Combined Electrochemical Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy Post BEP Chemotherapy

The last week of chemotherapy I didn’t feel much peripheral neuropathy pain. My fingers were slightly painful and hard to use but after taking some B6 recommended by my oncologist the pain quickly went away. A couple weeks after that, and the completion of my BEP chemotherapy, my feet and hands started to tingle and go numb. This slowly progressed to awful, sharp pain like glass shards with every step. One of the things I will be forever grateful for is the ability of my oncologist to not only help me with his specialty but also find me excellent resources to recover from treatment side effects. I suppose when you are as good as he is you know all the right people. More on him in a future post :).

Babbling aside, here is how I resolved my peripheral neuropathy post BEP chemotherapy in 3 somewhat easy steps.

1.  Combined Electrochemical Treatments (C.E.T’s)

When I visited my neurologist he assessed me and categorized me with severe peripheral neuropathy induced by chemotherapy. He did various tests to determine this: reflexes, walking tests with eyes open and closed, and a nerve stimulation test.  The stimulation test involved laying on a small wet sponge placed on my lower back and touched with a small Q-Tip connected to an electrical current. This current is turned up until you feel a sensation at which time you say – “okay”. This is done in several spots giving the neurologist a launching point to know how nerves are responding to stimulation. After reading the report he gave me three options: 1) do nothing, 2) start medications to help ease the pain, or 3) try an alternative method called Combined Electrochemical Treatments. Doing nothing was not an option for me. I am young and if there is something out there to help me – I am going to explore it. The thought of starting neurological medications that had a very small chance of working and included bad side effects was the very last thing I wanted to do. I didn’t want to be sleepy, risk seizures, etc.. I was on the rebound from being sleepy. And I was working really hard to get chemicals out of my body. I don’t want to go back down that road! My last option was Combined Electrochemical Treatments (C.E.T’s), which combines the use of local anesthesia with a very sophisticated form of selective signals to heal cell membranes, reduce swelling, and improve circulation. C.E.T. uses the principles of physics rather than pharmaceuticals to heal and restore damaged cells. 80% of patients get better. They have 70% improvement in their function and a 65% reduction of pain, as well as significantly reducing their need for medication. This sounded like an awesome option for me especially considering it didn’t have side effects.

You may be thinking, what do Combined Electrochemical Treatments involve?

  • I received three shots in each foot. One in each side of my ankle and one on the top of my foot where the ankle bends. I am not going to lie…these shots hurt. They bruised my ankles and made me sweat with fear when receiving them. I eventually got used to the pain and tried to divert my attention during administration of the shot. Every shot was well worth the pain. The shots created a temporary golf ball sized reservoir of anesthetic that would dissipate in about three minutes, at which point I could not feel my feet at all for the next 24 hours. (Yes, you can still walk and drive- can you believe it?)
  • Each knee gets a suction cup on each side filled with a wet sponge and hooked up to a machine. (Do not wear lotion because the suction won’t keep. I learned this the hard way.) Or, you get electrodes on each side of your knee and the tops of your feet as shown below.
  • The machine has various cycles of electrical impulses you get depending on what stage you are at in the process. Typically the course of action is 10-20 visits that last approximately a half hour. It feels like your muscles are instantly contracting and letting loose.  Fear not, it doesn’t hurt. Seems like a crazy process being zapped over and over again, but it honestly feels kind of good. I will post a video at a later time.

This treatment cured my peripheral neuropathy in my feet and was well worth the almost three hour round trip drive for treatment each time.

IMG_3269IMG_3270IMG_3273

2. Vitamin B6

In addition to C.E.T., I continued to take B6 which I will always stand by, as it helped me so much when my symptoms were mild.

3. Healthy Eating, Water, and Anti-oxidants

Healthy eating, water, and anti-oxidants will be a part of my life forever. In an effort to not further damage my nerve endings I always work hard to keep toxic levels in my body low with drinking a ton of water, and eating whole foods that help keep my system in balance. I also take Ultimate Anti-Oxidant Extracts by Andrew Lessman to continue my healing process.

Doing the above has made a significant difference in my quality of life. I have one lingering issue post chemo and it is my fingers. With a slight chill they turn white, painful, and numb almost like Raynaud’s. I have yet to get relief from this but if my hands are warm I am fine so I keep my hands warm. See picture below.

neuropathy post BEP chemotherapy

I hope this helps any of my fellow neuropathy suffers. I know from personal experience neuropathy is not fun. C.E.T.  is worth a try to avoid the sleepless nights and daily pain. If you have any questions please reach out to me. I would love to discuss the process further with you. That’s all for today.

28 comments on “Combined Electrochemical Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy Post BEP Chemotherapy
  1. NotDownOrOut says:

    I also have some neuropathy from chemotherapy. Mine does not appear as painful so much as it is irritating. I also got a little relief from B6 supplements. What was more interesting was the photo of your very white finger tips. I have seen that before in a family member and am passing this post on to her. Thanks for sharing so much information about a possible way to address some of these side-effects of treatment!

    • Hi there! Thank you for visiting the blog. If your neuropathy is annoying you maybe C.E.T. could help and only require a few visits. It’s worth a try. Thank you so much for passing my photo along to your family member. lt’s always my pleasure to pass along ways I have addressed my side-effects. It is important to me to help out my fellow fighters. :)

      • Herb says:

        Hi Trish ! I hope things are well for you . Wrote before and have found so good news for treating neuropathy . I had it so bad I wanted to amputate the legs from the knees down . Well prayers do work as far as I feel in life , My MRI of yesterday does show Spinal cancer which I know I need to be careful of but for treating PN of the feet , [ mine felt like swallowing cement and letting it harden in my feet all the time ] well I read and tried which I have as a prescription Potassium . I took too much and it leaves you with cramps in the legs along with vit D so be care but what difference , so IC KLOR-CON 20MEQ packets will take the pain away , I feel great , hope this may help anyone who reads your blog . Vit B complex also is a comforter but not like Potassium getting rid of the whole feeling . try it you will be amazed . its used for another illness but sure help me for the P.N. 70-80% . Good Luck to all . [ I am going to also try 35% hydrogen Peroxide for curing cancer . ] To let everyone know the Holy family leads my way in life . I figured out doctor’s here in Beantown , the revolving door syndrome sometimes , they care but really can not figure things out for us . Do it on your own . Radiation treatments are very good , but don’t do chemo . it doesn’t work , and the D’s told me that also . Great Love to all . Herb

  2. Mary Anne says:

    As a side note, i work for the physician that performed the C.E.T.’s on Trish. I have been in the medical field for a very long time and doing C.E.T’s is the most rewarding adventure i have ever experienced in this field. Seeing patients actually get better and being able to achieve their goals, such as Trish running in her marathon, and meeting Gracie and just seeing her go from a weary, sick of Dr’s and in pain woman, to running a marathon almost brings me to tears. I most certainly am not writing this to promote business for my physician….i will not even post his name…Trish can supply that
    to you if you need help….but please, if you suffer with chemo induced neuropathy (or any other kind of neuropathy for that matter)….seek help!!! Yes, i know, it is another Doctor and another “round” of treatments, but there is hope!!! Never give up the fight and always believe in your self and your dreams!!! Mary Anne.

  3. Danielle says:

    I have been looking into this treatment myself. I happened to stumble upon it while researching ways to help my pain. My biggest issue is I can’t seem to find any place that is even relatively local to me that does it. Is there some way to find a place that does this. Being a single mom with 2 kids and this disease is almost too much for me to bear. I am looking for any places near or within 2 hours of Eau Claire, WI which would include the Minneapolis area or anywhere in NJ/NY. My family is in NJ so I could bring my kids with me over the summer and get treatments there. If you have any resources please help me.

    Thank you

    • Hi Danielle- I will call my neurologist in the morning and ask if he has any resources in that area. Hang in there! I’ll be in touch as soon as I have an answer. -Trish

    • Hi Danielle- Just wanted to give you an update. My doctor is doing a search. They said it might be a couple days.

    • I have some good news for you….There is a doctor in Kenosha who does CET’s. Here is the information:
      Dr. Cindy Cernak
      Midwest Foot and Ankle Institute
      Wisconsin Neuropathy
      10105 74th St. Suite 101
      Kenosha, WI. 53142
      262.697.4301
      info@wisconsinfootdoctor.com

      • Danielle says:

        That’s the only one I can find too, She is about 5 hours away just 1 way. So 10 hours roundtrip twice a week, single mom of 2 working a full-time job doesn’t work. I am on the other side of the state closer to Minnesota. Did they happen to know one in the NJ/NY area? I was born and raised there and my entire family is there. I could take my kids with me in the summer and they could help me with my kids while I went for treatments there.

        I do want to thank you for even taking any time to ask your neurologist this question for me, it really does mean the world. You are in my prayers.

        Sincerely,

        Danielle Sargo

        • Rats! That is a very long drive-sorry. They are also checking into the NY/NJ area. That’s just what they came up with so far. Apparently the machines can’t be sold to any doctor within a 50 mile radius of another provider. Can you believe that?! Hang tight, hopefully there is a better answer.

        • Hi Danielle- I didn’t forget about you. :) I just wanted to give you an update that I still on the search. I’ve been calling all around with no avail. I recently put a call into an office I believe is our best chance at an answer. I’ll be in touch soon. -Trish

  4. Herb says:

    Hi Trish
    Your story gives me great HOPE , I still have great FAITH to believe I can get through this terrible time in life dealing with all the aftermath with cancer . Chemo which I don’t recommend ruined my life as I feel it [ Neuropathy ] from the knees down , it wasn’t that bad but after my second bout with cancer crushing my thoracic 11 vert. into my spinal cord left me paralyzed for two months . I am well but the Neuropathy is now 100x’s worst , I have read a few stories like yours and also need to know being from Boston Massachusetts are there any places close to my home ? I look it up but come up empty . I need a good Doctor that knows their way with this . Vit-12 aggravated it , Gabapentin hurts it now , Alpha lipic acid hurts my legs , I taking nothing and it feels better , Vit B complex is fine . Well I love your story , glad to hear your feeling great , Please if you can help and write to me if you can , Thank you for your time from cold as ever here Herb in Boston ma

    • mommybeatscancer says:

      Hi Herb- I am sorry to hear you are having so much trouble. Neuropathy isn’t fun by any means and I believe the medications for it are awful. That is why I went the C.E.T. route. C.E.T. is very hard to find resources for. I have been trying to help another person find a resource near them and there is virtually nothing on the internet regarding treatment centers other than my doctor and one in Nevada. In addition, I have called numerous neurologist trying to find a list with no avail. Here is the number for my doctor, perhaps they can assist you: 574-389-8027. Please let me know if this doesn’t work out for you and I will try to get you another resource. My deepest apologies that it took me a bit to get back to you. Be well. -Trish

      • Herb says:

        Hi Trish !
        Thank you for all you have done for me , I will take a visit this summer to see the doctor in Elkhart Indiana . This has to be one of the most disturbing problem a person can endure . I wish I had known this was one of the issue chemotherapy does to a person and I would have definitely said NO to receiving it . Again a big thanks , I hope it works as well here as it did for you . Many blessings to you , stay healthy , and a word to pass along to you , I have done some Oxygen cell therapy with 35% H.P. to cure myself of cancer , I feel good , and will see soon if the test results come back negative for any signs of it .
        Herb , Boston Massachusetts !

  5. Katy says:

    Thank you for this!

    I had BEP chemo in October 2011 for a dysgerminoma and had some neuropathy back then. It’s come back over the last month or two: my oncologist doesn’t think it’s cancer related, but my neurologist does. My neurologist says that there’s no nerve damage she can see, but is still blaming it on the chemo.

    I’m not sure that it isn’t related to the life I lead (I’m a fitness trainer and have two young children so spend a lot of time being extremely active – very likely I think that I’ve ‘tweaked’ something) but my neurologist was pretty insistent.

    Did you find out anything about neuropathy long-term?

    • mommybeatscancer says:

      Hi Katy- Thanks for writing in. I do find that even though my neuropathy has seemingly been cured I don’t do that well in the cold and feel lingering traces of it when my extremities are not warm or getting proper circulation. At this point I feel like what remains is chemo induced Raynaud’s which is also very painful but goes away when I am warm. Have you noticed it getting worse since it has gotten cold? I too am very active and have not noticed issues with increased activity. Have you thought about C.E.T.? Does your neurologist offer that treatment? Mine was very bad and to be sitting where I am now is amazing to me. C.E.T. was a lifesaver. It might be worth looking into if you are still having issues. In general I have found a few of my side effects go away then come back on really strong a month or two later which I think is very strange and unexplained. I hope this helps. I don’t know much more than personal experience regarding neuropathy. My neurologist did say I might have to eventually come back in for more treatments but at this point it doesn’t seem like it will be needed. Good luck to you. -Trish

  6. Cheryl says:

    I have a friend recently diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. CET was one of the options of treatment so we are trying to do research now. How expensive is a treatment.. she has limited insurance and a high deductible. She may have to pay out of pocket for a long time.

    • Trish says:

      Hi Cheryl-

      CET is quite pricy. I too had a hight deductible but my insurance covered CET. She will find that if she does CET she will VERY quickly hit her deductible. It is so worth every penny though. I am so happy with the results. Please let me know if she has any questions about the procedure. -Trish

  7. I have had a 95% improvement with C E T Therapy caused by Revlimid and Velcade. I live in the Dallas area. Medicare and my supplemental Ins. covered the cost.Real blessing because the medicines made me so sick i.e. lyrica and gabapentin.

    • Trish says:

      So glad to hear you had such awesome improvement with CET. The meds for peripheral neuropathy are pretty awful and this is an amazing alternative to all the nasty side effects. I love hearing from other people that have been helped by this. I am hoping the word spreads and it becomes more available nationwide. I definitely improves your quality of life.

  8. Shawnie says:

    Hi Trish,

    I am a PA and wanted to let you know any readers looking for a resource for CET in the Charlotte NC area – the office I work at does it. Their info is york primary and preventative medicine, 115 stone village dr, fort mill, sc 29708. Ph 803-548-7300. It is an amazing treatment, so glad you were able to get relief!

    Shawnie

  9. sylvia johnson says:

    I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in November 2013. I had surgery and 18 weeks of chemotherapy. Now I have peripheral neuropathy. It is very hard to work or any other activities. I am trying to locate a neurologist who offers Combined Electrochemical Treatment in the Huntsville, Alabama area or Atlanta, Georgia. Thank you.

  10. Nancy says:

    Dear Trish,

    Did you ever have a diagnosis for your hands? I have tha same exact problem, but I finished chemo in March 2014. It started in early Jan 2015 and my fingers turn white from the tips down when I am cold. As they warm up they turn purple, then back to pink. Thanks for any info you can share! I was diagnosed with triple negative breat cancer & treated with AC/T.

    Thanks,
    Nancy

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Combined Electrochemical Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy Post BEP Chemotherapy"
  1. […] Numbness and Tingling in Hands and Feet (Neuropathy) Be sure to tell your doctor if you begin to experience this side effect. This is a sign that the toxin levels are getting a little too high in your body. You don’t want neuropathy. It is painful and annoying. Vitamin E and the B vitamins are very helpful for preventing neuropathy. If you do experience neuropathy there are some ways to treat it post-completion of chemotherapy. See my post on Neuropathy. […]

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