Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A contrarian opinion on nutrition and Myeloma

Hello folks.   Have been waiting for something noteworthy to post...there are a few things that are percolating but nothing has really broken through just yet, although hopefully in the next several days there will be a couple of things of (minor) interest.  Quite minor, as in don't expect much.  :)

One recent text I got from a friend a fellow traveler did tickle my funny bone, however, and I thought I would pass it along.

Among the many things we MM patients consider is the impact of diet on our condition.  Is there anything we've eaten that could have made this worse?   Diet soda has had a number of detractors lately, although it's a little murky considering some of the damning research was subsequently retracted.  However, Dr. BD (a leader in the field and one of my early consults) is big-time against consuming any diet soda and considering I was drinking 10 a day (not an exaggeration) before diagnosis this probably played a part in my disease.

Then there's Asparagus.   What to make of it?  Death-dealing carcinogen to be avoided by Myelomics?   A powerful cancer-fighter?  Or somewhere in between?   My money is on the latter, although based on the evidence it's probably not a good idea to pound this stuff if you have blood cancer, MM included.  But a few stalks one or two times a month?   Pfft.

Then there's curcumin.  Preventative care for MGUS, if not MM?     Or...maybe something else?

My point isn't to poop on the holistic medicine parade here, but I did want to convey a quick message that maybe...JUST MAYBE...we should relax, eat sensibly, and not sweat the details too much.

My friend BB, not to be confused with my Dr. BB, is experiencing a rare (for UAMS) and unfortunate (for anybody) recurrence of MM after initially responding favorably to treatment.  Per the aggressive UAMS approach, the response to this is...continued aggressive treatment.  BB (the friend, again not the doctor) has undergone the newest drugs (Kyprolis and Pomalidomide) with mixed effects, additional VDT-PACE (nasty chemo), and several other combos, and has found some stability with low-doses of chemo administered continuously over 28-day cycles.   He's understandably tired.

He wrote:
"I've always led a healthy lifestyle, diet, exercise, etc. but considering everything I'm going through I need to step it up...So here's what I've started and am developing along the way as I do more research:
Reduction of fat in diet.  Curcumin.  Barley.  Probiotics.  Beta Glucan.  Lots of Omega 3s. Daily detox juice of kale, cucumber, apples, ginger, lemon juice, olive oil.  Breakfast of organic Greek yogust (not the pretend stuff) with flaxseed oil."
Then the payoff:
"Of course BB says it's all a bunch of crap."
Haha!   I do love my doctor.

I think the point is not that BB advocates an intentionally unhealthy lifestyle (like me drinking 10 cans of diet soda a day for ten years) but that a sensible diet in moderation is likely to have just the same impact on Myeloma as spending two hours a day assembling a precise cocktail of stuff that deprives you of the joy of just eating what you want (again, in moderation).  Should you eat short ribs and ribeye steaks every day?  No.  But should you sweat a cut of lean beef every 10 days?  No.  Should you eat a pile of bacon or steak and eggs for breakfast every morning?  No.   But confining breakfast to yogurt made from goats grazing in a "blue zone" on a particular Greek island probably isn't worth the stress.

I hope that my friend BB gets better quickly -- from any combination of overzealous dietary focus to good ol' fashioned poison.  But don't forget to stop and smell the roses...without stressing too much about whether or not they've been sprayed recently for pesticide.  :)