My Cancer Journey
– Continuing to Thrive –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

February 12, 2023 [printfriendly]

We all are going to die. But I am not going there yet. I have so much to accomplish yet and don’t have time to participate in end-of-life thinking. I am continuing to thrive!

Based on my original prognosis in September 2018, my oncologist suggested that I had 3-6 months to live! Almost 5 years later and counting, it gives me great pleasure to prove him absolutely wrong.

Although I rejected chemo, I have integrated some conventional therapy to reduce deep bone pain, which I experienced from various pathological fractures – especially those in my ribs. In my Unconventional Cancer Protocols, I discuss these therapies.

I continue to visit my original oncologist every 4 weeks since I learned of my diagnosis and prognosis. He is still surprised that I am alive. And I believe my success is the result of changing my way of eating, improving the diversity of my gut microbiome, healing a leaky gut, and various other improvements such as stress reduction, restorative sleep, and efficient exercise.

However, the 2 biggest secrets for success I have learned are to …

  1. Avoid and remove any identifiable toxic elements in my diet and my environment.
  2. Reduce chronic emotional stress. (Chronic stress has been one of the most misunderstood factors in the progression of gut dysbiosis, oral diseases, chronic diseases, and cancer. But reduction of emotional stress is difficult. It’s not like a light switch that you can turn “on” and turn “off” with the flick of your finger. Here is A Unique Way to Understand Stress.)


State of Mind

Being human, I have bouts of depression. And without a doubt, my pillar of strength (my wife Sue) has been there always to throw me a proverbial lifeline.

But my time is filled with good stuff.

Since moving into a retirement facility with my wife in November 2022, we have been active with the residents. For example, I’ve provided 2 seminars for the residents – one on how to take care of their mouths and one on how to eat an animal-based diet while living in our facility.

Starting on February 20, 2023, I will host a monthly session titled, “Be a Survivor” for the residents. The management of the senior living community asked me to create this support group. There is a need to help some who suffer emotional stress from losing their ability to live by themselves. Sadly, some people who become residents of a retirement apartment complex are not there because they want to be there. They may be there because their family members want them to be in a safe place. A few of these residents have medical problems which have prevented them from living by themselves. The select group of people who might benefit from “Be a Survivor” are depressed and see themselves as victims. “Be a Survivor” forum will allow those residents to voice their fears. My input will be to be the moderator of the monthly sessions and offer specifics about my challenges which I have overcome. We’ll delve into some coping tools to change their mindset from being a “victim” to being a “survivor”.


State of Health

Medically, I’m stable. But I’m not in remission.

During Christmas week in 2022, I contracted COVID once again. This affected my immune system by increasing dysfunctional antibodies, which are created by malignant plasma cells in my bone marrow. These unhealthy antibodies continue to erode the internal structure of various bones in my body. This makes my bones susceptible to pathological fractures. And I’ve had many.

I certainly will continue to see my oncologist every 4 weeks and to follow my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. And I will continue to tweak these protocols as often as I deem necessary.


A Learning Experience

My cancer journey has been an amazing learning experience. Here are 4 lessons I’ve learned …

  1. I’ve learned to enhance my immune system to the extent that it has helped me live a quality of life.
  2. It reinforced my spiritual belief that I am here on this earth in a mortal body to learn specific lessons.
  3. It motivated me to share all that I learned with all who want to hear what I have to say.
  4. It has been a cathartic awakening for me to be able to verbalize and write about my journey.

Moving forward, my wife, my oncologist, and I have discussed my next path.


Moving Forward

Conventional oncology and medical treatment to-date have played out their hands. There are no other “conventional medical treatments” that can cure this bone marrow cancer or prolong my life while still maintaining my quality of life until the end.

My biggest medical concern is bone pain because of the damage created by malignant plasma cells in my bone marrow. To help with my pain, I take non-narcotic pain meds. But I will take as little as possible. And most importantly, I will continue with my Unconventional Cancer Protocols to enhance my immune system so that it can fight the fight it was designed to fight. I will continue to emphasize my animal-based diet, my diverse and healthy gut microbiome, stress reduction, efficient exercise, and restorative sleep. All these should help me maintain the quality of life as best as I can during my continuing cancer journey.

Being a realist, I know that there will be a time when my body will succumb to this cancer. I don’t know when that time will come. Based on my oncologist, he believes my bone marrow cancer is not progressing into the “end of life” stages. Based on how I have managed my body’s ability to enhance my immune system in the past, I could live for many more years.

As I see it, I will continue to function as normally as possible. I’ll be here writing my Blogs, offering individual consults regarding diet, gut health, oral health, and overall wellness. In addition, I will continue to offer my 12-Week Balanced Metabolic Coaching Program as well as offer hope to all those who are dealing with serious medical diagnoses and prognoses as I find myself. And I am proud of the written legacy I have published, Eat As If Your Life Depends On It.

I refuse to become a victim waiting to die.

What does all this mean for you? I share my story because I know there are too many people facing similar obstacles. Never did I think this would happen to me. I have tried everything in my power to maintain a good quality of life, despite facing an extremely painful form of cancer. I believe in transparency, and my hope is to provide you with options if you find yourself in a difficult spot. Facing illness can feel scary and helpless but you’re not alone. The unconventional methods I have tried on myself work because they are based in science, and they may work for you too.

I offer a free consultation if you need guidance. No obligation, just one-on-one time with me. Take it from me, you want to take control of your health before something goes wrong.

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I Gave Myself Permission to Die

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

February 28, 2021 [printfriendly]



Near the end of August 2019, I was in a horrific place. I was ready to die. I wanted to die.

I gave myself permission to die!

Although my cancer journey starts out bleak, it turns inspiring. My story explains where I was then – both mentally and physically. But amazingly, I rallied to become a different person. I became an encouragement to many.


The Horror Starts

Near the end of August 2019, I was standing in my bathroom, brushing and flossing my teeth. I knew my bones were fragile from my bone marrow cancer. They could break easily. But I did not know how fragile I was.

I twisted to the left about 90 degrees to throw my dental floss into the trashcan. Instantly, my right femur snapped in half. I crashed to the floor. I broke a couple of ribs. My right humerus also split in two. The pain was excruciating.

While lying on the floor, I saw my right leg and right arm in positions that I could never have bent them. I was screaming for my wife who was in the other room.

My life was fleeting past my mind’s eye!

I thought I could never have a quality of life from that point on. My cancer was incurable, and I already outlived my oncologist’s prognosis by a year. Quality of life meant everything to me. Longevity was never my goal. I could not imagine myself moving forward. This was the end, and I was ready to die. Life could not be enjoyed any longer – or so I thought.

Emergency services transported me to the hospital to repair my right femur, or I would have bled to death from a punctured femoral artery. I rejected other treatment and was sent to a Hospice Hospital to die. I was catheterized, drugged, and depressed.

I gave myself permission to die!

In the Hospice Hospital, I was bedridden. I had to use a bedpan. I was constipated and was given many drugs in addition to narcotics. I was miserable. And I knew I would die in that bed.

As fate would have it, Hurricane Dorian was threatening to strike the hospital in the first week of September 2019. The hospital was ordered to evacuate all patients. They had no place to send me. So, my wife scampered to secure a hospital bed, and I was transported to my home.


The Horror Ends

Still in hospice at home, still catheterized, and still taking all those drugs; I was convinced by my wife to “get it together”. Her tough love convinced me that I was a survivor, not a victim. She clearly explained how well I had done on my Unconventional Cancer Protocols beginning with my diagnosis until this terrible accident. But now I needed to get back on track.

My wife arranged for a physical therapist to come into our home. He was able to get me out of bed and walking with a walker within a couple of weeks. The catheter finally came out; I began to wean off the drugs; and I returned to my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. I was on the mend.

I revoked Hospice!

My wife is a pillar of strength. She showed me, in no uncertain terms, that I had more to live for and give to society. She pulled me up when I was down – and I was more depressed than ever. No one should ever have to sink to the depths of depression as I had. Yet, I was able to muster my spirit to live because of my exceptional wife. I returned to the motivated person whom I once was.

I gave myself permission to thrive. And I thrived!

Fast forward to today: I am a beacon of hope and inspiration. I have not cured my cancer, and I am not in remission. But my PET Scan in May 2020 showed no active cancer cells in my entire body. And I’m not taking any daily prescription medications.


Recap & Meaning

There is a deep and solid message to my tale. I went from a diagnosis of incurable cancer in September 2018 with only 3-6 months to live to a survivor with great hope. I had rejected chemotherapy and was doing very well for a year. Then in August 2019, a sudden and devastating set of fractures occurred on my right side. I not only fractured my body, I also fractured my spirit as a survivor. Fracturing the right side of my body made me doubt myself and my ability to live a quality life thereafter. I sank into an abyss of despair.

It was only the fate of an impending hurricane, my stubborn and persistent wife, and eventually my renewed belief in myself that brought me where I am today.

I am a walking miracle. I walk outside a mile everyday weather permitting. And I do modified body weight exercises inside my home about 3 days a week. Once every 7-10 days, I do a few minutes of high intensity interval training that gets me into an anerobic state.

My oncologist says he has no other cancer patient that has done as well as I have done – and without chemotherapy! I have been to the edge and back. Lying in a Hospice bed, seeing and hearing patients dying around me, was humbling. Knowing my life was about to end was spiritual.

But turning all this doom and gloom around was cathartic.

We all are going to die. I just prefer to die on my own terms.

You can do exactly what I have done. If you are in a life-threatening situation, or if you know someone who is, there are other paths to take. Attitude is paramount; independent research is critical; a will to live is everything.

Although I gave myself permission to die, I now give myself permission to thrive and make a difference in this world.



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