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Jun 12, 2013 01:52PM
Jun 12, 2013 01:58PM
Rowan, very, very scary, eh??? I suffered from rib pain on and off after my double mast. At first we could blame it on where the drains sat for a couple of weeks and then were pulled out. Then, because I have arthritis in so many other areas of my body, I've been told it's "just" Costochondritis. Whatever it is, it's VERY painful when it "hits" me; so bad I can't even breath. It was first thought to be my heart (left side) so I did get a full work up. Consider that, please.
Then, now almost 5 years out, I get rib pain on my right side - of course I thought swollen liver!!! It got so bad I'd have to raise my arm to be able to take a breath when I was sitting as that's when it seemed the worst. Got a torso CT that just showed nodes in my axillae (which I just had follow-up ultrasound today for) which will be re-checked in 6 months to see if they've grown.
STILL doesn't answer my rib pain at all!!! I didn't get rads, but have read that a lot of women suffer from rib pain after rads. You don't say if you had rads or recon (I didn't) so I'm not sure if something in your recon could be hurting you.
All-in-all a very scary feeling once you'd heard the word "cancer" and your name in the same sentence!! You are wise to be vigilent, you know your body best. I related my story to let you know that I've had rib pain for 5 years and it hasn't developed into bone mets or any other tumour. If you haven't had a bone scan yet, it would be a good idea. The problem is, if you get uptake (a reaction to the dye showing activity on the bone) you won't know if it's from arthritis or mets!!! I get HUGE areas of uptake and they just say they "think" it's not mets, and recommend an MRI which I can't have as I have a pace-maker. I was counting on the CT for some definitive answers, but the results of that said to have a bone scan!! So you can see there is a lot of gray area once diagnosed. Some women are told they have mets with a single spot on their skeleton. I'd demand a biopsy if possible. The drugs to help bone mets can actually damage your good bones.
As for the swollen clavicle I had that too!! In fact, the ultrasound was terrifying!!! The radiologist came sweeping into the room and said I had to get a biopsy NOW!! While trying to get a good spot she talked to the tech saying things like "Look, there's a bunch of them wrapped around her jugular, I can't use those." and "There's too many in that area." I was sure I was a goner!! Turns out my remaining bit of thyroid was covered with cysts (benign!) and I had to get it out. Scared the heck out of me while I waited for the biopsy attempt on the nodes in my neck, though!! The radiologist even said "If this comes back "inconclusive" please get it checked again. I'm not sure if I got a good enough sample!"
So I understand your fear and it's so very important to know your own body. Demand answers. If you are asked to wait-and-see after a scan it is just to see if anything grows. The limbo is truly hell. You are not alone. Please keep us posted on your journey here, you are in my thoughts.
12/10/2008, IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
12/15/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
2/4/2016, IDC: Papillary, Left, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2-
2/10/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
2/16/2016 Whole breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall