My husband has ALL and is going through the stages of chemotherapy, he is coping quite well but suffering from chronic fatigue - he sleeps for about 16 hours a day and struggles the rest of the time to keep awake. Also some joint pain and headaches/fuzzy head. Reading on other cancer sites they only alternative therapies they seemed to recommend is Acupuncture I was wondering if anyone has tried it for various symptoms and what did they think about it. We have a Consultant appointment on Friday and will talk to her about it but was hoping to hear of any first hand experiences. Thank you
Hi @summer123 as you say your husband and you will be talking through his symptoms and the thoughts of trying acupuncture.
My immediate thoughts are to check out that acupuncture can be used during a course of treatment. That it might be best to find an acupuncturist who has had training in working with cancers, preferably blood. Ensure the acupuncturist wears a mask etc.
Also ensure that the needles are sterile to stop the chance of infection when your husband might have a very poor immune system.
I am not medically trained and these are just my thoughts. I personally stay away from anything invasive but that is just me. I hope this is helpful and I know acupuncture can be very beneficial for some issues.
If you would like to you could always give the Blood Cancer UK support line a ring their details are above.
I would be very interested to hear others experiences and thoughts.
I have not tried Acupuncture but I have tried Reflexology, a different alternative therapy, and found it to be beneficial, although not specifically for fatigue. It was most helpful for relaxation. And I really liked the fact it does not use needles! But that was before the pandemic and as @Erica cautions, at the moment the risks of meeting additional people, even with masks on, have to be weighed up against the benefit.
I’m sorry to hear that your husband is having such a tough time with the chemo and no doubt that is worrying and challenging for you too. I’m sorry if my reply is not very specific and I hope that your appointment on Friday goes really well and gives you some practical suggestions for helping your husband through this.
I’m new to the forum but currently undertaking research into the validity of complimentary and alternative therapies particularly surrounding care for cancer patients. A close relative of mine passed from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and another grandparent is currently battling through radiotherapy for skin cancer melanoma which inspired me in some way to focus my research on how CAM can be used in care for such long-lasting illnesses after seeing her experience. Considering the gruelling side effects many face with conventional treatment plans such as radiotherapy, do you believe there should be increased usage or at least awareness/ NHS funding for therapies such as homeopathy, herbal remedies for pain relief and nausea for example or acupuncture as mentioned above to mitigate these side effects?
I would be very keen to hear everybody’s views on the matter!!
Hi @carlyw a great big welcome to our forum, my mother was brought up with homeopathy.
I will be very honest with you I am very wary of taking anything or doing anything that has not been checked out with my medical team.
I would also like them to refer me to the relevant expert as I am never sure of a persons qualifications, experience and their approach.
Have you got a blood cancer and I am also interested in hearing more about you.
Look after yourself
Welcome @carlyw That sounds really interesting. I’m sorry for the reason for your interest and hope that your grandparent will progress well with their radiotherapy treatment.
Personally, I wish there could be more research into the use of curcumin (turmeric) for Multiple Myeloma patients during periods of remission. I discussed this with my consultant some years ago and he suggested as it’s not a new drug as such, it might be difficult to fund research into it’s potential (I say this very cautiously) benefits.
Having read your post, I’ve just done a very quick search and notice that since I last looked (before the pandemic) a study on the use of curcumin has been done with patients who could not tolerate dex :https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ccr3.2735
So I wonder if maybe there is some progress in considering the role of curcumin in Myeloma Treatment?
Personally, and with my consultant’s knowledge, I take a low dose of curcumin plus piperine (= black pepper extract to help with absorption) during remission. When I had my first relapse, I stopped taking it but it only took me 3 cycles of DVD to get my paraproteins to below 2, instead of the expected 8. From what I’ve read, it is hypothesised that Curcumin may help the body be less resistant to conventional treatments but I have no medical background and I’m not saying that is necessarily the case.
Maybe taking curcumin works like a kind of placebo, that it makes me feel I’m doing something to help myself? I think I also achieve this by trying to cook healthy meals using as many different vegetables as I can and drinking a lot of water. There can be pressure to experiment with new alternative therapies and I have never tried any of the others. It’s a very big subject!
So apart from the relaxing reflexology (which I haven’t had since the start of the pandemic) and the curcumin during remission, I am totally reliant on and grateful for all the conventional treatments offered by the NHS.
Good luck with your research.