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costochondritis

sueholm's picture
sueholm
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2000

I have developed a condition called costchondritis, which is inflamation of the cartilage of the breastbone and ribs,, as a result, I imagine,, of the trauma with the mastectomy..has anyone else had this? It feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest, and then there is a lot of pain...I am being treated with anit-infllamatories, which do not seem to be working yet. reading ont he net I find it can be a chronic condition, and I am getting a llittle worried. today I have begun an imobilization program for three days, to see if that helps...as my radiation starts soon and I dont want a further delay...any words of wisdom would be much appreciated...love susan

nancys
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2000

Hi Susan, I am so sorry that you have to deal with this!!!! I have not heard of this condition. Between all of us here on the CSN, we should have a degree in cancer dx. We have all either had it or know someone who has had it, but this is a new one. Hope the medication helps soon and you are back on your feet. I know it will be hard for you to stay in bed for very long, cuz you're a get-up-n-go type of girl. Sometimes anti-inflamatories take a few days to help with the pain. I took naprosan for arthritis in my back and it always took it about 3 days to help me. WHAT ELSE. RIGHT? But this too will pass. Keep that wonderful sense of humor intact. Love to you, Nancy

cherdaetwyler
Posts: 165
Joined: Dec 2000

Susan,
I have been complaining about this to my doctors of various sorts for 3 months now.
they all say it will go away eventually...it is so damned scarry because the elephant on chest thing feels like heart attack.

then I realized that the stuff I took for the taxol pain has helped it...not completely gone, but I can no longer feel pain in each connection of tib to sternum.

The potion which worked is a liquid form of qlucosamine with chondritin and MSM from Liquid Health...however I think the glucosamine is the important part. But it seems as if we need it in an easily absorbable liquid form, because I had been taking the tabnlets regularly and no help.

When the pain got so bad after the Taxol (on Friday it felt as it my entire body was on fire from the inside out) I began taking 60 ml of this liquid every 4 to 6 hours...I started helping after only 3 of these mega-doses to ease the pain...(It hasn't taken down all of the taxol swelling but it really has eased the pain of the inflamation of the costochronditis...

I think all of our doctors should be required to take at least one does of each chemo that they prescribe and have to try to deal with the resulting side-effects so that they have a better idea of what we deal with.

I hope this helps, try any sort of liquid or powdered form of glucosamine you can find. The onco nurse who told me to try the mega doses said to try to find a powder called glucosamine FOS (well the FOS is fructose oleo saccharides, a natural sweetner)
and I do not believe that sweetners can do any thing for our pain,

some very gentle hugs, Cher

PS what really upsets me is I have always been one of those people who lets nothing bother them, I just ride it out on my own...since my masectomies, I am in communication with one doctors office or the other several times a week.

(Oh I just noticies that this past half hour of typing on here has brought the pain back at the edges of the ribs...do you think that may be a complicating factor?...probably!
cd

sueholm's picture
sueholm
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2000

thanks for the input cher....mine seems to have been started by the mastectomy..i have taken note of the name yu gave me...having consdiered the frozen shoulder that i had several years ago...the way i cured that was to immobilise it until the inflamation went down, then i spent time regaining the movement...so i am doing nothing for three days..I can handle the elephant, but not the pain...and i am due for my measuring up for radiation on tuesday...which was laready delayed once. yes. i think the typing aggravates...and read so on net site too...cos of the leaning forward...thanks again...susan

cherdaetwyler
Posts: 165
Joined: Dec 2000

Hey Susan, good luck with doing nothing.
My family doctor reminded me that I had an earlier bout of costochronditis which showed up when it was hefting around my second baby with broken ribs. They wouldn't even let me take anything for the pain then, because I was nursing him.

It took nearly two years to completely disappear. That was over 21 years ago (he just turned 22 on March 30).

Anyhow I talked to a chiropractor trying to track down the particular version of glucosamine that the nurse recommended and he said any of the flquid formulas of it or any of the powders that you dissolve in liquid work fast or if you can only find the pills, crush them and drink them stirred into a non-citrus juice (like apple juice or peach nectar or something like that. He said don't take them at the same time as you drink cofee or tea, because the acids in that also work the same against the glucosamine as the citric acid.

He also said that fancy names don't mean anything with the glucosamine , any reputable company produces a product which will work, and since the various sorts of it at the places I shop vary in price as much as $10 US (like 12 to 22 dollars for 60 pills) that was good news.

Hope you are feeling better soon. Hope too that you can get your radiation positioning.

I wish I could have my radiation now (even with the Taxol) and get it over with...I will be making 120 mile round trips all of July and August to get mine, and everybody will be unable to help when that time comes so I will be doing all that driving myself.

That is my problem for wanting to live way out in the boonies, but the wind sighing through the trees on the hill, the bird songs, and watching the little guys gather the stuff for their nests, the sound of the stream bubbling down the cliff in the back yard, all are helping my healing.

love, hugs and prayers to you, cher

sueholm's picture
sueholm
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2000

hi cher: the immobilization seems to be working...elephant is a baby one, and the pain is much less...so i am keeping it up...but it is hard work staying so inactive...but I too watch the birds...had a snow bunting here yesterday...and am right beside the river, where occasionally herons land, not to mention bald eagles....I have a long trip for radiation too, but one of the service clubs drives a van to the cancer clinic, so I will probably go on that..its a very high road and there can be snow any time of the year, so oi dont fancy driving it. I will look for the stuff yu mention when i can get to the drugstore...thanks, susan

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