How CBD helps me: A tale of Chemo Induced Peripheral Neuropathy.
I have had the opportunity to talk about hemp, and its many amazing compounds like CBD, for some time, now. I’ve written about the industry, about CBD in beauty and in science, and even began to showcase and review multiple products that I’m getting to know.
Honestly, I talk about Cannabidiol obsessively. Most people who are around me for a matter of minutes will have to hear me mention how much I love it. I share sites and studies – information and articles – and I’m glad to do it. Often, when I’m doing this, people will ask how it affects me specifically. I don’t dive to deep into issue specifics because I know we all have different constitutions and there’s too many variables to lay down blanket statements.
That being said, I was recently asked about some specific benefits that I enjoy from CBD products so I thought I would put in the time to word vomit it all for you, here.
What does Cannabidiol do for me?
First of all, I would like to stress that I am neither a physician nor a medical professional in any capacity. Anything that you’re about to read is my personal story with hemp CBD, and it is not medical advice. This is not meant to diagnose or treat anything. This is a personal experience. There are too many variables in human constitutions, experiences and histories for this to be counted as a universal application. I talk more about that in my blog: What CBD Isn’t.
With that out of the way – let’s talk Hemp CBD & Me.
As many of you know, I am “newer” to the world of cannabis and cannabis products that come from the plants within the genus. I was 38 when I was diagnosed with Stage 3, Grade 3, Triple Negative, BRCA1+ Invasive Ductal Carcinoma: Breast Cancer. That was 2011 and I fought to survive until nearly the end of 2012. It would take a good year to get through.
It would be this time in my life that pushed me to consider cannabis. It got me through chemo. I honestly cannot imagine what that whole situation would have been like without it. I don’t want to.
Over the years, as I’ve dealt with multiple side effects resulting from those intense rounds of chemotherapy. The many symptoms that affect my quality of life – even this many years later – can be traced into my main issue: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
“Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is one of the most frequent side effects caused by antineoplastic agents, with a prevalence from 19% to over 85%. Clinically, CIPN is a mostly sensory neuropathy that may be accompanied by motor and autonomic changes of varying intensity and duration. Due to its high prevalence among cancer patients, CIPN constitutes a major problem for both cancer patients and survivors as well as for their health care providers, especially because, at the moment, there is no single effective method of preventing CIPN; moreover, the possibilities of treating this syndrome are very limited.” (1)
All that to say, I live with a type of peripheral neuropathy that was brought about by the nerve damage that I earned while going through chemotherapy. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that this was going to, possibly, be a part of my trade off. I knew going in that the chance to live came with its own little game of chance. I am not sad, mind you. Having made it beyond the 5-year mark was accomplishment enough… but, it came with a sacrifice. A trade.
I get to live but, in turn, there will be serious maintenance requirements.
What, exactly, is peripheral neuropathy?
“Peripheral neuropathies are common neurological disorders resulting from damage to the peripheral nervous system – the nerves that communicate information to and from the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).” (2)
Basically, the streets in my messenger system are messed up. When a message courier from the brain leaves the station and tries to drived the message to its desired destination, it can encounter some issues. Much like the city of Dallas around me, some streets are pretty good, a lot have potholes. There are detours. There are dead ends.
Peripheral Neuropathy can happen for many reasons. The most common is diabetes. People with diabetes make up about half of those with this lifelong issue. Only about 10% of neuropathy cases are born from the chemical inundation that is chemo. I just happen to be one of those people.