February 15, 2012 – Amsterdam
(reprinted with patient permission)
A Letter from Nelia B (Condition: CIPN after Chemo Taxol Therapy)
For the past 2 1/2 years, I’ve been suffering from severe CIPN in my feet, after undergoing Taxol therapy for breast cancer. Three months after finishing the chemo, the neuropathy got much worse. Since then I’ve been on a high dose of pain medication (Gabapentin, Venlafaxine, Tramadol). Still my pain kept being at a level between 5 to 10. I also tried morphine patches, two painful and unsuccessful nerve blocks, cortisone injections, acupuncture, tens treatments and vitamin B12 shots. Nothing helped.
My doctors told me that my CIPN was chronic and not much else could be done about it. Meanwhile, I kept researching options and read about the clinical trials for CIPN with “Calmare Therapy” at the Massey Cancer Center, as well as at the University of Wisconsin (UW) Carbone Center. The doctors at both institutions told me that they experienced positive outcomes. I was also able to talk to a patient who underwent Calmare treatment, which was encouraging also. Then in the fall of 2011, I learned that the US Military opened several Calmare centers.
In December 2011, I decided to give it a try and contacted Dr. Cooney at the Rutherford Allied Medical Group in the United States. Afraid of being disappointed, I was a skeptical patient. But after the first treatment, my feet felt relaxed and I could sense a slight relief. Thereafter, I got better with every treatment and started cutting down the pain medication. After 10 treatments I was on 10% pain medication and the pain was at level 3 to 5. When I returned home the pain slightly increased, but then it stabilized. Although I am not pain free, I feel so much better.
The Calmare treatment has given me back some quality of live, I did not have in three years. I’ve much more energy, my head is clear–being on much less medication–and I feel hopeful! It’s great to be on the street and look down the block, knowing that I can actually walk there; it is even better that I can finally take my children to the playground. My family is very relieved seeing me feeling better.
I’m very grateful to have found the Rutherford Allied Medical Group in New Jersey. Thank you Dr. Cooney and Dr. Michel for the wonderful care!
If you suffer from CIPN, you absolutely should give it a try. Good luck!