• Bouncing back

    Asked by Wreckitralph on Friday, March 15, 2019

    Bouncing back

    Hello all I am having horrible muscle stiffness (shoulder) and it radiates. I am a year post chemo but it’s so debilitating I have my own business and can barely work bc it hurts so bad. It hurts so bad it hurts to work out. I have tried Tylenol but am limited to that. Any advice on things that can alleviate pain? Or similar experiences with things that have worked ? It’s a year and I still feel crappy. I used to work out and be fit and now I’m exhausted and in so much pain and feel like an 90 year old. Thank you

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I had a different type of cancer, 2 different ones actually, but after each diagnosis and treatments were over I thought I was going to jump back into my business (landscape design/build). Wrong. I went out with the crew a few times right after getting back going and learned real quick how much stamina and strength it takes out of us. I am 30 years past my first diagnosis, and 10 years out from my last and I'm still not where I was, and I have resigned to the fact that I never will be. It sucks, but it's the reality. We hope you get moving better.

      6 days ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      Hello, I'm an oncology nurse and you might want to try Outback Pain Relief. It is a roll-on available on Amazon and some Walgreen's and some CVS also carry it. Its only ingredients are 4 essential oils of vanilla, tea tree oil, olive oil and eucalyptus oil. It is used overseas a lot and I have had a torn meniscus in my knee for years. It gives me instant long term relief. Physicians overseas recommend it for neuropathy. The cost on Amazon is around twenty dollars. Best of luck to you.

      6 days ago
    • Wreckitralph's Avatar
      Wreckitralph

      Thank you so much I’ll get some tomorrow

      6 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Not that I wouldn't try the Outback pain relief (I would), but if it doesn't work or you're curious what's wrong, you could go to an orthopedist or get your Primary Care Physician's opinion. Many older people get bursitis in their shoulders, and get relief from a cortisone shot and oral medicine such as NSAID's or muscle relaxers.

      I like to remind WhatNexters that every symptom you get is not caused by cancer. Getting older has many "surprises" in store for us, although it's better than the alternative (not getting older).
      Best wishes.

      5 days ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      It could definitely be bursitis or something else that a cortisone shot would relieve. I had an inflamed rotator cuff and could not even lift a coffee cup up to my mouth. I had a cortisone shot and had relief and full range of motion within a week or two. Best wishes.

      5 days ago
    • banditwalker's Avatar
      banditwalker

      I think you may need to see an ortho surgeon. Find out exactly what is causing the problem first before you go trying any drugs. If it's any help, I still feel sore in every joint in my body.

      5 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      WreckitRalph,
      ANYTIME you have trouble working because of debilitating pain, you're supposed to call your doctor---and don't wait till it's debilitating! Nobody deserves that if they can do something about it. Because it may take a long time to get an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, you might need to call your Primary Care Physician to diagnose and start treatment if he/she will. PCP can order an X-ray and start the treatment, depending on what it is, possibly muscle relaxers or NSAID's, physical therapy, and I've even gotten a cortisone shot from the Primary Care Physician's office one time.

      The Primary Care Physician's office may also be able to call a friend who's an orthopedic surgeon and beg them for a work-in appointment. You're always better off to get the PCP to DIAGNOSE you, especially if you're in pain. Then they can refer you if they need to, plus manage your pain. (If your PCP doesn't have a quick appointment, you can always go to the ER for pain.)

      I've had bursitis in both shoulders in the past, and a cortisone shot in each fixed them. One side acts up if I sleep on that side, so be aware of what position you sleep in. The key is to get it completely well now, and then if it starts up again, treat it like a chronic problem and start whatever treatment they've said. (Don't wait till it hurts as bad as now. Sometimes people need surgery to get better.)
      Best wishes.

      P.S. I never can keep it straight when heat or ice is preferable. Sometimes they say both, so don't delay calling them so you can get relief!

      My daughter had shoulder pain radiating to her neck (or vice versa), and she had to have neck surgery, so we are really just guessing at your diagnosis without a doctor and X-ray. Please update us!

      5 days ago
    • Wreckitralph's Avatar
      Wreckitralph

      Thank you all. Our care in New Mexico is the worst and you cannot see a primary care doctor for at least 1-3 months so it makes things hard if not impossible

      5 days ago
    • Wreckitralph's Avatar
      Wreckitralph

      I read in one of our other forums people experiencing almost exactly the same things with muscle issues. They attribute it to muscle damage from the chemo. Idk if it’s muscle damage from that; they also reported feeling sever fatigue post chemo even after a year

      5 days ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I have heard how horrible the health care is in New Mexico. You should message @meyati here on WhatNext. She can help you navigate the system as she has a lot of experiance in that department. In the meantime have you tried acupunture? It has worked for me when I had an auto accident. Hypnotism by a medical certified (licensed psychologist) There are also meditation tapes available. You can also adjust your diet to include foods rich in potassium. I find chamomile tea with a crystalized ginger chip is good before bedtime. Do you have a local YMCA my YMCA in Boise had a LIVESTRONG program for cancer survivors.

      5 days ago
    • Jane1212's Avatar
      Jane1212

      I had what sounds similar- could not figure out if it was shoulder or arm because it radiated, or neck because the shoulder cause that to tense up and hurt too. My shoulder wound up frozen because of it. It woke me up at night. Anyway it went on and on and the doc said it might be this, it might be that, I could do physical therapy but I wanted it fixed before a big vacation so I could snorkel. I started getting massages 1x a week 3 months before trip. Expensive but lovely. It was better before I went BUT swimming in the South Pacific and vitamin D from sunshine fixed it. The reach and stretch involved in swimming forced it out. I think it is probably arthritis with muscle spams but its lots better now and again, weekly massages and a trip to Fiji were a pretty great solution. ;)

      5 days ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      Yes, I had terribly painful muscle stiffness for several years post-treatment. I would go to a store and carry some clothes on hanger over my arm, and when I'd get into the fitting room, my arm had basically locked up and was so painful to try and extend. Eventually, it resolved, but it did take a few years. I don't quite remember if my doctor said it was a result of neuropathy.

      I also developed symptoms similar to restless leg syndrome, which I believe was caused by neuropathy. While it's not as bad as it used to be, I can't sit still (I wasn't like this as a child, only since chemo) and have to move my legs often to get comfortable.

      Definitely not unheard of. Does ibuprofen help? Warm baths or heating pad? Good luck.

      5 days ago
    • andreacha's Avatar
      andreacha

      Wreckitralph - Your comments and those of Meyati's previously about the NM healthcare are so true. My Niece is living out there now and is a Nurse Practitioner who started her own business about 5 years ago. She told me about the lack of Primary care out there. Other than surgery NPs can do anything doctors do. The VA approached her a little more than a year ago because the Vets were not being treated. She has been licensed in 2 other states as well to care for the vets/VA so travel has increased for her. She has a clinic in Albuquerque one day a week for the Vets that are not homebound. She said that healthcare overall doesn't look good for the State. I do hope you get diagnosed soon for your shoulder.

      3 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Wreckitralph,
      No matter how long it takes to get an appointment, you won't have a diagnosis unless you go to a doctor and get an X-ay. If it's bursitis or arthritis, it'll get worse unless you do something to get it well. Shoulders can freeze up.

      If the pain is bad, you should go to the ER. They would do an X-ray and treat you.

      You deserve RELIEF.

      Best wishes.

      about 22 hours ago
    • gertie22's Avatar
      gertie22

      Jane1212 Fiji would have worked for me! : ) My shoulders are SO stiff and tight Hips too. I agree re weekly massage-started that 3 weeks ago and it helps. Also PT and acupuncture for neuropathy. Began yoga 3 weeks ago Horrified at how out of shape I am but the stretching seems to provide some pain relief and definitely helps insomnia.

      about 20 hours ago

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