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Breast Achey

Wendy Joy
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan 2012

I had a lumpectomy in January, finished chemo/radation in July and now on Tamoxifen. My question is this... has anyone experienced any pain or aching in their post surgery/treatment breast. It isn't horrible, just enough to annoy me and remind me of the cancer. I am going to see my oncologist in 2 weeks for a Tamoxifen follow-up. Just wondering if this is normal and if it will eventually go away. I would love to go through a day where I don't think about my breast cancer.
Speaking of that, I am also wondering for those who have been through similar (lumpectomy + treatment) is there ever a point where we will stop worrying about reoccurences. I worry that that feeling will alway haunt me and every ache and pain will turn into something bigger in my mind.
I think watching this new season of the show Parenthood is bringing up a lot of emotions for me. I don't know if anyone is watching, but is a spot on dipiction of someone going through being diagnosed.

Mariannemm's picture
Mariannemm
Posts: 136
Joined: Apr 2010

have pain but I had a bilateral Mastectomy. My dr said it is the nerves waking up. I don't think we ever quite worrying. Sometimes when I go to bed at night I realize that I didn't even think about BC all day. I have been done with treatment and rads for just 2 years and the bad parts are starting to fade and I can only remember the good parts. All the support from my family and friends stands out. My onc told me if you have a pain that lasts longer than 2 weeks I want to know. Which is what is going on now, pain in a couple my ribs. He sent me in for a chest x-ray and that showed nothing. So now I am having a bone scan next week. Makes me feel good that he will do that! I don't have any regular testing done or even blood work. He said his finger is on the trigger and he is ready to pull it at anytime I have an issue! He says we are going to be friends for a long time! My cancer was advanced, so I will always have his number on speed dial and I will always think everything that is painful or red or bumpy is cancer. I don't watch Parenthood but I will have to look it up on the internet and watch it. Thank you! Marianne

joannstar
Posts: 347
Joined: Nov 2010

pain, 2 year post lumpectomies (2nd one to get clean margins). My MO told me it was from having the nerves cut--I also had 4 lymph nodes removed--and to expect the pains to lessen after a year (which they did). Now I would say I only get maybe 1 a month which is more like a twinge, perhaps the nerve reattaching or trying to.
Being Triple Negative and through with treatment (6 rounds of chemo and 33 rads) it felt really odd to have nothing further to fight BC other than 3 month checkups since Tamoxifen won't help. Last year when I had to have a biopsy on the other breast, I sought counselling to try to figure out how to deal with the fear of recurrance. It helped a bit, but I think that the fear will never really go away. I sometimes tell myself that I could get hit by a bus and that there is no guarentee on a long life span. Time is helping, but I still have fears crop up at unexpected times.
I don't watch Parenthood, but I did cry through most of the first season of "The Big C" on showtime.
Hugs,
JoAnn

Wendy Joy
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan 2012

Thank you, it is such a relief to hear that others have experienced this. I didn't even think about it being from the nerves. That makes sense!

I really want to watch "The Big C". I will have to see if I can rent it.
My favorite part in Parenthood was when there was a lady who has already been going through treatment is telling the newly diagnosed person what to expect. She says that her phone will ring off the hook until you are sick of answering it. Then eventually the phone will stop ringing, that is when you begin to discover who your true friends are. That really hit home for me. The support in the beginning is overwhelming because it is so much. However, the support in the middle, end and after is so real. It warms my heart to think about my friends who stuck through the whole process with me. The ones who did not, surprised me. I still call them friends but it is different now and I know who I can really count on. Thank God for knowing that! You never know when you are going to need support from someone who really loves you.

Attygirl's picture
Attygirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2012

I had a lumpectomy in May. Finished 36 rads in late August. Started Tamoxifen last week. I had a day of some awfully painful breast twinges this week but nothing since that bad day. That day stood out because there were so many of them! My MO said these twinges might be around for a year. She also said that sustained pain for more than two weeks should be reported to her.

I must check out Parenthood and The Big C.

It amazes me how much my relationships have changed. Some more casual friends are closer than ever. Some longtime friends are no where to be found. This shocked me. And then some new friendship are blossoming with people I met at treatment, which I did not expect. This diagnosis has changed so much. I'm just trying to keep up and go with the new flow! I, too, thank God for showing me who I can count on now.
X0

Tux's picture
Tux
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 2009

I am 3 yr out from lumpectomy & still get occasional twinges. It got a lot
better 2 years out from the lumpectomy. As to you other question of forgetting
about having a recurrence--I do not think a person can get away from thinking of
it. I am just trying to take everything a day at a time. Best wishes to you!

2Floridiansisters's picture
2Floridiansisters
Posts: 361
Joined: May 2010

But not in my breast, mine is in my armpit, some days it hurts really bad and some days barely at all.I do stretches every day but it just feels tight and it's difficult to raise my right arm straight above my head. I personally try not to think about the cancer coming back, if it does it does so why worry about something I can't really control.

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

I had a lumpectomy followed by rads and I still have some pain now and then. I don't think too much about it as it probably just the nerve endings and everything still healing. I think it is normal.

I think we all have a recurrence in the back of our minds, but, we just need to live every day to the fullest and not let it consume us.

Hugs, Lex

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

I hate that I missed that show of Parenthood. I've never watched it but heard later that they really dealt with the subject of bc very well. Your true friends will always be with you Wendy. Those are the ones, the only ones that count.

Hugs, Lex

Wendy Joy
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan 2012

You should be able to go to the website www.hulu.com and watch the episodes. It was so well done. I believe the next episode is tomorrow, Tueday at 9. Really hit home for me.

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

Thank you Wendy Joy! I liked the show!

Hugs, Lex

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

I have watched the show the last 2 weeks and I do like it. Not so sure I like how she is handling having bc though. She almost acts like she just has a cold or something. Anyone else feel that way?

Wendy Joy
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan 2012

Yes,I can't tell if she is just trying really hard to be strong, but I was thinking the same thing. I thought it was interesting last night that they said something about having chemotherapy if they find cancer in the lymph nodes...not necessarily. But I guess I kind of thought that too or maybe was wishful that I wouldn't need chemo. It will be interesting to see how it progresses now that the rest of the family knows and when she has her lumpectomy.

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

I am four years from a bilateral mastectomy and still have twinges, still think about recurrence, but it has all diminished as other parts of my life have gotten bigger - good things. It takes a lot of time and experience, just keep keepin' on. xoxoxo Lynn

Kathy09's picture
Kathy09
Posts: 99
Joined: Jun 2009

Never stop worrrying, just gets easier to deal with, anything is possible, we only have one guarantee in life.... I still get achey when my bf isn't gentile, always reminds me of the past bc. I don't say anything though, I don't want to scare him away from me:( or to be afraid of me.

Kathy09's picture
Kathy09
Posts: 99
Joined: Jun 2009

Never stop worrrying, just gets easier to deal with, anything is possible, we only have one guarantee in life.... I still get achey when my bf isn't gentile, always reminds me of the past bc. I don't say anything though, I don't want to scare him away from me:( or to be afraid of me.

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2276
Joined: Jun 2010

It's been almost 2 years since I finished rads and I still have occasional pain and tenderness, in various places other than the incision sites. I had a lot for over a year but now things have settled down. When I would mention this to my oncologist, she'd look at me like she'd never heard of such a thing before, but I found many here who experienced it and it helped put my mind at ease (a bit). For me, I think the pain was due to radiation changes/damage.

About worrying about possibility of recurrence - I don't worry so much anymore. I've made peace with that part, but that,too, is a fairly recent event. I'm still anxious every time I have lab work, anxious when I see the oncologist, anxious for exams, mammograms, MRIs, but even that has lessened as time has gone by.

Having been diagnosed with cancer will always be part of me, but it does get better.

Suzanne

Wendy Joy
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan 2012

Thank you Suzanne. Your words and experience means a lot to me. I find I can always find comfort coming to this site!

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

I still have some tenderness and pain also. It isn't horrible, but, it's there. It looks like most of do from the posts.

Hugs, Megan

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

After a few years, I still experience strange feelings and my breast has some kind of pain every now and then. I think it is from rads, as, that seems to be what my doctors say.

Rads, the gift that keeps on giving. :(

Sue

crselby's picture
crselby
Posts: 379
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Wendy. I had my 3 year mammogram today and all is still clear, bilaterally. In September 2009 I finished treatment: lumpectomy then interstitial multicatheter radiation (5 days). After the lumpectomy (huge cavity) I could hear sloshing sounds coming from that breast! That meant there was fluid filling the cavity. When the radiation surgeon inserted the catheters, a lot of fluid drained out. After the radiation was finished, the walls of the cavity hardened and healed up with more fluid still inside. To this day, that fluid is still in there and probably always will be. It is called a seroma and has not reduced in size since the first post-treatment mammogram to today. The docs say that is why I have a hard lump there and that is why that area gets sudden dull pain twinges occasionally.

Both breasts, especially near the ribcage and under my arms, used to get sore once a month, before breast cancer, and they still do. It is attributed in my case to fluctuations in hormones, although I am 61 and well through natural menopause by over 10 years! I went on Tamoxifen for almost 2 years but it was causing changes in my uterus so I had to stop taking it.

After today's mammogram I graduate to having them only once a year, no longer every six months. That is both a relief and worrisome. I like being checked and told everything is still OK but I also like the concept of being on the road of certainty that I am, and will always be, cancer free. Three years "clear" is not as good as five years, or ten years, but you take each check up one at a time and celebrate the good news each time.

Remember, although recurrences are of course possible, MOST breast cancer veterans never have one. As bad as that news would be to hear, most of us do not ever hear those words!

~~Connie~~

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Congrats Connie on your good mammo results!

Hugs, Kylez

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8255
Joined: Aug 2009

Congratulations on getting to that 'once a year' mammo's! Such a huge accomplishment --
I am very happy for you.

Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure.

Vicki Sam

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