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After Treatment and Lingering Side Effects


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I'm hoping to get some peace of mind from the experience of others with a couple questions. I just finished 35 days of radiation treatment to the lung and mediastinum and 6 cycles of Taxol/Carb (last chemo was over two weeks ago.

How long before the terrible taste in my mouth goes away? I have not been able to get a good answer on that.

Have others had any of the following go on during or immediately following treatment? Headaches, back ache, chest pains. The headaches started 3 weeks into treatment (on and off). Dr.'s say probably stress. Then my back, neck and shoulder have started with alot of pain. Feels like pinched nerves but this morning I woke up with so much shoulder pain it felt like what maybe a messed up rotator cuff must feel like. Dr.'s never seem concerned. My scans are in four weeks and I'm starting to get nervous and keep telling myself all of this is part of the treatment and not the cancer itself but I'm having a hard time truly convincing myself.

Anyhow, thought I'd ask.


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First, you should let your onc know about any persistent aches or pains. There could be many reasons for this. I would give the onc a call.

On the bad taste, it took my wife a couple of months to get rid of the bad taste. It will vary with the person, of course. It will go away eventually. Don

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If you are in pain, you need the doctor to address this. While chemo can cause aches and pains, the pains you describe seem too much. Severe pain in the shoulder would also not be in line.

Has the radiation oncologist offered any suggestions?

Since they eant the scan to be a certain times after the last chemo, I can understand the schedule. Perhaps they can do a pet scan and get a better feel for what's happening. Also, ask for pain killers - I took and still take morphine sulphate (MS-Contin)and rarely experience more than a twinge.

Good luck. Let us know how things work out.


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Hi Lilly, I had none of those symptoms.

Does this neck and shoulder pain come on upon exercise? Can you recreate this pain by moving your shoulder around? Chemo and radiation can damage the heart muscle or damage vessels inside the chest.

Do you have any swelling under arms, maybe lymph fluids are backing up in chest?

Are you burping more than usual? Could be gastric pain.

Did they do a brain MRI recently?

Since onc is not worried, maybe visit to family doc is in order?


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Hi Lilly I am just a couple of weeks ahead of you and was on the same treatment plan. It took two to three weeks for my taste to start to come back to somewhat normal. As for pain ... before treatment the pain went from under my arm to my sternum and also about midway across my back. I still have some discomfort but not the same pain I was having before. This feel more like the skin has thickened or is kind of tingly and asleep. Thinking this could be cause by the radiation as I understand it continues to work for some time after treatment is complete. It seems I take more anxiety meds now than pain pills. Good luck and let us know what you find out.


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