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Okay..Pollyanna's turn to be scared

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alene View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 03 2009 at 2:27pm
Hi
 
Just got back from my radiation onc....Finished radiation end of Feb...having problems with neck....Things have been getting worse...Can't lift either of my arms...to the side.....Straight out in front...ok...But sideways...gripping pain..I can't dress or undress...I have trouble handling my pants just to go to the bathroom...Good grief....
 
Called radiation onc...last week..nurse said...It's not our problem...call your family doctor...So I did...she saw me Wednesday and thought maybe I hurt my rotator cuff...I mostly talked about my right side..(mast..etc..on left)....She didn't think it would be cancer related...maybe I just hurt myself somehow...she thought maybe it was a rotator cuff injury....
 
So then...
 
I went to rad onc today..my already scheduled appointment checkup...and he looked at both sides...and it's true...I can't lift either arm...and I have pains in the base of my skull?...and the middle of my back between my shoulder blades..
 
Anyway...he was like...we can't wait on this...we need a MRI's right away...So now his office is calling my primary to schedule...but if I don't hear anything by Monday...call the rad onc...and he'll schedule it...
 
He wants MRI of my spine and my thoracic...(whatever that is)
 
My chemo onc...has cancer...he's in radiation right now..so my chemo onc appt is cancelled until end of May....
 
So anyway...
I'm scared...
I'm scared
I'm scared...
 
The simplest reason....is usually the right one...right?  I must have hurt myself or something...It's just a rotator cuff...or maybe a muscle strain...
Right?
 
I just finished my treatments...and haven't even been reconstructed yet...
I couldn't have a met so soon...right?
 
Your thoughts?
 
 
DX 5/21/2008 TN 8cm TAC
Mast 12/08
Extensive Residual Lymphatic Invasion
Inop node clavicle
68 Rads
Stage IIIc
Recur 11/09 Her2+
Surgery 68 RADS
4/10 Biopsy Skin Mets TN
28 RADS
Stage IV
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Nancy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nancy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 03 2009 at 3:18pm
Alene,
 
I have been Googling ever since I read your post. Lori too had a huge problem with her neck and back. Had a CAT scan, 2 areas lit up in the neck...then MRI...showed degenerative arthritis. She could barely move her neck and was convinced "it" had returned.
 
Bursitis can be one of the causes for your pain, and believe me you can not even dress yourself. Due to the severe pain you can actually cause your shoulders to become "frozen", although I don't think you can even lift the arms out in front then. Bursistis can come from anything, and is an inflammation.
 
Alene, you can do even the simplest thing and end up hurting yourself, as the chemo causes damage of which you are not even aware.
 
I do hope that they get you in for a MRI immediately. Just the waiting for the test causes you even more stress.
 
Hugs,
Nancy
Nancy
DD Lori dx TNBC June 13,2007
Lumpectomy due to incorrect dx of a cyst
mastectomy July 6 2007
chemo ACT all 3 every 3 weeks 6 tx Aug-Nov
28 rads ended Jan 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alene Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 03 2009 at 4:03pm
Nancy
 
Thank you so much for responding...You're right...
 
Lord knows I've been under a lot of stress...this cancer thing...losing our business...my husband's depression/rage/anger/crying....on and on...and on...
 
Got my husband to a doctor (my family doc is a woman...he wanted a man)...yesterday...
My husband was honest and told the doctor straight out... "I've grown to hate my wife because she brought this thing on us...and it's destroying everything."
 
I told the doctor...that I had been given a special gift of "time"...and that I wanted to use it wisely....
 
So the doctor listened and  put my husband on antidepressents...and gave him strict instructions to get into counseling...and bring verification of the same to him...next week...He also gave him a little "tough love"...The doctor  told him...
 
"I can give you meds...and a counselor can give you a place to talk...and some strategies to handle this ..But none of this will cure you're wife's cancer...and ultimately...You control this...You control whether you get better or not..."
 
He went on to say..
"Heaven forbid...
If your wife doesn't make it...and you throw away this time...being angry and mad...and not enjoying the time she has left....you'll regret it forever.."
 
Kinda surprised my husband...that the doc was such a straight shooter...
Made me feel a little better...too...
 
So as far as this little scare... 
 
You know I always say...
I don't have to look for trouble...if it's out there...it will find me...:-)
 
 
So I'm going to try to put on my pollyanna hat...take a xanax...and cheer the h*ll up...
 
Thank you...thank you...thank you...
You're the bestest!
Alene
DX 5/21/2008 TN 8cm TAC
Mast 12/08
Extensive Residual Lymphatic Invasion
Inop node clavicle
68 Rads
Stage IIIc
Recur 11/09 Her2+
Surgery 68 RADS
4/10 Biopsy Skin Mets TN
28 RADS
Stage IV
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Nancy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nancy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 03 2009 at 4:40pm
Alene,
 
HOLY CRAPPOLA! Talk about stress...you just got the blue ribbon sweetie. I am so sorry you have had to deal with more than anyone should after a dx of bc. This should have been your time to heal.
 
I cannot imagine any person feeling as your husband does. Wait...I take that back...as Heather's (myjourney) husband told her he hated her and couldn't wait for her to get better so that he could divorce her. Guess it takes all kinds to make up this world.
 
Hopefully your husband will get the help that he needs to help not only himself but you as well. This cancer thrives on stress, and no one will ever convince me other wise.
 
Next time you see this doctor give him a big hug from me and tell him he needs to hold seminars on what to say to people to get them back to reality. It's called life...deal with it!
 
You have dealt with it, but this journey would have been much easier had you husband dealt with it and been supportive of you, and all you have had to endure. You did not ask for this and certainly could not have prevented it. Cancer does not descriminate.
 
Take 2 xanax...maybe a glass of wine...and try to think peaceful thoughts.
 
Oh...and from what Lori was telling me today, almost all across the states, scheduling any test almost immedately is very easy. With the economy the way it is, they are "waiting" for people to come in for tests. People out of work and no insurance, far less are having the CAT scans/MRI's or for that matter any test. They have to keep paying on these machines.
 
They need to get you in immediately, you do not need to worry about anything else. You call right away on Monday moring and demand a MRI.
 
Lots of love and many hugs Alene,
Nancy
Nancy
DD Lori dx TNBC June 13,2007
Lumpectomy due to incorrect dx of a cyst
mastectomy July 6 2007
chemo ACT all 3 every 3 weeks 6 tx Aug-Nov
28 rads ended Jan 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 03 2009 at 7:52pm
Alene,
 
I had a similar experience with my shoulders with the right worse than my left. (my left side was the cancer side). I could barely lift my right arm up and it was like a stabbing in my shoulder to try to pull my shirts on and off for months. Was sent for MRI of shoulder and bone scan and nothing showed up. I think I just hurt it during chemo somehow and it just took a long time to heal. It`s much better now. You have to think that the chemo breaks down cells and it takes awhile to build our bodies back up.
 
Definitely get your tests done right away to rule out the worst as Nancy said. But hopefully this is treatment related and will get better!
 
I`m so sorry you don`t have the support you need from your husband. Great counselor, though. Hopefully his words will sink in and your husband will wake up!!
IDC DX 8/17/07 (age 41)
Stage 1 Grade 1-2, 1.35 cm
2 nodes neg, Lumpectomy 10/07
Chemo: FEC 100 x 6, 35 rads
BRCA 1/2 NEG
PET/CT & Brain CT Nov 09
Brain MRI Aug 2012 NED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 04 2009 at 6:15am

Alene,

I am so sorry honey you are going thru all of this.
 
I too am having shoulder issues.  When I lift my arms to put on a shirt or lean on my shoulder I get this horrible pain.  Hubby says it is rotator cuff but I haven't done anything to my shoulders.
Is that what your shoulders are doing? 
 
Yes please get checked and let us know what you find out.


Edited by trip2 - Apr 04 2009 at 6:16am
Stage 2 2003
Stage 1 2007
BRCA 1+
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jessie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 06 2009 at 7:05am
I hate you guys are having shoulder issues.  I've had a rotator cuff problem and remember the arm/shoulder, shoulder blade issues after the mastectomy.  Both are terribly painful, but were very different. 
 
Alene, glad you're getting some help.  Sounds like your rad onc will find out exactly what's going on.  After my surgery, my neck and shoulder blade was at times dreadful --- mostly at times when I was nervous and under stress.  It was almost like the muscles were just waiting for an excuse to cramp up !   The calmer I was, the less pain.  Nothing like a selfish husband to UP the stress level !!!
 
Pam, are you having trouble with BOTH arms ?  I wouldn't think it was the rotator cuff in both arms at the same time ?????
 
Hugs,
Jessie
IDC,Stage I,Grade 3,dx 4/06
dbl mast 5/06,
systemic MRSA post surgery
septic shock, heart attack
triple bypass 1/07
no chemo due to infections and heart issues
so far NED!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kikidan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 06 2009 at 9:34am
Hi Alene!
 
I would be scared too!  Freaking out!  Get all your bases covered and have everything done to rule out the scarey stuff.
 
However, I am a chiropractor and I see your type of complaints ALL THE TIME!  In fact, I too have taken a beating on my shoulder and neck and I am only half way through radiation.  I have even started physical therapy and have become very diligent with my own chiropractic care.
 
I would be perplexed if you did NOT have some musculoskeletal issues from surgery and radiation.  Your biomechanics may very well be altered from the surgery (positioning during surgery, not using shoulder and neck properly during recovery and the very unnatural position of keeping your arm above your head during radiation day in and day out).
 
Also, most of us already have biomechanical issues prior to our cancer ordeals and have degeneration (arthritis) before we are even diagnosed with cancer.
 
Find a good chiropractor and/or physical therapist once your oncs have ruled out the scarey stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kikidan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 06 2009 at 9:37am
PS: Yeah...and enjoy that xanax, baby!!  Well deserved!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 06 2009 at 11:14am
Oh Jessie honey I am just weird ya know? Wacko Actually one shoulder is much worse than the other.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzanne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 07 2009 at 2:22pm
Hi, Alene,
I'm so sorry you are having so much pain and stress.  Perhaps it would help you to know that my left shoulder and arm also hurt.  (That's the opposite side from my surgery.)  After normal x-rays and a PETscan that showed some inflammation in the shoulder, the docs think the pain is due to arthritis.
Suzanne
1/2/07 IDC, stage 1 (T1c), 1.56cm, lumpectomy 1/8/07, triple neg., grade 3, sentinel lymph node biopsy negative, BRCA 1/2 negative; 4 AC/4 Taxol dose dense, 30 rads 2/07-7/07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alene Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 09 2009 at 9:00am
Great News!
 
Just got a call...my mri..just showed normal degeneration...
 
Yeah!!!!
 
Boy I was sweating bullets....
 
Is this the "new normal"?
 
Something happens...you see the doctor...he scares the bejeebes out of you...you get a test...and find out...that guess what..it's okay...
 
What's so funny...is that they didn't MRI my shoulders...just my spine...so we still don't know why this is happening...but at least it isn't cancer in my spine...
 
So I have a prescription for PT...and I hope to start soon...Playing phone tag with intake right now...
 
Anyway...
 
You were all wonderful....Thank you so much...I read every post as it came in...
 
and...
 
I'm sorry I didn't respond...right away...
My husband watches me like a "hawk"...he's home all day...
And I kinda wanted this to be private...
 
He's on his way to his new primary care doc....and...he's scheduled today for his first counseling appt...I'll go with him to that one...just to let them know my point of view...what I've been seeing...
 
Thank you...each and everyone..
And Pam...I hope you'll consider getting that shoulder looked at...
 
Love you all
Alene
DX 5/21/2008 TN 8cm TAC
Mast 12/08
Extensive Residual Lymphatic Invasion
Inop node clavicle
68 Rads
Stage IIIc
Recur 11/09 Her2+
Surgery 68 RADS
4/10 Biopsy Skin Mets TN
28 RADS
Stage IV
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nancy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 09 2009 at 10:16am
Alene,
 
What wonderful news and Lori's MRI in January showed degenerative arthritis! How great to know you have normal degeneration!.Clap Lori too was sweating bullets Alene, but her bone scan showed 2 areas in the neck which "lit up". Nothing in the spine. The MRI clarified the areas. The treatments do a number on your body.
 
I do hope that your husband gets the help that he needs, and is on his way to getting well also. You both need a period of healing.
 
let's hope you can get some relief with the PT for the shoulder now.
Many hugs,
Nancy
Nancy
DD Lori dx TNBC June 13,2007
Lumpectomy due to incorrect dx of a cyst
mastectomy July 6 2007
chemo ACT all 3 every 3 weeks 6 tx Aug-Nov
28 rads ended Jan 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jessie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 09 2009 at 11:09am
Alene,
 
I sure hope the counseling helps your hubby.  Please don't take it badly if I defend him a bit.  If I've learned anything at all about men in my 65 years, is that they expect they should be able to solve any problem that impacts someone they're "responsible" for.  It really effects their male ego when a problem arises that can't be solved by them.  The idea that he may be extremely helpful just by being supportive doesn't measure up to his expectations. 
 
I would be willing to bet that a majority of men feel exactly as your husband when his wife is hit with a serious illness.  Some men are better than others at hiding negative feelings and projecting a loving, supportive facade.  My husband was wonderful in that regard (he's a salesman so he's developed that skill for years), but I knew him well enough to know that it was not only scary, but horribly frustrating for him.    To not be able to make "his woman" well - and for that to be obvious for week after week - was hell on his ego.  And I also know that many an hour he spent at the hospital with me pretending that he was happy to be there, were hours he really wanted to be at work or on the golf course !
 
When I was conscious and thinking halfway straight, I tried to acknowledge each and every helpful thing he did, with a lot of "Honey, it helps me so much when you.........".  Good ole boys are not natural caregivers, women are much better.  If I could make him feel good about what he was doing to help, maybe I'd get MORE.  Wink   I wasn't too proud to stroke his ego for MY benefit !  LOL
 
Somehow we got through the hard time, but honestly, I was more relaxed when he was at work and one of my friends (of course female) was with me.  Women are just better at that, and our egos aren't so fragile.
 
Cancer is a horrible jolt to any family.  It messes up any "games" we play to keep things running smoothly.  And it lasts so long, week after week.  It strains everyone involved.
 
I hope the counselling helps, but I hope mostly that soon you'll be past this rough time and everyone will be feeling normal again.
 
Hugs,
Jessie  
IDC,Stage I,Grade 3,dx 4/06
dbl mast 5/06,
systemic MRSA post surgery
septic shock, heart attack
triple bypass 1/07
no chemo due to infections and heart issues
so far NED!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 09 2009 at 11:40am
Hi Alene, girl I am so happy for you!  What wonderful news.
 
I'll take over the sweating bullets you don't need anymore.  I saw my Onc yesterday, my liver and kidney numbers continue to stay off so go back in 6 weeks and if they are still off she is sending me to a kidney doc and she wants to do some scans.
I've been concerned for some time about these numbers.  I have no symptoms other than I am really fatigued and this swollen abdomen.  Would prefer to sleep most of the day and night so know that is not like me.
I've just had a really hard time recovering from the last chemo trip.  I think the chemo did a job on my body this time.
Stage 2 2003
Stage 1 2007
BRCA 1+
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote krisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 09 2009 at 1:47pm
pam,
have you in my prayers--it is always something.Ouch

alene,
good news all around.
Heart
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 09 2009 at 2:25pm
Thanks Krisa, it means alot to me.  I can use the extra strength right now.  Heart

Edited by trip2 - Apr 09 2009 at 2:27pm
Stage 2 2003
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