• How is everyone coping with afterefects of the chemo--neuropathy, feet and hands and also pain from lymph node removal.

    Asked by betgibbs on Sunday, January 26, 2014

    How is everyone coping with afterefects of the chemo--neuropathy, feet and hands and also pain from lymph node removal.

    17 lymph nodes removed 9 malignant, finished chemo ibn October, and then radiation 12/24, but having considerable pain in underarm and breast

    20 Answers from the Community

    20 answers
    • HOBO's Avatar


      My cancer is not the same but the side effects have been. I am.Sorry you are going through this. All of my doctors tell me it is only time that will heal.the nerve damage. My fingers and hands resolved rather quickly but not my feet so much. I was in a wheelchair for six weeks as I could not stand on my feet. That has improved. I now use a cane but am happy to say I only need the cane when I leave the house. I have fallen five times. Not gotten hurt except my ego. But I am very nervous about falling. I still have pain but that too with time is getting less. I have had two CT scans. I have three spots they are watching where lymph nodes were removed. At this time they say it is more than likely fluid. The worry never really leaves. I wish you well.


      over 5 years ago
    • catmoy's Avatar

      I was diagnosed with a different cancer, but the chemo left me with neuropathy. My oncologist told me to take calcium and magnesium. My hand is still badly affected and the feet seem a bit better. No pain anymore, just numbness. I am sorry you are owing through this. I finished chemo two months ago.

      over 5 years ago
    • QueenB's Avatar

      Hi...I finished chemo in October. When I started having neuropathy my oncologist lowered the dose. I still have mild neuropathy. I was told to take vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. I have it more on my hands. I think massage helps.

      over 5 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar

      I didn't have chemo, but experienced the lymph node removal. If you are in constant pain, you should call your doctor or his nurse asap, since that could indicate an infection, etc. If you're having just now and then a shooting pain, my doctor told me that's part of the healing and the nerves regenerating. Unfortunately my underarm scar was numb for a very long time, but at some point did go back to normal. Stay in touch with your doctor's office. That's what they're for!

      over 5 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar

      Hello betgibbs, I have her2+++ breast cancer, neuropathy the gift that keeps on giving. I was given Lycica, it resolved the most acute sensations but otherwise unchanged. I am three years out from surgery, the chest/auxillary pain has greatly diminished. I know how unsettling it is to have such unpleasant sensations, time will be kind.

      over 5 years ago
    • betgibbs' Avatar

      Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I am taking vit B12, Vit E and NAC (from GNC) I was told that is NAC is a liver detox and could help cleansing my body of the toxins and may help as well. I return to my oncologist next week. Did you all have the brachytherapy. I had adriamycin and cytoxin, x 4 , then taxol x 12 weeks, ending 10/15. I then had the brachytherapy x 6 in November followed by 29 radiation. My cancer was stage 3a, with 9 positive lymph nodes.

      over 5 years ago
    • Horselady46's Avatar

      My left over after effects are neuropathy in my fingers and feet and tendonitis. It has bee almost a years since my last chemo. The fingers are slowly getting better and i think my feet are too. I am on gabapentin for it but was told to wean myself off of it now. The tendonitis is better but not gone. I only wear my hand braces at night now.

      over 5 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar

      I developed neuropathy after Adriamycin, last April, and it's still there. A tad better. A week from next Friday I'm having an infrared procedure done - will post if it does what I hope it will. B12 and massage didn't do anything for me.

      over 5 years ago
    • tina66's Avatar

      I have IBC and did 4 AC and 12 weeks of taxol. I have neuropahy in my feet and fingers... my last chemo was 12/2/13 and my fingers are almost all better but not my feet. I lost 6 fingernails and don't know if they will grow back. I am 5 weeks post double mastectomy and I had 16 lymps removed and all were positive. I am getting ready to start physical therapy and then radiation. I don't have any pain i the underarm except if I do a little to much one day. Good Luck

      over 5 years ago
    • CASSIEME1's Avatar


      over 5 years ago
    • janstar47's Avatar

      Hi there. Wanted to comment on any neuropathy I had after chemo and during it. I felt the mild numbness in my hands and some in my toes. Thankfully, it was not permanent. I hope you will have the same experience. My surgery was last January 31st, so it's been a year this coming Friday on the surgery part. My surgeon told me the most uncomfortable part of the surgical procedure is the soreness, tenderness and pain you feel in your armpit. All true. I sure can testify to that. I went for some physical therapy for my left arm and it was Wonderful. She worked my left arm and showed me how to massage my left arm to stave off any lymphadema. And soreness you may develop in your arm does respond to medium touch strokes from wrist upwards. I too had several lymph nodes involved. I have a pink bracelet that says No Needle draws or Blood pressure cuff. That was something that surprised me. So, I wear that pink bracelet a lot. Keep in touch. I'm here to help you through this if I can in any way. I live in central Florida. God Bless… hang in there…. you'll make progress daily. Did you lose your hair? I guess so? Will you begin radiation or have you done that already? Blessings.. Janstar47 - or Jan…… ; )

      over 5 years ago
    • ITLBOK's Avatar

      I had very similar surg. The numbness from the lymph node removal was painful but is now almost gone. Surg a year ago this month. I'm still on Herceptin. I've been out of radiation since sept 2013. Each day is better. I was not affected very much at the time of radiation but notice the radiated breast feels better once I was told to massage it as much as I could ,just softly. Supposed to help scar tissue from attaching. Also roping in the arm can really hurt. Seek physical therapy when it's time. Especially to keep the roping from occurring. Everyday is one day farther away from all that , and everyday is better than the last, I hope like me it just will get better and better.

      over 5 years ago
    • barbsrec's Avatar

      I seem to only have pain at night or when I am getting ready for bed. My whole left side was affected and I have neuropathy in my toes, feet and both legs as well as my left arm and hand and 2 of my fingers. I just have a hard time using my left side at all. My oncologist gave me a prescription for gabapentin but I couldn't tolerate the dizziness. Blessings sent your way and may you get to feeling better real soon.

      over 5 years ago
    • mcowett's Avatar

      I got me some big fluffy slippers and would not get out of bed with them. My feet hurt for about 8 months post. Then one day they just stopped hurting.
      Stretch for the scaring due to lymph node removal. I have found that if you move your arm out almost to the stretch point, hold it there for 3 counts, pull it back and then do the complete stretch you will get a better result. Please be very mindful of any lymphedema you notice and make the apt with the PT.

      over 5 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar


      This is a great question. Thank you for reaching out to other WNers who may be experiencing neuropathy themselves. This reminds me of an article we published on chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy - what it is and ways WhatNexters have coped. Perhaps you will find it helpful.



      over 5 years ago
    • chrissihbm's Avatar

      I'm having the same problem I had 15 nodes removed only 2 affected. Finished Chemo in September and radiation 12/05. Pain in the breast and underarm seems to be getting worse with time I'm blaming it on overdoing the gardening as we have decided to completely redo our backyard. I also developed a really bad fungal rash all over the radiation site which has cause some lymphedema in the breast itself, I'm a little bit sick of it but hoping it will ease off with time. I didn't have much of problem with my hands but my feet are still of some concern, Mostly my big toes getting sore, I lost both nails but they are almost grown back.

      over 5 years ago
    • Marge_D's Avatar

      Neuropathy and pain from lymph node removal! Two of the dirty little secrets of surviving breast cancer. I have experienced both, and feel shame for complaining because, as I remind myself, I am glad and lucky to be alive.

      Neverthless, I am going to seize the opportunity to vent. First, the neuropathy. I wish that the doctors were more up front about warning about how bad neuropathy is and providing advice of steps to take to try to prevent it. There are many remedies that people have tried to prevent/reduce it. Some of those remedies have proven to have some success and others are not so clear. But, with the benefit of hindsight, I think that people should be told all of the options and then they can decide which they want to try. For example, icing your hands and feet during chemo -- helps prevent the circulation of the chemo into your hands and feet and, therefore, helps prevent the nerve damage (known as neuropathy). Glutamine, B-6, B-12, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Acetyl-Carnetine -- they have all been suggested to help prevent/reduce neuropathy. And, I coud not live without Vitamin E lotion to help alleviate how the neuropathy feels, once it came.

      I started to get problems with my hands and feet at the end of my fourth bi-weekly AC. However, it was my first bi-weekly Taxol that really screwed me up. My hands in particular became so , sensitive from the neuropathy that sheets felt like sandpaper and paper felt like knives. I could not drive, work, open jars, or do basically anything. I have kept up with a steady regimen of all the items listed above and my neuropathy has been improving, slowly. I also went from Taxol every other week to Taxol weekly in a lower dose and that seemed to make a difference (I also started icing my hands and feet during chemo).

      Someone (not my oncologist) told me about gabapentin and that was a miracle drug. I have gradually been able to reduce the dose, and hope someday soon to be off it. My neuropathy started with a vengeance at the end of 5/2013 and here, in the beginning of 2/2014 I can say that it is now mainly a nuisance rather than a handicap.

      As to the pain the lymph node area. I wish I could say that it is improving. I think it started to improve after surgery but radiation kicked the irritation to an entirely new level. I am 8 months out from surgery and find that the chafing/pain in my armpit area is most tolerable when I don't have a bra on (not okay at work). By the end of a work day, my skin is raw (though it looks fine -- it's all nerve damage). I use lots of vitamin e and aloe and try every type of lotion I can to try to tame the pain/chafing. I have been told that Gabapentin supposedly helps with this discomfort too but I really don't want to take gabapentin forever.

      Finally, I too was one who had cancer in the lymph nodes. Worse than all of the neuropathy and the chafing from the lymph node removal is the thought (fear) that some cancer may have escaped from a lymph node and may be left circulating in my body. Every ache I feel. Every head ache I get. Every time I cough, I worry. What can I take for that?

      over 5 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar

      We soldier on. Time reduces some issues but for me the neuropathy remains a tough one. I do get intermittent "charlie horses" in the oddest places from all the surgery. I always hope the twinges will not strike when I am in public because an ouch does become vocal :0

      over 5 years ago
    • gandercancer's Avatar

      While on chemo I took the powder form of Glutamine 2 teaspoons 3 times a day to reduce the affects of neuropathy. I will swear by this it was an expense I could ill afford but thought it was worth it and will continue through radiation.

      about 5 years ago
    • Marge_D's Avatar

      I am updating my post from four months ago. I am happy to say that I am in a better place. The neuropathy in my hands is now almost better. I am off gabapentin and most of the time my hands feel normal again! Also, in the last couple of months, I have noticed that the numb/irritated area in my underarm where the lymph nodes were removed as improved somewhat. Time appears to cure all wounds, including neurological problems from chemo and surgery. I still take all the vitamins and supplements recommended for neuropathy (B-12, B-6, alpha-lipoic acide, acetyl-carntine, Vitamin E). I stopped the glutamine a while ago because it can cause kidney problems. I also use liquid Vitamin E oil on both my hands and my underarm. It is the only lotion/oil that really soothes them.

      about 5 years ago

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