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Pain Management Problems.. Feeling A Little Frustrated.. Stage IV w/ Fibromyagia and Osteoarthritis..!! Lots of Pain and Stiff..

Bonita j's picture
Bonita j
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2013


Hi All..

I am still feeling my way along this new journey. I was Dx in August 2013, Stage IV Breast CANcer.. Mets to bones (spine and pelvic) and Liver.. I have been taking Letrozle for the last few months.. I have had Great Results, Bones Mets are gone and the 2 tumor in my breast have greatly reduced in size. Thanking God fo this..!! My energy level is very low and I have a lot of pain and stiffness. I do have Fibromyagia and Osteoarthritis.. I also am allergic to Tylenol w/codiene.. (it caused me to have respiratory issues..) so the doctors are staying away for pain meds that contain codeine. I have been using Ibuprofen 800mg.. up to 3 x per day when needed.. to help take the edge off the pain.. however, my Oncologist was fond of that idea. He gave me time released Morphine.. But I got really bad headahces.. I do have a plate bolted to my spine from a previous surgery for a bone spur that was at the base of my neck.. I have pain in that area I don't know if it was the meds.. but I stop taking them for now. I am just trying to deal with it and have continued taking the Ibuprofen, when I can't take it anymore. I am working out 3 times a week and a health and wellness center, Aquacise Class x 2 and mild workout using a few of the machines in the center. This seems to help me with how I am feeling and my energy level. I am just so tired of the pain, stiffness and mobility issues..

I am looking for Help and Any Advice..!! Wish we weren't here.. Sending Love to All, Bj Smile

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

I love that you are doing the Aquacise and working out in spite of your pain.  BJ, what an inspiration you are!  Movement (especially Aquacise) actually lubricates joints with joint (synovial) fluid and does decrease pain and especially stiffness.  It is so awesome that you have figured this out on your own.

I have been Stage 4 since 2005 (bone, lung and liver).  Pain is there but I have learned to deal with it somewhat.  Thermacare heat patches really help my bone pain.  The generics haven't been as helpful, so I buy the namebrands at Sam's.  I stick them wherever I have bone pain. 

I am extremely sensitive to most meds.  I cut a 5 mg hydrocodone/300 mg acetaminophen tablet in half and that works well for me.  My onc doesn't see how that low of a dose helps, but it does for me.  

Doctors often forget that many patients do better if you "start low and go slow" - meaning start at a very low dosage and increase slowly as tolerated.  Hydrocodone is a synthetic codeine that patients who are allergic to codeine can often tolerate.  Another drug that has worked well for pain for me is tramadol (another narcotic).  I believe the tablets are 50 mg and I never took more than 25 mg.  I have a pill scorer which easily cuts pills in half (you can get one at any drugstore).  Do not cut capsules, gel-type pills or enteric coated ones.

Narcotics are still the most effective class of dugs for pain, but you may need help in finding one you can tolerate.  In your case, since you have had problems before, you might ask your oncologist for a referral to a pain management specialist.  Make sure you get a reputable one.

Another consideration is to add another med that can also block pain pathways such as an antidepressant or an anticonvulsant.  I am on lexapro and I think that helps the pain and my mood: a win-win for me.

Here's a link for you: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/physicalsideeffects/pain/paindiary/pain-control-toc

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!


SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010


I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, stage IV (lung, pleura, ribs) I also lymphedema, posterior tibial tendernitis desfunction (where a brace on my right foot) torn supraspinatus tendon in the rotator cuff and etc.  I wear a fentanyl patch to help with the pain.  It works very well for me.

I hope you find something because living in pain shouldn't be an option.



CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

Great advice Doris!  I wish we had a like button!  Hope you are doing ok?

Posts: 1416
Joined: Mar 2001

I just wanted to add that is so true even in the medication area that we are all different and some of us are very sensative I am one of them.  I ended up going onto methadone since this was a very old drug that they know more about through time and it helped me along with the 5 or six other medications I took.  With every medication they finally put me on after suffering for almost 4 years another layer of pain was revealed because I have diseases not the anxiety my GP was trying to convince me of.

I after 5 or more years got off it all tired of the side affects because everything has them and I am that sensative every little thing affects me.

Thank goodness for here,


Posts: 44
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi All 


I was disgnosed with breat cancer, triple negative in 2010, moved to lung in 2011 and just last week they found a small spot on my liver. I have had chemo 2 weeks on one off for the past 2 years. Abrixtan and Avistin. The first year I was feeling fine had back pain. Then I startred experiencing extreme back pain and stiffness. After sitting and then trying to get up I can hardly walk. 

I was taken off of the Abrixtan because I was doing well the spot on my lung had not grown but is still there, and because I could not get out of the bed, having body pain and my finger nails were turning black. I started seeing a naturalist doctor who  began accupuntcure and cuppling. It seems to be helping. But now that they found a spot on my liver I have to go back on the Abrixtan. I am not looking forward to the pain and being tired. I take hydrocodone 500mg for the pain and I don't like taking them, but they help with the pain.


I like what you are doing with the swimming and exercising I am going to try and start that. I have changed my eating and am considering hiring a chef to prepare a few meals a week to help as well.

My prayers are will all of you?


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