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Friday, March 26, 2010 brenda's journey, Community Member, asks

Q: Back pain after chemo

I just finished my first round of chemotherapy 2 days ago.  I am nauseated and fatigued, but my main problem is the severe back pain. Is this a normal side effect of chemo?  It is unbearable.


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Answers (2)
Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
3/26/10 6:23am

Some chemo drugs cause flu-like aches.  You shouldn't just suffer through this. Even if it is a normal side-effect of the drug you are taking, your doctor will have some suggestions for the best way to manage the pain.  Don't take an over-the-counter pain killer without consulting with the doctor because some don't mix with chemo.  Pain killers work best when taken before the pain gets unbearable, so with your next treatment you'll want to take whatever the doctor suggests early in the process to get ahead of the pain.  One of the chemo drugs I took caused aches and pains, but they usually lasted only two or three days.  I hope that turns out to be the case for you.

brenda's journey, Community Member
3/27/10 2:21am

Phyllis, I went to see my primary care doctor today and she gave me some vicadin. Thank God. They do not beleive this is normal "flu like" aches or even chemo related so I will get a bone scan, just to be on the safe side.

Feeling better now that the pain is under control.

Thank you.


Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
3/27/10 6:28am

I'm glad the doctor was able to help with the pain and that they will be proactive with the bone scan to try to find out what is going on.

Plugger, Community Member
4/22/10 11:28pm

It's such a relief to find someone with similar symptoms. I started TCH on Friday, today is Day 7. So far I've felt pretty good - not much nausea, a little tired, mostly just spacey/can't concentrate. I've even been walking 3 miles most days and it felt good. Until tonight - as soon as I went to bed I discovered I couldn't lie down becasue my back, chest and shoulders hurt so much. That really worried me because I hadn't seen that as any of the side effects. I was worried that either the Hercepton was ruining my heart already or the antibiotic from the port surgergy was giving me really bad indigestion - and none of the antacids were working. I finally called my doctor and she said it's a side effect of the chemo - and to take ibuprofen. It does seem to help a little.

PJ Hamel, Health Guide
4/23/10 5:37am

Glad the ibuprofen has helped a little. You did the right thing, letting your doctor know about the pain. Now is not the time to keep a stiff upper lip - always report any side effects; they're often treatable, and no one wants you to suffer any more than you have to, that's for sure! Good luck - PJH

miriam, Community Member
3/26/10 10:30am

       Yes, it is a side effect of chemo (for me) but bearable.  When I feel pain while lying down, all i do is to change my position and let someone rub my back.  It is just normal, you can bear it.  God bless.


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By brenda's journey, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/02/14, First Published: 03/26/10