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Author Topic: Another Medical topic - I HAVE asked my nurse, promise
Member # 2314

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The last few times with chemo I've had moderate to severe neck pain. The pain is pretty constant, and as far as I can tell in my research and from asking my oncology nurse, not a common side effect of anything I'm taking.

If I turn my head at all, it hurts. There is pretty severe contact pain if I press on any of the cervical vertebrae all the way up to the base of the skull.

The pain didn't start until they began giving me Aranesp for my red blood cell counts. According to all the information I've found on Aranesp, this is not a side effect. I specifically told one of the nurses that I was experiencing this neck pain and she said Aranesp usually only causes pain in the bones that make a lot of bone marrow - like the femur and the sternum.

I've looked over the information I can find on every single drug I'm on and can't find any mention of this pain. The nurse did mention that people with rheumatoid arthritis will experience pain in the joints where the arthritis is prevalent. Now, I do have first degree relatives with RA, including my Mom, but I've never had problems with my joints before.

Most of what you would take to relive this kind of pain is not available to me. Because my platelets are so low after every treatment ibuprofen and naproxen are out. Tylenol doesn't help. A heating pad relieves some of the pain but not much.

My doctor has just had surgery and I won't see her next treatment, but rather the one after that, or three weeks away. The nurses only suggestion was maybe I wasn't sleeping right or needed a new pillow. I'm at a loss.

Any ideas out there? I mean, if it's just an annoying thing I can deal, but I just don't want to find out it's something really, really serious. I feel pretty good that the nurses don't seem concerned, but they also don't seem to have any idea what's causing it. The last two treatments it's lasted 4-5 days before subsiding. It's worse the two days after I stop treatment. I'm taking oxaliplatin and 5-FU and leucovorin. I've looked up all of the side effects for those drugs and neck pain like this is not mentioned at all. I don't know what else to do except talk to my doctor, and she's not available.

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Member # 5981

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There is always a doctor available. I'd call the office again and this time tell them you want the doctor to address this problem. You're obviously worried and if you aren't 100% comforted by the nurse's advice, I'd pursue it. Also, just because it's not listed on the side effect profiles, it doesn't mean that your problems aren't related to the drug.
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Tante Shvester
Member # 8202

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Alternatively, the pain may be something completely unrelated to the drugs or the cancer. If you can't see your oncologist until next month, perhaps a visit to your primary, general doctor is warranted.

I had a patient with cancer who kept complaining that the treatments were giving her really bad pain in the side of her face. Turns out that she had an infected tooth, and was cured of the problem by a visit to the dentist.

Not that I think that this is your problem, but many people who have a serious condition forget that they are not immune to other stuff as well.

Feel better, honey!

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Member # 6877

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I was going to suggest a physical therapy eval. I'm with Tante, another practitioner may be able to figure out and treat what's going on-- just make sure they're aware of what's going on with the chemo currently. [Kiss] I hope you stop hurting soon! Neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck, I know.
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