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pain relief

i am almost 8 years out from surgery(lumpectomy), chemo (CMF), and radiation( 38 treatments) . i had stage 2 at the
age of 30 (just turned 30) and the removal of 25 nods from the right side. i am still experiencing extreme pain and hypo sensitivity under and on the back of my arm. That combined with the lack of 8 hours sleep over the past 7 years; needless to say are starting to affect my way of life. i have spoken to several of my doctors on different occasions and my surgen said that i have nerve damage, my chemo doc says that he has heard of patients having arm pain, and my family doctor is clueless
i have taken several anti inflammatory medications to no avail. over the years i guess i have developed a high tolerance to pain meds nothing helps. i do not like taking RX pain meds due to i have 2 very active childern and i dont want to miss a minute of there lives. i do not sleep at night because when i roll over and lay on my arm i wake up hurting. am i'm the only one that has this issue? is there others like me? how do they cope? is there any relief?
6 Responses
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526906 tn?1261871796
Hi Jenny,

I'm sure there are others that have some of the same issues you experience.  It must be so frustrating.  Have you been to a pain clinic at the local hospital or medical center?  Have you been to a sleep clinic?  One or both of these places might have some answers for you.  I wonder if you could position pillows in bed so that you could sleep without rolling over to lay on your arm?  

I hope you can find some answers.  Please let us know how you are doing.  If there's anything we can do for you, just ask.

Warmly,

Chris
Healingwell62
Breast Cancer Community Leader
Helpful - 0
492898 tn?1222243598
I have very similar problems to yours, especially that it hurts to lie on my arms. (yes, both of them) and then the problems with sleeping. i also have two active kids.

I do not have the numbness. It is very possible that a nerve got severed during your surgery, and in my case that did not happen.

Something that has helped me a lot is Physical Therapy. It may not cure your arm, but it will help in many other ways. I don't know how to explain it. it just really helped me.

No, you are not alone. Are you also taking Tamoxifen?  I have a feeling that this interferes with sleep, and I am constantly either too hop or too cold as well.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
thank you for your responce it reall helps to know that there are others that are having the same issue as i am and that i'm not crazy. i do not take any medication my oncologist said that for the type of cancer i had it wouldnt help but my cousin takes the Tamoxifen. we were both diagnosed in the same year 9 months apart but her was an aggresive type. my aunt which is her mother died almost 30 years ago with it. so far we both have been really blessed in this battle.

i will look into the theropy which is probably what i should have done from the start but no one has ever mention that this could help me. sometime i wonder if they even believe me. there was a time for a few month after my surgery that i couldnt even straighting my arm completely but now i do have full use of it but it's not as strong as it use to be and it just hurts like nothing i can compare it to.

it really means the world to me that you answered my email. thank you so much!!!!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Chris,

Thank you for answering my email. no one has ever suggested to me that a pain clinic my help but i will most definitely look into it. at this point i game for almost anything!


Jenny


Helpful - 0
492898 tn?1222243598
You are welcome, jenny. I really think the PT will help you. but get a good one and who is trained in lymphatic massage, and all that. I had some problems, like pain in my fingers, that I never thought would respond to any therapy. I was sure it was the bones. but it wasn't . It was a nerve. I always thought physical therapists were a waste, not knowing anything about them or ever having done it. I am sure they vary in competence but I am just amazed. The ones I see are also much better at diagnosing a problem than any doctor is, and they really know their stuff and can explain it to you. That alone helps so much. kat
Helpful - 0
492898 tn?1222243598
PS: Jenny, most likely, the pain in your arms doesn't even come from your arms at all. (and with PT this will be something you can feel and not just be told) With me it mostly comes from incredible tightness in my neck and also shoulders, as well as very bad posture. When the PT works on my neck it radiates all through my arms; it's amazing, and I often feel like a new person afterwards.
I don't know if this is true for you but I cannot even raise my arms above the level that jesus was nailed to the cross. higher than that it does not just hurt but does not work. Worst is when I try to reach for something behind me. And lying in the shoulder like you. It takes a while of course but you can immediately tell that what is being done, and also asked of you to do at home, makes a huge difference. It's an amazing process and they will take you seriously just because they know so much more. With docs, and all others what often happens is that if they don't know why something 'is' they blame the patient, right?
Helpful - 0
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