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Shoulder Pain


Bob-ellen

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I newly posted a few days ago, and now it is time for Bill's chemo to begin again today (Carboplatin/Gemzar). He had been off for a couple of weeks now due to low platelets, but one of the weeks was his normal week off the regimen. He has already had a transfusion for the red blood cells during that off time.

This morning, he complained about his right shoulder. He has a met there in the shoulder blade. This is the first he has complained about discomfort, besides the lymph node in his neck.

He will be relating all of this to the oncologist today. The oncologist had mentioned that if he saw that this regimen wasn't working he would change it.

Sorry to spill all this out and leave, but it helps me to put this into words. It makes it seem less ominous, and frightening. Bill and I discussed this this morning. He said that the pain began a day, or so ago. I'm glad he told me about it now - so that we can discuss this with the doctor.

Hopefully, the doctor will know what to do, and there will be something in the offing to improve or make it stable.

Please keep us in your prayers. Thank you.

Barbara

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Absolutely saying lots of prayers for encouraging news soon.

Hang in there and let us know.

P.S. Don't apologize for posting or your need to "get it all out" That's what we are here for!

Hugs,

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Barbara,

NEVER apologize for 'sharing' with us. We all have been there and will be again for sure. It is good that Bill discusses these things and does not keep secrets like is the case sometimes. I do not know about mets right now, but it sounds encouraging for there to be a plan of action.

Keep us posted.

Kasey

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Barbara,

I think it is probably a coincidance with Bills shoulder pain and the met to that area. I would think that the met would have to be quite large to cause pain and I am sure that is not the case. Possible just general aches and pains....If possible try not to worry (easier said, right?)

Midge

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Thank you all for the replies. There are times, during this when there are nagging negatives that creep into the mind.

We try to keep them at a minimum, but yesterday, it was important to vent to formulate the thoughts.

When we got over to the hospital for the chemo, we met a woman there, who we know from our town.

She had been going there for lung cancer (which was actually mets from breast cancer she had twenty years ago). She told me months back that they had nothing for her to kill the tumors in her lungs. Yesterday, she told me they are now disappearing due to a new advance made in the chemo. She called it "State of the Art."

As down as I was, that lifted me up just seeing her joy and the fact that hope was restored to her.

Thank you all for the boost. It helped, truly.

Barbara

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Ellen,

We told the oncologist about the shoulder pain, and he checked his reports that it was where the met had been seen on the scan. It was the same area.

So, he said that Bill would receive yesterday's dosage, and next week's, but then he would arrange for scans to see what this regimen is doing, or not.

At that point, Bill will have received his 8th dosage of the carbo/Gemzar 3-week schedule - which was a 2 carbo/Gemzar first week, 1 Gemzar second week, nothing third week routine beginning every three weeks. He will have had four of those cycles.

He had said (in the past) that if this combination of drugs turned out to be ineffective, he would change it to something else.

We are keeping our attitudes up and positive, and making sure that we talk about any concerns so that we don't harbor too much worry. That way, we are prepared "a bit." But, who ever can be altogether prepared?

Thank you for responding, Ellen. All of the responses have made a difference. I'm glad I joined the board. No one can have too much support, especially when dealing with lung cancer.

Barbara

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Kasey,

Thank you for asking about the shoulder.

The situation is one of trying to find out if the pain Bill experienced is a pain from something untoward, or a natural part of having done something with the arm/shoulder area.

He is a guy who works around the house on projects, so you never know what muscle he could have pulled.

In any case, we will know more when the doctor orders the scans. Hopefully, whatever they show it will put us in a good direction.

Thank you all for your prayers. I keep everyone one in mine.

Barbara

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Hi Ellen,

That is what we are here for to give you support. So please vent away. We all need that one time or anonther.

I am praying for Bob and I hope he starts to feel better.

I hope have a wonderful holiday.

Maryanne

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Hi Barbara,

My cancer was originally detected because of pain in my shoulder. Doctor said it was rotator cuff injury and rest and ibuprofin would cure. Then suggested physical therapy. When I insisted the therapy was not helping, they finally took xrays and discovered the lung tumor. The pain I had was not that severe - but it was constant.

Before chemo, I had 10 days of radiation to my clavicle and spine (another met discovered there).

Hope things work out - I'll remember you in my prayers.

Mary

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Could This be arthrits? Deb has visible calcium build up in shoulder and sports therapist says it is massive arthritis. HAs had 2 cortizone injections. Will say a prayer, but think about this possibility.

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My dad had shoulder pain and after many different tests to find the reason, they had to conclude that it was the way the tumor was resting. The pain was in his right shoulder and the tumor was in the right lung. Just thought you might want to ask doc about that. He wore a pain patch and that helped.

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Thank you all for your thoughts on the shoulder pain. Hopefully, it will be the met to that area building up something good - like dead necrotic cells. Am I a dreamer?

The pain patch seems to be an idea that might work. Presently, Bill has been taking a mild painkiller for the node in his neck that posed discomfort.

That node, on looking at it from the outside, doesn't seem any larger than it was, but it had posed a discomfort to the region around that side of the face, especially since the colder weather.

My mind gets full of things, and having verbalized them to the oncologist, has made me feel that he knows what to do on the next step. At least, he has said that he would change venue.

Actually, coming to this board and putting it all into words has made our relating all of the concerns easier when we talk to the doctor. I hope that makes sense. All of your input gives me a better perspective, too. It's very valuable. I appreciate it, and read every one of the posts and keep them in my collective thoughts.

I'm sure the scans are going to be crucial in the decisions made as to continuing this regimen. On the one hand, I think maybe we want to see the scans to get to whatever we need, but on the other - we don't. What a ride!

Barbara

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello once again,

Sorry to have taken so long getting back to you regarding the shoulder pain as it pertains to scan evidence.

We had the CT scans done last week. We received the results yesterday. It seems it was a transient pain probably something he did with his arm, and wasn't a negative indication in that regard.

However, yesterday was the consultation with the oncologist about the recent Gemzar/carboplatin regimen and the CT scans taken last week.

The results were that everything (all spots) were STABLE, except for the neck nodule, which is still there and not shrinking.

The doctor said that he wants to initiate a different plan. He decided on Alimta, beginning next week, and thereafter 1x every three weeks. (Bill received a B12 injection yesterday, Procrit, and a prescription for B12 tablets. Those are to ward off side effects [blood issues] of the Alimta.)

The oncologist said that he would rather not radiate the node now because of the resulting side effects re swallowing, mouth problems, etc.

I don't know the first thing about Alimta, save what I've seen on the Internet in those drug info sites. It sounds a bit scary and clinical.

I knew of anyone who found success with it for lymph node involvement, or even anyone who has something to input on it regarding its use.

There is much gratitude for all you told me last time I posted, and it gave me support while we waited for the eventual "picture" to unfold. It was very helpful in keeping my thoughts on an even keel.

Thank you all for supporting me through this trip. We're hanging in there, albeit by tenterhooks.

Barbara

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Ellen,

I'm glad to hear that your husband's shoulder issue doesn't look to be LC related. Yeah!!! :D

I would also look into radiation for the neck node. My husband also has a lymph node in his neck that causes him pain. 2 years ago, we radiated the spot, even though there was the risk to his throat. They gave him something to drink to coat his throat prior to treatments. It worked and shrank that node to the point where it wasn't visible on scans anymore, and for almost 2 years he wasn't bothered by it and the pain meds went almost to nothing. However, after the past 2 years have gone by, it has returned. Since further radiation is not advisable because of damage to the surrounding tissue, his radiation oncologist recommended Tomotherapy.

This is a new type of radiation, and I know unfortunately there are not a lot of hospitals that have tomotherapy machines. I know that Cancer Treatment Centers of America also has them now. This is a link to a site that shows Tomotherapy treatment centers. http://tomotherapy.com/centers/ctr_index.htm

Anyway, it is radiation that is pin point radiation. I know I can't explain it very well, but they take a number of CT scans of the area so they can make a 3-D map of the node. Then they program the machine to direct the radiation ray in a spiral wave which then focuses the maximum radiation to the endpoint of the wave area (center of the tumor) with minimal radiation exposure and damage to surrounding tissue. It is also good for hard to reach tumor areas.

There should be no reason your husband should just have to live with that pain. I wish you both the best, and hope the Alimta works magic for him. I pray that Alimta is the magic bullet for many of us here as my husband is also taking it, and I see more and more of our members are being treated with it.

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Tina and Carleen,

Thank you for the input. It is really good to have someone help with advice and their own experience.

Tina, I believe that the oncologist will probably revisit the radiation possibility if this regimen doesn't do the trick. It's good to know that it will still be a viable treatment.

Carleen, Thank you for your telling me about your husband's node. It gave me hope. It eased my mind.

As for the Alimta, the more I know and read, expecially as you've noted, others have been put on it, the more confidence I have.

Thank you both for supporting me in my anxieties, and taking the time to detail the information.

Barbara

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