Saturday, April 25, 2009

Las Vegas, St. George, Washington State, Myeloma Checkup

April has been a busy but enjoyable month for us. We drove to Las Vegas where we met and picked up Kandra and Jared (and of course Gavin) at the airport. They had come to find a house to live in before they move out from Ohio next month. After crisscrossing the city many times and checking out hundreds of places, they settled on a very nice house in the Summerlin area (check out her blog for more details). We all stayed at South Point, a very nice resort a few miles south of the strip. Jared had found a smokin' deal on the room rates (thanks)! We had an enjoyable time eating and visiting with our oldest grand daughter, Summer (who is living there) one evening. After K & J found the home they wanted (no gang graffiti on the walls!) we went to St. George and spent a couple days celebrating Easter with Lance and family and Kristal et al. The weather had turned somewhat cold but nevertheless we had an enjoyable time together. Sunday afternoon we took Kandra and Jared back to LV where they caught their plane back to Ohio.
The next morning Frank and I flew to Seattle and then on to Bellingham, Washington. We rented a car there and drove to Birch Bay where we stayed a week at a lovely Worldmark condominium there. We explored the area that I had lived in for 14 months when I was a child--very scenic. I was able to locate the actual site where our home was on South Pass Road though the house was no longer standing--it was old when my family lived in it 50+ years ago!
Frank and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary while in Washington--hurray!
Worldmark Resort with gorgeous blooming trees and flowers.

Birch Bay across the street from the resort.

Dusk at Discovery Bay and receding tide.

Golf course behind the resort where I enjoyed early morning walks.

This church building in Everson is 3-4 years old and 2 wards meet there. When we lived in the area no one had even heard of the church! There are also several others in the area now.

The beautiful valley near Mt. Baker where our home was located.

We saw many fields which looked like this. After examining the vines closely, I found they are raspberry vines which are trained in this fashion, several canes are tied together and then as they grow taller they are bent over and tied into the next bundle--apparently to make harvesting easier.

Friends we met on a cruise a few years ago drove up from Seattle on the weekend and we had a wonderful time together. A highlight was driving down to Skagit Valley where some of the world's largest growers of tulips and other flowers are grown--fields and fields of them. It was totally amazing.

Field of tulips in Skagit Valley.

Beauty everywhere! I was really envious of the tall stems and unbelievably huge blooms on all the tulips. Pictures don't do them justice. At home my tulips grow to about 5 or 6" tall and the flowers are small--totally stunted by our cold windy weather. Sixty-70 mph winds at home were one thing we were glad we missed while we were gone.

There were thousands of people everywhere in the fields (some even coming in tour buses) to view the tulip gardens.

Some of the families brought very colorful kites to fly.

Waves and waves of beautifully color-coordinated flowers in park-like settings.

A colorful windmill gave the atmosphere of being in Holland.

Rows and Rows of many colored tulips.

Purple tulips in a tub.

On our last day in Washington we traveled to British Columbia before heading to the Bellingham airport. This is the famous Peace Arch between the two friendly countries.

The city of White Rock sits by the ocean with lovely beach and many birds on one side of the highway and row after row of condos and apartments rising up the hill on the other side, very scenic.
BTW, forgot to mention that Frank had gone into Bellingham to a Labcorp to have vials of blood drawn while we were there so that the results would be ready when he went in for a checkup with his oncologist in Arizona the day we returned. Some of them still weren't back yet but his white blood cell count which is the one the doctor has been most worried about had risen again, from 3.2 to 4.1--the highest its been in several years!!! He has an immune system again! Though we had gone prepared with an antibiotic just in case, he hasn't needed one for 2 1/2 months. Yippee :) The doctor said things looked great, that what we are doing is apparently working and to not come back for 2 months. GREAT news!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Alternative Myeloma Regimen

For those dealing with the same disease as Frank, I will present the protocol I have developed based on my studies and what I think will help Frank's body fight the malignant cells in his bone marrow. It is still evolving and not set in concrete. Follow the advice of your own physician as I certainly am not advocating this as a cure for anyone else. There are 7 forms of Myeloma with many variations in those and everyone reacts differently to the same treatment. I am including my reasoning for giving him the various supplements. I will probably increase/decrease/stop/add others as time goes on. . . . If you haven't checked out Margaret's myeloma blog, you would be ahead to do so. She has been at her research of the same subject for many years and is very knowledgeable--I'm a beginner. Anyway, on to my regimen.

This is what he takes in the AM after breakfast: [I'm not including his rx's for other conditions.]
Multi-vitamin without iron
Omega 3 Fish Oil 1000 mg-1 DHA and EPA in fish oil lowers triglycerides, blood thinner, slows the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques
CoQ10 1000 mg (Ubiquinone)—all tissues, heart muscle, anticancer--helps restore aerobic metabolism
Green Tea—antioxidant, anti-angiogenic, induces apoptosis in MM; may negate the benefits of Velcade®
Proteolytic (pancreatic) enzymes--blood thinner, anti-neoplastic
Super B complex-1
Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc 1-- Calcium and magnesium help maintain healthy bones while zinc is essential for cell division and growth. Zinc is an essential element needed to support the body's immune system.
Niacin TR 1000 mg --heart, lowers cholesterol, plays a role in DNA repair.
MSM 1000 mg—anti-inflammatory (arthritis), antioxidant, oxygen transporter Milk Thistle 1 cap (silymarin)—liver support; antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, makes chemotherapy less toxic and more effective, slows the growth of cancer cells.
Sea kelp--Thyroid support
Vitamin C 1000 mg, 2 pills—antioxidant, oxygen transporter, lowers cholesterol, promotes production of CoQ10; may interfere with Velcade (Bortezomib,)
Vitamin E 400 mg—antioxidant, synergistic with Vitamin C to transport oxygen to mitochondria (oil soluble), blood thinner,
plays a role in immune function, in DNA repair, and other metabolic processes
Ginkgo Biloba (blood thinner, antioxidant) combats chemotherapy side effects (memory loss)
Pomegranate—super antioxidant; contains the highest antioxidant capacity compared to other juices, red wine, green tea, tomatoes, vitamin E;
pomegranate juice decreased LDL ("bad cholesterol") and increased HDL ("good cholesterol") by 20% in humans. The oxidation of LDL was reduced by up to 90%.

Takes about 4- 6 pm (On empty stomach with water) then drinks hot apple cider with 1/2 tsp coconut or olive oil to increase efficacy of curcumin x 12
Curcumin 8-12 gm (Doctors Best 95% pure with 5% Bioperine)
anti-carcinogenic (apoptosis), anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, anticoagulant, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-protozoal, antiviral, anti-fibrotic, anti-venom, anti-ulcer, hypotensive, hypocholesteremic activities, protects against radiation. Bioperine from black pepper increases its absorption by up to 2000%, Add in others like green tea extract and ginkgo biloba and the antioxidant powers are magnified greatly due to the interaction or synergy, increasing the ability to help fight many diseases and premature aging. Heating Curcumin improves the solubility and bioavailability. Curcumin may lessen the anti-cancer efficacy of some chemo drugs, such as doxorubicin and dexamethazone. In studies all doses tested decreased cancer cell growth and triggered cell death. Higher doses were more effective, and the higher the dose used, the more cancer cells died.(3)[Siwak DR, Shishodia S, Aggarwal BB, Kurzrock R.] Curcumin-induced antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in melanoma cells are associated with suppression of IkappaB kinase and nuclear factor kappaB activity and are independent of the B-Raf/mitogen-activated/extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase pathway and the Akt pathway.[Cancer. 2005 Jul 11] Non-toxic.
Omega 3 Fish Oil 1000 mg-- DHA and EPA in fish oil lowers triglycerides, slows the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques, reduces cholesterol
Flaxseed oil 1000 mg--omega-3 fatty acid, contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid beneficial for heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and other health conditions. Flaxseed, in addition to ALA, contains a group of chemicals called lignans that may play a role in the prevention of cancer.
Selenium 100 mcg--necessary for cellular function; antioxidant, synergistic with Vit E.
Vitamin E 400 mg antioxidant, synergistic with Vitamin C to transport oxygen to mitochondria (oil soluble), blood thinner,
plays a role in immune function, in DNA repair, and other metabolic processes
Vit D3 1000 IU/Calcium 160 mg—fat soluble, prevent bone loss, osteoporosis, skin cancer;) promotes phagocytosis, anti-tumor activity, and immunomodulatory functions.
Boswellia 800 mg 2 tabs--Boswellic acid blocks signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 signaling, proliferation, and survival of
multiple myeloma via the protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1. Blocks IL-6’s activation of the STAT3 pathway, antiangiogenesis, inhibits osteoclastogenesis, is a novel inhibitor of STAT3 activation and has potential in the treatment of cancer.
Capsaicin 1 cap- is a blocker of the STAT3 activation pathway, with a potential role in the prevention and treatment of multiple myeloma and other cancers.
Ginseng 2 cap--induces apoptosis and inhibits FGFR3 expression, lowers cholesterol, reduces fatigue (don’t take with coumadin)
Resveratrol 2 caps –inhibits tumorigenesis, causes apoptosis, prevents osteoclast formation, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, anti-tumor, anti-diabetic, anti-ulcer, cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-brain aging.7

Artemisinin 200 mg—(not water soluble) apoptosis (attracted to cancer cells with iron, kills them) (combine with green
tea, CoQ10 and pancreatic enzyme)
MSM 2000 mg 2 cap--anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, oxygen transporter
Aspirin 81 gr (EC)-1--blood thinner
Melatonin 3-6 mg-- kills directly many different types of human tumor cells.It is a naturally produced cytotoxin, which can induce tumor cell death (apoptosis); exhibits natural oncostatic activity and inhibits cancer cell growth
growth; inhibit development of new tumor blood vessels; suppresses corticosteroid activity—don’t take with steroids
Parthenolide (feverfew)—(not water soluble) induces apoptosis, inhibits angiogenesis induced by MM cells
Probiotic—1—provide beneficial intestinal bacteria suppressed by antibiotics, antacids
Niacin 1-2000 TR--acts by protecting cells and tissues from damage by toxic molecules or free radicals. Kidney tissue is protected by niacinamide, (1) niacin lowers cholesterol and, (2) decreases frequency of fibrillation and tissue damage.
Green Tea 2 caps-- antioxidant, anti-angiogenic, induces apoptosis in MM,
L-lysine 500 mg 2 cap—stops invasion of CA cells
Milk Thistle 1 (silymarin)—liver support; makes chemotherapy less toxic, more effective, slows the growth of cancer cells
Theanine 1—stress reliever, calming
Ginkgo Biloba 60 mg—blood thinner, antioxidant, combats chemotherapy side effects (memory loss)
Proteolytic enzyme 2 cap--Control/modulate molecules that tend to inhibit the immune system and/or provide anchor to metastatic cancer
cells (Sakalova, 1993);
Ester C 2000 mg—antioxidant

I found this quote from a Hematologist and liked what he said:
"Although cure is the ultimate goal of our long-term research, we need more data from randomized trials before resorting to highly intense therapy that is more toxic and unlikely to lead to a cure outside the setting of a clinical trial."

"Should we treat patients ... with the goal of potentially curing a subset of patients, recognizing that the risk of adverse events and effect on quality of life will be substantial?

"Or should we address myeloma as a chronic incurable condition with the goal of disease control, using the least toxic regimens, emphasizing a balance between efficacy and quality of life ... ?"
Mayo hematologist S. Vincent Rajkumar, M.D.,