My MM side effects of CIPN and RILP and resulting leg weakness began with my aggressive conventional therapies in ’95-’97 and have slowly progressed ever since.
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) and Radiation-induced Lumbosacral plexopathy (RILP) are painfully-real multiple myeloma side effects that are not well understood.
The issue for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients to understand is that MM side effects will occur. The key to these debilitating side effect of chemotherapy and radiation is that you can heal your nerves IF you are both PRO-active and RE-active.
I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in early 1994. The official diagnoses or medical terms for the multiple myeloma side effects that I live with are
- chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) and
- radiation-induced lumbosacral plexopathy (RILP).
When people ask me why I walk the way I do I tell them I suffer from nerve damage from chemo and radiation. My nerve damage and resulting leg weakness began with my aggressive conventional therapies in ’95-’97 and have slowly progressed ever since.
There are many degrees of CIPN from temporary numbness and tingling to severe burning sensation. In my case my leg strength is disabling and I am writing about how to avoid falls.
I am both a MM survivor and MM cancer coach. If you would like to learn more about therapies to prevent multiple myeloma side effects such as CIPN and RILP, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
If you would like to learn more about both conventional and evidence-based non-conventional therapies scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
- MM Survivor
- MM Cancer Coach
- Director PeopleBeatingCancer
The focus of this particular blog post the importance of avoiding falls.
I was born in ’59 and wouldn’t normally be worried about falling. However, as cancer survivors say, we need to learn the “new normal.” Nerve damage has weaken my legs and therefore I am prone to falling.
A Tiny Stumble, a Life Upended
“After a fall, life is upended in an instant — a sudden loss of independence, an awkward reliance on family and friends, and a new level of fear for those who fall, and their contemporaries…”
Steps to Avoid an Accident
“Preventing a fall, and the resulting injuries, isn’t simply a matter of being more careful. Indeed, experts who have studied falls wish that people would take measures to protect themselves much as they do against heart disease or viral infections…”
So What Do I do?
My solution? Walking sticks. Not a walker, not one or two canes, but walking sticks. The upright hand grips allow me to stand-up straight. They are light, adjustable and strong (I am 6’6″ and 200 lbs). Excellent value.
They have straps that allow me to let go of a walking stick and not have to bend over and pick it up.
LEKI VOYAGER TREKKING POLE (PAIR)
Radiation-induced neuropathy in cancer survivors☆
“Radiation-induced peripheral neuropathy is a chronic handicap, frightening because progressive and usually irreversible, usually appearing several years after radiotherapy. Its occurrence is rare but increasing with improved long-term cancer survival….”
“Is CIPN preventable?
People should discuss their outlook and the risks and benefits of each treatment option with their doctor.
Some research suggests the following treatments might help prevent neuropathy:
Always talk to a doctor before trying any remedy to prevent CIPN…
Natural neuropathy remedies
Some lotions may ease symptoms. People can try experimenting with mild creams that are unlikely to irritate the skin. Massaging painful areas with lotion may also help.
Some lotions to try include those that contain cocoa butter and menthol.
Exercise can increase blood flow to the hands and feet and may offer temporary relief from pain. One study showed that exercise improved symptoms, such as tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, in some people with breast cancer.
People should discuss the exercises that are best for them with their doctor. Low-impact activities, such as swimming, low-impact aerobics, or yoga, are the safest options.
Some research suggests that vitamin deficiencies may make CIPN worse.
Researchers are studying the possibility that certain vitamins or combinations of vitamins might help. However, a 2013 study in the journal Clinical Nutrition concludes that more research is necessary before doctors can recommend specific supplements.
A doctor can test a person’s vitamin levels and make sure they are not deficient. Anyone who is lacking vitamins in their diet can take supplements following a recommendation from their doctor.
A healthful diet can help the body fight cancer more effectively and may also ease some side effects of treatment.
Research does not support a specific diet, but a healthful diet should focus on fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, as well as plenty of water.
If nausea caused by the chemotherapy makes it difficult to eat, people can talk to a doctor about nausea treatment options.
A study outlined at the 2016 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium and reported in Oncology Nursing News noted that people who had CIPN as a result of treatment for multiple myelomasaw an improvement in their symptoms after massage therapy sessions…
“Results: Out of the 22 patients, 15 had CNP secondary to chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Compared with baseline, there was a significant reduction in numeric pain rating scale (p < 0.001). Additionally, 76.5% of patients (n = 13) were considered to be responders to LIFU therapy.
Conclusion: LIFU therapy may be a viable treatment modality in the management of CNP, specifically chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, with a minimal side effect profile. Larger, prospective studies with a structured protocol are necessary…”
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