prognosis in September 2018, I did a lot of research to understand my bone marrow cancer. The answers I was looking for did not come easy. I wanted to understand how I could best support my immune system, which was being destroyed by malignant plasma cells. I also wanted to know how this strange cancer would eventually overtake my body.
I’ve since learned these answers and have been sharing my findings with all my readers. Too many of us face debilitating health issues and there’s not enough conversation around ways to be proactive and take control in the face of illness. I was able to extend my life by almost 5 full years past the initial prognosis. It wasn’t easy. I developed my ever evolving Unconventional Cancer Protocols and continued to adjust my methods regularly. It brings me great joy to be able to share my journey with all of you, and to be able to aide you in your own unique health journeys.
I don’t know how long I will be able to continue to write blogs. My physical body is declining. My most recent bloodwork on Monday, 5/22/23 was disappointing – rapidly moving in the wrong direction.
Even with a transfusion of packed red blood cells three weeks ago, my hemoglobin and platelets continued to drop significantly. In addition, my exhaustion was lasting all day long. My quality of life has deteriorated rapidly.
As you know, COVID activated my multiple myeloma. I discussed this in previous blogs. I’ve been trying to find a way to combat the Long Haulers COVID symptoms, but the combination is causing severe complications. That is what has lead me to write this blog.
When I was diagnosed with incurable multiple myeloma in September 2018, I asked my oncologist , “What were the major causes of death in multiple myeloma patients?”
Here are the three major causes …
- Anemia – individual malignant plasma cells are growing wildly and they are crowding out healthy red blood cells and platelets.
- Infections – the immune system is compromised and cannot adequately kill the infection and the body becomes overwhelmed with the spread of infection.
- Kidney failure – malignant plasma cells affect the function of the kidneys and causes untreatable kidney disease.
I am currently battling severe anemia. But I will do whatever I can for as long as I can to secure a quality of life.
My medical team came to the decision on Tuesday, 5/23/23 that the myeloma cells in my bone marrow were pushing out healthy cells and continuing to create severe anemia. I have been admitted to hospice in my home to help me be as comfortable as possible. Hospice care focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life, which is what I need right now. Sue and I didn’t make this decision lightly. We found the right care team to help support us during this difficult time.
As you might recall, this isn’t my first bout with hospice. Back in 2019, I was admitted to hospice after a broken femur. If there is a way to revoke hospice a second time, you know I’ll do it! But, the most important thing for me has always been to maintain the quality of my life for the time I have left. The constant pain and extreme exhaustion have been taking a toll and that’s no way to live. While this outcome is not what I wanted, I am ready to accept what comes next.
I will continue writing when I can. I thank you for taking the time to read my blogs and share this journey with me. I wish you good health, and I hope that my blogs have helped you on your path to wellness.
As always, forge on with your greatness!