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re: The relentless back pain - HELP!

musiclover's picture
musiclover
Posts: 242
Joined: Oct 2005

How many rectal cancer people out there have the chronic lower back pain? What IS it? Is it lack of muscles from weight loss? Bad posture from numb feet? Mark's last MRI scan of his spine turned out to show no cancer in his bones so that is not it. I'm perplexed. He's miserble and getting weaker each day. I'm taking him to an accupunturist so hopefully a few sessions will bring releif. I took him to a chiropractor that specializes in back pain and cancer. Mark's back was one solid rock and just a few minutes of gentle massage killed him. The doc said he could not even do stretches at this point - too dangerous and painful. Mark doesn't like his suggestion of an in-home massage three times a week. Doesn't care for that pain though loosening the muscles would probably be a good thing.

I would love to have some feedback from others suffering from this and if you've found a way to minimize, or better, get rid of the pain. Thanks!

lfondots63's picture
lfondots63
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Is Mark on pain killers? The pain would be making him weak also. Is he eating protein shakes and things? What does his bloodwork say? He isn't missing any vitamins/minerals I hope. HUGS and I know others will post.

Lisa F.

musiclover's picture
musiclover
Posts: 242
Joined: Oct 2005

I bought Selenium, a multi vitamin and would love to give him magnesium but I don't know if any of those are safe with cancer in the liver. Hopefully his GP will know today.

Mark is taking extra strength Tylenol for the pain. Yes, I'm sure the pain alone would make one weak, you're right. He is rationing the Tylenol because 1) he is alarmed about the dangers with the liver which is a concern with this drug and 2) and, he does not want to build up a tolerance to it. Already it is only lasting a few hours. I'll check with the oncologist to confirm just how much he can safely take before liver damage is a concern. I hate seeing his life so compromised with this pain.

The shakes are a good idea - I liked some of the recipes - and I will start on that today. Thanks!

Monicaemilia's picture
Monicaemilia
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

I have lower waist pain that goes down to my legs, but it is not constant. I find that it is worse on wet, humid days and when I am really tired, i.e. after a chemo session. One doctor told me it could be a form of myalgia, but there is no actual dx as of yet. I will be going for an ultrasound soon. I find that calcium supplements really help me. I also found that sometimes I need to sleep on the couch where I can sit up and sleep. I have been asking for three years (prior dx) about this pain, and I still have no answer. Monica

chynabear's picture
chynabear
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

The Tylenol is hard on Kidneys I believe. Maybe he is doing more harm than good taking it? Maybe you should ask the GP about something else for the pain. Keep in mind that pain causes healing to slow. Resistance or not, he needs to find relief, even if it comes in the form of a stronger med.

I pray he finds relief soon. I'm sure Fran can relate.

Tricia

JADot's picture
JADot
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006

I sent an email to you. Pls check your mail.

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

It must be so frustrating to see your dear friend suffering like this. I feel so bad for you. The thing that popped in my mind was, What is the state of Mark's kidneys? Are they functioning properly? I know kidney problems can cause back pain, so if they have not been checked recently, maybe that would be a good thing to look into.
I was also just wondering why Mark is not on something more powerful than Tylenol? Does he have any Rx pain meds, and can he take something strong with his liver issues, like Demorol?
As for the massage, if the problem is not muscular then I would think it would not address the real issue, unless he is just under so much stress that his muscles are that messed up. What about muscle relaxers? Does he have any of those and can he take them? I am just throwing ideas out there. I hope one of them helps - aside from that, I think the acupuncture will help, it certainly is better than nothing.
Good luck and let us know what happens,
Susan H.

musiclover's picture
musiclover
Posts: 242
Joined: Oct 2005

Susan, thanks for this post. I am very concerned about Mark's kidneys. I have begged him for days to let me take him to the emergency room - something his doctor insisted on weeks ago if 1) the back pain got worse (it has) 2) if there is any numbness (no) or weakness (yes) in legs 3) if there is any trouble urinating (not yet). He wouldn't say why this was so imperitive but someone on the board here told me those symptoms meant kidney problems. I'm addressing that today in person with the doctor.

I'm also asking about stronger pain meds that won't aggravate his liver - are there any?? He hates being "out of it" but he is anyway laying in pain all day.

Muscle relaxers - not a bad idea. I'll ask the doc.

I'll keep everyone posted.

Thanks, Kathryn

vinny3's picture
vinny3
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

First of all, I'm glad that the MRI showed no sign of cancer. Did it show anything else like a herniated disc? If not, has he had a recent CT scan of his abdomen or pelvis to show anything else that might be causing the pain. I had rectal cancer and now have a permanent colostomy but have not had the back pain. I have had chronic back troubles most of my life and did daily exercises up until my surgery but none since. It seems your doctors need to give a specific reason or cause of his back pain as I don't think it is just from having the rectal cancer. I think you mentioned that he had some peritoneal spread and perhaps he has had some retroperitoneal spread. Areas in the retroperitoneum can often be associated with back pain. His doctor can give him something stronger than tylenol for the pain and I would encourage Mark to try that. There are patches which can be used, and changed every 3 days with pain meds in them. If they start out at a lower dose he may be able to find a dose that gives him relief but allows him to function.
I hope some of this information is useful. I would encourage you to ask the doctor for a copy of the MRI report.

Dick

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

Hey Vinney how about retroperitonealfibrosis?

suezav
Posts: 42
Joined: Dec 2005

my 23 year old daughter had rectal cancer and had the most horrific lower back pain. she had had a procedure done to biopsy the enlarged lymph nodes near the rectum and developed an absess around the nodes which, in turn, pressed on the nerves causing her the agony. is it possible something is pressing on the nerves in his back? would that show up in an mri? i'm not sure. antibiotics and a morphine pump helped get her through. i'm not saying that this is mark's problem, just trying to think out of the box. mark must be very special to have a wonderful dedicated friend like you. i hope he finds relief very soon. susan

bsrules
Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi! I hope that Mark is feeling better!!!
I just wanted to put my 2 cents in. My husband Bob had really bad back pain to the point that he was in a wheel chair. He was stage 4 with 60% liver involment. He had a very good chiropractor. One that he could talk to and let him know how he was feeling. Well, Bob was worried about getting pushed down on his abdomen because of the cancer. But he didn't have to worry. He worked on him without causeing anymore pain and within a week or two. Bob was up and around and feeling much better. I may be way off base but that is what worked for him.

Hang in there and sending Hugs and prayers your way!!

Sue P.

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

I have relentless and chronic back pain, and so far as I know it is not cancer related. I am stage 4, mets to lungs, but no other mets so far as the scans reveal.
Resistence shouldn't be the issue-the pain is the issue, and if it's anything like mine, it is totally consuming; I am on pain meds, and they give total relif..like so many of the others, I don't know the source, but anything that blocks the horrible breakthrough pain is a godsend, and beneficial to healing. Until they determine the source of the pain, it can be relieved with medication.

musiclover's picture
musiclover
Posts: 242
Joined: Oct 2005

What pain meds are you using? Would love to know so I can ask his doctor about something better. Thanks.

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

this site may not be related to Mark's problem,but it is an interesting read..
http://www.retroperitonealfibrosis.com/

musiclover's picture
musiclover
Posts: 242
Joined: Oct 2005

Thanks for that link. I'm giving a printout to his doctor. Very interesting...

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

you may also want to use the search enging on this site; when I searched "back pain" I got over 200 hits..

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