74-Yrs-Old & No Regrets

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

July 11, 2021

 

Have you ever reflected on your life?

Most people have not.

But those who have are usually older – just like me. Or they have recently either gone through a life-changing event or survived a life-threatening event. I’ve gone through and survived both – twice.

If you have lived a full life, you have experienced ups and downs. Everyone has a story to tell. But what is most important is not the abyss into which you have fallen. What is most important is the way you have emerged from the abyss to move forward with your life.

And not just move forward. But also, to have learned a lesson or two with no regrets for the right of passage.

 

First Reflection

My first life-changing and life-threatening event occurred on a Saturday in 2006. I was 59-years old and had been practicing my specialty of dentistry for 32 years.

On that Saturday morning, my 4-year-old grandson was staying with my wife and me for the weekend. He was sleeping between us in our bed. I woke, turned to my grandson, and attempted to ask him if he wanted to go out for breakfast. But something was wrong.

When I tried to speak, no recognizable words came out of my mouth. My speech was garbled. I panicked.

I first thought I must have been sleeping with my mouth open, and that dried out my mouth.

So, I got out of bed, went to my bathroom, drank a glass of water, and then attempted to ask him again if he wanted to go out for breakfast.

Still, just gabled sounds.

My wife then woke, realized what was happening, and took me to the emergency room. As a registered nurse, she knew I was having a stroke.

Fortunately, my stroke was not severe. Other than the disability to speak for a week or so, I had no other obvious physical issues.

My conventional doctors saved my life. They put me on 7 medications to take for the rest of my life and discharged me after a couple of weeks. It took over a month for my speech to return to normal. I went back to my dental office to see patients fulltime about 2 months after being discharged.

Looking back on my skirt around death, I learned several important lessons which changed my life.

 

Lessons Learned the First Time

I realized I was not as healthy as I thought. My stroke motivated me to seek out a healthier lifestyle and diet. It took almost 7 years before finally discovering the benefits of a Paleo-type diet and primal lifestyle. Eventually, by the age of 68 in 2012, I was eating and living healthy and was able to wean off of all 7 medications and to lose over 30 pounds of excess fat. Life was great. I had no regrets. I was the new “me”. I even incorporated my new knowledge with the treatment of my periodontal patients in my office.

 

Second Reflection

Then in 2018, I experienced the biggest challenge of my life. I was diagnosed with incurable bone marrow cancer in September 2018 and was given 3-6 months to live.

The years leading up to this devastating diagnosis were filled with hope and direction from what I learned following my stroke. I had gotten healthy – or so I thought – by eating and living a primal lifestyle. I even considered myself the “senior poster boy for a healthy lifestyle”.

However, the invisible cancer that was lurking inside my body had severely damaged my bone structure without me knowing. I had no idea how many years ago the malignancy began its path of destruction in my body. The pain from a fractured rib was the first symptom that brought me to my physician in 2018 at which time he uncovered my bone marrow cancer. I was 71-years old at that time.

It was as though a ton of bricks fell on me. My life as I knew it was going to change forever.

My oncologist discussed with me that conventional medicine could not cure my malignancy. With his consent, I rejected chemotherapy and pursued my own Unconventional Cancer Protocols to help strengthen my immune system and heal the rest of my body. Quality of life meant everything to me. I was not interested in longevity without a quality of life.

Some of my contemporaries and family tried to convince me that I should have never embarked on my current path. Some of my critics have been in the shadows whispering that I would fail.

But I have been blessed and fortunate to have a wife who has been stern, supportive, and loving. My pillar has brought me through some very exasperating times since my diagnosis.

My most agonizing moment occurred in August 2019 when I suffered a fractured right femur, several cracked ribs, and a broken right humerus all at one time. These pathological fractures were brought on by my weakened skeleton. I thought my life was over, and I was prepared to die. I was placed in a hospice facility to die!

But miracles do happen.

Within several weeks, my wife was able to have me transported to our home while still receiving hospice care. She gave me some tough love and convinced me that I was a survivor – not a victim. My wife brought a physical therapist into our house, got me back on my Unconventional Cancer Protocols, and I began to recover.

Within a few more weeks, I revoked hospice. By the beginning of October 2019, I was able to return to my oncologist who was shocked that I was still alive.

On 1/1/20, I began an animal-based diet which replaced my Paleo-type way of eating in my Unconventional Cancer Protocols. In my opinion, this major change in my Protocols encouraged my body to heal more naturally.

Then in May 2020, I had a new PET Scan that showed no active cancer cells in my entire body.

However, I am not in remission. But I am thriving today with an excellent quality of life.

My oncologist is pleased! And he says I am unique.

 

Lessons Learned the Second Time

I am still on my cancer journey. While not cured from cancer, I am living a fulfilling life with my wife.

And I am sharing my story with the world.

My Protocols have not remained the same from day “one”. I have tweaked them frequently as I continued to learn more and more. Today, they consist of 10 individual Protocols which in total have improved my immune system.

I know that most of these lifestyle and diet changes making up my Protocols will help anyone interested in recreating their robust immune system. And your immune system is your internal armed forces that come to your defense in times of need for healing – healing from internal disruptors like cancer and external irritants like viruses and bacterial invasions.

The overriding lesson I have learned is that my personal attitude has a huge influence in my overall wellbeing. A positive attitude can go a long way to assist in healing.

But under this canopy of a positive attitude are important proactive steps:

  • Always question what you are told. Even if your doctor says you have a terminal disease, don’t give up. The guy in the white lab coat doesn’t know everything. I am living proof!
  • Search for alternative and supportive measures to improve your quality of life. Investigate what else is being done throughout the world for patients who have the same diagnosis. One of my “go-to” sources of published and peer-reviewed medical abstracts from all over the world is PubMed.
  • Incorporate the best of conventional medicine (if it makes sense to you) with the unconventual remedies you uncover (if they make sense to you).
  • Above all, only put nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods into your body. And remove or avoid anything that could irritate (1) your gut or your mouth, (2) your ability to digest and absorb your food, and (3) the health of your individual cells and their production of energy.

 

No Regrets

My successes are not curing cancer. I don’t have a cure for cancer. My successes are to heal my body as best as possible and enjoy a quality of life.

I also believe in my spiritual self. I’ve written about my spirituality which has provided a sense of purpose in my life HERE.

Regrets? I have none. Even though I have encountered some serious medical obstacles along the way, I have learned so much. However, I am realistic and know that my body is dealing with a formidable challenge that may get the better of me sometime down the road.

For now, life is great. And I am making it greater day by day!

 

 

 

Check out my training on the Better Belly Blueprint! You can watch it HERE.

 

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I Gave Myself Permission to Die

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

February 28, 2021

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Check out my new training on the Better Belly Blueprint! You can watch it HERE.

 

If you don’t want to miss out on new posts, sign up for my “Belly Bites” Newsletter HERE.

I Didn’t Die

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
April 29, 2019

I Didn't Die*

I was diagnosed with incurable bone marrow cancer in September 2018. I was stunned. How could that happen to a “healthy me” at the age of 71? I needed to make some decisions quickly because my oncologist predicted that I might be dead by the end of 2018.

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Obviously, I didn’t die!

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I rejected all invasive chemotherapy regimens. It made no sense to me to destroy my remaining immune system and other heathy tissues with caustic chemicals. So, I investigated unconventional cancer protocols that might allow my body to heal itself.

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I researched many supportive protocols based on unbiased evidence of efficacy. These regimens included what to put into my body, what to do physically and emotionally to my body, and what to avoid and remove from my body.

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Prior to this diagnosis, my overall health program included nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods; efficient exercise; stress reduction; and restorative sleep. Now, I needed to boost that plan to go further and deeper to heal my body more intensely. All along this path, maintaining my quality of life remains at the forefront.

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The protocols I chose don’t represent a scientifically proven cure for anything. My personal plan integrates my conventional oncologist’s experiences, my integrative physician’s natural path, and my objective investigations of many alternative modalities. I believe that selecting the most advantageous methods from all paradigms will provide the best results for me.

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Unconventional Cancer Protocols

My integrated program consists of (1) an eating program, (2) various supportive supplements, (3) pain control, (4) repair of dysfunctional mitochondria, (5) an appropriate exercise agenda, and (6) elements of energy medicine. These are the protocols I have been following with occasional tweaks as necessary.

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    1. Eating Program:

Fundamental to my program is my diet, which is an autoimmune Paleo diet([1]) with a few additional restrictions. These restrictions include removing almost all dairy, nightshades, nuts, alcohol, and high-sugar fruit. My diet also excludes commercially processed foods with added chemicals and foods that are not organically grown.

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I eat vegetables, fruits, seeds, wild-caught and pastured animals from nose-to-tail (those eating their natural foods with no added chemicals), and the healthy fats contained in these foods.

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I also do “intermittent fasting”. I finish my last meal of the day no later than 8 PM. I don’t eat anything else until approximately noon to 1 PM the next day. That provides my body with 16-17 hours of fasting. “Intermittent fasting” has many health benefits that have been reported in various medical journals.([2],[3])

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    1. Supportive Supplements:

One critical factor in my health plan is a healthy gut. I take 5 unique supplements to provide a healthy gut lining and a functional mucus layer as well as to improve healthy diversity of gut bacteria. These supplements include probiotics in the form of spore-based bacilli, prebiotics to help feed the beneficial gut microbiome, and immunoglobulins and amino acids to support the mucus layer.

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Other therapeutic supplements consisted of approximately 30 specific preparations recommended by my integrative practitioner to support my immune system, break down biofilm surrounding cancer cells, destroy malignant plasma cells, reduce inflammation, assist in bone remineralization, and improve digestion and natural detoxification. My integrative doctor tweaked these supplements every 2-3 weeks. Included in these supplements are Salvestrol([4],[5]) and Fucoidan([6],[7]), which are reported to kill cancer cells.

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Later in my protocol I introduced two products that enhanced the absorption of minerals, botanical nutrients, and enzymes through sublingual absorption using liposomal nanotechnology.

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    1. Pain Control:

For occasional pain, I only took over-the-counter ibuprofen in the beginning as necessary. I did not use narcotic medication. However, in March 2019 I had a serious setback when I experienced a pathological fracture of L3. The intense pain required narcotic medication, which I finally was able to discontinue after 4 weeks of healing. For me, cannabinoids and other herbal products were not effective to manage my pain.

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    1. Repair of Dysfunctional Mitochondria:

Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy is a form of energy medicine. It can help repair dysfunctional mitochondria. PEMF is an intermittent series of harmonic long wavelengths of low frequencies with no voltage spikes. Current peer-reviewed research suggests that treatment with PEMF could improve the electrical potential of mitochondria, improve calcium channeling within the cell, and enhance the utilization of oxygen by cells. PEMF assists in healing bone and soft tissue. It may offer a noninvasive way to stimulate the natural stem cells in bone marrow. There is evidence that PEMF Therapy may play an important role in oncology.([8], [9],[10],[11],[12])

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I incorporate PEMF Therapy using a full-body mat supplied by PureWave([13]) to help repair my mitochondria and potentially improve remineralization of bone. I place this thin mat under my mattress cover and use it for 24 minutes per session, 3-4 sessions daily.

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I also take vitamin K2-MK7, which has been reported to rescue damaged mitochondria.([14],[15])

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    1. Exercise Agenda:

My exercise routine is greatly compromised at this time. However, I try to walk outside as much as I can.  I used to walk about 5 miles a day – not so now. But my goal is to get back to my daily 5-mile walks. Eventually, I will include aerobic and bodyweight strength exercises if and when I can. I am not there yet.

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    1. Energy Medicine

As I mentioned above, PEMF Therapy is a form of energy medicine. But there is another area of energy medicine, which is described by Shannon McRae, PhD in her book titled, The Healing Effects of Energy Medicine: Memoirs of a Medical Intuitive([16]). This is an area of alternative therapy that I only discovered later along my journey to heal myself.

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Summary

These protocols have improved my body’s ability to heal itself. There may be many other methods, which I have not investigated. While my plan has worked for me, it may not be effective for others. Yet, my unconventional cancer protocols have been effective in maintaining my quality of life, which has been my overriding goal throughout my journey. I am moving forward impressively without caustic chemicals destroying my immune system.

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[1] https://drdanenberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/6.-30-Day-Reset.pdf

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28715993

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29063418

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=natural%20cancer%20therapy%20and%20prevention%20targeted%20on%20cancer%20cells%20and%20cancer%20stem%20cell%20based%20on%20the%20cytochrome%20p45o%20enzyme%20cyp1b1&cmd=correctspelling

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=10.1177%2F1534735408328573  

[6] https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/fucoidan

[7] https://www.mdpi.com/1660-3397/13/4/2327/htm

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5119968/

[9] https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/489206

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4516580/

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4834823/

[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4466452/

[13] https://www.purewavenow.com/

[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22582012

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29597144

[16] https://www.amazon.com/Healing-Effects-Energy-Medicine-Intuitive/dp/0835609308/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1AVRL5R809IBH&keywords=shannon+mcrae&qid=1553769396&s=books&sprefix=shannon+mcrae%2Caps%2C254&sr=1-1-catcorr

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