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jcorum
Posts: 22
Joined: Jul 2012

I have never posted on it. I am right at  3 years end of treatment of stage 2 Ac. Had a ct scan 3 months ago and all looked good. About a month ago, I would wake up with my lower back feeling kinda tired. Not hurting really, kinda how your black feels when you have spent too many hours in bed. But then it would feel fine. A few days ago, it started feeling pretty painful by the time I woke up and would get to feeling better during the day. Not completely normal, but almost normal. I have been googling for hours and read that cancer in the spine hurts most at night and feels better during the day. I have a regular appt with my oncologist tues but til then I am scared to death. I have never had back problems so I don't know if it could be arthritis or degenerative spine disease. of course, after you have had the big C, every ache is cancer, in your mind. 

eihtak
Posts: 886
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi and welcome, and as we too often say so sorry that you have found the need to be here but glad you have found us none the less. Three years!!!!! thats great! I am almost there myself. Try not to let your mind and thoughts of worry get the best of you....I don't know your age but back aches are sooo common and unfortunately difficult to find the cause. Your mattress even?? Have you had a bone scan? I do a stretch every morning and evening where I just kind bend at the waist and drop forward letting my arms dangle, somtimes I bend my kness slightly, somedays I'm more flexable......I just hang like that for a while then slowly uncurve my spine and straighten up lifting my arms up and out to the side. It takes little time, and feels so good afterward. I know what you mean about every ache making you wonder, I tend to do that more right before follow up scans.  

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for a good visit with some answers on tuesday with your doctor.

 

 

 

jcorum
Posts: 22
Joined: Jul 2012

My hubby was very supportive thru all my treatments but as soon as they were over, his thoughts were "it's done, it's behind us, lets forget about it and move forward". unless you've had cancer, you don't realize(as I didn't til it happened to me) that you NEVER forget about it. I try not to worry but  he doesnt understand when I get anxious when I can tell there is something strange going on in my bodY or before my scans. 

horsepad's picture
horsepad
Posts: 87
Joined: Apr 2012

I worry everytime my body does something different than usual.  I have feared my cancer returned many times.  Once I was so sure it came back, I wanted my CT scan early and was willing to pay for it if my insurance didn't (doctor office not sure insurance would pay since I had it done early).  Sometimes, it's so nice to be wrong.   I have had blood in my stool a couple times in the last week and now I am worried the original tumor is back.  I have a CT scan on Tuesday and I am always scared the week before a scan.  It's so hard not to worry.  I have had lower back pain on waking up in the morning.  Very rare for me.  It was nothing and after a week or two it went away.  I hope yours does too!!!!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3106
Joined: Jan 2010

After having cancer, it's hard not to worry about things such as back pain, or any other kind of pain for that matter, so I understand your concern.  However, there are many reasons for back pain.  As someone who has had more than their fair share of it, before and after cancer, I will tell you that it is definitely no fun.  However, I doubt that your cancer is back.  Radiation treatment, however, can weaken the spine and cause osteopenia or osteoporosis, which can result in back pain.  Have you had a DEXA scan to assess your spine and pelvic area?  If not, I would highly recommend getting one as a baseline, which will tell you if you might be subject to one of the two conditions just mentioned.  I found out I have osteopenia, which is sort of the pre-cursor to osteoporosis.  I don't know what your build is, but I am really, really small-boned, which makes me an even more likely candidate for bones issues.  While that may not be the case for you, there are other things to think about.  How is your posture?  If you sit for long periods of time, you may not be sitting with proper posture, which can take a toll on the spine.  I always use a lumbar roll behind my back when I sit at my desk or ride in the car for long periods.  Also, your mattress may be causing this, so trying a new mattress or changing sleep positions may help.  I find that I sleep on my stomach a lot, which is SO not good for my back.  The best way to sleep is on the side with a pillow between the knees to keep the spine in proper alignment.  My most recent bout with severe back pain was caused by a pulled muscle, which I did while simply making my bed!  There can be all kinds of reasons.  Since your back pain lessens throughout the day, I would say it's most likely related to how you sleep and/or your mattress.

Doing some simple stretching exercises first thing in the morning may help relieve your pain.  I do what I call a Mecca stretch where I get on my knees, put my arms over my head, and bend forward until I touch the floor with my palms.  You can really feel a good stretch in your back with this one.  I try to hold it for 60 seconds. 

Another thing that can cause back pain is foot problems.  If your arches are not supported properly and you are on your feet a lot, back pain can result.  I know this from my own experience after having foot surgery for a bunion and stress fracture.  My podiatrist made orthotics for me and without them, I would probably have lots of back pain.  I have a high arch and the inserts support my arch properly and make me stand up straighter.  You don't necessarily need to go get custom orthotics made.  I believe you can get a fair assessment of your arches on the Dr. Scholl machines in various stores.  Once you take the assessment, then you can buy pre-made orthotics for your particular arch type, which cost a lot less than custom orthotics.  It is worth a try anyway.

Okay, I'm not a back pain expert, but I hope I've given you some things to check out.  If your pain persists, by all means, see a doctor.  I wish you all the very best.

 

 

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 908
Joined: Jun 2013

...between constant anxiety about anything different and ignoring certain signs. Cancer teaches us to pay attention to our bodies especially since emits of us ignored signs initially way too long. We have to be cautious, but should not live in fear. We should do the necessary tests and scans, but can't expose ourselves to some major radiation every time we sneeze. It's not easy, but we have to find that balance.

Laz

jcorum
Posts: 22
Joined: Jul 2012

I am glad to see your response. I signed onto this site a Couple hears ago and get on here and read the posts but had never posted anything til now. I see how knowledgeable and encouraging you are. Thanks fours our words of  wisdom. My back still hurt some this morning but then went away after I had been awake a while. I am anxious to see if it hurts even less tomorrow. 

In July of 2011, my stepson was getting married. Doctor thought a spot on my stomach might be mrsa so they put me on bactRim. I had never taken it before. my head got all foggy feeling and i felt dizzy and I never said anything to my husband because I didn't want to ruin the wedding. I didnt think about the bactrim making me feel that way. I convinced myself the cancer had gone to my brain and I didn't want to say anything til after the wedding. So after the wedding, I tell my husband and we go to my oncologist who got very upset with me and said this cancer doesn't go to your brain, I think you may have had a stroke, from the description of the ailments. Anyway, that was the 1st time I convinced myself the cancer had spread. After I quit the bactrim, all the crazy side affects stopped. 

My mom had 3 primary cancers in a two year period. First was breast cancer. At the end of chemo, they did a PET scan and saw the small lung cancer and removed a lobe. Right after that, she had a large portion of her colon removed due to Cancer. She had the colon cancer 12 years ago. She never worried about any of them coming back. Unbelievably, she died 2 weeks ago of Complications of COPD

jcorum
Posts: 22
Joined: Jul 2012

I also just realized that when I went for my last bone density scan, there was more bone deteriation in my hip from the previous one. I didn't think about it being due to the radiation. :-(  

Do you think it could also damage the spine? I had not thought of that 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3106
Joined: Jan 2010

Yes, I do think the radiation can damage the lower spine, which goes clear to your tailbone.  Some of your lower spine was most likely in the radiation field. 

I'm sorry to hear of your mother's passing.  Perhaps the fact that your mother went through cancer more than once is the reason you have thoughts of recurrence with certain aches or pains.  It is understandable, really.  I think it's common among cancer survivors to first blame the cancer for future issues.  However, as in my case, I am 60 years old and have to remind myself that I'm not getting any younger.  As they say, "stuff happens."  It's not always due to the cancer.  With that said, we do have to pay closer attention to our bodies now and what kind of signals they send us.

I hope you can get a handle on the back pain.  Try some of the things I've suggested and see if any help.  If not, or it gets worse, have it checked out.  Physical therapy could be an option for you.  I wish you well.

eihtak
Posts: 886
Joined: Oct 2011

I just want to agree on the mattress and stretching! I was having mild back aches last year, but since replacing my mattress, and doing some daily stretches aimed at the lower back, I have not noticed it for several months. But yes, it is also important to follow up with a doctor if pain is persistent.

mxperry220
Posts: 369
Joined: Mar 2011

I was having back pain issues.  I replaced my 30 year old matress this year and have had no back pain issues since replacing my mattress.  I replaced my coil mattress with a Sealy Posturepedic Foam Mattress with adjustable base.

Mike

jcorum
Posts: 22
Joined: Jul 2012

I went to my oncologist yesterday.  he is not concerned about my back, and it feels much better today. I was also concerned about what I thought might be a swollen lymph node not fadeform the crease of my groin and he felt it and said its a vein. So, big relief. Got results from my mammo and pap I had last week and both are clear. I am now  3 years and month NED and a happy girl!!! Doctor used his scopey thing to check around "up there" and said everything looks great and that its unusual but that it looks like I haven't even had radiation!!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3106
Joined: Jan 2010

Congrats to you on all of your good news!  I'm glad your back is feeling better and that your doctor was able to reassure you that your cancer is not back.  I hope you are feeling quite relieved.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

Have you looked at your ankles lately? Is there any swelling?

I have Pelvic Lymphedema, but I was stage III with lymph node involvement. Anyway, I found my pain is controlled as long as my lymphedema is controlled. My legs swell and tingle but I get back and crotch pain that will wake me up in the night.

Good luck. I doubt it's cancer, but any diagnosis, I am finding out can be depressing.

Hope you can find some good holiday cheer.

Sincerely,

Sandy

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 522
Joined: Jul 2009

JCorum...did you have radiation?  The reason I ask is because my lower back hasn't been the same since.  Achy, not all the time, but at times it gets stiff and achy as do my upper thighs.  I'm coming up on 4 and 1/2 years post treatment for Stage 111a.  I'm doing well but there are side affects of treatment that have changed my body.  I never had back problems before the cancer/treatment. My CT scans show bone degeneration as well which I have been told is a result of the treatment.  It's all lower back. I was told to do Yoga and I would if I wasn't such a klutz.  The first time I tried to do it I fell on my tush and laughed until I almost peed my pants.  If someone had been taping it it would be a YouTube sensation!  lol.  All kidding aside now, it is very possible your back pain is the result of treatment as well or something totally unrelated to either Cancer or treatment for it.  Could be a disc problem, the way you are sleeping, walking, etc.  

Also wanted to tell you that I totally understand about the spouse's reaction "it's over let's move on".  Same thing in my household.  I surmised that it's a coping mechanism for them and a point of frustration for us!  That's why we have forums like this, so that we always have someone who understands and can emphatize. 

Wishing you the best - 

Liz

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