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Mom Rosie is in TERRIBLE pain, after radiation completion


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Well, this is my first taste, of truly seeing my mother, in pain! I can't believe how unbearable it is for her! One of my sisters, who is an R.N. is taking care of her "pain management", via Dr's prescription....first tried percocet(didn't work), then vicodon (sp.?), now it is onto oxycontin! Even with that, she is still experiencing horrendous pain, in her arms, legs, EVERYWHERE! During her radiation treatments, she was absolutely fine! Even the chemo! I'm gathering that this is the after effects of radiation (I wonder if this is what those warnings meant, in the nuclear war scare times, when they said after effects of radiation!!!!).....Question....Has anyone here experienced this horrendous pain, a few weeks AFTER radiation ended? If so, when does it get better? What is truly unfortunate, is that she is going to be laid up all day, during Easter, and we truly thought things were getting better....it was so sudden, with this pain, but we were warned of the possibility....UUUUUGGGHHHH! I wish I could take her pain away!

I do hope you all are doing well! Enjoy your holiday weekend :D Jodi

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Hi Jodi,

After I finished radiation treatments, I didn't have the pain that you are describing to your Mom. I was having trouble understanding the association between radiation treatments and extremity pain.

However, after I read your Mom's profile I think I understand it now. She had the tumor on her spine radiated? I am guessing that is the source of the extremity pain.

I am also just going to guess that along with the radiation there has come a great deal of inflammation. I am only guessing here and throwing some ideas out without actually knowing what I am talking about, okay? I would think that getting the heat and swelling out of there would give her comfort. A good way to do that might be the use of strong anti-inflammatories. The strongest of these are steroids. Often they are given orally. I have had a steroid injection following the nerve pathways in my spine through a kind of steroid called solumedrol, which was ultimately responsible for getting me out of pain when no pain pill would work. (I had a closed spinal cord injury and compressed nerve due to ruptured discs).

Check with her doctor to see if a neurologist, orthopedic or neurosurgeon might be able to help in this fashion. If it is possible, the relief is almost immediate.

Please keep us posted.

Maybe others will have suggestions or ideas what is going on with your Mom.

Cindi o'h

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Radiation kills healthy cells with the bad

ones and the radiation to the spine may

often brings pain from the nerves and if

there is inflammation also the pain is

very hard to control.

Like Cindi mentioned, steroids would help

with the pain if there is inflammation.

Wishes for a good solution.


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Hi Jodi,

I do not have any answers in the catagory. I hope it is only temporary. No one should be in that much pain that they cannot get it under control. Talk to her doctor about the steroids and see what he thinks.

I am sorry you are going through this as I am sure you felt she was doing so well. It has to be scarey to see her in so much pain.

I will pray for them to get that under control and for her to heal.

Please keep us posted on her condition.


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Jodi -

I think Cindi is probably right -- the thing I noticed with my mom was that the inflammation in the areas around the bone mets was responsible for most of her terrible pain. My mom did really well with steroids -- they took away the inflammation and pain very quickly -- as well as Duragesic patches.

The spine mets can cause horrendous pain and when they are radiated, resulting in more irritation of surrounding tissues and nerves, it can be terrible.

I know how painful it is to watch your mom in pain. Keep on the doctors to get her comfortable -- you can always cut back on medication later.

Love to you,


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I'm sorry your mom is having so much pain, and sorry you have to witness it.

My husband has been having a lot of pain in his shoulder and arm since his radiation has stopped. With radiation there is swelling and inflamation. This can cause compression on nerves which causes pain. Unfortunately what can also happen is nerve damage from radiation. If the radiation caused damage the pain could be long lasting and you might want to have her onc look into a nerve stimulation inhibitor such as Neurotin along with her pain meds. It is also very common that the pain is caused by the swelling, and then it is just a matter of time and patience. Try warm compresses in the area and anti-inflammatories.

I will say lots and lots of prayers.

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Jodi, I am so sorry your mom is going through so much pain. I pray the Doctor's can get it under control. It's so hard to watch someone you love suffer and feel so helpless. Please keep us updated on your mom.

Take care,


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My Dad is now almost completed round two of radiation on his hummeral head met. Fortunatly, he has done very well with the radiation, both times, and has had few side effects. Though it is not seeming to control the pain as much this time as it did when it was initally done in Oct 2005.

I agree with what others have said, bone mets can (and it seems do) produce considerable pain. Ask the doctors about a durgesic patch if they have not prescribed one yet. This has made a big difference for my Dad, though we are still working on getting the correct dosage to last the full 72 hours and give him a consistant amount of pain relief.

Watching them in pain is so incredibly hard, when all you want to do is to take the pain away! I too pray that the doctors will be able to help control her pain soon!


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