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Intense Tumor Pain after Chemo - anyone else experience this?

Kristin BG

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Hi all. It's been several months since my one and only post. My husband has been experiencing debilitating tumor pain after he has a chemo infusion. He's on infusion #5 of Folfox, which is the "gold standard" chemo for colon cancer, which is technically what he has. BUT the beast of a tumor currently in his body is in his left lung, so much of the info I seek I find here. Plus, kudos to whoever designed this site! I find it much more user friendly than any of the colon cancer support sites. The original colon cancer was resected 5 years ago and we thought he was home free after years of surveillance. Then he started coughing and we discovered a 8+cm mass in his left lung. No cancer in his colon et al, so that's good. It kinda feels like we don't belong anywhere because the colon cancer sites deal with ostomies and stomas and all sorts of those things, which thankfully he doesn't have to deal with. But the drugs and treatment discussions found here don't apply to what he's doing either... so we are kinda homeless.

But I throw this question out to you all in case someone has also had wicked lung tumor pain associated with chemo. My poor husband sits and pants just to manage it. If he stays perfectly still, it is manageable. But the first cough, or if he needs to talk or get up and move... aw nellie.  He says it feels like a ripping or an icepick being slipped between his ribs with every inhalation. We conjecture that the chemo is causing the infiltrating roots of the mass to regress, which accounts for the ripping sensation. ????

Anyway - BAD pain. Like oxycodone every 4 hours barely makes it manageable. It lasts for 2 1/2 days after Chemo then it somewhat rapidly decreases. The oncologist can't say much about it. He shrugs his shoulders and puts it in the "big bag of cancer pain."

Anyone have a similar experience? If so, how do you manage it? Thanks!




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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Kristn, I have no similar experience. You are "kinda homeless" . I don't recall anybody on here posting about the kind of pain you describe. So far as I know, Folfox isn't used as a treatment for lung cancer. Although your husband's tumor is in his lung, it's still colon cancer and will get treatment aimed at that.  Some of the info on this site many be relevant, but the chemo will be different.

Your husband might want to ask for a referral to a palliative care doctor. Sometimes people think of palliative care as the same as hospice or end of life care. It isn't. Palliative care works to help people who have pain or other symptoms that impair their quality of life. Their may be other or better ways than opiates to manage your husband's pain. Here'e a link to information about palliative care. Best wishes to both of you.


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