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Topic: Neulasta , you MOFO!

Forum: Pain —

Share important questions and provide support to others experiencing breast cancer and treatment-related pain.

Posted on: Nov 2, 2012 11:23AM

RainMaze1962 wrote:

Wow! Day 4 post chemo and I am in extreme pain. All my lymph nodes feel inflamed. Hurts to walk with shooting pains down my hips and legs. Someone please tell me this is temporary. I was sooo happy to not have nausea with this chemo AND I've been walking 2 miles a day so I thought I would not be in pain.! Haven't taken anything yet because silly me, I hate drugs and I thought it would go away in the morning. Any suggestions (ice? Hot?) would be appreciated. I feel like a whimp!

Mother/Counselor/Ninja Dx 3/22/1998, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 4/9/1998 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 5/22/1998 AC Radiation Therapy 8/29/1998 Breast Dx 7/23/2012, IDC/IDC: Tubular, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/20/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/30/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 2, 2012 11:27AM Moderators wrote:

Hi RainMaze,

While you wait for the ever helpful advice from other members here, the main Breastcancer.org site's page on Neulasta may help. There's info on side effects (joint, muscle, and bone pain included) and links to tips on managing those side effects.

Hope this helps!

--The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Nov 2, 2012 11:33AM RainMaze1962 wrote:

Thanks so much, Moderators!!  I was in so much pain I couldn't think straight!

Mother/Counselor/Ninja Dx 3/22/1998, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 4/9/1998 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 5/22/1998 AC Radiation Therapy 8/29/1998 Breast Dx 7/23/2012, IDC/IDC: Tubular, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/20/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/30/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 2, 2012 11:37AM Melrosemelrose wrote:

Rainmaze- I don't know if you know about taking regular 24 hour Claritin which may prevent the bone pain from the Neulasta shot.  There is on going clinical trial to see if the Claritin prevents the Neulasta bone pain.  Here is the link for that trial: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01311336?term=claritin+neulasta&rank=1.

The study says to take one regular 24 hour Claritin (NOT Claritin D) for 7 days commencing the day one receives the shot. 

I took the Claritin the morning that I would receive my afternoon Neulasta shot and continued taking it for 8 more days.   Fortunately, the Claritin worked for me and I did not have any Neulasta bone pain.  However, I did have muscle soreness/joint pain which I attributed as side effects of my chemo regimen Cytoxan/Taxotere. 

I've read on the boards that one can take a combo of one Tylenol and one Motrin/Advil before receiving the shot and continue taking every 4-6 hours to help the bone pain.  I've also read where some took Zyrtec instead of the Claritin.  Whatever you may want to take to help with the pain, make sure you clear it with your onco to make sure it's okay.

Hope you feel better soon!!!! 

Chemo 4/24/2012Taxotere/Cytoxan X 6 & Herceptin B-47 clinical trial:4/24.5/15.6/5/,6/26,7/17.8/7. DX 2/17/2012 Encapsulated DCIS 4cm/IDC 2cm, ER+/PR-/HER2- (+1), Stage IIb, Grade 3,0/5 Nodes Surgery 2/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/14/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 4/24/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/24/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/6/2012
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Nov 2, 2012 11:39AM Melrosemelrose wrote:

I almost forgot--- since we are heading into the weekend, call your onco and ask for some pain meds.  I 've read where some have had leftover pain meds from their surgeries and took those because the pain was so intense.

Chemo 4/24/2012Taxotere/Cytoxan X 6 & Herceptin B-47 clinical trial:4/24.5/15.6/5/,6/26,7/17.8/7. DX 2/17/2012 Encapsulated DCIS 4cm/IDC 2cm, ER+/PR-/HER2- (+1), Stage IIb, Grade 3,0/5 Nodes Surgery 2/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/14/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 4/24/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/24/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/6/2012
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Nov 2, 2012 11:40AM - edited Nov 2, 2012 11:44AM by SpecialK

One thing you might try, if you have not already, before the next Neulasta injection is to take regular Claritin (not Claritin D) an hour prior to the injection and continue for 24-hour intervals for a few days up to a week.  The antihistamine is thought to have an effect on the edema formed in the marrow which can cause pain.  The purpose of Neulasta is to encourage rapid formation of white blood cells to take the place of those killed off by chemo - those white blood cells protect you from an opportunistic infection.  The larger the bone, pelvis, legs, hips, the more WBC produced - that is why the pain location is predictable.  I also found that taking frequent very warm baths helped a lot.  Here is a link to a clinical trial underway looking at Claritin for this purpose.  As always, ask your onc first before taking any medications.

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01311336 

LOL!  Melrose types faster than me!  Edited to add - usually the first Neulasta is the worst because it is the first expansion of the bone marrow.  Subsequent Neulasta injections should be less painful, but try the Claritin - it worked for me.  I know this because I forgot to take it for the third one and it hurt more.  It is very important to take it BEFORE the injection so it has a chance to start working, taking it after is less effective in my experience.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Nov 2, 2012 11:44AM RainMaze1962 wrote:

Thanks Melrose, I have the Claritin and take it. This pain was just so sudden and intense that I freaked out a little.

Mother/Counselor/Ninja Dx 3/22/1998, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 4/9/1998 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 5/22/1998 AC Radiation Therapy 8/29/1998 Breast Dx 7/23/2012, IDC/IDC: Tubular, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/20/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/30/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 2, 2012 11:50AM Melrosemelrose wrote:

Rain- Are you doing okay after the first chemo?  I had the same regimen as you  (6 rounds).  Ask away if you need any help!!!  BTW: SpecialK is one of the best sources here for help.  She is a nurse who worked in an infusion center.  I don't know if she is working now but her knowledge is invaluable!!!

SpecialK- I was just so happy to see you come on to this thread!!!!  I always feel good knowing you are there and giving great advice and help.Cool

Chemo 4/24/2012Taxotere/Cytoxan X 6 & Herceptin B-47 clinical trial:4/24.5/15.6/5/,6/26,7/17.8/7. DX 2/17/2012 Encapsulated DCIS 4cm/IDC 2cm, ER+/PR-/HER2- (+1), Stage IIb, Grade 3,0/5 Nodes Surgery 2/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/14/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 4/24/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/24/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/6/2012
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Nov 2, 2012 12:59PM marywh wrote:

i was like you and hated taking pain meds-until neulasta that is. Dont try to suffer through it without something for pain, it is almost unbearable,I know. I have just spent a week in bed after an increase in my chemo-was not expecting the terrible pain from that either cause I had done so well on the smaller dosage. My advice to you is if the claratin doesnt work (it didnt for me) take a pain pill, it really does help, and remember its only temporary...

Dx 1/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 2/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 6/14/2008 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 8/31/2008 Breast Surgery 8/4/2011 Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 8/24/2012 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Chemotherapy AC Chemotherapy Doxil (doxorubicin), Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Nov 2, 2012 06:09PM LRM216 wrote:

I, like you, suffered greatly from the Neulasta shots.  I thought I was actually going to die.  My side effects from the shot did not kick in until day 3 after and lasted a good 5 days.  I finally had to resort to a narcotic, which I cut in half and always took, even when the pain ebbed a bit from the pill, in order to keep on top of the agony.

I agree totally with Marywh's post.  I found the Neulasta shots to be even worse than the rotten A/C and the horrid taxotere.  Just remember, as hard as it is at the time - this too shall pass.  All good thoughts being sent your way,

Linda

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to end, it's about learning to dance in the rain ... Age 62 at diagnose Dx 2/23/2009, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/7/2009 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 4/25/2009 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/21/2009 Breast
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Nov 3, 2012 09:54AM christina0001 wrote:

Just wanted to pop in and say I love the title of this thread! Tongue Out

Surgery 1/10/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 1/16/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 2/9/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Targeted Therapy 2/12/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/12/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/9/2012 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 8/23/2012 Radiation Therapy 9/30/2012 Breast Surgery 7/29/2013 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Nov 3, 2012 03:38PM RainMaze1962 wrote:

Wow, I can't believe I am feeling sooooo much better! The shooting pains are gone and my lymph nodes feel like thaey are behaving as well. Claritin plus Motrin plus rest did it for me.
Thank you to everyone on the board who helped me through this!

Mother/Counselor/Ninja Dx 3/22/1998, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 4/9/1998 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 5/22/1998 AC Radiation Therapy 8/29/1998 Breast Dx 7/23/2012, IDC/IDC: Tubular, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/20/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/30/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 3, 2012 03:45PM Melrosemelrose wrote:

So glad to hear that!!!!  The first round of chemo is a big shock to one's body.  Have a restful weekend and minimal side effects!!!

Chemo 4/24/2012Taxotere/Cytoxan X 6 & Herceptin B-47 clinical trial:4/24.5/15.6/5/,6/26,7/17.8/7. DX 2/17/2012 Encapsulated DCIS 4cm/IDC 2cm, ER+/PR-/HER2- (+1), Stage IIb, Grade 3,0/5 Nodes Surgery 2/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/14/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 4/24/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/24/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/6/2012
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Nov 3, 2012 04:34PM marywh wrote:

Good news! So glad that worked for you.

Dx 1/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 2/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 6/14/2008 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 8/31/2008 Breast Surgery 8/4/2011 Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 8/24/2012 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Chemotherapy AC Chemotherapy Doxil (doxorubicin), Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Nov 3, 2012 05:37PM SpecialK wrote:

Shout out to melrose!

rainmaze - so glad you are feeling better!

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)

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