arm pain

Mosis50 Member Posts: 59
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
On Monday my left arm started hurting so bad that I had to come home from work. I had my left breast removed last March and this really scared me thinking it is related to the cancer. I went to my regular dr. on Tuesday ane she said she thought it might be a pinched nerve and I went to a physical therapist. Today is Wednesday and my arm is really no better. The pain meds the dr. gave me have not helped. I will go in for an MRI if it is no better by Monday. This really scares me because I am thinking the cancer has matastesized to the bone in my arm. Any suggestions? Words of encouragement appreciated. Susan


  • rizzo15
    rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member
    Mosis50. Same thing happened to me. Despite having faithfully done all the stretching & strength exercises the surgeon gave me every single night since my mastectomy in March, I started having these sharp stabbing pains in my mastectomy arm and shoulder. Don't know if you have the same thing, but it's possible. My range of motion was steadily decreasing over a 3-week period after radiation, although a prescription of vicodin really helped out. It turned out that I had developed a frozen shoulder--kind of a weird name because I have pain in the upper arm, wrist, forearm too. Although nobody knows exactly what causes frozen shoulder, the PT says the trauma of chemo, surgery, and radiation certainly are all very likely triggers for this condition. I'm sure my falling off a curb with my bicycle at about the same time didn't help either!! So, let's hope that all you have is frozen shoulder...which is what a lot of people, men and women, develop. It can be a long road to recovery (up to a year?), but at least it would not be cancer. Here is a web page if you think you also might have frozen shoulder:

    Also, if you are having a lot of pain, it sometimes helps to sleep in a reclining chair instead of a bed at night. People with shoulder injuries and frozen shoulder have a difficult time withstanding the stresses of laying down to sleep at night.
  • workingtired
    workingtired Member Posts: 13
    Hi there.. I had a mastectomy and reconstruction of my left breast back in May and thought I was past the pain until September when I too started having pain in my arm.

    The pain went from my shoulder all the way down to my fingertips and a long thin visable streak would raise to the surface of my skin when I tried to straighten my arm.

    I thought maybe I had an infection! I had myself in a big panic, I could not straighten my arm without pain and the thin line popping out to the surface of my skin was scary.

    I finally went to see my surgeon who told me I had what's called cording. She gave me some anti-inflamitory drugs and a script for physical therapy if needed. After taking the indomethacin for a few days, the cording broke up and I was back to normal, well the new normal anyway. You can look up mastectomy and cording on the net and find some info.

    Hope this helps.
  • bullfrog13
    bullfrog13 Member Posts: 213
    ok this is weird coz i had surgery.rad.chemo onLEFT side and mY RIGHT arm has been hurting more and more every week that goes by..... go figure!
  • rizzo15
    rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member

    ok this is weird coz i had surgery.rad.chemo onLEFT side and mY RIGHT arm has been hurting more and more every week that goes by..... go figure!

    Hey bullfrog13. I don't find that weird at all! Once I had tendenitis in my leg and I couldn't understand why the most pain was in my back. My doctor told me that once I felt a little tenderness in my leg, that I started favoring it. Then once you start favoring the leg, you start walking "funny" and you mess up all the muscles in your back. Then you get really crippled up. I told her I never noticed shifting my weight around and she said it is very easy not to notice. Maybe radiation on your left shoulder area kind had the same effect. My radiation oncologist was talking about the "meat" getting cooked and getting tensed up for at least a week after the end of radiation. She says it's just like cooking a roast in the oven. You have to let the roast "rest" after you take it out. What a picture! But I suppose it makes sense.
  • momof4
    momof4 Member Posts: 56
    Susan hi, it is the same thing i've been having just about every night once i am asleep this terrible pain on my surgery arm wakes me up and the only relief i get is to sit in a chair with my head on a pillow on my kitchen table and keep both of my arms hanging down trying to relax my shoulders, along with the pain i have tingling on my fingers they get so mumb than i cant feel them at all and i too had taxol like you . I told my doc about it and he said it is neurophaty and gave me some antidepressant to take at night saying that it is treated that way but mean while been on thm for 2 weeks and no relief so go figure!
    but thinking about it i started having this pain just about the same time as i started my radiation , nurse told me it could be the nerves growing a protective layer around them since they were cut during surgery dont know what to think anymore, all i know is that at times i am afraid to pursue this anyfurther in case it migh be more cancer and this scares me too much
    hope we will both find some relief to this problem and that it is just part of a side affect from some of the things we had done
    love and hugs Mariat.
  • jamjar62
    jamjar62 Member Posts: 135

    ok this is weird coz i had surgery.rad.chemo onLEFT side and mY RIGHT arm has been hurting more and more every week that goes by..... go figure!

    Same with me bullfrog but I had a mediport on my right side. I had a bone scan done because I was afraid of mets but it was normal so I guess its just leftover damage from the mediport. Did you have a mediport?

  • rizzo15
    rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member
    Mosis50. Any diagnostic results for your arm pain? I'm hoping you just had a simple strain after all you have been through.