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neuropathy/cold/buzzing head
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neuropathy/cold/buzzing head

Since lumpectomy/sentinal node biopsy for breast cancer mid-December 2008, I have been keeping a daily journal.  The first notation regarding "freezing cold and cannot warm up" appears in January.  Following surgery, I had unusual and continuing pain issues.  After three weeks, Doctor diagnosed neuropathy from sentinal incision down approx. three inches, prescribed Gabapentin to try to relieve symptoms - pain meds ineffective. Although Neurontin helped with pain tolerance, the loss of brain function side effects were so strong that I discontinued (could not drive, memory loss, dizziness, slurred speech, difficulty concentrating).  After radiation was completed I've been using Lidoderm patch on the area with great success (finally able to tolerate clothing).  But the "cold" will not go away.  I can feel it coming on (even in warm temps), as if cold is coming from inside rather than outside, and focused on arms and hands...sometimes the remainder of the body.  Wrapping in electric blanket or hot bath will help it subside, then it will often return with no common instigator.  Other nagging symptoms include loud "buzzing" in head (not ears ringing) with accompanying dizziness, pulse-pounding pain in teeth and nose area (this actually began in October 2008) and occasional "jolts" like electric shocks in head (also began pre-journal).

Until March, 2008, I was an amazingly healthy 58 year old.  Have since been treated for sleep apnea (APAP) and allergies (Nasacort, Allegra-D, Singulair).  Then the breast cancer.  I find it frustrating to have survived cancer, surgery, radiation and followup Arimidex so well, only to have these seemingly unrelated, and at times disabling, other issues which are difficult to address with Doctors.  Please note that symptoms have occurred long after prescription treatments, so do not believe these to be the cause.  Not sure how to proceed.  Is some neurological issue a possible answer?
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Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.

Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of your symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

Your symptoms of being cold are unlikely to be neurologic in origin. Certain neurologic disorders can cause the limbs to feel cold, but your symptom description does not fit with such a disorder (such as neuropathy). Some medical possibilties include thyroid problems or anemia, which could be checked with simple blood tests (TSH and CBC).

I am not sure what to make of the buzzing in your head with the pain in the teeth and nose area, but given your history of breast cancer, one concern would be that if the breast cancer has spread that it involves the brain. The teeth and nose area are supplied by a nerve called the trigeminal nerve, and involvement of this nerve with the cancer (what is medically termed meningeal carcinomatosis) would be one possibility, though really your symptom description would make this somewhat unlikely, but it may still need to be ruled out. I recommend follow-up with your oncologist regarding these symptoms; in order to investigate this possibility and MRI of the brain with contrast and possibly a lumbar puncture are potential tests.

Thank you for using the forum, I hope you find this information useful, good luck.
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