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Anyone else have hip and joint pain after chemotherapy?

mimivac's picture
mimivac
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

I wanted to get some feedback on hip and joint pain after treatment. I finished chemo in April and radiation in June. Since then I've been having (minor, though sometimes a little more) hip pain and joint pain. There's a spot on my right hip that is sore when I turn over at night. Also my knees are creaky, if not quite painful. I also have intermittent pangs in my ribs and lower back. Even writing this down scares me. Any others experience these aches and pains after chemo? I have an appointment with my oncologist tomorrow, and I am very afraid of having any scans done. It's just the waiting and the phone call that scare me. What the heck could this be? Exercise doesn't seem to help or hurt. I do heavy-duty cycling and light weight training.

Mimi

tjhay's picture
tjhay
Posts: 655
Joined: Oct 2008

Oh my Lord yes
It is the most annoying thing, cause it is everyday, not bad enough to take a pain pill but just enough to remind you that it is there. Ofcourse sometimes it is down right painful. Talk to you doctor, do what you have to. It is all part of the steps to being healthy again.
tj

phoenixrising's picture
phoenixrising
Posts: 1510
Joined: Feb 2007

Mimi, I had a lot of joint/muscle pain from the taxotere, but that pretty much happened right away. I still have problems but I now blame it on the Aromasin but I guess it could be from almost anything I've had. I hope you get it resolved soon and please let us know what they say. I know it's worrisome. Perhaps in time it will dissipate. Best wishes to you.

jan

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

not an expert but my vote is that it would really be too soon to come back to that extent so soon. If you are exersizing it is prob from that. when I used the elliptical, I got alot of hip pain and finally had a bone scan and it was nothing. Now that you are not in treatment , the mind has time to focus on the other physical things. I have had more things checked out that were not cancer but because I had it everything in my mind had to be related to that and it wasnt.

creampuff91344's picture
creampuff91344
Posts: 989
Joined: Nov 2008

Mimi, I can give you my experience with hip/joint pain, as I am about six months ahead of you in schedule. I finished my last rad treatment the end of October 2008. I am constantly having hip pain in my left hip, and joint pain intermitently in my knees, elbows, etc. Also, there are always pangs of pain in my back and legs. Right now I am having pain in my left bicep, and had an MRI today to check to see if that is in the shoulder or actually the muscle of the arm. What I am trying to get at is that chemo and rads cause all kinds of crazy pains, and my onc has said it is normal. At first, I would notice a sore spot just under my rib cage, and I could hardly touch that area. Three hours later it wasn't there. Then it would show up a few days later on my back. I have had two bone scans since completing treatment, as well as MRI's and CAT scans in various places, all of which have been negative. Diligence in checking out pain is certainly something you should keep up with, and definitely let the onc know what is going on with your body. However, I also think it is related to your body expelling the chemo chemicals, and that in time this will subside. I noticed that at first I had neuropathy in the fingers on both hands, and on both feet. Now I have neuropathy only in my right foot, just the four toes, and not the big toe. That is weird, but normal according to the docs. Maybe that is the last place the chemicals have to work out of. Ask yur doctor, and if tests are necessary to ease your mind, go for it. Our chemo bodies just don't want to let us be normal, but we will all get there. Hang in there. Hugs.

Judy

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

how limiting is the pain after chemo?

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 678
Joined: Nov 2005

I also experienced what the ladies above are describing. It can be anything from merely annoying to bad enough to restrict your movements, make you clumsy, or interfere with your normal life. In which case, of course, you will want to get it checked out by a professional.
My rule of thumb is that if it comes and stays for two weeks, it's time to get help. Of course, if it is extreme pain or if any other symptoms develop you would want to get help ASAP. Life is too precious to put up with something that can be fixed.

djteach's picture
djteach
Posts: 275
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Mimi,

I'm so sorry that you are having such pain. It's not fair, you've been through enough. I had some joint pain during and after chemo and rads. My scans showed nothing but arthritis and the rest they chalked up to my Lupus. I hope your scans are clear and your pain goes away soon. I know the waiting for scan results sucks big time. I'm not sure we ever get over that fear. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Love and gentle hugs,
Donna

Moopy23's picture
Moopy23
Posts: 1753
Joined: Jan 2009

Mimi, I've noticed extreme stiffness when I move after sitting for awhile. No actual pain, though. You're right to report the symptoms to your oncologist, though I sure understand the anxiety about getting a scan. As far as recurrence, I agree it is extremely unlikely: TAC is best for us, remember? And we sure got plenty of it, not very long ago.

I will be thinking of you and hoping for reassuring information from your onc tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you're taking something effective for the minor pain. For my arm/shoulder pain, my rad. onc. initially recommended Aleve. Had never taken it before, but it did help.

Let us know what your doctor thinks. And try not to worry too much, ok? Maybe you can fall asleep tonight, recalling the sights and sounds of your wonderful beach weekend.

mimivac's picture
mimivac
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

Thank you all for your comments and reassurance. Moopy, I feel the stiffness you describe. It is not really bad pain, but creakiness, stiffness, and weird aches here and there. If I had never had cancer, I wouldn't give it a second thought. Those of you just starting chemo: don't be alarmed. It's really just annoying more than disruptive. The anxiety about it is much, much worse than the actual (very minor) pain. I will tell my onc. about this tomorrow.

Mimi

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Mimi, sorry you are experiencing pain. Good luck tomorrow at the oncologists. Please post and let us know what he tells you. I can understand the anxiety, but, think positive!

Hugs!

Akiss4me's picture
Akiss4me
Posts: 2192
Joined: May 2009

Mimi, I am having pains in my rib cage and hips and arms...it just seems to move around. This started this past week and I was given a very good explanation for it. I did not have chemo, just rads. But rads also not only destroy the good cells, bad cells, white cells and red cells (this could be a Dr Suess book!). They said I have developed the pains because my bones are working overtime to squeeze out red blood cells to replace. This makes you hurt and tired. Tired, because with less red cells floating around, less oxygen in your system. Hope your sitting down!.....this can last 2 months to 2 years after finishing radiation!! It just depends how quickly our bodies build themselves back up. Maybe this is what is happening to you too. I was surprised it came on me suddenly, but relieved to have knowledge what is going on. I hope you get to feeling better. The only remedy they could offer me was to rest....said it was the best thing I could do to heal. My latest hobby....testing recliners!! Pammy

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3654
Joined: Apr 2009

Yes. My med onc strongly recommends Aleve when/as needed. And it helps me a great deal.

Hope your appointment tomorrow goes well for you. That you'll get some sound information and reassurance from your own doctor - without the need for any tests, scans, etc.

Kind regards, Susan

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

Just want to wish you well at your doctor's appt. tomorrow! Hope he can shed some light on what is going on with you, and, that it is easily treatable.

♠♣ Susie ♠♣

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2733
Joined: Jul 2006

In Nov 2005 I was having terrible hip pain. Couldn't get out of chairs without my arms and couldn't go up and down steps without pain. I told my onc and he sent me for a bone scan. It came out clean so he sent me to my PCP who had me take Glucosamine chondroitin. I took it for a few months and it helped. When I stopped taking it, the pain never came back. My last chemo was April 2004 and last radiation was July 2004.

mmontero38's picture
mmontero38
Posts: 1532
Joined: Dec 2007

Hey there Mimi: I feel like an arthritic 90 year old when I get up from bed. The morning seems to be the worst and if I sit for a long time. Which can be a problem at work. I try to get up and walk around as much as possible. I don't think the Arimidex is helping either, as I feel that it's contributing even more to the situation. Hang in there and keep exercising. My GP suggested glucosamine and it seems to be helping somewhat. Hugs, Lili

mimivac's picture
mimivac
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

I appreciate the responses. My mind is at ease a little. So, I went to see my oncologist today. She wasn't very worried about the hip pain signaling something sinister, but she ordered a scan anyway. She thinks it's either nothing, or arthritis arising from an auto-immune disorder I've had for a few years. I will get the scan done, but it makes me feel sick to even think about it. Tests, waiting, results, it's all too familiar. But if it's arthritis, the scan will reveal that. Please wish me strength. I know one scan is not a big deal, but I still hate it. Thank you all!

Mimi

Moopy23's picture
Moopy23
Posts: 1753
Joined: Jan 2009

Mimi, you ARE strong. You get down, like all of us, but you get right up, every time. And then you give strength to others.

My wish is that you will--again and as always--find the courage and will that is within you. You may be tired of drawing on that well, but it's still there. And so are we, your friends and sisters.

You will make it through this first test after treatment. It will be good for you to be reassured that NED is with you. And, if it is arthritis, it can be managed, and you will live your life.

Akiss4me's picture
Akiss4me
Posts: 2192
Joined: May 2009

I agree with what Moopy said. Also, I am sending you as much strength as I can muster up through cyber space....make sure you catch it! Pammy

rjjj's picture
rjjj
Posts: 1826
Joined: Jan 2009

I will wish you all the strength in the world Mimi, Yet as Moopy pointed out you are very strong, and have proved that tme after time. You have always been there for all of us. And we will be with you as you await your results., and hopeing for the best.
love, Jacki

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

I hate them they are so anxiety producing, until you get your good result. You doc has to cover the bases. Once you have cancer they always have to check, and as young as you are you will have years of checking thank goodness. the longer you are out you will feel better. and put it in a different perspective.
I mentioned you to my onc social worker who has had BC twice and knows what she is talking about and thought it was unlikely. But they have to check thats why you go to a good doc. Do all the good things you do for yourself to deal with this!!!!prayers to you

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Good luck with your scan Mimi! I am sending you lots of strength to help you thru this!

Hugs, Diane ♥

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

Wishing you good luck Mimi with your scan! Praying for you!

Kristin ♥

lynn1950's picture
lynn1950
Posts: 2573
Joined: Jun 2008

Mimi, I have pains, too so I had a bone scan about 4 months after completing rads. I was so afraid that it was cancer in my bones; but it wasn't. My pain is in my tailbone (so there are extra pictures of it! - lucky universe) ,my right knee, and my shoulders (I'm a swimmer). My fingers are very stiff. as well. I thought all this was from the Arimidex, but who knows? My left shoulder, which got tons of radiation, is the worst. But, like you, I would not have been overly concerned about any of them...before cancer.

I understand not wanting to revisit that "anxious-waiting-for-the-phone-call" feeling - not a feeling I wish on anyone - but, thank goodness, these tests are available to us. And your chances are good that it is NOTHING. Stay strong.

Love, Lynn

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3542
Joined: Dec 2008

Mimi,
I have you in my thoughts and prayers. I know that the word scan can cause us such anxiety. Even when you know that it is probably nothing the wait and anticipation is so awful. I have problems with arthritis so now when I get swollen joints I don't know if it is Arthur or Arimidex but it doesn't matter as long as it isn't cancer.
Stef

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Wishing you luck on the scan Mimi.

Hugs!

padee6339's picture
padee6339
Posts: 765
Joined: Jun 2009

I had taxotere and am out of chemo since March and Rads since the beginning of June. About a month ago I got such severe muscle spasms in my back that I couldn't lay down. My oncologist said it was normal and prescribed Flexeril. Didn't do a darn thing, but eventually it got better, now I only get spasms when I turn over in bed. I have been using a cane because my left knee gives out for no reason. Doctor said this was normal, but if it didn't get better to have it x-rayed and see if its a cartiledge problem (probably is). I asked how long this would go on and she said it takes quite a while for your body to get back to normal after surgery/chemo/rads. Lovely!
Pat

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Wishing you luck on your scan Mimi. Please let us know.

Hugs, Leeza

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

I had chest radiation 14 years ago I found over the years keeping the area moisturized took away some tightness and stress on my shoulder. I had to recently go to the chiropracter as my left soulder was bothering me, I actually needed massage on my bra line are once scar tissue was broken up -no more pain! I still have rib pain as my rads were from supra clavicular to below breast. The rib pain was worse in the beginning making it diff to twist sometimes now in the wrong position sitting it will bother me. None of this is terribly bothersome something I've adjusted to just part of the aftermath.

maryannrogers's picture
maryannrogers
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2009

Had no chemo, but am having the same joint pain while taking Arimidex for one month.

Maryann

mlmjt1
Posts: 540
Joined: Jul 2009

You know all this stuff we are getting hit with causes all kinds of aches and pains. Certainly aleve, ibuprofen helps but my answer to everything is regular exercise which includes very gentle yoga moves.

Truly, I have been taking neulasta every other week for 8 weeks and have never felt anything from the shots. I have been doing A/C x 4 cycles and just started taxol/herceptin today. I would incorporate some type of light weights, gentle yoga which will strengthen your hips and legs, and some cardio stuff, whether its walking or biking or jogging.

Start slow but try it esp the yoga. I swear by it

Hugs
Linda T

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