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Topic: Pain from positioning during radiation therapy

Forum: Pain —

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

Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 11:08AM

Neemster wrote:

I had three weeks of boost radiation therapy back in October. There was one therapist in particular who positioned me in such a contorted way that I could barely withstand the pain. My neck and shoulders in such a twisted position that after a minute or two, I felt as if I were giving birth through my neck. Remaining still for the 45munute sessions was almost more than I could endure.

I complained to my radiologist, who dismissed my concerns with, “Try getting a massage.” (I did. It didn’t help.) I also discussed my concerns with the nurse practitioner. She told me she would “try” to schedule me with a different therapist. Well, apparently she did not try very hard, because that same therapist was the one who positioned me for the remainder of my treatments.

Here it is, four months later, and my neck and shoulder still bother me constantly. I take Tylenol and Advil around the clock, and it’s difficult for me to do everyday activities such as driving and housework.

I am going to have x rays taken to determine if there’s been damage done to my muscles and/or vertebrae. If there is, I am going to sue.

My treatment took place at a hospital that’s considered one of the premier breast cancer treatment centers in the USA. I’m livid about having such a horrible experience.

Has anyone gone through anything similar?



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Feb 10, 2019 11:28AM Shellsatthebeach wrote:

I only had to stay in position for about 15 minutes. The whole thing was done from start to finish (getting into my johnny, waiting in the room, being positioned and the actually beaming for 30 minutes and I was out the door. What kind of equipment (machine) did you have for your radiation. There are different kinds and some are more advanced than others.

Dx 3/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+, HER2- Surgery 8/28/2017 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left Dx 9/15/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 6/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 9/24/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 10/17/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Feb 10, 2019 11:57AM - edited Feb 10, 2019 12:00PM by Neemster

I'm not sure what type of equipment was used. You only had 15 minute sessions? Were you undergoing boost radiation or just regular? I think the boost radiation sessions are longer. I know they are more frequent. (I had them twice a day.) Anyway, not to be rude, but...what does that have to do with my post, anyway? The point is, I was experiencing significant amounts of pain, from ONE professional in particular. I voiced my concerns, and they were ignored. And I am still suffering as a result.

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Feb 10, 2019 12:22PM Shellsatthebeach wrote:

Wow, I only had mine once a day which was plenty enough for me. Sorry to hear you had to sit through that for 45 minutes twice a day. That sounds awful! Did they give you a reason why they did not change that person to someone else?

Dx 3/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+, HER2- Surgery 8/28/2017 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left Dx 9/15/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 6/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 9/24/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 10/17/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Feb 10, 2019 12:25PM Neemster wrote:

Do we deserve a reason? My impression was, I should have just been grateful for the treatment I was getting. I didn’t have the right to complain. I should have just shut up and climbed up on that table.

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Feb 10, 2019 01:38PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Yeah, I had extremely long sessions as well, but no additional pain (I had sciatica beforehand). While I waited for my treatment, I did a lot of arm mobility exercises. Try seeing a physical therapist. You might have a pinched nerve somewhere.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane
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Feb 10, 2019 02:57PM santabarbarian wrote:

I begin rads tomorrow. My intake day was a week ago, and they made a foam form for me to lie, in so I can relax in the position they want. I am sorry your body is still hurting. A sports medicine chiropractor might be a good person to help you...

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/10/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Feb 10, 2019 03:20PM Veeder14 wrote:

Neemster,

I have long standing back/neck pain issues and when I had radiation it completely aggravated those areas on a daily basis. Except for set up and xray days, my sessions were very short but still just being prone is enough to cause me a lot of pain. I ended up having to get injections of pain medication, and the R0 let me adjust my schedule to go back home to go see my physical therapist. It took me months before my back/neck got back to my regular pain levels from going to PT and doing my regular exercises, and routines around the house (I had to live in a hotel out of town during radiation which made it worse).

I don't feel I suffered any permanent damage though; I hope you didn't either. I would request to see a physical therapist because they are trained to address these type of pain issues. I hope things pain wise improve for you soon.



Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/26/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/8/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy

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