CSN Login
Members Online: 9

You are here

Lower back pain

Lifeisbeautiful's picture
Lifeisbeautiful
Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2014

I had my 5th chemo last Tuesday and I usually feel worse on day 4 and 5 but this time I felt great until Sunday. I felt lower back pain along with muscle pain everywhere else. I also feel like the area where I had my C-section surgery hurts a little bit. The pain is dull but sometimes it gets worse. Yesterday I cried because I was acing too much so I took some painkillers. I will ask my doctor if it's ok when I see him but I couldn't take it anymore. It's like being bruised everywhere. Is this normal? I read allot about it and it seams it's one of the side effects but why now and why am I feeling worse later than before? Any advice?

Thank you!

Natasha

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3699
Joined: May 2012

Natasha,

Side-effects worsening the farther along you go in treatment is pretty much the norm. More poisioning of cells, more discomfort.  Some people have few problems all the way through, but this varies dramatically with the number of total cycles they receive (less treatment, fewer side-effects !).  Age of the patient and the severity of the cancer are also factors. That is, older patients tend to feel worse than younger patients; sicker patients tend to feel worse than less sick ppatients.  All of this is pretty intuitive, actually.   Even I, after two treatments with r-abvd, felt OK and went back to work for about two weeks, until the bottom fell out.  Beyond that point, however, the only place I went was to bed  ! I slept about 17 or more hours per day.

What you are presently describling sounds a lot what is called "Flu-Like Syndrome."  It is quite commonly caused by several of the regular drugs used against lymphoma (in r-abvd, for instance, three of the drugs commonly cause this feeling).  The only treatment is rest and pain medication. Only Loritab worked for me.

If I have not sent you this link previously, it describes what I am speaking of. I hope you feel better soon.  My doc had a perscription for Loritab ready in the pile when I first met him.  He told my wife and I, "Take as much as you need. During chemo is not the time to be a super-hero. Rest and let yourself heal."

RITUXAN is especially notorious for Flulike Syndrom, if you are receiving it (sorry, I don't recall if you are).  The article mentions fever, but my pain (which was more-or-less constant for about five months) usually had no fever accompanying it.

http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/side-effects/flulike-syndrome.aspx#.VBh2vaQg_

.

Lifeisbeautiful's picture
Lifeisbeautiful
Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2014

Thank you for the information and link, Max and thank you Grace for the encouraging words. :)

I read allot also but it's different when real people tell you if they went through something like this as well. I have to be happy that until now my side effects weren't too bad so feeling the way I felt for the last couple of days made it even more real. Chemo is not a joke! It is hard but I'm almost half way through. After next Tuesday (chemo#6) I have 3 more months to go and hopefully this will be the end of suffering. I've been in pain for way too long now (since I got pregnant last year). I rest and sleep when I can and enjoy the good days when they come.

I'm not taking Rituxan and I will ask my doctor about Loritab or if there is anything stronger than Teylenol to help with pain. I know now that the pain will only get worse with more chemo treatments.

Natasha

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3699
Joined: May 2012

N,

I guess there is no "normal" in chemo, really. There is a broad spectrum of side effects, which are listed for each drug, but which ones (if any) a given patient will get is anyone's guess, until they are in treatment.  You are in for the "long haul" (12 infusions), which is one of the criteria for a rough road, although even a lot of cycles does not ensure than chemo will be difficult for someone. Please note: I did not say your muscle pain would get worse, just that it is quite possible and common.  Discuss pain meds in detail with your doc is what I would suggest, although, as I wrote, my doc handed me a perscription for Loritab when we first met, before we discussed anything, so it must be a pretty standard thing for some doctors, at least when dealing with certain meds.

A neighbor near my last house (we moved  across town three years ago) had a severe case of NHL around six years ago, and went on some combination that required that he go in the hospital for infusions, and then stay for a few days thereafter. When home, he was unable to get out of bed. ANY. At any point in his cycle. I have related his story here a few times in the past, so my apologies to all who have heard this account of him before.

My wife and I thought that he had died (we did not really know them well at the time) until I saw his room-mate carrying him to the car one morning to take to the hospital.  He was stunning. From around 300 pounds he had dropped to perhaps 140 pounds, almost unable to hold his head up or to speak. I told him once, months after his treatments ended that I had walked over to his house a few times and knocked, but got no answer. He told me that he had seen me, but was too weak to move or respond.  But others sail through treatment, never quit work, sail around the world, run in olympics, or whatever. It is more or less the luck of the draw, apparantly.

What I was thankful for was remission. My side-effects (in the way I think, some people view things differently) were nothng to pay for gaining wellness.  How many never get there ?  It is not the norm to not reach remission with most lymphomas, but not uncommon either.  Some do not get well.  We have so many now fighting their second or third round in this battle for life.   I myself have a prostate biopsy scheduled for a few weeks from now; the urologist says it is "clinically necessary."  I went YESTERDAY for CT results regarding a spot in the base of one lung. The doc says it has not changed any, and most likely is benign, but must be followed for another year. 

Prostate cancer is wholly unrelated to lymphoma, but still a terrible ordeal. I have buried two friends with prostate cancer in the last eight years.  One of them, Gary, died on Sept 23 of last year, so his first anniversary of passing is in a few days.  Gary lived 13 years with the disease, the other frind lived 12, so it is an extremely slow-moving disease. Even people diagnosed with advanced Stage 4 disease live an average of five years or so. Organ cancers are radically different from lymphoma.  I may get lucky and come out negative, but I know what "you've got cancer" sounds like, very very well.

I'm very glad that you are half-way finished.  Health and vitality are on the way to you !  You are smart, well-informed, and have a great spirit, so you are way ahead in this game,

max

Lifeisbeautiful's picture
Lifeisbeautiful
Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2014

Max,

I really really hope the CT results are good and you can continue enjoying your cancer-free life. Keep us up to date, please.

I used to think of myself as weak and not able to deal with difficult situations until 5 years ago I decided to leave my ex-boyfriend. Things went very bad after. He went crazy and brock into the apartment I was renting at the time. He destroyed and vandalised absolutely everything! It was worse than you would see it in a movie. I had no more clothes (they were all cut into pieces), my matrass looked like an open flower, the new TV was stubbed with a knife, all my appliance cords were cut.... It was a nightmare and then there was this fear of him wanting to hurt me, the pain of feeling betrayed and the trust broken. I cried every day and night for months and months until one day I decided to face him and forgive him so I can finally move on. I was able to finally calm down and then I met my husband. He was able to put me back together and made me trust and love again. It wasn't easy but I did it. Then in April of 2011 just by pure accident I find out I have type 2 diabetes. I was devastated at first and then I learned to live with it. And then you already know the story, I found out I have cancer while pregnant but the news didn't break me, it only made me stronger and even more optimistic. Just like you Max, I'm ready to go through more pain, discomfort and whatever there's to come just so the outcome is the one I want : cancer-free! :) I'm grateful for everything I have and the only thing missing is my health but that's going to change soon and I'm so looking forward to that day. 

Natasha 

P.S. Just curious, did your neighbor get better after? How is he doing today?

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3699
Joined: May 2012

Natasha,

My neighbor from several years back (discussed above) went into full remission, and has been in full remission since. He was about 33 when his ordeal began, and is about 40 now. He did have a few problems subsequent to remission, however. Within a year he got a terrible case of shingles, which is not too uncommon with lymphoma, for some reason.  There have been discussions here in the past about whether to get a shingles vaccine or not. My oncologist and his group does recommend them. As I said, opinions differ among doctors on that subject, however.

Two years after that, he had to have both hips replaced (in his 30s, as I noted).  The doctors told him that his chemo had killed the blood supply to his hips, and they essentially crumbled. Very odd, and not anythiing I have read here before.  I have asked him what his treatment was, but he does not remember.  He has also regained virtually all of his weight (he is about 6'5", but was quite obese at about 300 pre-cancer; I would guess hiim at about 260-275 today).

Since I moved three years ago, my new next door neighbor has also had Stage 3 NHL. (His story is below, several months back; I titled it something like "Odd History").  He is a bit older, probably 50. He was in HORRIBLE shape when he began chemo months ago. He just finished his sixth infusion, and hos oncologist has told hm he may not have to receive any further treatments (he was initially scheduled for eight treatments). He had a PET this week, and the doc said she feels he may already be in complete remission. His is an amazing journey, and you would not believe how bad he looked, and how massively swollen.

I think it was the movie Cinderella that has a song that goes Impossible things are happening every day...

 

.

givingrace's picture
givingrace
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Great stories of hope Max. My day was very discouraging so it finished it with some hope.

~.~

GG

givingrace's picture
givingrace
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Natasha,

I'm so sorry your having alot of pain. Everybody reacts to this big array of chemo meds so different. I'm hoping you will start feeling better very soon.Make sure you let your Dr. know what kind of symptoms your suffering. Treating secondary hurts is also part of the cycle.  It's not easy but make sure to take deep breaths when needed .  Just know you can talk on this forum anytime.  Alot of nice ,fun loving, and supportive ppl are here to listen and support and cheer you on. Don't be too discouraged you will be fine just stand strong and keep positive. 

I too suffer alot of bone and lower and upper back pain and neck pain.Some from chemotherapy some from a car accident I had in several months ago.And I already have arthritis and bulging discs. But you know what. When I'm in pain...i rest.when I feel good I live my day to the fullest. I have to accept my life may not be how I want it but it's a life I can make the best of. It's a gift no matter what and yes I want many more days ahead but the goal for me is to stay in the present because it really is the gift. Some days I fall very short but I give my self some grace and keep moving forward. Welcome Natasha I am hoping you can find what you need from this forum. 

You are being sent so great big hugs from me so you should receive them soom.

Keep hope .All things are possible. 

 

GG

Jeff148's picture
Jeff148
Posts: 184
Joined: Apr 2014

I can't really add to what Max has provided. Hang in there. The chemo did get worse for me as it went along. Like others have said, one day at a time!!

Jeff

girliefighter's picture
girliefighter
Posts: 232
Joined: Mar 2013

I too had the lower back pain,don't be too alarmed  it is probably actually coming from the pelvis area where your blood cells are regenerating...It was more bothersome as I got more treatments,laying around in bed doesn't help with the pain. So if you are laying around alot, try to get up and move as much as you can tolerate. Gotta get those new platelets circulating around.

Wishing you the best

XXXOOO

Carie

givingrace's picture
givingrace
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Forgive me for a stupid question.

Thank you Carie for explaining that. I was afraid to move a few times this last week after my rounds of rituxin ,treanda, and neulasta. when ever I would move around for a few min. then sit or lay back down I ended up with this horrible bone pain for like 2 min eather in pelvis bone or upper leg bone. it was so increadebly intence.Then it would chill out to a low roar as I stayed still. 

So what Im getting at is. it is good to move around dispite that 2 min of increadable pain ?

 

I also love walking ...running before I turned oldish,lol. I want to start walking if and when i have  good days. I suppose I will double check with my Dr. about that kind of activity.Sitting on my porch staring at my dog is not enough .My dog is more patient than I am.

 

GG

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

I'm sorry you are experiencing so much pain.  I pretty much agree with Max and side effects do tend to get worse over the course of treatment. For me, I had pain in my lower back that "pulsed" to my chest/sternum.  I kind of felt like I had the flu but with no fever.  I sometimes took pain meds I had left over from surgery (okayed by doctor). 

Hang in there!

 

Subscribe to Comments for "Lower back pain"