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numbness, hearing loss

micktissue's picture
micktissue
Posts: 432
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi everyone. At the end of last week I noticed two things, 1) numbness in my hands and feet, and 2) tinnitus and hearing loss.

The numbness is mainly in my pinkie fingers (mostly on my right hand) and big toes. The tinnitus is mainly in my right ear and things are sounding a bit muffled there too. I had a hearing test in February after my first chemo and that is my baseline. I was considered 'normal' then.

I'm assuming these are latent symptoms from the treatments and may go away in time or not. If these are not expected then I need to follow that up. I've emailed my Dr for advice. Anyone have any experience/advice on this? I'm a musician and am a little worried this is here to stay :(

Best,

Mick

stevenl's picture
stevenl
Posts: 587
Joined: Jan 2010

Hey Mick,

I have had some of the same symptoms. My hands go completely numb and while I don;t have ringing in my ears it is harder for me to understand people when they talk. Seems muffled.
But I did have some numbness in my hands before all of this crap too.

Best,
Steve

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8105
Joined: Sep 2009

Mick,

It could just be after effects that come and go...

I seem to have different things from time to time...sometimes stuffy ears, others a sore throat or neck, stiffness... I think it's just something that will hopefully eventually work itself out. I've been done for a year now and still get different things going on.

Best,
John

denistd's picture
denistd
Posts: 517
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Mick, yes, I am a year out of treatment and suffer with tinnitus, aiding this is that I too am a musician (bass player) and the audio doc thinks that the ringing is attributable to both the chemo and the loud music. Also I have hearing loss, especially in my right ear. the ringing is expected to last for life while the deafness may be helped by draining my ears. Denis

micktissue's picture
micktissue
Posts: 432
Joined: Dec 2009

Ya I think I was mostly curious about you Denis as we share the musician part (loud music!). Was your treatment mostly on the right side? Mine was so that why I'm wondering about why my hearing affect is only on the right.

The numbness, I've just realized, is gone in the morning but returns later in the day. No word from the Dr yet.

Thanks.

Mick

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

TRACH OUT ONE WEEK, SOME SORE THROAT, VERY STIFF, WHERE THE TRACH WAS STRETCHED AND TOUGHENEDD MY NECK, I KNOW I HAVE TO HAVE MUSCLES CUT, FLUID IN LEFT EAR, GIRGGLING AS WELL, DO TEH HYPERBARERIC TREATMENT EVERYDAY, VOICY REASPY, BUT SEEMS TO GET A LITTLE STRONGER, BREATHING A LITTLE HARDER WITH WALKNG ECT...BUT GETS BETTER. ANY THING YOU CAN RECOMMEND, OR IS THIS ALL TYPICAL. THANKS DENNIS. P.S WHENS THE MOODS SWINGS END, WHAT A DEPRESSED PERSON I HAVE BECOME.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8105
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Dennis, I can't really say other than mild stretching and gentle massage. You have gone through a lot more than I have. I didn't have a trach or the hyperbaric chamber. My moods or personality hasn't really changed at all. During treatment I'd get cranky and be pretty much a PITA to the ones closest to me, but they would either give me space or set me straight, LOL.

Have you tried any post treatment counseling or talked to the MD's? I'm sure like some have mentioned there is a possibility of a type of depression similar to post traumatic stress.

Best,
John

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2590
Joined: Jan 2010

Dennis, I'm sorry you're still fighting depression. It is a hard disease to treat, but there are many many medicines a doc can try. And, I don't mean to be negative but you may need to stop visiting here too often. It affects people in different ways, and maybe it adds to your depression. I, personally, find it to help me most days but others days I really get depressed knowing that so many are fighting this horrific battle. Just something to think about. Have you seen a phycologist? Have you been put on any meds? You don't have to answer, just something else to think about. I will continue to pray for you. Hang in there, Dennis, it has to get better.
God Bless you friend,
debbie

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2590
Joined: Jan 2010

Mick, I had a problem with my pinky and ring finger going numb. Doc said it is due to my ulnar nerver. It runs from the elbow to the pinky and ring finger. They make no connection to cancer trmnts but I did not have this problem until after the rad. Hope this helps and it isn't something more serious. Best wishes.
God Bless you friend,
debbie

denistd's picture
denistd
Posts: 517
Joined: Apr 2009

Mick, somewhere in my addled brain I remember having a slight buzzing in my ears before the cancer treatments. I have some friends in England that have tinnitus, one is a drummer the rest are guitar players. Back in the sixties and early seventies, the volume of the band depended on the wattage of your amp and the size of the venue. It was crank it up and be damned, from the late seventies on of course everything was routed through the soundman's board and he adjusted the levels, did not have to be so loud on stage. I also have some numbness and tingling in hands and feet, but nothing that disturbs me. Ever occur to you how many singers have had throat cancer?

micktissue's picture
micktissue
Posts: 432
Joined: Dec 2009

What I have is caused by cisplatin and it is neuropathy, the killing of nerve cells by the chemo drug. It happens in about 80% of cisplatin patients to varying degrees and is sometimes permanent (about 10% of the time).

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8105
Joined: Sep 2009

Mick, I was made aware of the chances of neuropathy during treatment. It was one of the main topics during my initial "Chemo Introduction Class". They stressed the importance of letting them know right away of any signs or symptoms. Even to the point of saying that some people can go to the point of irreversible damage as you said. Things like losing the ability to feel heat from stoves, or being able to button your clothes or tie your shoes.

They basically checked me each week for any signs of numbing or loss of sensation. Stating that if it happens that an option is to reduce or eliminate dosages of chemo. I did mention before that I lost the majority of my toe nails during the chemo phase, as with most all of my hair including body hair.

I didn't really think of the neuropathy as being something that could carry over and show up at a later date. As most of the damage from chemo shows rather quickly, but takes awhile to get it out of your system. But with the different things that seem to pop up after the fact, especially with radiation. I suppose it could just as well be something similar.

Hopefully what you are experiencing will eventually pass.

Best,
John

CajunEagle's picture
CajunEagle
Posts: 363
Joined: Oct 2009

Now see. This is what hacks me off. No one said anything about Neuropathy prior to treatment, or did they even check to make sure the numbness was not occurring, until I had to tell them that it was a huge problem. It's still a problem with my entire feet and fingers after a year of being off of treatment. My feet feel as if they are "dead" asleep all the time. It was somewhat of a problem while driving a car. I could not "feel" the correct amount of pressure to put on the accelerator, and lots of weird things would happen. Through practise, I've learned to adapt and keep an eye on the tachometer.....(like who ever watches a tach in an automatic transmission). Oncologist just keeps saying it is his fault due to soooooooo much Cisplatin and all I wanna know is if it ever will go away. Finally one of the team Doctors mentioned taking Vitamin B or maybe it was "B Complex" (yea, I wasn't paying attention), so I'll find out soon and see if it will work. I can sorta take the ear ringing, lymphodema, and dry mouth. But this tingling crap is gotta go.

Larry

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8105
Joined: Sep 2009

Larry,

In just doing a little Google search using Cisplaten and Neuropathy, I discovered a pretty large amount of information.

There are studies that show patterns of Cisplaten induced Neuropathy and L'Hermitte's Sign. Also included was Taxol (Taxotere) and Carboplaten, although 5FU and Neuropathy was rarely included...

Here is one such site, but there are many;

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1028656/

Best,
John

CajunEagle's picture
CajunEagle
Posts: 363
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks for the web link. Lots of studies and disertations with big words :). I think I understood some of them. Thanks, again.

Larry

Hal61's picture
Hal61
Posts: 656
Joined: Dec 2009

Mick, sorry to hear you are experiencing tinnitus. It’s also a new symptom for me. I went through researching this last year when my girl friend had an ear in infection that took a fair degree of her hearing and left her with tinnitus, and have been to doctors and specialist around the central valley and eventually to an authority at Stanford. Two basic explanations are one, the 8th cranial nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain has been injured through cisplatin/and or the “cilia”—small hairs in the inner ear—have been partially destroyed. Common thought is that the brain is trying to make up for the loss of sound by making its own, but it occurs in hearing people as well as those severely hearing impaired. My own medical onc was quick to say it was from damage to the nerve, and said things could return to more normal for about 60 days post treatment. Well, my 60 passed before I even developed the symptom. I have also heard that there can be positive changes up to a year post. And, for most, including my girl, the volume level usually subsides over time. They have successfully re-grown the cilia in mice, and the ear guru in Stanford said there were big breakthroughs on the horizon. Tinnitus has plagued humanity for millennia, and I hope it subsides for you.

Hal

friend of Bill
Posts: 87
Joined: Mar 2010

experienced bothersome tinnitus in right ear but gradually went away entirely. Not so successful with glove and foot neuropathy - both have improved over 20 months but docs tell me that what's left will probably be my friend for life. Not a musician but have to write a lot and that's really improved. Give it some time.

Vince

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