Recurrence of cancer
Post Mastectomy Pain Syndrome
Tapering the dosage
Three years ago I was diagnosed with cancer of the breast. I chose to have the mastectomy. They did a lymph-node dissection and I had a couple positive nodes. And so I did have chemotherapy and just about a year later, I was on vacation in Maine and I was again having pulling, drawing, shooting, burning kind of pain all across the anterior chest wall where the surgery had been. The skin was hypersensitive. There was some pain going down my arm. Sometimes it is hard to draw that line between being a nurse and being a patient. My immediate thought and my fear was that this was a recurrence of the cancer. Now, I know full well, as a nurse that there are many kinds of pain related to these things. My first thought was that the cancer had spread. I tried what pain medication I had with me, which was basically Ibuprofen. I took as large of doses as I could safely take and it didn't touch it. It was constantly there and I was just very scared.
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