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Neuropathy

Plc123
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi all, I am new to this site currently under treatment for stage 2 breast cancer. I will receive my last chemotherapy on December 27th if all goes as expected.  I had a single mastectomy with initial reconstruction in August.  I developed neuropathies after my 4th cycle with significant burning sensations in my hands and feet.  Just wondering if people have experienced similar symptoms and if it improves following treatment completion. Thanks

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

I had neuropathy that was pretty significant, i still have it but it has markedly improved. Vit B6 is good for it. and avoiding hot water for hands and feet. I am wonderng maybe glutamine is good too.

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

I had neuropathy in my hands and a little in my feet for 7 months after I finished chemo.  I did do physical therapy and found that keeping my hands warm helped a lot.  The therapist told me that each person is different and while they cannot cure it, there are many ways to alleviate the discomfort.   I couldn't hold a pen to sign my name and once sliced up my fingers on glass in the garbage disposal because I couldn't feel anything.   I occaisionally have a problems with my fingers, they become overly sensitive to texture like wool or certain rough fabrics.  

I always take B vitamins.  Not sure if that helped at all but is meant to be good for the nervous system.  

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 435
Joined: Oct 2012

Yes, I did have some neuropathy related to my chemo, which ended 7/12.  (I had eight rounds of chemo -- ACT.)  I was fortunate in that my neuropahy was/ not bothersome.  The small toes on my right foot still are sometimes somewhat numb, but that is it.  Why I say this, though, is that I have been done with chemo for 17 months now, and I still have some effects from it.  I remember reading or hearing that there is nothing sure about neuropathy -- if and where it will hit and how long it will be evident.

I hope that for you, the problems clear up quickly.  I know that you probably are ready to be done with all of this and want it to fade into the past. 

gdpawel's picture
gdpawel
Posts: 549
Joined: May 2001

Perhaps a little understanding of what peripheral neuropathy is can help you deal with it.

http://cancerfocus.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3439

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

17 years out and still suffer but I am amazed every single day what I can do with these hands and arms.

Side affects worse for a very small percentage of population, genetic condition that leaves us very sensative to everything done or taken or so it seems.  I have been off my many meds for many years now choosing to get out of the side affect mess I had been left with.  With every med came side affects something my own mother suffers from.  I guess had I gone to the doctor more when young I might have found this out but was sick and no one listened most of my life.  Finally diagnosed stage 3 and very ill at the time.

I had double mastectomy, 6 round of chemo cocktail, 15 radiation sessions and I am triple negative who also had 11 out of 21 positive nodes.  There wasn't anything from surgery to radiation that didn't have lasting side affects but better than the alternative.  I got physical and am in better shape than in this smoking athletes life.  I work harder than I ever have Mudding and Taping Drywall something I took up to go along with the Painting I have done since my treatments were done.  I remembered Karate kid and wax and wax off so washing walls and painting seemed something good to do at the time.  I have full movement in both arms and I think this actually has kept my pain tolerable though can flare up just the same.  I just get tired of defending my physical being since people forget all I have been through and the problems that still exist.  Even my partner doesn't get it and never will expectations running very high...

Movement is the key I believe no matter how you do it or get it.  My hand and fingers can be numb all day and I manage to hold onto the brush or the mudding tools just the same, or with the odd dropping of things.  Life goes on...

Good Luck

Tara

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

My neuropathy comes from the BMX with node removal on 1/11/11. The surgeon nicked some nerves during. The pain I have is quite severe. It is comparable in some ways to the diabetic neuropathy.

You mention numbing sensations. I don't know if you get any pain associated with it. I do.

There are medications and treatments that can lessen the pain from it. I am on several medications for painful neuropathy for years now. I also get IV lidocaine treatments about every 9 weeks, where they set me up with a bag of Lidocaine and give it straight to the IV. This has been a miracle for me. Although it doesn't take away all the pain and I have to be very careful of how much I use my arms and on what activities I do everyday, it really helps.

Back in summer 2011, I tried very painful Stillette Ganglion Nerve Block Shots to the neck, but I found I only got two weeks worth of minimal pain relief for a lot of pain danger. That is when we started the Lidocaine infusions.

The medications make me tired and loopy, but I am disabled, so I can deal with the side effects. It is always a toss up....your health issues vs. treatment side effects..how much can we handle of either to reach some kind of balance.

Lyrica and Neurontin (Gabapentin is the generic form) are known for providing neuropathy relief. Amitriptyline is an anti-depressant that is found to help some with pains (also has antiinflammatory properties) and helps promote sleep at night. I also take Tramadol for lighter break through pains, and Vicodin 5-325 for more severe break through pain. After living with this for 3 years, I can pretty much tell which will do the trick.

Please talk to your doctor about your pain. Perhaps there is something that works for you. 

I am releasing more and more, that I should just take the darn pills to combat the pain. I don't enjoy trying to tough it out anymore.

Sun Whitey
Posts: 36
Joined: Jan 2013

Good morning,

I finished my chemo October 23rd of 2013.  I had 16 rounds (ACT).  I developed neuropathy in my legs and it started to get painful.  Some days I didn't even want to stand, let alone walk anywhere.  My oncologist and chemo nurse suggested glutamine, which you can get from any vitamin supply store and I think some  grocery stores may carry it.  That, combined with elevating my legs during the day helped me a lot.  I didn't have problems with my hands, so I'm sorry I don't know what to say about that... but the glutamine definitely helped with my legs.

Feel better friend.  You are definitely in the right place!

Cool

Plc123
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2013

Thanks for all the information/advisement.  i now have more of the fingertip numbness and tingling.  I was prescribed Neurontin at night, and am trying the Alpha Lipoic Acid, so will see how things go.  I am hoping symptoms will at least lessen to some degree.   I am relieved to have finished my last chemo treatment, now it's just tht the Herceptin and hormone blocking.

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2043
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi, I was st 1 6 years ago, had fu5 and taxotare chemo, gave me terrible dead feet and all my fingernails fell out.  Now 5 1/2 years out, I am suddenly st4 and in bloody agony, my toenails have all ingrown to the point where I can barely walk and foot clinic is not covered by insurance.  This sucks big style.

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