Worried, is this normal?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 5/16/2005 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Several questions.  First, since the pre-admission testing for my biopsy I have not had any kind of test run.  I've not had any blood drawn or x-rays done (other than the weekly x-rays during rads).  And I'm wondering if this is normal.  Biopsy was done Jan. 18, partial mast. Jan. 31 and rads done May 9.
The reason I'm concerned is that I have this annoying pain in my back.  It's on the same side the cancer was on and it's from about where my bra is down to my waist.  The area that hurts is larger than it was a couple weeks ago when it started and it now feels swollen to the touch.  It hurts for my DH just to rub it lightly.  And of course it's driving me nuts with worry.  Add to it that I had a cold a couple weeks ago and can't shake the cough!  I still haven't kicked the smoking habit and now have all sorts of nasties running around in my mind!!!
I mentioned the back pain last week when I saw the onc. after my last rad. treatment and he said they would check it out if it's still bothering me when I go back on June 1st.  I don't think I can wait that long.  The pain isn't debilitating but it is annoying, just always there.  Should I call my GP?
Turning gray,
Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.

-Vesta M. Kelly

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 5/16/2005 7:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mia-
Welcome to the life after cancer club...not fun, eh? It is really hard, and will be for a while, to deal with routine issues. Everything is cancer, we are sure of it. I was sure I had mets to brain, bones, lung and liver at one time or another....it is part of accepting the new normal.

As for a chronic pain, I think the onc is right to say that he will wait a little. It does not make sense to evaluate new pains, but a chronic one definitely. You may consider calling your PCP. One thing I notice after cancer is that people tend to go to their onc for issues....presenting to your PCP for back pain and tenderness is very appropriate.

My doc does not do routine scans or tests or procedures. I have blood work done each visit with the onc and annual mammos. You should be on quarterly onc visits, and it may be alternated onc/ rad onc for surveillance for a while. Any other procedures are done on an as-needed basis. Seems to vary quite a bit out there, some docs do routine scans and other tests that mine does not. So...basically anything can be normal. The key is trust...if you are not sure your doc is doing the right thing, consider another opinion or changing docs to one who will monitor your care differently.

Hang in there...

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 5/16/2005 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Mia, Sorry to hear about your back pain. I guess I'm on the fence about who to see. I think calling your onc would be my first choice, since he's already aware of the back pain and can quickly order any scans needed. While your GP can help with general issues, I would think this, since it's concerning you as a bc issue, would be best dealt with with the "heavy duty" doc. Maybe just a phone call and a scan can be ordered for you to relieve your mind. Do remember that you were placed in a strange position daily for 7 weeks, so your back may just be recorrecting itself now. But, don't spend weeks worrying when you can get something done. Life's too short for worry, and we'll all be worried with you! Please let us know what you decide!

Thinking about you!
The finger of God touches your life when you make a friend.
----Mary Dawson Hughes---

Lynnie the Pooh
New Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/16/2005 3:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes you are right,we are never the same after having cancer.It's only natural to worry.I went through all of that myself.Every ache or mark on our body is a worry.My back aches constantly,doctor said it was"wear + tear".Guess that means I'm getting old.Well I'm happy to be alive.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 829
   Posted 5/16/2005 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Life beyond cancer seems to be full of aches and pains. The one thing that concerns me about your problem is that you think it is swollen. I would try to get the onc to schedule some scans.

I am about 9 1/2 yrs and 5 1/2 yrs out from both of my dx. Last week I went for bone density tests and xrays of my spine and hips. I have tremendous pain there. I'm hoping I'll have an answer tomorrow. If it's arthritis, it's something I never had before chemo.

Once upon a time, there was a very wise woman who posted on our board and who said, "If it don't feel right, it ain't". If you are not comfortable, call who you need to and get those scans.

Hugs, Jo-Ann
A good friend will bail you out of jail...
but a true friend will be sitting
next to you saying,
"Dâmn... that was fun!".

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 5/16/2005 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   

So sorry to hear that your back is not feeling any better. I agree with Jo-Ann, if you are uncomfortable then call who you have to to get an answer. Have you tried a heating pad at all on it? I just wonder if it is a muscle that did not like the position your back was in when doing your rads. At any rate, you NEED to find out what is going on to put your mind at ease.  Worrying just is the pits!

I will be watching and wondering how you are doing. Hope to call you soon.

^j^ ^j^

"What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? It is like robbing the world of the sun"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1294
   Posted 5/17/2005 4:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Mia, call and get it checked out. What is it going to hurt? Peace of mind is always better than worry. For a while I worried about every ache and pain too. I also have that pain in my back in the same spot as yours. I mention it every so often to any doctor I may be seeing and they just nod and say um humm, "it's normal" . They have been right so far, so I just nod and say um humm, back at 'em.



 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.

Proverbs 27:9

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 5/17/2005 6:52 AM (GMT -7)   
OK Since I seemed to be plagued with seroma problems this is the first thing I think of. Could there be a fluid collection that needs to be drained? My seromas were in the belly area and they felt like a water bed. If you pushed in one area you could feel the fluid slosh over to the other area. Have your husband try that on the area you feel is swollen. Over ribs it might not be so sloshy, tho. But if it is swelling you need to have it checked. It could also be a little infection if it is red and warm???? Another thought I had was that maybe you are favoring one side or the other and it is causing a tension feeling??? Keep us informed as to what you learn. Hugs MK

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