Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
April 9, 2023 [printfriendly]
If you have been following my cancer journey from the onset, you know I was diagnosed with incurable bone marrow cancer in September 2018 and given 3-6 months to live. Spoiler alert, I’m still here! But not without a fight, and I’m currently facing another battle.
Multiple myeloma is a complicated form of cancer where plasma cells in the bone marrow become malignant. Plasma cells are responsible for making antibodies that recognize and attack germs, so this puts my immune system at a severe disadvantage. At the time of that dire initial prognosis, I was given the option of chemotherapy, which would continue to damage my already weakened immune system in an attempt to kill the cancerous cells. I believed that the collateral damage to healthy cells from the chemo outweighed the potential benefits. And my oncologist was candid that the chemotherapy would not cure this malignancy.
So, I rejected the chemo (but not all forms of conventional medicine) and set out to figure out how I could maintain the best quality of life for the time I had left.
This led to the creation of my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. I was coming from a foundation of good health (you can read more about my background HERE), but there were some important adjustments I made in order to create the most robust immune system I possibly could. I’ve written about those at great length in previous blog posts.
However, setbacks occurred.
A major setback took place in August 2019 when I broke my right femur and my right humerus in half as well as several ribs – all at the same time. That put me into a hospice hospital to die. But amazingly, I recovered; I revoked hospice in September 2019; and I continued with my Unconventional Cancer Protocols.
I did quite well while following my protocols until I was exposed to the COVID virus. Then, a series of setbacks ensued. The SARS-CoV-2 virus reactivated my multiple myeloma by stimulating my malignant plasma cells to aggressively create dysfunctional antibodies. And I contracted COVID three time – in June 2021, in January 2022, and again in December 2022.
COVID played havoc with my overall health and specifically my plasma cells. The virus caused my multiple myeloma to become very active which created an abundance of dysfunctional antibodies in my bone marrow. These dysfunctional antibodies continued to weaken the internal surfaces of my bones. The results were numerous pathological bone fractures. Today, I am dealing with several rib fractures which take their time to heal.
Unfortunately, COVID turned into Long Haulers COVID, which has caused my body to continue to feel exhausted and weak. In addition, the further activation of my multiple myeloma led to anemia. The dysfunctional antibodies were crowding out my healthy red blood cells and platelets. The myeloma also was preventing the normal creation of red cells and platelets. My hemoglobin and platelet counts dropped to low levels. The first lab results to confirm this were on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.
On Tuesday, April 4, 2023, I had my regular 4-week appointment with my oncologist. My doctor ordered the same blood tests that have been monitored since my diagnosis in 2018, (CBC, CMP, and specific antibody blood tests). The results showed slight improvement in my hemoglobin but more deterioration in platelets. In addition, there were increasingly higher levels of dysfunctional antibodies being produced.
I also have been monitoring my NLR.
The NLR is the Neutrophil/Lymphocyte Ratio. Neutrophils and Lymphocytes are two different white blood cells that can be identified in a Complete Blood Count (CBC) blood test. It is a reliable blood marker for systemic inflammation in many chronic diseases and cancers as well as a most robust marker for COVID. In addition, it is an indicator of the survival prognosis for multiple myeloma patients. A rising NLR may suggest a poorer prognosis as multiple myeloma progresses.
A normal NLR is between 1:1 and 3:1. In this published study, the average NLR for hospitalized COVID patients was 6.15. When that ratio rose above 8.17 in the study, the risk of death increased. Strikingly, my NLR on 11/2/21 was 42.0 – a seriously disturbing level when I was diagnosed with COVID in November 2021! However, I was able to significantly reduce the NLR as I healed from COVID using my Protocols after my first bout with COVID.
This time around with Long Haulers COVID, my NLR was 11.6 on March 7, 2023, and then increased to 22.3 on April 4, 2023. My goal is to reduce the NLR from 22.3. I was able to do this before, and I am determined to do it again!
Where Do I Go From Here?
As I said, I am diligently working on reducing my NLR and returning to a stable state with this cancer.
In the future, a transfusion of packed red blood cells might be necessary. But for now, my diet and gut health are two of my major efforts to regain the most robust immune system I can. And my oncologist agrees that my animal-based diet with an emphasis on organs and animal fats has a lot to do with the improvement of my hemoglobin.
To that end, I will continue to follow my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. But I will add a new product to the three desiccated organ products which I already consume daily. The new product is Life Blood from Heart & Soil.
Life Blood contains whole blood extract from grass-fed and grass-finished pastured cattle in New Zealand. The extract is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and various immune proteins. In addition, Life Blood has spleen and liver in the mixture. These vital nutrients and peptides should help to improve my iron stores, oxygen delivery, and endurance.
My way of eating will stay the same, but I will include more cooked organs more regularly. I have found a good source of liver, heart, and kidney mixed into a pound of pastured grass-fed ground beef that is easy to stir fry and delicious to eat. The farm is The Family Cow in Chambersburg, PA. There are other sources for this mixture, but I have found The Family Farmer to be dependable and to practice ethical husbandry.
I don’t have a panacea for curing my malignancy or any other cancer or chronic disease. As I have repeatedly said, creation of a robust immune system is critical for overall wellness and healing. My protocols are based on the case reports and papers published by The International Center for Medical Nutritional Intervention in Budapest, Hungary as well as my independent research of the gut microbiome and other external factors affecting cellular health.
I appreciate you being here and supporting me along my cancer journey. If I had a choice, I would have never wanted to be the face of unconventional cancer treatment – I’d choose to be healthy instead! But the information that I’ve found during my fight has been life changing for me, and I’m grateful that I have this platform to share my findings with you.
If you can take away anything from the information I share, I urge you to take control of your own health. My methods may seem extreme, and they need to be! I’m counting on them to provide me more days.
Now is the perfect time to make changes to your own health. Remove toxic elements from your diet. Exercise. Prioritize sleep. Limit stress. And if you need guidance to help with a specific issue or have questions on how to get started, please reach out. I’m here to help. My goals are to have no one suffer through illness as well as to assist everyone regain a robust immune system.
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