Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
November 26, 2018
A well-lived life – full of accomplishments, love, and gratitude – is my goal. Certainly, this is what I have strived to accomplish. The memories of a life lived in this way are beautiful to behold. But, all lives eventually will come to an end.
Death is just a part of life. Death is not a dirty word. Death comes knocking for everyone. Sometimes it is sudden, and sometimes there is advanced warning.
I am in the fight of my life. However, I believe I have been blessed with an advanced warning.
Most of you know that I am challenged with a diagnosis of an aggressive form of multiple myeloma. It seems to me that this disease had been progressing rapidly up until I learned of my diagnosis.
Since my diagnosis on 9/19/18, I elected unconventional therapy for the most part. My intention has been to lead a quality life with dignity until the end. My desire was never to compromise my natural ability to heal myself and never to use caustic chemicals that would decrease the quality of my life. Even if conventional methods would allow me to live longer, I was not interested in quantity of years – just quality of years.
You can read my previous blog posts to understand how I have been treating this cancer. Every four weeks, I have new blood work results, which my oncologist reviews with me. At my last exam, my oncologist continued to be pleasantly surprised. Yet, there are changes in my body that I want to describe.
Changes in My Body
This disease has been destroying the inside of my bones. Multiple myeloma has caused bone pain and has made my bones fragile. They break easily, especially my ribs.
I know that multiple myeloma is not a curable disease today based on conventional medicine. At my last oncology appointment, I asked a simple but probing question. I asked him how I would know that my body was succumbing to this malignant bone marrow disease.
He told me that most likely I would start feeling very fatigued and start losing a lot of weight. Because of significant bone destruction, I might notice peripheral neuropathy in my toes and fingers as nerves within my spine become damaged. He also said that it was his experience that his patients knew when that time was approaching. People did not need to be told; they just felt death knocking at their door.
Originally, when I was diagnosed with IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma, my doctor suggested that I had three to six months to live. I approached his prognosis proactively with my intensive regimen of alternative therapies. Actually, I have been feeling great and have been able to do almost everything I wanted to do.
At my last exam, my doctor suggested that I had another six to twelve months to live. Each time I see him, he changes his mind in my favor. I guess I am doing something right!
My bone pain is occasional, but discomfort and fatigue are frequent. For any pain or discomfort, I do not take narcotics – only over-the-counter Advil. For my fatigue, I am taking several naps a day, which is not typical of the person I was before my diagnosis.
I don’t know how long I have. My hope is that I can continue my course of treatments and do what is meaningful until I can’t. I have all my faculties, and I will continue to write and be the person I was as best as I can. Fortunately, I have a positive attitude, strong family support, and a deep-rooted spiritual belief.
Spiritually, I believe in the soul and a powerful force that is in control of all of us. My belief is that my soul has much to do after this earthly experience. And, I am ready for whatever comes.
I have delved into my bucket list and have reached the bottom of that pail. There are no regrets and no further needs that I must accomplish. I want to spend lots of special moments with my wife, kids, and grandkids.
For you (my readers and patients), I hope I have made an impression through my writings about nutrition and lifestyle and all their effects for a healthy body. I will continue to write; I am expecting you to continue to read.