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Topic: What do bone mets feel like?

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. There is a separate forum For Family and Caregivers of People with a STAGE IV Diagnosis.

Posted on: Aug 30, 2011 10:51AM - edited Sep 7, 2012 05:43PM by katie31

katie31 wrote:

This Post was deleted by katie31.
IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Aug 30, 2011 01:07PM Helmie wrote:

Katie, I'm so sorry to hear this, and you are pregnant too. I have bone mets, but don't really feel any pain from it. I get stabbing kind of pain like you describe sometimes in my right upper back area, but I believe it's from the lung mets. I'm sure someone who also has bone mets, will answer your question very soon. My case is probably not the best one to compare. I have never been pregnant, so I would not know the difference in the pain.

(((Hugs))), Helmie

"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." (Forrest Gump) - thank God for chocolate and puppy dogs - Dx 2/8/2010, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 30, 2011 01:29PM cookie97 wrote:

I never felt pain in bone perse, but did have horrible muscle spasms in the areas of bone mets in my spine. I later learned that that is the muscle trying to protect the bone from any further damage. I do get Zometa infusions every month which seems to have really helped. However I don't know about Zometa and pregnancy.

Hopefully this pain is pregnancy related, as you have enough to worry about as it is.

Please stay in touch,


Dx 5/6/2010, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 30, 2011 02:27PM china wrote:

Katie, When I had new mets, the pain was an ache and sometimes with a burning sensation, it would be worse at night and when it keep growing, I had constant achy, gnawing sensation, unrelenting. I do get occasional sharp pains r/t muscle spasms in my spine that come and go. Are you experiencing braxton-hicks contractions? They start in the back and radiate towards the front and can be uncomfortable sometimes but do not last long. I wish you well. Dawn

Dx 4/6/2007, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 30, 2011 02:42PM Just_Sue wrote:

Hi Katie,

 I do have bone mets.  After talking with my Oncologist, I determined that my aches and pains are not from the mets themselves but a side affect from the anti-hormonal medication that I am taking.  I have had problems in the past (and present to a lesser degree) with pain in my heel, my shoulder and fingers. I had more bone and joint pain when I was on Tamoxofin but these have improved greatly since I have switched to Arimidex.  Everybody is different in how the respond to these medications. I am told that the effect on most people is the opposite.

 Two things that my oncologist pointed out that may help you. Bone mets ususally don't start in your extremities. Your knee pain is probably not met related. She also mentioned that met pain is usually continual, not sporatic.  

 Mets or no mets, you shouldn't have to live with pain.  You should talk to your doctor to see if you can get some relief.

 Hope that helps a bit.  Good luck with your pregancy!


Susan Dx 6/23/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 30, 2011 02:56PM cmhartley wrote:

Hey Katie,

Congratulations on your pregnancy but so sorry you are having to deal with this dreadful disease on top of it.  What treatments are you on if any?  I think I have had more pain secondary to the treatments I've been on vs. the mets.  I was diagnosed in 2009 with extensive bone mets pretty much everywhere.  However, my only clue was a sharp pain next to my shoulder blade that was pretty much there all the time to some degree or another.  It was worse when I breathed and when I laid down.  I'm not sure if I ever had pleural effusion too because the pain at first was similar to what others describe as pleural effusion.  Anyway, I think it can vary.  However, if it continues I would mention it to your oncologist so that they can do the appropriate test if possible to see if they find anything.

Best wishes to you.  Keep us posted not only with your cancer journey but with your pregnancy.

Hugs to you and your little one,


Original Diagnosis: 3/08/2005 Stage IIb IDC, ER+, PR-, HER2-, 3/11 nodes positive; Recurrence 10/22/2009 extensive bone mets; 11/20/2010 diffuse liver mets; 1/2013: grade 4 liver cirrhosis, portal hypertension and esophageal varicies Chemotherapy 4/5/2005 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 10/4/2005 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2009 Dx 10/22/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 3/11 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2010 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2010 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 5/15/2010 Avastin (bevacizumab) Chemotherapy 5/20/2010 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 3/22/2011 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 7/1/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 2/13/2013 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy 12/6/2013 Gemzar (gemcitabine) Radiation Therapy 1/2/2014 Brain
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Aug 30, 2011 06:19PM ma111 wrote:

Ask any one of your doc, (Gyne, family or onc.). to run your tumor markers. That willl tell you a lot with any teating danger to the baby.

Dx 8/4/2009, IBC, <1cm, Stage IV, 19/19 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Aug 30, 2011 06:50PM TexasKaren wrote:

Yes, agree... before you jump to the conclusion that you have bone mets, talk to your doctors and get some tests done.  Could just be pregnancy aches and pains.   We live with this constant sword hanging over our heads and sometimes our imaginations are our worst enemies !!

Texas Karen: Live every day like it's your last. Not for yourself, but for others, with love, joy, hope and courage in all you do. Dx 12/17/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 8/14 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 30, 2011 08:01PM lukejessesmom wrote:

I agree with China...my experience has been that of a burning sensation, and like I am feeling tonight in my spine....someone turning a screw driver in my back. It's a pain like no other muscular or skeletal pain in my opinion. Hope it's just pregnancy related.

Luke & Jesses Mom Dx 11/4/2008, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 30, 2011 08:13PM reesie wrote:

Katie I had a talk with my orthopedic oncologist (he specializes in bone cancer/mets). He explained that the reason bone mets hurt more at night or at rest (as opposed to muscle pain) was because the pressure against the bone kept it from moving/expanding/etc during normal movement. When it was at rest it gave the chance for the nerves in the bone to expand and react.

Well he said it better but you get the gist. Basically that's why they say if you have pain that doesn't go away ar night or gets worse when your sleeping you should check the bone as opposed to the muscle.

Your pain sounds like it's muscle related and is probably from your pregnancy. You should definitely bring it up with your docs but I don't think it's mets.

Marie - It's A Great Day To Be Alive. Dx 10/29/2010 ER+/PR+, HER2- Stage IV mets to bones, liver, lungs, skin, pleural effusions
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Aug 30, 2011 10:46PM Lowrider54 wrote:

I had no pain at all until after they did the bone biopsy.  I don't think it is mets - I have pretty extensive mets in the lumbar region which is where they took the sample from but it is all up and down my spine and the only truly constantly painful area is the lumbar.

Wish you luck...its worth mentioning but I don't think you need worry.

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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Aug 30, 2011 11:20PM nancyh wrote:

Dear Katie,

I have no pains from my bone mets, but I do have all sorts of other aches and pains.  I hate how every ache/pain we have as stage 4 gals, we assume it is cancer, but based on your description it doesn't sound like mets pain.  I'm sure others will chime in.

I hope this doesn't sound crazy, but I think about you all the time as your story is so heartbreaking.  Your strength and courage is inspiring and please know that many prayers are being sent your way.  I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly and we see photos of your new little one soon.  Blessings to you and your family,


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- Chemotherapy 9/30/2002 AC Chemotherapy 12/31/2002 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 4/30/2003 Dx 4/2/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/31/2007 CMF Targeted Therapy 8/31/2009 Avastin (bevacizumab) Chemotherapy 8/31/2009 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Dx 9/1/2009, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/liver/lungs, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 5/31/2010 Femara (letrozole) Chemotherapy 8/31/2011 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2011 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 5/31/2012 Navelbine (vinorelbine) Chemotherapy 4/30/2013 Gemzar (gemcitabine) Hormonal Therapy 5/31/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 7/31/2013 Afinitor (everolimus) Chemotherapy 10/27/2013 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy 11/11/2014 Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 9/30/2015 Adriamycin (doxorubicin) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib)

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