Living with Multiple Myeloma. Herbs helped her.

TK is a 76-year-old lady from Indonesia. In mid-2017, she was about to fall when someone grabbed her arm. Her right arm broke. She undergo an operation to fix her broken arm. Two weeks later her gum started to swell and bleed.

She went to a private dental care clinic in Singapore for further treatment. The dentist referred her to the Singapore General Hospital because her swollen gum appeared to be cancerous. A biopsy was performed and confirmed a multiple myeloma.

TK was asked to undergo intravenous (infuse)  chemotherapy. Her family brought her to the National University hospital (NUH) for a second opinion. The oncologist in NUH offered her treatment using an oral drug, Lenalidomide (Revlimid) and Dexamethasone.

TK started taking Lenalidomide for about three months or three cycles. Each cycle cost about SGD 2,000 to SGD 3,000.

Initially after taking the drug:

  • she had fever
  • she became weak
  • her appetite was reduced
  • her tongue became tasteless
  • her red blood cells count dropped and she needed blood transfusion. So far she had three blood transfusions, once every month while on the drug.
  • she started to cough and was told she had pneumonia.

Are these problems not the side effects of the drug she is taking? Read on!

Can this treatment cure her cancer? According to TK’s grandson (let’s call him Alex), the oncologist said there would be no cure. The treatment is just to maintain her condition (whatever that means).

Did the drug help her? Yes. Both the swelling and bone pains were gone.

It was at this point in time that Alex came to seek our help in early December 2017 on behalf of his grandmother.

Alex’s first visit, December 2017

At this first meeting I frankly told Alex that his grandma’s cancer is rare. In the 20 plus years dealing with cancer patients, I have not seen more than a dozen cases of multiple myeloma. I have no experience handling this case. So don’t expect a cure by taking our herbs. At best I can do it try to help make her life better while she is still alive. Yes, Alex understood this message very well. He did not come to seek any magic bullet for his 76-year-old grandma.

Since TK is already taking Lenalidomide from the NUH oncologist, she should continue taking that medication. At the same time, she can take the herbs and also take care of her diet.

What is Lenalidomide, the drug that the oncologist prescribed her? This is one of three derivatives of the once infamous Thalidomide. The other two related drugs are Pomalidomide (Pomalyst) and Apremilast.

When I was in school in the 1960s, I read an article about Thalidomide. It was actually a drug used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women. Unfortunately this drug caused serious birth defects in children born of mothers who took it. It was estimated that 10,000 children in 46 countries were born with limb malformation, such as limbs were not developed — hands and legs appeared as distorted stumps. Other effects included deformed eyes and hearts, deformed alimentary and urinary tracts, blindness and deafness. Sad indeed. The drug was subsequently banned in 1961.

However, in July 1998 the FDA approved the sale of thalidomide again. This time it is for treating inflammation associated with leprosy and multiple myeloma. With this short introduction, I hope you can understand what thalidomide and its derivatives can do to a human being.

Here are some of the side effects of Lenalidomide

  • diarrhea
  • rash
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • tiredness
  • fever
  • dizziness
  • itching
  • swelling of the limbs and skin
  • cough
  • low white blood cells
  • low platelets
  • blood clots
  • risk of new cancers like AML, MDS, lymphoma
  • liver failure and death
  • possible birth of deformed babies and death of unborn baby. Pregnant ladies should not take this drug!

Source: (https://www.revlimid.com/mm-patient/about-revlimid/what-are-the-possible-side-effects/)

In trying to make life more comfortable for TK, I prescribed the following herbs:

  • Capsule A, C, D, M and P.
  • Since she has problems with her lungs, she was given Lung Tea 1 + SAP, and Lung Tea 2.
  • She has to go for blood transfusion every month. To help with her blood, she was given Chemo Tea.
  • She was also given Bone Tea.
  • For her cough she was given Cough 11 and Cough 5.
  • To help with her phlegm, she was given Phlegm Tea.

TK was out of our radar after Alex’s first visit. We totally forgot her case since I did not expect to hear from her again! As I have told Alex, I really do not know what to do with his grandma. 

One year later, November 2018: listen to what Alex has got to say about his grandma’s healing. Amazing!

  1. After taking the herbs for almost a year, TK was doing good. The three months while she was on Lenalidomide but without our herbs she suffered various side effects. But after taking the herbs, all her problems were gone. Yes, Alex said his grandma is definitely benefiting from the herbs.
  1. Before taking the herbs, TK had to go for blood transfusion once every month. She had already done this three times. But after taking the herbs (especially Chemo Tea) there was no further need for blood transfusion in spite of the fact that one of the side effects of Lenalidomide is to cause a drop of white blood cells and platelets.
  1. Her cough with phlegm was resolved after taking the cough and phlegm teas.
  1. The level of Kappa FLC and Lambda FLC in her blood, which initially was over 2,000, had gone down to almost normal now.
  1. Based from the above, there is no doubt that TK has improved. She just needs to go back to her oncologist once every three months now. Before it was once every two months. 
  1. Did her oncologist know that TK is taking herbs? Yes, Alex told the oncologist after TK was started on the herbs. Did the oncologist get angry that TK is taking the herbs? The oncologist told Alex, It is up to you. The only thing is, do not take the herbs at the same time as you take the drug. Indeed that is a good advice from the oncologist. Also, we need to be happy that this oncologist is open minded enough to agree to TK taking the herbs. Some patients get a shelling from their oncologists and are told not to take herbs — quackery, not proven, not scientific. Because of that patients generally do not tell their oncologists that they are taking herbs!
  1. There is one more problem to solve. TK needs to urinate very frequently — seven times each night, and this disturbs her sleep. I prescribed A-Kid-6 tea for this problem. TK is already 77 years old. We can expect that her bladder energy is weak. Hence the frequent urination. A-Kid-6 tea seems to help many old people with such problem! However, we also need to understand that frequent urination is one of the many symptoms of multiple myeloma. I asked Alex to try A-Kid-6 tea and see if this will help his grandma. 
  1. All in all, I told Alex that we need to be happy and grateful. She is now living a normal life. No pain, can eat, can sleep and can move around. Cannot ask for more. 
  1. To this Alex said, Yes. No suffering, good enough. This was my goal when I first came to seek the help of CA Care.

 

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Multiple Myeloma: e-CA Care Therapy Helped After Twenty-eight Cycles of Chemotherapy Failed Him

Goh (H443) was 58-years old when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma – a rather rare cancer in Malaysia. His problem started in October 2006 when he complained of indigestion and acid reflux. He went to see a gastroenterologist. Examination showed he had polyps and fatty liver. It was noted that he was anemic (low blood) with low platelet count. A biopsy was done and indicated multiple myeloma.

Goh was referred to a haematologist in a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur. A repeat bone marrow biopsy was performed and confirmed that he had a plasma cell neoplasia, which quite extensively infiltrate the bone marrow.  The marrow cytogenetic analysis showed a complex karyotype which is seen in multiple myeloma.

Goh immediately underwent chemotherapy with Cyclophosphamide, Dexamethasone, Zometa and Thalidomide.  Each of this monthly chemo cycle cost about RM 4,000.  Goh received a total of 22 cycles.

About three years later, in May 2009, Trephine biopsy showed: “Multip0le myeloma with some residual disease.” Goh was asked to undergo another 33 cycles of chemotherapy. A new drug, Velcade – bortezomib  –  was used this time.  This was the so-called targeted therapy and was given intravenously (injection into the vein) twice weekly. Each cycle of this chemo cost about RM 7,000. Goh was told that even if he underwent this treatment  he would get another relapse in two years time. In other words, this treatment would not cure him. In total Goh said he had already spent about RM200,0000 for his treatment.

Goh received 6 cycles of Velcade and suffered severe side effects. He had difficulty breathing and had to be hospitalized. He decided to give up further treatment and came to seek our help on 29 October 2010. In fact we were rather reluctant to prescribe him any herbs for reason that we did not have any experience in healing multiple myeloma unlike other common cancers.  However, Goh insisted that he would like to try our herbs.

  • He presented with severe numbness of the hands and legs. The problem occurred in the evening and at night. He was alright in the morning.
  • He was unable to withstand cold.
  • He was always tired.
  • He had difficulty sleeping and fall asleep around 2 to 3 a.m.

Five months on the herbs and later on the e-Therapy, Goh reported that:

  • He could sleep well.
  • His appetite had improved.
  • His high blood pressure had become normal. Before taking the herbs it was 150+/90+. After taking the herbs it became 120/80.

His blood test results showed a slight improvement after taking the herbs. More important is that his health did not deteriorate (Table below).

25 Oct. 2010 12 Dec. 2010 1 March 2011
Haemoglobin 11.5 12.7 12.5
RBC 3.4 3.7 3.8
Platelet count 135 174 143
WBC 3.9 5.0 3.8
Lymphocyte 28 58 41

 

 

Literature Review on Velcade

The US-FDA approved this drug for the treatment of multiple myeloma in May 2003. It is also approved for mantle cell lymphoma.

Proof of Effectiveness

  • The effectiveness of Velcade is based on response rates.
  • There were no controlled trials demonstrating a clinical benefit, such as an improvement in survival.

Approval of Velcade was based on a study of 202 patients. Patients were administered with Velcade injection twice weekly for 2 weeks, followed by a 10-day rest period (21-day treatment cycle) for a maximum of 8 treatment cycles.

Results showed:

  • 2.7%  achieved a complete response (i.e., 100% disappearance of the original monoclonal protein from blood and urine on at least 2 determinations at least 6 weeks apart by immunofixation, and <5% plasma cells in the 133 bone marrow on at least two determinations for a minimum of six weeks, stable bone disease and calcium).
  • 25% achieved a partial response (50% reduction in serum myeloma protein and 90% reduction of urine myeloma protein on at least 2 occasions for a minimum of at least 6 weeks, stable bone disease and calcium).
  • 17.6% demonstrated a clinical remission (75% reduction in serum myeloma protein and/or 90% reduction of urine myeloma protein on at least 2 occasions for a minimum of at least 6 weeks, stable bone disease and calcium).
  • Overall response rate = 27.7%.

Source:  http://www.medilexicon.com/drugs/velcade.php

 

Side Effects

The following are some side effects of Velcade .

  • Fatigue, generalized weakness
  • Peripheral neuropathy: characterized by numbness and tingling of the hands and feet.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Poor appetite
  • Constipation
  • Low platelet count which can lead to increased risk for bleeding
  • Low red blood cell count or anemia
  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Joint pains
  • Swelling of the face, hands, feet or legs
  • Low white blood cell count which can lead to increased risk for infection
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Cough
  • Bone pain
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle cramps
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Itching
  • Blurring of vision
  • Blood test abnormalities: such as low sodium, low magnesium, low calcium and low potassium.

 

Comments

 

Mayo Clinic in the United States, is one the world’s premier multiple myeloma treatment centers, with more than 60 years of experience treating this blood disorder. Mayo claimed that although no cure exists. Treatments can prolong survival and greatly improve patients’ quality of life.

Take note that even an outstanding hospital in the world says there is no cure for multiple myeloma. Then, as most oncologists would say, their treatment can prolong life and improve quality of life – do you believe that?

Treatments for Multiple Myeloma

 

Patients may be asked to undergo the following:

1.       Stem-cell transplantation or autologous stem-cell therapy. This involves transfusion of the patient’s own immature blood cells to replace diseased or damaged marrow. This procedure cannot cure myeloma but it can prolong survival.

2.       For those who are not candidates for transplant, then chemotherapy is offered using  any of the following regimens:

  • Melphalan, prednisone, thalidomide (MPT)
  • Bortezomib (Velcade), melphalan, prednisone (VMP)
  • Lenalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone.

In this case, Goh received Dexamethasone, Zometa and Thalidomide. Goh received a total of 22 cycles over a period of two years. The treatment did not cure him. About a year after the completion of the treatment he suffered a relapse.

Goh was asked to undergo another 33 cycles of chemotherapy using Velcade. After 6 cycles with Velcade he had to be hospitalized for breathing difficulty. It was then that Goh realized the futile effort of chemotherapy. He decided to stop further medical treatment.

Before patients under any chemotherapy /or radiotherapy, it would be prudent for them to ask some basic questions, such as:

  • How effective is the recommended regimen or procedure? What can it do for you? A review of literature indicates that Velcade does not cure multiple myeloma. Its effectiveness is shown as nothing more than a  “response”. It is really disappointing. It has never shown to even prolong life, let alone cure.
  • What are the side effects? Weigh out the harm versus the benefit. You can be sure that treatment with Velcade comes with a host of side effects. In fact, Goh is now experiencing these problems.
  • How much does the treatment package cost? In this case, Goh  would have to spend another RM250,000 for the treatment what would not cure him. This is in addition to the RM100,000 already spent on the first round of chemotherapy.

Having understood your odds – ask this question: Is it worth the gamble? Goh came to seek our help as a last resort. He knew about CA Care long before but he would rather go for medical treatment. Now, he knew that he had taken the wrong path. Five months on the herbs, his health has not deteriorated!  In fact he got better and his quality of life has improved. His sleep was better, appetite improved and he had more energy.  Even his high blood pressure had normalized!