How can I regain muscle strength and stamina I had prior to chemo? Double mastectomy in June 2005, great recovery, then adrimycin/cytoxin completed in Oct 2005. Within a month my joints ached like I had the flu. In March my onc. had me stop taking Tamoxifin after 3 months. Seems I have severe hot flashes from chemo induced menopause (my periods stopped abrubtly) and the joint pains have settled into what my rheumatologist refers to as soft tissue rheumatism. They do not think my rheumatoid factor is overly elevated at 129 or a concern. Pain started in my feet which I contributed to weight gain of 25 lbs (I was always skinny at 105lb) but then my knees, hands, hips gave me more trouble as the months went by. My joints are not stiff, mobility is great, I have pain and trouble when standing and walking. Now it is mostly the back of my heel, outside edge of my feet, and my hips, and I walk peg-legged more often than not. Just had bi-lateral trigger thumb surgery, very pleased to have my hands working better. Lately, the pain has decreased considerably because my activity level in nil. (I stopped forcing myself to work harder when it became clear that tendonitis/bursitis was apparently effecting me) But my muscles are wasting away. I was very physically active and well toned before chemo. Standing for one hour now means almost a week of pain in my hips and limping on my feet and swollen joints. It has been suggested I see a neurologist. And aqua therapy is a possibility. Why is there so little recognition of soft tissue damage from chemo? How long until full recovery?
Dear Charlie Ann: Arthritis symptoms can occur following chemotherapy and are often self-limitted in terms of duration. It is unclear to what extent hormonal changes and/or tamoxifen may also contribute to this problem. It is possible that all of your symptoms are related to your treatment, however, it is also possible that there is another cause so it is important that you continue to follow up with your doctors. You may wish to discuss specific recommendations for pain relief and whether physical therapy would be beneficial.
Boy you sound just like me. The pains in my feet, legs, hips, and back I felt were due to increased weight. I lost over 30 lbs. and still did not get rid of the aches and pains. I am on Arimidex which is felt to cause muscle aches and pains and on Vytorin (cholesterol lowering drug) which is felt to cause aches and pains. Had gone through chemo (AC) and radiation after lumpectomy 2-1/2 years ago. Advil does seem to help but has been upsetting my stomach. Shopping, traveling, or sightseeing is no joy any more.
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