Log in
Breast Cancer Haven
2,508 members1,368 posts

Pain and swelling months on.

Hi. Just wondered if anyone else has had pain and swelling so bad that they haven't been able to return to work after a lumpectomy and radiation nearly eight months post radiation? I can't stand wearing any sort of bra for more than a short while because of what feels like nerve pain along with swelling. I still have a seroma. I find that the more physical activity I do the worse the pain gets. Even driving causes me pain. Going for a walk is enough to bring on the pain. I only had a grade 1 stage two cancer ! My breast get red and hot too.

14 Replies
oldestnewest

The red and hot to me, indicates you may have cellulitis, it may be worth getting it checked with family doctor or someone on your breast care team, I hope it's nothing serious and easily resolved, good luck x

1 like
Reply

Don't put up with discomfort and pain. You deserve better. Make it a priority to go to the GP/breast clinic/whoever can help until it is resolved. This should be treatable. Best of luck xxxxx

Reply

I was lucky enough to get an appointment for tomorrow so fingered crossed they can do something

Reply

Sorry you are having a rough time. I had lumpectomy, wide excision and ANC last June/July. Constant nerve pain and rib pain, now on gabapentin. I returned to work full time last November and seemed fine, putting up with the pain and discomfort. "Better than the alternative" seems to be a common reaction! Yes it is horrible and the journey is bad enough without the pain and wanting to get back to work for some sort of normality. Ask your GP or breast care nurse for medication for the nerve pain. The gabapentin does help. I am recovering at home with an extended course of antibiotics for a cellulitis of the right breast and a reaction to the radiotherapy 10 months after I finished. Excruciating pain, soreness and redness worse than after the radiotherapy. Apparently this can happen at any stage afterwards but is rare. Guess I am a rarity! I would however prefer to feel normal. Consultant review this afternoon. Back to work tomorrow? I wish you well and hope you manage to get the pain sorted out.

Best wishes Alison x

Reply

Sorry to hear you're suffering too. People think once the cancer is gone you're back to normal. I'm on Lycia for the pain. I was already on gabapentine for other health problems , but it's been changed to Lycia which is supposed to be better. Trouble is it makes me too dopey to do much if I take it in the day time so I only take it at night. To be honest I'm not sure it does much.

Reply

I think you are right to go back to the doctor - your pain doesn't sound 'right'. Hopefully the GP will get you back on the right track tomorrow. Good luck. Caroline xx

Reply

Well went to see a lovely female doctor today who said its down to radiation and is on the scale of to be expected lol the pain is nerve damage and the swelling is lymphedema of the breast and chest wall, rib pain is radiation damage. She said to double my lyrica for pain but there wasn't much that could be done for it. Could last for years or be gone in a week. So just paid out for information what I already read on google!

1 like
Reply

I would recommend trying a complimentary therapy. Emmett-UK website lists practitioners in your area. You can have a lymphatic drainage which is very quick and effective and also very relaxing. Sometimes just taking more pain killers doesn't address the underlying problem it just masks it temporarily. Good luck !

1 like
Reply

Thanks for replying. I'm in Australia. I did have about 7 sessions of physio which here we have to pay for. I stopped because it was so painful. I totally agree with what you say about taking more painkiller. I'll have another go at the massage as you suggest.

1 like
Reply

I saw someone else also recommended Bowen therapy. Emmett is even more gentle and in my experience more effective than Bowen. Both are actually Australian so you will have no shortage of options there! Ross Emmett is still practising in his 70's from his clinics and he has trained thousands of Australian therapists. There is no pain involved in the treatment and it can be very quick- just 5 moves on average, so it tends to be cheaper than Physio too. Do give it a try at least once of you can find a therapist near you. Ross is based in Queensland and works with many cancer surgeons. Best of luck- let's hope you find a resolution soon and start to feel better. Radiotherapy seems to affect everyone very differently but everyone heals and recovers eventually. x

Reply

You can help it - lyrics will not fix it just make you drowsy!!!

Reply

Hi aussielouise, I'm also suffering with nerve pain and my arm is so painful, i had a mastectomy 7 months ago and finished radiotherapy 4 months ago. My GP recently prescribed me Amitriptyline and it's really helping me. I also take Zapain for pain relief. I too went for physio treatment but it was too painful so i stopped going. What really did help me was a soft tissue treatment called Bowen therapy. It's much more gentle and really seemed to work 😀 I really hope things get easier for you xxx

1 like
Reply

Thank you for your reply. Sorry to hear your suffering too. I thought once I was through the treatment that would be it. I'm on lyrica for pain. I have a autoimmune liver disease as well so some pain killers aren't suitable. Think I'm going to have a look at a soft tissue or massage treatment like you suggest.

1 like
Reply

Hi - I had similar probs - and lymph drainage probs under control now. Saw physios in Dublin and New Zealand for 2 years nearly weekly - they were Aussie trained in this work - I got some relief ...

Then I was told about a massage therapist - DR Vodder trained - she was German, living in NZ , and very experienced..... it worked - she made my life so much better - no more pain tho I did have to go regularly to her.

I guess the thing I learned is if something doesn't really work - don't flog a dead horse - trycanother therapy/ therapist till you find one that does if for you!!

1 like
Reply

You may also like...