Neuropathy from Cancer Treatment

By the Grace of God, I am able to tell you my story.  You see, as a doctor, telling people about your health struggles is never an easy thing.  Yet, this is not a perfect world, and no one escapes that.

It all started with a mole on my chest that looked terrible.  I did what most people do and I chose to ignore it and did not listen to my friends.  Finally, my wife got sick of looking at it and she schedule an appointment with a plastic surgeon.  The surgeon, sent the mole in for a biopsy and it came back as melanoma.

Again, fooling myself, I said that I was fine and that was enough.  Somehow, (meaning I don’t recall how) I was referred to U of M for a surgical consult.  Eventually, I had surgery to remove a “football” shaped section of my chest, leaving me with a 5 inch scar on my chest and a smaller scar in my right armpit.  During surgery, they noticed a couple of “spots” on my lungs.

Being that I was asthmatic as a kid, allergic to everything and the “sick kid” of my family (which is a whole different story as to why I am Dr. Moore), I figured that it made since.  We were told to follow up on the lung spots in 6 months.  No big deal, right?

Wrong, 6 months later, my CT said that I had 8 spots on my lungs and the original spots were getting bigger.  I was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma Lung Cancer.  

I will not go into everything that we did as a family to restore health to my body.  That’s not what this is about.  I would rather touch on the way the infusions affected my mind and body.

First of all, I almost died right before Christmas 2018 with a rupture forming on my stomach.  It was after my second immunotherapy infusion, I felt a terrible pain in my gut.  After a couple days of not sleeping due to the pain, my wife woke up, saw me and made me go to the hospital.  I was just trying to be tough and not wake anyone up.

Spending a couple days in the cancer ward is eye opening.  I felt extremely Blessed in comparison to some of the other people and families I saw.

The steroids I was taking after my trip to the hospital altered my personality and made me forget key points to conversations.  As my wife will tell me, “you were unbearable to live with”.   It breaks my heart to say this, my children saw a side of me that no kid should have to see.  Just recently, I had to sit down with my wife and find out what I was like.  You see, I do not recall most of that time period.  Again, Grace of God stuff.

We decided to undergo more immunotherapy after I healed from the stomach rupture.  What I remember about that was fatigue.  I would go to the office, get home and be in bed from 6:30 to 8 the next morning.  I would sleep between patients, on my lunch and every chance I could get.  My nerves just didn’t have the capacity to do anything.  On the weekends, I slept.

In July of 2019 I had my last treatment.  I was getting very thin, tired and my stomach pain was starting to come back.  My CT said that the tumors were getting smaller and no new growth.  Thank God!

That was the last of my “immune treatment” for cancer.  What was left was to pick up the pieces of a body tore up from treatment.  Chemo and immune therapy is very hard on your nerves and your brain.  I was a neurological mess.

I have helped hundreds of people with neurological problems, neuropathy, degenerative neurological disorders, tumors, shunts, broken parts and basically bad stuff.  Now, it was time to help myself.  I do everything I can to heal.  I am starting to act and feel like I did before the treatment.     

I did not consult my oncologist regarding healing my body.  It was not his job to do that.  He was hired to get rid of the cancer.  I know neurology, he does not.

Most other doctors who treat neuropathy, will not take on a person with active cancer or who is not cancer free for 3 years.  In our office, we have several “active” cancer patients.  We are not treating the cancer, we are helping the person as they undergo treatment. There is a man with a brain tumor who is very happy to come in.

It doesn’t matter if your neuropathy is from chemotherapy, diabetes or just life.  You need help, especially from someone who has been there.  This is why I think God made me part of the top 20% who make it.  It is with great humility that I write this to you. 

- Dr. Robert Moore, D.C.