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Topic: Bone pain with bone mets?

Forum: Stage IV and Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY — A place for those managing the ups & downs of a Stage IV/metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Please respect that this forum is for Stage IV members only or those posting on behalf of a Stage IV patient. There is a separate forum for Stage IV Caregivers/Family in "Support and Community Connections".

Posted on: Nov 11, 2010 07:47AM

nancyh wrote:

I know, I know, this has been asked a million times...

I already have bone mets in my lower spine (no pain, no symptoms from those little buggers), but I've developed a new pain in my upper spine over the past month or so.  I have an MRI tomorrow morning, so we can rule out anything cancer-wise and I'm not that worried (I have so many mets in my lungs/liver, what's another little bone met).  The pain comes and goes and is worse when I'm sitting at my desk, hunched over the computer (so, duh I'm sure that's the likely suspect).  Still...I've sat at a desk, hunched over a computer for the past 20 years of my life and I've never had this pain before...

My question is for those of you with bone mets pain, how quickly did it start?  Is the pain constant or does it come and go?  Is it worse when you have to sit for long periods of time?  Can you have pain from some bone mets and not others?

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Posts 1 - 17 (17 total)

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Nov 11, 2010 08:08AM 3katz wrote:

Nancy - I sure hope it isn't more mets. It's good that you are getting it checked out. But I have to play devil's advocate here: You've never had that pain and you have hunched over you're desk for 20 years . . . maybe the aging thing and hunching over for 20 years is catching up? I sure hope that's all it is. I certainly hope you are not offended by my comment.

As far as the pain - in my knee it started fairly slowly and came and went. Over a few months it got worse and more constant. And yes . . . you can have pain from some bone mets and not others. Only my knee hurt when the bone mets were discovered - and I had numerous mets all over the skeleton.

Good luck with the MRI - I hope everything is ok. Please keep us posted.

Amy D - orig dx 2005, stage III / recur-mets Stage IV dx 2008, multiple bone lesions / er/pr+, her2neu+++ / Dx 5-2010 brain met

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Nov 11, 2010 08:32AM nancyh wrote:

Thanks, #3katz, no offense taken at all.  I'm thinking it is bad posture catching up with me too and frankly the pain is muscular too, not just in the bone.  I just started back at work in the past month, so the timing makes sense (re-adjusting to life at my computer after being off work the past year).  It is just so annoying and painful - I really want an answer!  

Stage 4 in 2009, mets to liver, lungs, bones, and brain.

Dx 8/12/2002, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIb, 3/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 4/2/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 9/1/2009, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 10/01/2002 Adriamycin, CytoxanChemotherapy 01/01/2003 TaxolHormonal Therapy 05/01/2003 TamoxifenRadiation Therapy 05/01/2003 ExternalSurgery 05/01/2007 Mastectomy (Both)Chemotherapy 06/01/2007 Cytoxan, fluorouracil, methotrexateSurgery 05/01/2008 Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement, Latissimus Dorsi flap (Both)Targeted Therapy 09/01/2009 AvastinChemotherapy 09/01/2009 AbraxaneHormonal Therapy 06/01/2010 FemaraChemotherapy 09/01/2011 XelodaHormonal Therapy 01/01/2012 FaslodexChemotherapy 06/01/2012 NavelbineChemotherapy 05/01/2013 GemzarHormonal Therapy 06/01/2013 AromasinTargeted Therapy 08/01/2013 AfinitorChemotherapy 10/28/2013 Halaven
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Nov 11, 2010 09:31AM JustJudi wrote:

I have bone mets throughout most of my body, spine hips, they say I lite up like a xmas tree. nice ah, anyway the only constant pain I have is in the center of my back on my spine, this has been a dull ache continually, and when I excert myself It turns into throbbing pain, also my hip will flare up from time to time and pain in the joint.  I spent 16 years behind a desk, but never had the pain until the last year. I had radiation to lower back for the pain and that worked for a while.  Being older i sometimes blame it on arthritis , but who knows, I am going in for a scan in awhile so maby that will show what has happened lately.  Radiation is used for pain control if it gets to bad, it can work, Everyone,s case is different.  Sorry I am not much help.

Dx 8/18/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, mets, ER+, HER2+Hormonal Therapy 10/08/2009 AromasinRadiation Therapy 02/06/2010 External, 3-D conformal external beam radiationRadiation Therapy 06/10/2012 External
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Nov 11, 2010 09:39AM rkt wrote:

Dear Nancy,

I had numbness that came and went in my upper back - near T3-T5.  I had extensive bone mets at diagnosis (entire spine, pelvis, sternum and multiple spots on ribs).  The numbness started about 3 months into treatment.  My doctor finally ordered an MRI about 9 months in, and it came back that I had several small disc herniations from T-3 to T-8.  My local doctor saw the MRI results and called the local physical therapist and asked if he thought PT would help.  The physical therapist told me that lots of folks have similar issues in the upper spine - particularly bothersome when they work hunched over a desk or at a computer (I am a professor, so that comes with the territority).  Anyway - I went to PT for about 2 months, to strengthen the muscles in my upper back and upper chest so that the muscles would carry more of the burden, rather than my spine - That helped tremendously - I still do the exercises, and haven't had the numbness issue for about a year now.  Hopefully the MRI you are having will give you the answers you need. 

Regards,

Becky

Becky, Stage IV, bone mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-, diagnosed June 2008, right mastectomy May 2009, 0/13 nodes, pleural effusion May 2011, mets to liver October 2011

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Nov 11, 2010 09:40AM konakat wrote:

The bone mets in my spine do ache, but it feels like my muscles aching and sometimes sharp pains in my spine.  When I first got them I didn't feel anything at all -- it was a big surprise.  The mets in my hips, legs, arm, etc don't hurt at all.

Elizabeth's Mantra: When in doubt, eat cake. When you haven't a clue, add ice cream. Elizabeth's Mets: Liver, bones, brain (yuck), and lungs (more yuck).

Dx 5/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 13/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 11, 2010 01:44PM 3katz wrote:

nancy - don't blame you - I would want an answer too. Good Luck!!

Amy D - orig dx 2005, stage III / recur-mets Stage IV dx 2008, multiple bone lesions / er/pr+, her2neu+++ / Dx 5-2010 brain met

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Nov 11, 2010 10:19PM itzmeshel wrote:

I am lucky, only evidense of one bone met to the rib.  I had the pain in the rib before I ever was diagnosed.  My family doc diagnosed me with costocondritus, inflamation of the cartilage in the ribs back in April.  I often felt like someone was kicking me in the ribs.  I was on Weight Watchers, and doing a 5k training program and the rib pain really slowed me down.  In July I broke down and addressed the lump I could then feel from the weight loss I had and I was quickly diagnosed and thrown into the world of Breast Cancer.  They diagnosed me a Stage II.  I chose to have a mastectomy and had 26 lymph nodes removed, only one was positive, so no one was worried I was still complaining about that rib pain, after all, I was 30 lbs down and healther than ever and successfully running 5k distances by then.  I opted not to reconstuct immediately, a tough decision at 37, but wanted to get into chemo quickly so I could get it all behind me and figured I'd reconstruct and take the healthy breast off later when I'd be confident I could heal well.  I actually began my 1st DD AC chemo treatment before I had a bone scan.  The bone scan showed a hot spot that an xray confirmed was a broken bone.  Stage II, oops, welcome to Stage IV.  Looking a the Abdominal CT scan, it showed the tumor (which they didn't catch because the don't pay attention to the ribs in those scans.  All my pain was in the front, opposite my breast cancer site.  Turns out the rib cancer was in the back!  The pain was so hard to describe, I guess that was why it took so long to get it figured out.  It also came and went, and seemes to rear its head mostly when I lay on the side of the ribs it is on.  Sometimes hurts when I would cough or sneeze, but nothing consistent, which I found strange.  The best thing you can do is to keep talking to your docs and to make them look.  I am fortunate that although it hurts I can live with the pain and have thus far avoided taking pain meds for it.  As I'm now past my AC treatments and into the Taxol/Herceptin I am noticing an improvement.  I pushed my onc about details of knowing how the bone cancer is doing had he has now decided to run my radiation to the rib during my chemo because he thinks I can take it.  I am so axious to hear NED and to get back some semblance of normalacy.  I think that the Taxol is an absolute cakewalk compared to the DD A/C and I am thinking I will try my 5k program again, baby steps.  I so  miss the running.  Good luck to you!

Dx 7/28/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/26 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 12, 2010 08:47AM lwd wrote:

Dear Nancy,

I've had mets to my sternum, am now NED, but I can't say I really had pain in that area.  Maybe a dull ache once in a while.  Maybe because it isn't a weight-bearing area.  Not sure.  Hope this isn't more mets for you.  I do have to say that the Femara I'm on makes my muscles and joints ache, and my onc thinks I also have arthritis in several areas.  Personally, since it came on so fast after starting treatment, I'm inclined to blame most of it on the drug.  I love my onc but think he tends to downplay SE's from Femara.

Good luck.  Let us know what you find out.

Lane 

Lane

Dx 2/4/2009, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Hormonal Therapy 02/07/2009 FemaraHormonal Therapy 04/17/2012 TamoxifenHormonal Therapy 11/07/2012 Faslodex
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Nov 12, 2010 08:48AM Lowrider54 wrote:

My pain started after the biopsy - I got pounded on 5 times to get a proper sample - I did not have pain before other than from the pretty extensive disc degeneration.  But I also started on the Aredia within 5 days of the biopsy and healing bones hurt.  I have a new pain that is different and it is where the one stubborn lesion is - I am optimistic that it is 'healing' pain!

Smile...it will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva.

Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 13, 2010 07:46PM nancyh wrote:

Hello friends, as always, thank you so much for the replies.  My wonderful onc called me yesterday evening (she is the greatest) to tell me my MRI looked PERFECT.  Nothing scary looking in my upper spine, which is of course great news.  As for my pain, she thinks it is likely a combo of Femara, which I've been on for 8 months, but also some effects of my new port, which was put in under previously radiated tissue and is likely causing trouble.  She is so great, never minimizing the side effects of hormonal treatment and totally takes my symptoms seriously. She said since I'm newly back in the office, taking the bus into work, working 12 hour days...this is likely playing into my pain.  I love that she doesn't dismiss that I'm really having problems, you know?  Just like all of you!

Anyway, her ideas to treat my pain were 1) massage therapy, 2) physical therapy, 3) advil/muscle relaxers/percocet, and 4) work a little less.  I'm already feeling better as a result.

Thanks gals - I really appreciate the support.

Stage 4 in 2009, mets to liver, lungs, bones, and brain.

Dx 8/12/2002, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIb, 3/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 4/2/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 9/1/2009, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 10/01/2002 Adriamycin, CytoxanChemotherapy 01/01/2003 TaxolHormonal Therapy 05/01/2003 TamoxifenRadiation Therapy 05/01/2003 ExternalSurgery 05/01/2007 Mastectomy (Both)Chemotherapy 06/01/2007 Cytoxan, fluorouracil, methotrexateSurgery 05/01/2008 Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement, Latissimus Dorsi flap (Both)Targeted Therapy 09/01/2009 AvastinChemotherapy 09/01/2009 AbraxaneHormonal Therapy 06/01/2010 FemaraChemotherapy 09/01/2011 XelodaHormonal Therapy 01/01/2012 FaslodexChemotherapy 06/01/2012 NavelbineChemotherapy 05/01/2013 GemzarHormonal Therapy 06/01/2013 AromasinTargeted Therapy 08/01/2013 AfinitorChemotherapy 10/28/2013 Halaven
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Nov 14, 2010 05:00AM X3sMom wrote:

Because of Kendra's lower back pain, her onc did a PET (80% of her testing was PET...that was his scan of chose). It showed mets in the sternum. When the perocet quit working, he did rads. That helped for a while. Then, she had to quit driving her stick shift Saturn and walk up the stairs in her bi-level home very slowly and carefully. Her onc added a Fentynol (sp) patch. Which helped also.

Actually all that.. to ask the more knowledgable ladies....Is an MRI as good as a PET in locating bone rads? Thankfully, it does sound like working conditions though. Praying the therapy works.

God Bless.

Kendra's Mom

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Nov 14, 2010 11:12AM 3katz wrote:

Nancy - that's great news about the clear MRI and that you are starting to feel some relief. Enjoy those massages!! Adding to the list - a nice glass of wine would be helpful too!

Amy D - orig dx 2005, stage III / recur-mets Stage IV dx 2008, multiple bone lesions / er/pr+, her2neu+++ / Dx 5-2010 brain met

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Nov 15, 2010 06:11AM Anne45 wrote:

Good News Nancy about the MRI.  Can you try to work less than the 12 hours?  I have bought a massage from homedics that you put on your chair and I love it.  I can get a message anytime I want.  My son plays football and he loves it after football games and practices. Its the best thing I have bought.  

Dx 7/29/2009, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 15, 2010 08:57AM Lowrider54 wrote:

Since my dx, I have gone though 3 back massagers - I sit with them on all the time when I am at home - I'm sure that were not designed to take that much use.  I have full seats ones in my vehicles so I pretty much get massaged all the time - now if I can just find one for the bed...lol

Smile...it will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva.

Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 15, 2010 09:27AM nancyh wrote:

Thanks for the tips on the home massagers - I will have to look into that.  I had a massage (from a massage therapist) yesterday and it made my pain worse, not better, mostly where my new port is sitting (which is on previously radiated tissue and is giving me a lot of grief).  I am home from work today because the pain was just too much...up at 3am couldn't fall back to sleep.  I'm trying a muscle relaxer pill plus Advil this morning, so we'll see how that goes.

The thing that I find interesting - I was doing really well for the past 6 months of Femara.  Something about going back to work and riding the bus every day seems to have triggered this.

Stage 4 in 2009, mets to liver, lungs, bones, and brain.

Dx 8/12/2002, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIb, 3/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 4/2/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 9/1/2009, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 10/01/2002 Adriamycin, CytoxanChemotherapy 01/01/2003 TaxolHormonal Therapy 05/01/2003 TamoxifenRadiation Therapy 05/01/2003 ExternalSurgery 05/01/2007 Mastectomy (Both)Chemotherapy 06/01/2007 Cytoxan, fluorouracil, methotrexateSurgery 05/01/2008 Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement, Latissimus Dorsi flap (Both)Targeted Therapy 09/01/2009 AvastinChemotherapy 09/01/2009 AbraxaneHormonal Therapy 06/01/2010 FemaraChemotherapy 09/01/2011 XelodaHormonal Therapy 01/01/2012 FaslodexChemotherapy 06/01/2012 NavelbineChemotherapy 05/01/2013 GemzarHormonal Therapy 06/01/2013 AromasinTargeted Therapy 08/01/2013 AfinitorChemotherapy 10/28/2013 Halaven
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Nov 15, 2010 09:33AM Lowrider54 wrote:

nancy...I used to ride the bus to work but I have been driving as I tried the bus and I could not tolerate sitting on the hard seats so having the seat massage thing in my vehicle, I get an hour massage every morning and every evening on the way to and from work.  Now that it is starting to snow here, I would really like to ride the bus again as the traffic is such a mess in the cities but I can't find a battery operated seat-like device for sitting on the bus.  I am not giving up - the stress I would be relieving by driving part way and letting the bus take me in and out through the worst of the traffic would be well worth whatever I had to pay for such a device.  I will let you know if I find one!

Hugs

Low

Smile...it will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva.

Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 29, 2010 12:32PM lulubee wrote:

Low, could you please post what brand and type of chair massager you like? 

Don't know whether it's the mets or the Femara I started three weeks ago that's causing this new discomfort in my thoracic area, but something is definitely different today.  I have a sprinkling of mets in several vertebrae and in my sacrum/ilium, just discovered in October after three years NED.  I haven't had any considerable pain until last night when I noticed my back was aching when I was trying to get to sleep.  It's still aching this morning.  Phooey. 

Hope you find a solution for your bus situation.  If heat helps, have you looked into those disposable gel heating pads that you smush up to activate?  I keep a few in my car in the winter for when my Reynaud's acts up and my fingers go numb. 

lulubee

Mercy, Courage, Grace. 1st DX 8/07: ILC & IDC, multi-focal/multicentric, ER+PR+ Her2-, 0/3 nodes. BMX+lat flap. 10/10: STAGE IV extensive ILC bone mets. Currently stable on Xeloda (4th line since 11/2010).