Phew. Finally. Part II.
Sorry for the delay, but some unpredictable stuff has happened recently. Just to give you ONE example, a few days ago my mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer’s, got lost (long story), and Stefano and I had to leave work immediately to search for her. Luckily, after more than two hours driving all around the neighborhood and checking stores and churches, we found her wandering down a street near her house…relief…boy, what a scare, though…
Okay, now back to the smoldering myeloma case report for a few considerations…
In Table 1, did you notice that the percentage of plasma cells in the bone marrow of both these patients decreased more than 50% over the course of two years? Wow. Now, even though bone marrow biopsies are hardly the most reliable tests around, those numbers seem significant to me, and they (sort of) reflect my own experience with curcumin. In late 2005 I had 50% cancer cells in my bone marrow. But then, in January 2007, after a year on curcumin, that number had gone down to less than 40%. My hematologist considered that a significant decrease. So I guess I do, too. Anyway, that was just one observation based on my own experience.
And now let’s discuss the issue of immunosuppression, which is VITAL to us myeloma folks. Here is what the authors say at the end of the study:
Neither of these patients had any clinical events attributable to immunosuppression (infections, progression to myeloma or development of a second malignancy). Furthermore, neither patient displayed any side-effects from long term, high dose curcumin therapy and neither has developed skeletal events that require bisphosphanate therapy. Our results are encouraging, but the exact role and place of curcumin for patients with monoclonal gammopathies and SMM will need to be determined by large scale, multi-centre studies.
Earlier in the study, they also say “A detailed analysis of immune function in 18 patients who had previously been studied and treated with curcumin for 9 months (see Table 2) did not show significant changes in the number of T-cell (CD3, CD4 and CD8) subsets.”
Again, that mirrors my own experience. Except that, unfortunately, I don’t have measurements for my T-cells, since I am my own, totally unofficial case report… 😉
But I would still like to mention a few specific and positive experiences that I’ve had in all these years on curcumin. Now, I’ve written about (and undoubtedly also repeated!) all this in various place on the blog, so I’d like to apologize for being repetitive, but hey, sometimes it’s necessary and indeed helpful to go over stuff again…
Experience no. 1: throughout 2005 I had chronic and painful yeast infections (which might have begun earlier than that…I forget now and don’t have time to check my medical records…but I’m certain that the symptoms worsened in the course of 2005). I couldn’t get rid of the dastardly things. My gynecologist kept giving me antibiotics, then, when those didn’t work, different, stronger antibiotics, in all shapes and forms. Nothing worked. Nothing. Pain, discomfort, blablabla.
However, shortly after I began taking curcumin, the infections simply vanished. Poof. Gone forever. This has been ONE of the amazingly positive side effects of curcumin…one that changed my life…
Experience no. 2: I stopped having the flu vaccine three years ago, which makes this year, 2013, my THIRD no-vaccine year. The first no-vaccine year, I got the flu (no worse than when I had the vaccine, though)…but, after all, I’d gotten the flu during my vaccine years, too, so that was hardly surprising.
But here’s the thing: since that first no-vaccine year, I haven’t been really sick at all. I didn’t get the flu last year, and so far (knock on wood!) I haven’t had the awful high-fever/vomit flu that has been going around here in Florence. This means that I’ve been just fine, healthy, for about A YEAR AND A HALF, NOW (except for a couple of minor 24-hour viral episodes that I’ve written about here on the blog and that resolved after a lot of sleep, basically)…Yet I used to be THE Queen of Antibiotics. No kidding. I mean, I still have a just-in-case store of antibiotics in my medicine cabinet. But I haven’t taken any in a year and a half. Extraordinary. I can’t believe it, myself.
A quick aside: Stefano, who had never had a flu shot in his life (and had never really been sick), began having it at the same time I did. And he began having terrible cases of the flu. Since he and I stopped having the flu shot, though, he’s been fine. As healthy as a horse, as the saying goes. I’m not saying, of course, that everyone should stop having the flu shot, because I’m not a doctor, blablabla. But it does make one wonder, doesn’t it?
Related note: I don’t live in a bubble, isolated from the entire world. I’ve been exposed over and over again to the flu and all sorts of ailments. My students come to work sick, with fevers and coughs and so on. I also go shopping in crowded supermarkets, get on coughy germy flights, etc. etc. etc. But here I am, with my teeny tiny, almost inexistent immune system…and not even a sniffle. If I didn’t have myeloma cells inside of me, I’d be the purrrrrfect picture of health… 😉
Oh, I almost forgot. And then there’s this: my hematologist is always astonished that I’m so healthy. She maintains that, with such a low immune system, I should be sick all the time and also have chronic infections. Well, I plan to keep astonishing her. 😉
So much for the immunosuppression of curcumin! In my case, the exact opposite is true. So: PHOOEY! 😉
Now that I’ve written so much on the wonders of curcumin, I’m curious to know if any of you would like to share your own personal stories, good or bad. I’d be glad to publish them as part of a post, or you can just write them in a comment form…
Well, this concludes my remarks on the SMM case report. I’m working on a related post…something that really annoyed me…So please stay tuned!