Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chronic Pain

Greetings blessed loves!

So I am officially appointing our dear "bav" (AKA Beth) to the position of Crazy Sexy Resident MD. Why? Beth is an MD, a canSer cowgirl and a big believer and proactive participant in the Crazy Sexy Lifestyle! We became pals after meeting at one of my workshops in NYC and she has a wealth of knowledge (and a big ole heart) to share with ya'll. After she posted this comment I knew I had to make it an official entry! So welcome Beth, our second guest!

"Ok, pain sufferers, Kris asked me to see if I could offer any guidance. So here goes.

Chronic pain is a tough sitch, I'm not gonna lie. Pain impacts every aspect of your life, how you eat, how you sleep, how you move. You may not even be aware of it, but people tense up when in pain, they contract, which shifts body mechanics, which creates for more pain. They hold their breath.

Many chronic pain sufferers, for reasons unclear, have systems that become increasingly heightened to trigger pain. Instead of having a little pinch to a mild stimuli, many chronic/neuropathic pain sufferers experience an excruciating pain to some small noxious event. It's like your system becomes over-sensitized. It somehow resets your thresholds, your "set point," your triggering mechanisms. This can be especially so with neuropathic pain, which a few of you specifically mentioned.

So, how to break the cycle??

Some of this is fact, some of this is my opinion. I am simply offering it as information. If it works for you great. If it doesn't resonate with you, that is fine too. I totally respect people's right to choose what is right for them. As I said, pain is no fun. And unfortunately, it is really up to the person in pain to get themselves out of it, so it is super hard, I understand that.
Medications are only one small part of the solution. So it is awesome you are communicating with one another about it!!

First and foremost, I think the Crazy Sexy Lifestyle is just as important for chronic pain sufferers as it is for canSer babes. If you have both, even moreso!! In order to allow your body to return to what I will call a "zen state" ie pain-free, we need to get out the toxins. As much as we do know, I think there is SO much more we don't know about what goes on in the human body. What are all those preservatives, chemicals, pesticides in our foods doing to those delicate nerves? To those pain receptors? To the feedback mechanisms our body uses to signal our brain to feel pain? I'm guessing not anything good. So keep those juicers revving, girls. Get that oxygen-laden green juice into your system. Do your best in your own personal life to reevaluate what your food choices are on a day-to-day basis. And start taking away the sugars, the refined products, the dairy. Get in the high-quality food products. We need to pamper your temple (your body) so we can restore peace and serenity. Nutrition affects absolutely everything we experience physically, emotionally, mentally....even pain.

Food combining for quick-exit will be critical for you if you are on pain meds. Narcotics are incredibly constipating! Even if you are still pooping, believe me, the motility in your gut is slowed. So whatever you are ingesting, it is sitting inside you for longer than normal b/c the whole system is slowed down b/c of the pain meds. So, again, consider trying to go more towards Kris' suggested nutrition tips, and away from a mainstream diet. You may want to stock up on smooth move tea, aloe juice, whatever keeps your pooper moving.

Next, I encourage you to find a way to move your body. I'm not talking marathons here, or anything that is going to put you in the fetal position due to pain. But depending on your kind of pain, research has shown that inactivity makes things worse, and yes, even for neuropathic pain. Can you find a nice, gentle restorative yoga class? A stretching routine? Swimming? Exercise accomplishes a number of things. It stretches the fascia, the ligaments, muscles, everything that contains all kinds of nervous tissue. This helps to release toxins being held, to pull blood (ie oxygen) into the area, to contract lymph vessels, to help carry away tissue wastes. I'm not going to lie, the first week might be rough, if you haven't been active for awhile, but that should quiet quickly. Soreness should feel different than pain. In addition, exercise releases all kinds of yummy hormones in our brain, not only endorphins, but others that lift mood, increase energy, and yes, help decrease pain!! So, do what you can. Even if you start with a minute of dancing in your underwear, shake that booty somehow!

Depression often goes hand in hand with pain. How could it not?? It is miserable to hurt constantly. And chemically, what goes on in the body and brain, there are reasons for this. If you are prone to depression, ongoing pain may make it worse. If you are new to pain and never have been depressed, don't be surprised if you find yourself in new territory. Constant discomfort permeates into every area of your life and it can wear you down! So you need a strategy that works for you. I do encourage chronic pain sufferers to find a great therapist, social worker, shrink, minister, whomever, to touch base with weekly. Someone to vent to, someone to give you some perspective about how awesome you are doing with all that you are trying to juggle. Someone who can suggest meds if that is appropriate for you, or guide you to someone who can. Keeping your mental closet as tidy as you can is really going to help b/c pain effects the brain so much, not just the body part where you experience the pain!! This does NOT mean you are having pain b/c you are depressed, or that it is all in your head or anything like that. It means, unfortunately, your brain is involved in the pain feedback loop. That is how our body is set up, it's just anatomy. So attending to the health of that organ (yes, your brain) is going to help the pain syndrome.

Seek out alternative providers. Osteopaths trained in "Manipulative Medicine", craniosacral work, fascia release can do wonders for pain. I'm not talking the wrenching, cracking kind of manipulation. I am talking GENTLE, where you aren't sure what (if anything) they just did. But somehow a few days later, you feel WAY better. I recommend looking for someone who specifically deals with chronic pain. I can't live without mine. And b/c they are doctors, insurance covers it.

Acupuncture is phenomenal for pain! Certain kinds of pain receptors are in our skin. They each correspond to a certain area, think small circular patch. The acupuncture needle stimulates that little meridian, like dropping a pebble in a pond, it then sends ripples out. By stimulating the area, it then actually allows that pain pathway to quiet down. This can transmit to deeper (beyond the skin) internal pain meridians. Many insurance plans now cover acupuncture, check with your carrier.

Massage, is a delightful blend of the benefits of exercise, osteopathy and acupuncture all rolled into one. I suggest someone trained in myofascial techniques, acupressure, physical therapy/sports massage. These folks tend to have increased training in the anatomy of pain fibers, pathways etc. And yes, many insurance carriers now cover massage. If the first person you see doesn't give you some relief after a few sessions, try someone else. Massage manually moves toxins out, draws blood to an area, releases spasms, moves lymph, contracts muscles, stretches etc etc. It may "hurt." I am not talking about going for a relaxing, zone out massage. I am talking about going for a "massage treatment." You need to be able to communicate with your therapist about how much pressure is too much, about what you can (or cannot) tolerate. There are therapists out there who specialize in pain, call around, ask if they work with neuropathic pain sufferers, chronic pain etc. My massage therapist can make some of my pain go away completely that cortisone shots did not help! Seriously.

I like arnica. You can rub it on a certain area if you have a joint, muscle etc that hurts. But you can take it as a pill for you neuropathic girls. I am a fan of Naturopaths if you want to find natural remedies. They know their stuff, and can work with you. This will be important if you are on pain meds, b/c some of the herbal stuff impacts how those are metabolized.

And don't forget to breathe. I am a proponent of breath therapy. If you can't find a certified breath therapist near you, or can't afford it, you can do it at home. Simple techniques, with tremendous benefits. When I first learned of this 15 years ago, I thought it was hooey. Until I went for my first session. Amazing what happens when we breathe properly!

Whew! I'm sure I forgot something, but those are my highlights. More than any other problem, I think pain requires a comprehensive approach. Take Kris' Cancer Tips book and replace cancer with pain. I encourage you to tackle it from all angles, from a crazy sexy lifestyle perspective. I empathize. I know it's hard. But it can be done. And because you are here on this blog, you are claiming your power, you are on your way to finding for yourself what heals your body. And I can't applaud, encourage, support you enough in that endeavor."

Big hugs,

Viva la Crazy Sexy Lifestyle for all!!!


Basic Me said...

You are brilliant. I am so glad you are a dr. and I have to say so thrilled for your community and ours that we all get to share in your loving and healing light. Brava for you darlin' you are kickin ass and taking names...and you got it you really got it.. The patients point of view, empathy, kindness and joy and you understand the fear. We bloggers are so thrilled that you are ours. Now it makes perfect sense. My sister is a Cardiac Surgeon and you have the words to express the health concerns so well. Well I missed that. I thought you were a naturopath. Dont stop blogging on this site. We need your wisdom besides I would miss you. Thanks Kris for finding this diamond.

Now I am so curious that each of is does for a living.. we are some rocking canser cowgirls and cowboys..

I a starting: I am a minister, and professional speaker. I didn't just become ordained in my denomination I have studied many disciplines and though I have my phd in theology/world religons and international affairs. I opened and run Basis Missions that operates as a full service mission to women and men in need. I was in my life an artist and sold paintings and photos and taught college.... and I have a degree in culinary arts, american history, animal science, and was once a ranch hand. ha. thats me..soon published author.
I dance between all that is possible. Ok girls and guys out there... lets have it..What do you do daily...what do you love it what is your passion.

I love what I do but it in this time that we are filming short documentaries and going global I am terrified. I had the mission down. I knew what worked. But the universe is calling and I dont work out of fear anymore. So today Mobile tomorrow the world. Ha.

All right everyone get to typing!

Annalin said...

I just want to thank you Kris & Beth for posting that and bringing pain up as a main topic. When I posted my first post I was feeling awful and just wanted a place to vent. Now it has turned into a main topic with so much intelligent information and from a Dr.!! I am so happy, thank you.
Plus you guys look beautiful in your picture!!

Basic Me- I guess I will go next ;)

I am a nursing student at D'Youville College in Buffalo, NY.
I am in a combined bachelors/masters program that will take a total of 5 yrs for me to complete. I have attended college through radiation and plan to keep attending through any future treatments if needed. It keeps me sane. I want to eventually specialize in oncology nursing and one day be the head of the nursing department at a respected Cancer Facility. I am also interested in radiology and alternative/holistic medicine. I like to read about cancer research and new advances. I have a soft spot for pediatrics because I think that children are the bravest people in the world fighting illness.

Whew...ok that's me!

Oh P.S. I work at a ski resort on the weekends ;)

Mel said...

I have a question about pain...this is for my 69-year-old father who does not have cancer, but has chronic back pain and also had a heart attack this past summer and had a stent put in one artery. (luckily, he is doing well). His diet was already fairly healthy, but he has made some other changes since his heart attack to make it even better (though nowhere near perfect). He does not follow the crazysexy diet. My concern is that he has started getting steroid injections in his back for chronic back pain...he thought he needed a hip replacement, but it turns out a couple of his vertebrae are very worn and causing pain in his back, hips, and leg. He loses his voice after the injections, and he's looking really frail lately. He's lost 20 pounds or so since his heart attack in August (he wasn't very big to begin with). I've read conflicting things about steroid injections for back pain. Are they safe? Are the long term effects really established? The doctor doesn't want to do surgery on his back, unless as a last resort. I appreciate any advice anyone can give or if you can point me to a good resource. I'm overwhelmed by all the information out there.

basic me--I am a doctoral student of English, studying to take my comprehensive exams in a few months. Then it's on to the dissertation; I am planning to research domestic violence-related discourse. I've worked as a communications specialist for a medical school, but I currently teach professional writing and composition at the university level. Your Basis Missions sounds really interesting to me...I checked out your website...I look forward to reading more of your blog when it's up and running.

Nikki_Trem said...

Good day ladies.

Bav, thanks for your insight! Maybe you have some words of wisdom for me. I have always had trouble with breathing. My mom told me that when I was scared (when I was little) I used to hold my breath until I was almost blue. To this day, I catch myself holding my breath in difficult situations. Since watching Kris on Oprah, I started doing some basic breathing exersices, stretching and other strengthening exercises. I don't even know if I am doing it right but I just knew I had to start somewhere.

So I am interested in your take on something...I had my thyroid removed due to Thyroid Cancer about 9 months ago. The very next day I was unable to sleep for 3 days straight. I had so much energy but I knew that it was not good for my body to be this awake. I have had trouble sleeping, staying asleep... etc since. Pre surgery I slept like a rock... so a few months later had a sleep study done. During REM sleep my oxygen levels were about 80. How can I control my breathing when I am asleep? I am not sure if there is a breathing coach in my town...but do you think this could help with the overall quality of my breathing even when I am asleep? Thanks.


Jimsjoint said...

my wife had chronic back pain last year before her spinal fusion. we tried a little "grass therapy" which seemed to work real well. It was amazing how she could deal witht the pain much better after taking a puff.

Basic Me said...

Hey Girls.. Dont we rock. can we not all wait to have Roslin as out head nurse... OH man wonderful.. and Me... I have no idea what is on the site now. My web master just put some hold page.. but Dec. 15th it will be a real site..

We in Social work need sooooo much help. We actually have only 2 beds for homeless women in Mobile. 2! We have over 600 famlies... if you are a women in need and are heading for a shelter thye will seperate you from your children if they are boys and send the boys to the mens shelter.. Would you ever do that. OHhhh it drives me nuts... Anyway... we have not had that page for many days and I am scared to look at it. But please everyone come to the grand opening. It is going to be so cool. This Global inititative is going to hit us right where we all live on this site. With getting good care, with establising forum and standard for caring for the mnd body and spirit in Alabama no matter what system you find yourself in.. Be it the socail, wefare, or healthcare system.. If we all work together thier will be a movement in the country to make what seems impossible the norm. Educate, Facilitate, Fund, and have the Form follow the function. I know it will work.
I cannot wait to see what everyone else does.

How many of you worry about the holidays and pain. It adds extra stress and pain so go slow and breathe. If it takes us longer to ge there it just means the foods and company will be twice as good. Happy Thanksgiving ALL!!!!
Thanks for looking and I cannot wait to hear all your news.. Hugs Callie

Nikki_Trem said...

Basic Me...I am getting my MSW (Masters in Social Work)...I know on a fundamental level of the mind body connection. It is just coming into focus for me personally. But what a gift of experience I can pass on to my consumers. While I am not getting class credit for what I am learning here I plan on using it. Still have so much to i need you all. This is a slow process for me. (soaking it up)

Kiki said...

This is wondeful, thanks for another great post.
I have to ask agains though about a forum (only because I read somewhere that one would be coming in the future).
I still love the blog posts SO much, but sometimes I find that through the many wonderful comments to the blog posts, some questions, and of course more wonderful advice, gets lost.
I've also been a moderator on a parenting forum (and member of countless others) so I would definately be willing to help in any way that I could, though I don't know much about setting them up or the technical side of them.
PHPbb seems to be popular but I'm not sure of the ease of use.

cancer cowgirl xo said...

Forum on the way! Between Thanksgiving and Xmas! Very soon, so you can all socialize.... xoxo Kris

Kiki said...

It will be like a little holiday gift for all of us.
I'm so excited!
Thanks so much.

StarBright78 said...

Woohoo! Forum!

Thanks Kris and Bav! (LOVE THIS BLOG!)

Alissa said...

Thanks for all the great info, Bav. I just heard that Kris' segment on Montel Williams was going to re-air on Thanksgiving. If you didn't get a chance to see her, it was excellent. I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Basic Me said...

I cannt wait for the forum but kris you can't leave us all in the sandbox alone.. we need you girl... so start making plans to play a little to..

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.. I am off to polish the silver and get ready for the onslaught. My grandmother said the most beautiful thing she said "Callie are you bring out real silver and candles and china at the mission for thanksgiving and I said No I thought I wouldn't and she let me have it and said would I host a party not make it special. Things are not special people are so she is coming over to get candles and tableclothes ready so it will be a more festive day. My love to you all. Light a candle and give thanks. Many Blessings. Callie

Hef said...

What a great post. I suffer from peripheral nueropathy, with no known cause. It is very hard to stay motivated, and on track. I have been suffering from bad depression lately, and clearly undervaluing the correlation between that and the physical symptoms. I have been feeling very hopeless lately. I seem to be losing my legs a little each day. Im only 35 and a year ago, I was perfectly healthy. Life is crazy like that.

Its great to see a post touching on different topics. It was amazing to read this post of all days today, considering the day I had today.

Kris- I saw you at the Open Center a few weeks ago, you did great. I cant wait for the forum to be done

B- If any of these practitioners are in Manhattan can you share their information? Please let me know, as finding a good team, is very hard.


Obsessedwithlife said...

What perfect timing! I'm having a lot of pain's stressful. I've had spinal cord cancer 3 times and so pain and me, well we have a history and daily meetings but lately it's getting bad again. Worrisome.



Anonymous said...

Bav/Beth -
What an amazing MD you are. Your patients are so lucky to have a doctor who is open minded and cares so much.

Kris - I don't have a juicer yet, but I did try wheat grass for the first time. It wasn't what I thought, but a juicer might be next - I'm waiting to see what Santa brings me first.

Basic - I'm a Physical Therapist with a specialization in manual theray. I treat patients who have orthopedic conditions for the most part. I'm also getting certified to teach pilates.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

cancer cowgirl xo said...


Happy holidays gang! Big love. K

PS. You know I won't leave ya'll Callie. I just want you to be able to chat with out me, you are becoing such pals and when I'm busy you have each other. I'll be posting 3 times a week maybe more but if we're gonna build a community we need more bricks!

Basic Me said...

Kris Darlin' don't worry we will all be here pounding the straw and mud into bricks ... I am so thrilled and amazed at the care givers in this forum.. we are a movement people... keep it up..
I just keep checking in.. procrastination..

My pain is up today too much lifting and carting.. serves me right I know better. So I just keep letting my fingers do the talking.

Kris cannot wait to see you on Montel this time I am tivoing it and tell you your friend has a mission and loves the PPA program his organization helps us so much.

hugs.. callie

etklisa said...

Osteopaths have the abbr. DO after their name. Traditional docs have MD after their name. Within the scope of Osteopathic medicine there are a select few who continue the tradition of cranial manipulation. (There are DOs who are ENTs or other types of surgeons in any field of medicine.) You can go on the Osteopathic website to find these doctors in your area. People who aren't docs also say they perform cranial manipulation and other forms of this technique. These arent the doctors trained in the true technique of cranial manipulation as Bav recommends.

Sandra Joseph said...

The mystery of the divine Dr. Bav, solved! I knew you must have some fancy degree up your sleeve. And I knew you were incredibly generous about sharing your knowledge with the blog fam. What I did not know was that you are drop dead gorgeous. How fun to put a face to the words of wisdom. I'm so grateful for your advice on getting off the damn prevacid. Keep talkin' to us, girl. Kris, thanks for another awesome guest blogger.

Liz said...

Okay, got a question. Hope someone reads this and can give me some insight. Anyone ever use those feet-pads to remove the toxins?? Foot Detox Pads?? Curious what everyones take is on this...thanks!!

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

Thanks, Bav/Beth!

I had my first massage in years yesterday right in my own living room from a woman who had been wanting to help me in some way. I said food is out, my kids are getting rides to school when needed, my little one has more playdates than we can shake a stick at, my business in she said that she is a massage therapist and can she just give me a massage? Now, I have heard from day one of my canser adventure that it's a no-no on massage, so I've been very careful, BUT you know, ONE massage....i figured it ain't going to hurt, and was it ever heaven! two hours! my woodstove going, my dog snoring and I am getting the best lavendar and rosemary and whatever scents massaged into my chemo skin. This is the week I am supposed to feel the worst (post-nuelasta shot too) and I feel great! I am even going to go swimming on Friday in honor of my friends who just gave me a wet suit, hood, gloves and booties so I can continue my "fuck cancer" swims in the ocean up here in Maine! Yippee!

Anyway, BAV, everything you say is right right right. I am a big believer in the mental and the physical activity. It helped me heal from surgery much more quickly, and it gives me reason to live. It's part of my arsenal.

Anyway, on a serious note, I don't plan on getting massaged alot, but really, was it ok to do? Just need an opinion on that.

In the meantime, great to see you on the blog, Bav!!!!!!! Happy Thanksgiving everyone and thanks to you all. You have become my family and my support group more than you might ever know!!


Becky said...

Oh, and I am a graphic designer/artist and run my own freelance business out of my house. Most print design, some web. I have been an artist my whole life.


Dani Glaser said...

Bav, what a fabulous post. I have a long chronic pain story with a happy ending so here goes. I am now 49. I was in chronic pain from around age 31 until last year. At 31, I had sinus surgery, carpal tunnel surgery (R & L) followed by knee surgery a few years later. Doctors were treating my body in pieces, rather than looking at me as a whole. I needed crutches to get out of bed in the morning and with young children at the time, I was calling my husband or my mom almost daily to come home and help me. I tried cranio-sacral therapy, diet, massage, everything and nothing worked. Talk about depression... it was a vicious cycle. Finally, my cranio-sacral doctor suggested that I go to a rheumatologist believing that my problem was systemic, which turned out to be true. Dr. Solitar (NYC) diagnosed me with "inflammatory arthritis" and started me on Azulfadine (a sulfa based antibiotic), which I have been taking for the better part of 15 years. For me, it was a miracle drug. Fast forward to now. Feeling well has allowed me to practice yoga and walk with little discomfort. Over a year ago I started a monthly acupuncture regimen. I have weaned myself off of my meds (shhhh don't tell the doctor) and take lots of supplements. I have now added Kris's green juice to my regimen. Soooo, it's taken many years, trying many things but at 49 I feel better than 31 any day. If you see a doctor (better yet a naturopath), make sure that they look at the whole you, not just pieces. On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful to have found all of you wonderful people. Thanks Kris for you inspiration. Love, Dani

bav said...

Thank you all, so much! I am excited to be joining forces with all of you in spreading the Crazy Sexy Revolution.

Now, to respond to some questions...

Mel: Steroid injections for back pain. Objectively, there continues to be debate about the efficacy, simply b/c there have been no good studies. Subjectively, over 1/2 of all people who receive them report good results. So they have come to be viewed as a valuable, low-risk component in the plan of care for back pain. However, as with anything, there are risks. With a steroid injection, you get 2 sets of risks - one set for the actual physical intervention of passing a needle into the epidural space, and the second set from the drugs being injected. You didn't mention where in his spine he gets his injection. If it is higher up in the spine, the voice hoarseness makes sense. The drugs are going to effect whatever nerves are in the area into which they are introduced. So if he is receiving injections higher up in his spine, that would fit. (Similarly, when people receive injections in their lower spine, the biggest complaint is temporary numbness of the bowels and bladder.) I can go into the risks if you want, let me know.

His weight loss is a bit more concerning, if he hasn't made great changes in diet or exercise. When people have big, specific problems that are glaring, it is often easy to forget to step back and evaluate the patient as a whole. Meaning, is he up-to-date with a basic physical exam from his primary care doctor? Has he had all the appropriate screening for a man his age (colon cancer, prostate etc)? Or sometimes, older patients aren't always vocal about the extent of their symptoms. People in a lot of pain, don't tend to eat very much. So perhaps, in your Dad's case, he just hasn't found the right pain control regimen. Or, they haven't "caught up" with his pain yet. Pain is very hard to get under control once it is out of control, unfortunately, sometimes it can take awhile. There is so much I could blab on and on about with respect to back pain. I would encourage you to read the post again and see if any of the alternative therapies would appeal to your Dad. And continue to encourage him in making dietary changes. Back pain, at its very basic root, is because of inflammation. The steroids chemically try to counteract that, and they also usually flush the area to wash out the body's inflammatory mediators. He can impact the inflammatory nature of his whole system through his nutritional choices, just as Kris explains in her book. I hope that helps and answers your questions. If not, or I missed something, holler back.

Nikki - breathing, one of my favorite topics! (Because I used to hold MY breath ALL the time.) This might be overstating it a bit, (cuz I can be a bit dramatic sometimes) but basically, most of us, particularly us women, breathe "wrong." In that we are trying to suck in our belly so we don't look fat, which is actually changing the mechanics of how we should be breathing. In addition, most of us running around in our hectic, fast-paced days, are doing it while holding our breath. You are normal, Girl. You have trained your body to incorrectly breath, just like the rest of us!!
(But you do have the additional layer of the thyroidectomy, so that could be compounding the sleep problem for you.) If you can find a breathing therapist in your area, I think that would help you tremendously. Also, yoga. I love yoga, b/c it is all about moving the breath to find ease in your body, which then in turn strengthens you. In answer to your question, yes, I think training your breathing, just like you train anything else, will help you.

What did they tell you about your sleep study? The drop in your O2 sat during REM could be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on the rest of the study. There is a "sleep center" in your brain that can cause central apnea. Most people think of sleep apnea with the folks with the big thick necks that peripherally, physically cuts off oxygen. But your brain can cause centrally-mediated apnea. I believe however, that is typically seen in people with some kind of brain trauma, but I'm not 100% sure. So, without the whole context, I'm not sure what to make of that piece of data. Keep doing your breathing exercises, and see if you can get some formal help with it either through a breath therapist or yoga.

Jeff, I don't specifically know of anyone in Manhattan. Kris may. I think word of mouth is the best reference. If you have friends, or other providers you trust, ask them. Kris' workshop was at the New York Open Center. I checked out their facility and programs while there and they also have a website. I like what they are doing. Maybe call them and see if they can give you some guidance?

Becky, my friend!! I got massages all through my entire chemo - weekly!! It was the only way I could tolerate all the pain I was in. I put that recommendation right up there with the "don't eat fruits and veggies" one. The only thing I would caution you on is basic common sense stuff, if you have a cut, open area on your skin, etc and no white count, have them stay away from that. Make sure your provider has washed his/her hands thoroughly before touching you. And that during the massage, they don't touch their own face/mouth/nose and then touch you. You know, basic infection precaution stuff. Other than that, I say go for it.

And I know I probably sound like a broken record, but really, following all Kris' recommended nutrition tips is key. The more I am continuing to learn, the more I am believing, it really is that "simple." So as I like to say now, Viva la crazy, sexy lifestyle!!

Big hugs to all. Happy Thanksgiving.

Nikki_Trem said...

I have so much to be thankful for. Just before I wrote my original question to you Bav...I called my gurlfriend who teaches yoga. I have been hearing a lot about breathing and yoga...I go to my first class next Weds!!

About the sleep study...I just remember them saying it was concerning but no one has suggested anything as a follow up. I would have to dig it up to give you more context. Nevertheless, thank you for your response. Maybe the yoga will do the trick.

Thank you. Nikki

apoopslingingmonkey said...

Wow Bav! Awesome info! You rock girl! Thanks for taking your time for your incredible posts :)

I'd love to know the risks of cortisone shots for pain that you and Mel where talking about. My mom really wants them, her back and neck is a mess-(she already had neck surgery- helped a bit, but otherwise, shes in non stop constant pain, and the pain pills kills her ulcers. She was on fentanyl patch for about 2 years, but shes so tired of the narcotics etc. Her pain is so bad that not even the Fentanyl patch would work after day 1. She was on max dose too. So shes hoping the cortisone shot in the back would help. What do you think? my main question is about the risks/benefit level?

(her history-she also has Fibromyalgia, osto pena, degenerative disk disease- she walks 30-60 minutes a day 7 days a week... her pain is worse if she doesn't walk- walking keeps things less stiff-and in long run less pain, because the days she doesn't walk shes in much more pain the next day-and each day that would go by with no walking the pain was worse each day, shes experimented and has found walking everyday does help alot-even though ironically the walking in itself can be painful lol- its like a catch 22)

lovinlife said...

So glad you have this site, Kris. This is my first time on the blog. Love it!

lovinlife said...

I have tried a wonderful type of chiropractic for my pain: Network Chiropractic. It's very gentle, using light taps in specific areas on my spine. It also incorporates breath, awareness, and other gentle "nudges" to assist your system back to greater ease. My chiropractor has been helping me for several months and I am so grateful to have found her. I have referred several friends to Network Chiropractors on the east coast. There's a whole "network" of these doctors around the planet doing this amazing work. Check it out! Also, do you know about Acai fruit? It's unbelievable. You can do a search on it and it's benefits.... decreases inflammation and it's a powerful antioxidant, more than wheatgrass.

Have fun!

SurvivingStrongSince05 said...

I have been in chronic pain long before my cancer diagnoses. I have Sjogren's Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, vertigo and yes, a touch of, um, depression. I also believe I had cancer and was, well not cured, but the cancer I have must have stopped producing the enzyme that causes the cancer, from acupuncture. I loved it and it was my saving grace. I went once a week and since my insurance didn't cover it, thank God, my dad paid for it. I love my acupuncurist, she is fabulous and would spend hours with me if she needed to. Unfortunately with so much going on in my life at the moment I haven't been able to get back to her. But regardless of no insurance coverage, I think I need to go back to her.

kah said...

Dear Kris and Bav,
I can't find the words beyond Thank You for the time you've taken to write on chronic pain. I know the heart of this site is about cancer, but I can't tell you what it feels like to have found an intelligent, strong, positive group who have chronic pain in common. I am 31, and have been suffering from chronic pain for 10 years after 6 back surgeries, and am looking towards more. My entire life has changed and evolved in a direction I'd never imagine because of my body.
Last year at this time, I couldn't even get out of bed, had to leave a high-profile job as a sassy PR gal, and my days revolved around watching yoga on TV instead of doing it myself! But I am living proof of Bav's words! I did everything she mentioned in her post and slowly through ALL of the ways to tackle pain that she mentioned, I am in a better place. I am walking everyday (no more marathons though!) doing Pilates 3 days a week, playing with my dogs, even running my own PR business! I still have to take meds and some days are easier than others, but it was so comforting to read your words! The only thing I will say is that like everyone dealing with something - it is a full time job and can get hard balancing life and managing pain! So it is so nice to have a place to go to read, listen, speak and understand what others are dealing with!
Here is my question to Bav and to all of you out there - how do we work towards getting more money invested in research for curing chronic pain and increasing research! My insurance covers almost nothing except my narcotics! I am blessed to be able to afford massage, acupuncture, herbs, organic food, etc - I even had to pay out of pocket for my board-certified neurologist, because she is board-certifed in holistic medicine! But she was worth every penny - helped get me on the path that Bav spoke of in her first post!
Any thoughts???
Thanks again to both Bav and Kris!! And to all of you dealing with chronic pain, there is hope - it just takes one SMALL step at a time!

Kate said...

Hello! So I have been reading this blog everyday for a consistent month now and I finally decided to jump in and join yall in your fight for the good life.

What a strong bunch of people! Kris, I just wanted to let you know that I admire you so much. You are living the dream. You ARE making the world a better place! and bless you for that.

Before I get into what finally convinced me to write, I'll just introduce myself since we are doing the internet icebreaker game.

My name is Kate. I'm a 20 year old udergraduate student at the University of Delaware. I'm studying Marketing but really have a passion for all things healthy, loving, and natural. You may then wonder what I'm doing in business but that's for another time. ;)

I live and grew up in the state that (since the last time I checked) has the highest cancer rate in the US. Frankly that totally freaks me out! My eyes are so wide right now to all of the disease and bad consequences of poor choices floating around in my Delaware air. After watching CSC on TLC I turned to my friend and told her to mark my words, I will not get cancer. I know you can't always control those things but man, with the knowledge I'm gaining lately, I sure feel like I have a hell of a lot more control.

You all are teaching me so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope I'm not looked on as an intruder because I personally don't have cancer. I certainly have known enough people in my life that have been affected by it. I lost my uncle in June to rectal cancer.

And while this is all so sad. Kris,Bav, and every other contributing member give so much hope and knowledge. It's really empowering. Thank you.

So before I overextend my welcome, I'll get to the motivating factor for my post tonight. I have been watching my father suffer from a laundry list of health problems for my entire life. My Dad is 58 and morbidly obese, I'm sure you can imagine all the issues he deals with daily. But what concerns me the most right now is his peripheral neuropathy. Talk about cronic pain. Some days the only way my Dad can walk is if he's loaded up on pain killers. It's so scary.

Jeff, what is your story? how long have you had the disease? When were you diagnosed? How did it start? How do you deal with the pain? As a family memember, is there anything I can do for my Dad? Does anyone have any insight?

My Dad has had PN since 2004 and since then he's gained even more weight because it's getting harder for him to tolerate the pain and move around. I'm so scared for him.

Keep up the fight Jeff. I see the pain in my Dad's eyes everyday but I also see it temporarily go away when we make him smile. I hope you have lots of people around you that you can hit up for some smile therapy. :)


bav said...

Nikki, rock on with the yoga, Girl!! Please let me know how it works out for you. I wasn't crazy about it when I first started, (b/c it turns out I was doing it all wrong!) So stick with it, cuz now I'm hooked. I would also encourage you to ask next time you see your PCP about your sleep study and if any follow up is indicated. Sometimes things fall through the cracks unfortunately.

Poopslinger, risks from spinal steroid injections, 2 sets of risks, as I mentioned. One from physical passing of needle into epidural space, second set from drugs themselves. All of the risks have a very low incidence, by the way. So this is considered a safe, low risk procedure, from a medical standpoint. But, here they are....

From injection: infection, bleeding, dural puncture - we call this a "wet tap" b/c it allows CSF to leak sometimes. You can get a mother of headache b/c of this. Usually tear resolves on its own, but sometimes requires another procedure, a blood patch, to plug up hole in dura so CSF stops leaking. And finally nerve damage from direct trauma to nerve from needle.

Risks of steroid drugs:
increased pain, headache, facial flushing, anxiety, fever, sleeplessness, and wacky blood sugars, especially if you are diabetic.

Again, most of these risks have a very low incidence. If she is that uncomfortable, from a risk/benefit ratio, I think it is reasonable for her to try. She can do it once, if it works, great, she has some relief. If it wasn't worth the bother, she doesn't have to repeat.

Having said all that, the thing that strikes me is that she is better on days when she walks. My gut is telling me.... yoga. Can you get her a gift certificate for a private yoga lesson for the holidays, and see how it works for her? I think the one-on-one would be key given her back, but I have a hunch it could help her tremendously. Ask around, find that rock star teacher. What do you think? Just a suggestion. I think the stretching, the elongation of the muscle, fascia, tendons, the spinal alignment, the posture that yoga facilitates could potentially offer her some major relief. It may take a month or so, I don't expect magic after 1 session, but maybe she could check it out and see if it's something she could commit to?

kah - getting money for research....ahhh, the holy grail. make some noise, at the government level, a la Christopher Reeve, is one way. Find a local practitioner doing research, and if you are of a mind, volunteer to help with research - collect data, grant write, organize results etc. There are lots of folks trying to get the info out there, a lot of them just need some help in getting it done and don't have funding to pay someone to help them. Pain, back pain in particular, is actually being looked at quite a bit in the literature. Problem is that pain is not objectively measurable, so it is hard to quantify some of the data from a research perspective. Pain is a tough topic, from all directions!!

Jeff, I keep thinking of you. I wish I could offer you something more, man. "It does get better" sounds so lame, but it DOES. Hang in there. I had to really look around to find my team of healers. I asked everyone and their sister for referrals. I went to see some pretty funky people, I remember thinking as I was going, "Beth, what are you doing? Are you crazy?" But I explored, asked, and asked some more. When I kept hearing the same couple of names over and over again from different aspects of my life, that is who I called. And once you find one good solid healer, they tend to be able to refer you to others in different areas. It is so tough. And isolating. But you are NOT alone. You CAN be productive, happy, comfortable etc etc etc. Hang in there! Big hugs!

Kate, I'm wondering about the origin of his PN. Get him a juicin', get him on Kris' nutritional lifestyle, which will help his neuropathy. I know it is rough when you hurt, but help him find some kind of exercise he can do. It is SOOOOO important to help him get weight off if he can, b/c obesity is only going to make the pain syndrome worse. Armchair yoga? Seriously, there are dvds at Whole Foods. Swimming? Something, Girl, something. Start slow, but it is so in his best interest. Maybe his PCP can refer him to a physical therapist who can give him an exercise routine he can do on his own at home to get him on his way?? He needs the Crazy Sexy Lifestyle!

Hope that helps. Let me know if I missed anything.


just t said...

Bav- Hi, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving !! I was wondering if you could give me a basic daily menu ? I don't know when to juice, how often ? how much ezekial bread can you have a day ? is hummus o.k. ? any info you can offer will be much appreciated ! thanx again for all your help and encouragement ! tina

kah said...

Kate - kah here. Bav mentioned swimming. That was one of the things that was so helpful when I could hardly move. I went to water therapy - really for me just getting in the water and moving around just a bit was a first good start. Lots of local rec centers have water therapy programs - even for those with arthritis and other joint problems - which I found helpful. I know it might be hard to get him there, but working in the water was so much easier than out of the pool.
To apoopslingingmonkey - I also find "relief" in trying to keep moving - weird I know - but true. I've had a ton of back surgeries steming from degenrative disc disease. I have a great yoga therapist I used who works specifically with people with chronic pain, injury, MS, etc and she tailors yoga workouts accordingly. Her name is River (Betsy) Cummings. ( Although she is in Colorado she knows therapist all over the country and might be able help find someone where your mom lives. Her email is listed at the link above. She is a great and caring soul who really helped me a ton!

Nikki_Trem said...

Bav and Kris, thanks for your collective encouragement. I am really excited about the yoga. I have created my own little exercise routine (just to do something) since seeing Kris on Oprah. Next step for me is the juicing and trying some other veggie recipes with my mom as my wellness partner "guinea pig". She has non-hodgkins lymphoma..and said she was open to exploring the Crazy Sexy Cancer way. She will be with me over the Christmas Holiday and we both have the canser check ups. While they can be stressful I am looking forward to introducing her to what I have learned so far. Much appreciation. Nikki

bav said...


It's hard to answer all your questions, b/c I don't know where you are at with your eating or what your goal is. Until Kris' nutrition book comes out, I highly recommend Natalia Rose's books. I think for you, the first book, Raw Food Detox Diet would be perfect. She has a "quiz" that depending on your score, tells you what "level" you are, meaning where you are on the eating continuum from the SAD to raw. Based on your level, she then gives you a 7 day meal plan. It will answer oodles of your questions. Keep in mind, she is about health, weight loss, etc, so you will have to superimpose on her info, Kris' nutrition info specifically for canSer babes, cuz that is a whole other layer. In the meantime, I will try to see if I can answer some of your questions.

First, juicing is best on an empty stomach. It ideally should be the first thing you take in every day. Minimum 12 oz per day, but the more the better. 30 minutes before or after fruit, or 3 hours after properly combined meal, if you can't have it first thing or want some as a "snack".

How much sprouted grain bread? Well, that depends on what your eating goals are. Do you want to be 80/20 raw, 70/30, even 60/40, do you not care about that and just want to eat high quality foods whenever, are you also trying to food combine properly, are you trying to lose weight? etc etc. So, it's not a matter of, Tina, you can eat x number of slices per day. However you choose to eat, listen to your body. How do you feel after you eat the bread? Energized? Satisfied? Or bloated? Tired? Remember, just b/c something is a high quality food, doesn't mean it will agree with YOU. For me, I count bread as a "side dish" to my raw veggie main entree. So I usually only have one slice. I do on occassion enjoy a yummy avocado, lettuce, tomato, sprouts sammy (sandwhich), in which case, obviously, I use two slices. Because I eat primarily raw, I would only do this once in a day, maybe once a week, at dinnertime.
But I am pretty hardcore with my eating, so it all depends on where you are. If you are just starting to transition from a mainstream diet to Kris' crazy, sexy lifestyle, I think a serving (1-2 slices) of Ezekial bread per day is fine, if that is going to satisfy you and keep you on track. Again, it all depends on your goals.

Hummus, I love it, but have sadly had to say goodbye to it. It is actually hard to digest, and boy, does my system echo that. If you are trying to lose weight, probably not great either. But again, it all depends on YOU and your nutrition goals. On occassion, if it agrees with you, I think it would be fine.

I urge you to get Natalia's book. It will map everything out for you.

I hope that helps. I am happy to share more, just let me know.


just t said...

Bav- Hi, thank you for your answer. I just ordered natalia rose's newest book this a.m., does that cover any of the same stuff ? or should i still get Detox Diet ?
My goal is 80/20, right now i'm doing a banana when i get up. About an hour later i juice ( celery, cucumber, broccoli, kale, wheatgrass ) lunch i usually have an open faced sandwich with avocado, sprouts, tomato, and half a cucumber. Dinner i don't have down yet, any suggestions ? if i need a snack i usually have almonds or veggies with hummus. I do however need to lose 30 pounds. I know the extra weight is making my pain worse. I guess i should drop hummus. Should i cut back on avocados ? i am weaning off the coffee, that's harder than meat and dairy,lol.
Sorry for all the questions ! i really appreciate all your time and help ! i'm really at the point of doing what ever it takes to feel well. You have really inspired me and given me hope ! you wouldn't happen to be in New England ??
o.k. just one more question. Do you know of a good beginner yoga dvd ? It's almost impossible for me to get out to a class right now, but I really want to start !
thanx again ! tina

p.s. the book i ordered is " Raw Food Life Force Energy "

Marcy M-K said...

Thanks so much Kris.

Just returned from radiation tx-what a relief and joy to read this site. Enjoyed meeting you in Chgo
cancer seminar.

bav said...


No apologies, Girlfriend, bring on the questions. Between everyone here, we'll get us all on the crazy, sexy lifestyle.

Ok, so for your day....

Reverse your banana and juice, if you can. Have your juice first. If you are hungry still, wait 30 minutes and then have your piece of fruit. Stop eating your fruit at least 30 minutes before your first meal of the day. Natalia puts no boundaries on fruit quantities, just keep in mind, if you are a canSer babe, fruit should only be consumed in moderation. And if you can, stick to lower sugar fruits. Can you swap your banana for a green apple? Berries? Watermelon?

Can you make lunch a big yummy salad, doctored with avocado, OR nuts and dried fruit? Then have your heaviest meal at dinnertime, ie your sammy, or whatever other cooked item you choose. (A sammy is not raw, b/c of bread.) I don't think you need to drop avocado, just food combine correctly, which you will learn from Natalia's book. And eat it in moderation, as with anything.

If you are trying to drop weight, make your snack just the veggies. Lose the hummus. If you need something to dip it in, get Seeds of Change sauce. Nuts are great snack, but eat in moderation, they are a fat, so if you want to drop weight, you will do better with raw veggies. Also, keep in mind, the more you juice, the better. And the more weight will come off. Just make sure, as we chatted yesterday, that it is on an empty stomach. (Natalia will lay it all out for you in her book.)

Girl, the java has got to go. :) In your time, but don't take too long. hahaha Kris turned me on to organic twig tea, which has a deep, rich, nutty flavor, which I think could be a nice replacement for coffee. Try it maybe?

I have both Natalia's book. The second one (the one you ordered) has some crossover info from first book, food categories and combining. However, I do think you might benefit more from her first one Raw Food Detox Diet. I think it will give you more comprehensive info for where you are at right now, and show you how to get to where you want to go. The book you are getting has a generalized 21 day plan to increase your health. But the first one is more tailored to figuring out how you eat now, and what specifically to do to transition to how you ideally want to eat.

I think a great yoga cd is John Friend's Anusara Yoga Essentials. It is just an audio though, with a big poster inside that depicts each pose. So if you haven't done yoga before, and think you need visual, this might not work for you. He does have video/dvds, but I haven't done those, so I can't comment. I know a lot of people love Rodney Yee, but I was so deconditioned from my canSer escapade when I started, that I couldn't keep up with his pace, and I got frustrated. If you can schedule at least one private lesson if you have never done yoga before, I found that invaluable. Because I realized I was doing it all wrong (ie just standing there, with my arms up in the air, not actively contracting, squeezing my muscles into the bone, as you are supposed to.) That allowed me to actually enjoy yoga and join a class, do a cd without feeling completely lost. If you are interested in the cd I like, you can get it at

Yes, I am in New England. Where are you?

Hang in there, it sounds like you are well on your way. And I am SO excited to see/hear how your life transforms. It only gets better from here!! :) I just know in my bones you are going to feel so great!!!

Big hugs,

just t said...

Bav- Hi, GUESS WHO ?! yes, me again, sorry ! Thank you for all the great advice. I ordered natalia's other book last night. I have cut my coffee back from 4-5 to 1 in the am, it's a medium black from dunkins, i know, i know. Tomorrow i will go to a small and wean off that as quick as the headaches allow. I'm going to get that twig tea it sounds like a good alternative.
Sorry more diet questions. I put balsmic vinegar and lemon juice on my salad, is that o.k ? Also, should i try to juice in the afternoon too ? I eat one whole avocado a day, is that too much ? I'm not really dropping any weight and i need to, 30 pounds. i googled seeds of change sauce and can't find it, any suggestions ? My hubby and i are taking a road trip to massachusetts saturday to whole foods. Could i find it there ? Kris mentioned aloe juice, would that help a lupus, fibromyalgia babe ? sorry, sorry enough with the questions !! it's just that you have been such a help and inspiration to me ! no one in my team of dr's would ever support this ! I'm at my wits end with this team ! my pcp put me on 100mg of zoloft at bed to help with the fibro. Then my pain dr. agreed with that and added lyrica 225mg twice a day (personally i really don't think it's helping , i've been on it for weeks ) Then tuesday i went to a new nuerologist Dr. Walsh at brigams and womens in Boston, Hubby and i liked him. However, he totally disagreed with the zoloft and lyrica, he too did not think it was helping. He did agree that the tramadol 100mg tid was warranted. SO, he told me to wean off those two meds and start amitriptyline,working up to 20mg at bed, he feels it will hel[p the fibro and the constant migraine type headache. Then back to my pain dr. today and she disagrees with amitriptyline, says it's an old med. UUUGGGHHHHH !!! i left and fell into tears, we don't know who or what to belive. All i know is i'm going down hill, and i don't want to end up back in my wheelchair ! i know you haven't examined me but , what do you think ?
My hubby said he dosn't care where in New England you are, if you could see me, ROAD TRIP. My hubby is very supportive, he's been by my side for 16 years of illness and all that has entailed. I got in to a car accident and hurt my neck and back and three weeks after the accident all this started. sorry, i ramble ! we live in Nashua, New Hampshire are you any where near us !!?? what a God send that would be ! a real answer to my prayers !! i thank God every night for you, Kris and everyone on this blog, and of course Oprah, were i found out about Kris !lol.
Now that i have chewed your eyes out, i will close, finally. I do want to apologize for my spelling and puncuation, my lack of education shows when i try to type.
much love to you, t

Hef said...

Kate- My diagnosis was recent. I'm trying to deal with it one day at a time. As I lose more and more functionality, it gets harder. I guess PN effects people differently. For me, there is alot of weakness. Its getting harder to walk, my arms are heavy, etc. Unfortunately, something BAV mentioned resonates with me, I feel isolated. For now, I really dont want to be around people, which I know is probably the worse thing. But, that’s my reality right now. I’m dwelling on things I can’t do, and won’t be able to do in the future. It sucks.

Bav- The frustrating part is how long and how much money it takes to find a team. It is a full time job. It is exhausting. The less mobility I have, its harder to get down to places like the Open Center, and see what is going on. It’s harder to go to meditation classes. It’s just hard to do anything. It really takes away all motivation that you may have, for me at least. As my digestion gets worse it affects my condition more. I am one of those people that cannot tolerate raw foods at all. So, juicing for me, is out of the question.

Jeff said...

Treat Cancer with Flavonoids:

bav said...


Sorry it's been a few days, girl, meetings.

Ok, first, let's see if I can answer your questions, then we'll try to sort out the medicine.

The balsamic vinegar is very acidic. Even though you are a fibromylagia, lupus girl, you need to try to keep yourself as alkaline as possible, like us canSer babes. The acidity is going to exacerbate inflammation, which is a major component of all your issues. So staying alkaline is going to really help your pain. Lose the vinegar, keep the lemon.

Juice in the afternoon, absolutely. The more the better. Ideally, it should be on an empty stomach. So 3 hours after a properly combined meal. If you eat at noon, juice snack at 3pm. Or even better, juice at noon, and save your meal for dinner. If you are really hungry, since you are not a canSer cowgirl, fruit. You can drink juice as soon as 30 minutes after a fruit meal. That way you would be raw until dinner, which if you want to be 80/20, is the goal anyways.

Whole avocado per day, I'm on the fence on that one, maybe ask Kris her opinion, but this is my inclination. Women do have a harder time breaking down fats than men do (b/c we carry the babies, it's an evolution thing). So if weight loss is one of your goals, limiting lots of fats is a good idea. Avocado, however, is a great, natural fat, that your body will recognize and know how to break down. My sense is, cut back some, until the weight loss kicks in. Go to 1/2 an avocado per day, or only on alternate days. Once the weight loss starts, you can then slowly start to add back quantity as you get a sense of how your body responds to foods.

I suspect you are not dropping weight b/c you aren't food combining properly. And perhaps there is more fat in your diet than you are aware of. Natalia's first book, Detox Diet, will lay this all out for you. Keep your fat and sugar consumption moderate.

Seeds of Change sauce, I think I got it in the healthy food section of Hannaford's Grocery Store. What you want is a sauce that does not have any vinegar or sugar, no additives, preservatives, citric acid etc. Just real, organic, food ingredients. I also like Middle Earth brand. Check ingredients of each flavor though, they vary.

Aloe vera juice, keeps the pooper moving, so gets toxic wastes out of you, drops weight of residual poo sitting in your gut. Great for everyone.

Ok, the medicine. This is not easy to answer in a blog post, b/c there are so many variables. Quick answer, they are all correct. Zoloft/lyrica is a great combo. Tramadol tends to really help people. Amitriptyline is an old drug, but a good one. So what do you do???

Sounds like you are in a case of "too many cooks in the kitchen." Everyone adds their flavor, and the diner ends up with something unpalatable.

I think you need to decide which of your providers is going to manage your pain. And that person calls the shots with respect to your treatment. Otherwise, it makes for crazy-making. And how are supposed to sort out the medicine??

So, which doc to you have the best working relationship with? Which one listens to you, takes you seriously, addresses your concerns, works WITH you? Which one do you trust? Which one do you think is up on current pain management research, treatments, and information? I suggest designating that person as the individual who manages your pain. If you keep switching meds, adding, stopping, you are never going to get ahead, you aren't going to know what is working, what is not, etc etc. Pain control therapies can sometimes take awhile to kick in (several weeks). Are you getting enough time on a course of a med before someone else comes in and changes it? You could spend years going around in circles. Identify who is managing the problem, and then go from there.

Keep in mind, superimposed on the this, some of the headaches and feeling yucky could be components of detoxing from changing your eating habits and coming off coffee. Hang in there! It WILL get better. You are doing a great job. I know it is frustrating that you don't get results immediately. But you will get them.

And I hesitate to suggest this, b/c sounds like you have lots of providers, but I do think you could benefit from a D.O. who specializes in chronic pain. I could ask mine if he knows anyone in your area. I am in Maine.

Hope that helps. I know, no magic bullet, sorry! It's a process, a hard one. But you are doing GREAT, and you are going to eventually be comfortable, little to no pain, able to do what you want/need. Keep truckin' girl!

Big hugs,

chronic chick said...

Thanks for sharing this about pain. As I am a chronic pain survivior rather then call it sufferer. I try to take each day as It comes. I have learned its just part of my life with living with lupus and chronic pain.

Jeauxdee said...

Hey Cowgirl, Live from Tulsa, its your number one fan! (lol) I just wanted to say I treasure your book, and wouldnt dream of giving it up, but I am encouraging the doctors office (dept of surgery) that I work at to give them to patients; we see A LOT of colon cancer and breast cancer and infact have a free screening program.

I totally hear you with all the information you provide about eating green and alive, and the toxins in our bodies. The only apprehension that I have is the detox, and the colon cleanse that you recommend! Can yhou imagine? Afraid of a little cleaning!

Where do you recommend a person start? Do you think it is a wise idea to seek alternative medical opintions about how to start changing the way you eat/live? I am completely in awe of you, and all that you know and have learned, and wish that you would come to Tulsa's Cancer Treatment Center of America! They are into all the faboo things that you talk aobut, spirit body health, overall wellness!

Bless you cowgirl!

Carole said...

I was going to rant about those who write: My father/brother/I don't have cancer but....and I still don't know why you people bother with lurking in a cancer site but oh well...Meanwhile, I am tickled pink to be able to read the posts, get encouragement and laughter from CanSer sisters. Learning as I get along.