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Some Post Chemo/Radiation Questions

lizgino's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2012

Ok, so I think I am a walking miracle, like the rest of you. I finished my chemo and radiation treatments just over 9 months ago. I had numerous complications, severe pelvic and abdominal infections that lead to fistulas. I have not been able to have PET or CAT scans since finishing because of surgery to repair the fistulas in November, and THANK GOD, I have had my colostomy reversed the 1st week in March, and had my port removed as well.

In my hearts of hearts, I believe the cancer is gone, but we will not have definite confirmation until I have my scans, which I think will be in July.

I do have a question to pose, regarding side effects from chemo and radiation.

I am having difficulty with joints and muscle, predominantly in my hands, arms and shoulders. Every morning that I wake up, I have severe stiffness in my fingers. I cannot bend them at all. I have to have my husband SLOWLY bend them into a fist position, with significant pain. I can't button anything, or really use my hands. Sometimes the pain radiates into my muscles in my lower arms. Usually, after 2-3 hours of being awake my hands are back to normal.

I have also had, what I think is chronic bursitis and/or tendonitis. Quite a few times I have not been able to lift my arm due to the pain in my shoulder or shoulders. I also did not have the strength to lift them. I also have begun noticing that, especially in my hands and wrists, I getting bouts of swelling and warm areas in the "soft areas of my wrist joints. I have been thinking about it and remember back, that I started having these problems during chemo/radiation (I did mine together).

Am I crazy or is this a possible side effect? My doctor says it's age, but I don't think so....



Posts: 1033
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi, I am a little over 1yr post treatment (chemo/rad) for Stage3 Anal cancer. I also have a colostomy that has not been reversed and is now looking like it may not ever....still doing some tests for sphicter control. For the most part as far as healing goes I am doing well. I too though have some soreness and stiffness, especially in the am. Everyone recovers at a different pace, so chances are some of yours is still related to nerve damage from treatment. I take a light yoga class and try to walk, stretch, and exercise every day, which seems to help a lot. If I miss a couple days I notice I am much more stiff. Hopefully your problems will get better as your body adjusts to its new normal...healing takes time, but if it continues or gets worse I would seek advice from another doctor. As always, all in my prayers!

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