Bone/joint pain query.

Hi, just wondered if anyone can advise me. I hate feeling like a hypochondriac and avoid going to the GP, apart for my Zoladex jabs every 28 days, when I do see him I don’t always mention how I feel for fear of sounding like a whinging old bag! Anyhow, I am coming to the end of my tolerance and pain threshold! I am 43, had left side mast. Feb 06 & recon using Lat.Dors & implant. No Chemo or Rads. Allergic to Tamoxifen so on Zoladex & 1200mg Gabapentin for nerve damage pain which is helping with that. I have had pain in my lower left ribs since shortly after surgery. 2 bone scans show nothing. Just seen my ONC for 18 mnth check up who said rib pain is something I am going to have to learn to live with! They feel like I have had a good kicking! The pain hasn’t increased, decreased or spread since it began. A good sign? For the last 4 or 5 months my right shoulder has become more and more painful, I now have constant pins & needles in my thumb, index & middle finger and down the inside of my ring finger on my right hand. They vary from slight to so intense I cannot touch anything as it feels like they are burning. I have pain through that elbow and my hand aches constantly, as if I have cramp. I did mention it to my GP who ref’d me to a physio who says I have a trapped nerve in my neck! I don’t want to be a doubting Thomas but could a nerve cause all this pain? Sometimes I could cut my hand off it hurts that much! I worry they are wrong and that you know what is now in my shoulder. Or is this the “joint pain” I read so much about? I don’t sleep. I am so tired and p’d off. I know I am really “lucky” and was given a really good prognosis but I don’t feel like that. I don’t have anyone I can talk to. I don’t get on with my BC nurse, but I am not the only one in that boat! My husband suffers from “terminal compassion fatigue” so I daren’t mention my aches and pains and worries. Sorry that turned into a rant but I am so tired of being in pain and not understanding why.

Dear Dawn

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Hi Dawn, i have had the same as you, but am on tamoxifen, lately my left jaw and both my knees have been giving me hell, going to see the onc on the 6th sept so am hoping he has some answers, wouldn’t you think we had been through enough???

love Alison xxxxxxx

Hi Dawn,

I do sympathize with your problem, and don’t be sorry about the rant, we all understand that. Constant pain and lack of sleep really drags you down,

It does sound like a trapped nerve causing the pain in your shoulder arm and hand. The nerve supply to your arm comes from your spinal cord, through the vertebrae in your neck, and down the arm to your fingers. Any interference with the nerve causes hot, burning pain, and pins and needles.

Please do go back to your GP asap ( don’t wait for your Zoladex appointment) and tell him about the pain again, otherwise he will think that the physiotherapist has sorted it. You really should tell him about the pain. Are you still having treatment from the physio?

I do hope you get some relief soon. Best wishes.

Hi Dawn… so sorry to hear you are in so much discomfort. I went through the mill around the same time as you (surgery Dec05), then chemo and rads to follow. I’m 42 now. Still suffering niggling side-effects from treatment - and often feel worn down by them. Still don’t sleep well. Know how you feel about going to the GPs - the list of things I could (re)mention is so long I don’t know where to start, and know that mostly there is nothing that can be done.

I have something similar I think - but much milder. No burning, just a tingling and/or numbness. Mostly it annoys me only at night. My GP diagnosed it as (maybe) Carpel-Tunnel syndrome - which clasically affects the thumb, index and middle finger. Still basically a trapped nerve problem, but at the wrist not the shoulder. It’s not clear whether it’s connected to treatment or not. Possibly its linked to the hormone treatment I’m on (Tamoxifen in my case), because some ladies do get it at menopause. You might want to ask about this (if you’ve not already discounted it) because they can test for it, and surgically fix it (if it gets really bad).

Wishing you all the best… Andrea

Hi Dawn

And I thought it was just me???

I feel as if I can’t tell anyone about my aches and pains, as they will all think I am a hypo!!!

I am having Zoladex injections and have noticed stiffening in my hands.
My rib pain is the opposite side to my surgery though and sometimes goes through to my back.
I have mentioned it to my onc a couple of times and he can’t tell me what it is and doesn’t seem concerned as he has offered no further testing like scans.
Then there are the hot flushes that I keep having although I was told a blood test had confirmed that chemo had started me through the change at 35.

In my next life I am coming back as a man!!!

Take care


Just an update to my pain rant! I have now been seeing the physio for a couple of months now and he has helped a lot. He says it will take almost twice as long to undo the damge that has caused the apoin as it took to manifest! He says I have carpal tunnel synd. in my right wrist and he has given me a support to wear at night to stop the wrist bending, this has helped quite a lot. The only thing is I cannot keep it on all night as it makes my hand sweat like mad, not helped by the night sweats! I also have knots of muscle deep in both shoulders caused by my posture since surgery. He hurts like hell when working on these knots but the releif afterwards is amazing. So, so far so good!
I am now also booked in to have my recon reduced on 18th Oct, I can’t wait! I have been saying it was too big since I had it done (Feb 06) and my consultant kept saying it was swelling etc, but now at 18 months post surgery he has agreed to reduce it from a 570cc implant to a 500cc. Bring it on! Then I am booked to have my ovaries removed on Dec 4th. OH and I have talked long and hard about this and decide it is for the best, we have the ONC’s & Gyna Consultant blessing and backing. I know it would not be everyones decision but it IS MINE and I am happy with it. At last I have some control back and have made some decisions about my fate myself and boy it feels good. Bye for now.