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good..... was posted 05/05/2010 11:13 pm by lyn
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An MRI of your back is a good idea - so glad you are doing it. Once you get the results, talk with your oncologist and decide if you need another CT scan of your abdomen/pelvis to make sure a nerve isn't being compressed there (if the MRI of the back is normal). They will probably all be fine, but whenever you have had cancer, you can't be too careful.

Also make sure the pain doctor examines you carefully and can explain to you what is causing the pain. If they can't give you a good explanation, then see a neurologist for a second opinion. I have already learned the hard way that medicine has become so specialized and complicated that you have to be sure the right doctor is giving you your diagnosis...

My mom's cancer is pressing on her nerves coming out of her spinal cord - she has vertebral metastases throughout her spine - causing weakness of her arms. Fortunately, her pain has improved with her chemotherapy. However, she has been on many pain meds in the past. My father also has a lot of neuropathic pain after a spine injury, and so we are very familiar with all of the pain medicines.

If the pain is really bothering you, don't give up on the neuropathic pain medicines too quickly. If you are having side effects like sleepiness/thinking problems, then maybe you need to start on a lower dose and slowly increase it so it will be better tolerated. Sometimes if you just continue with these meds for a week or so, the side effects also improve. Neurontin is usually very well tolerated, and lyrica is popular, and nortriptyline and cymbalta are others to think about. Sometimes topical patches of lidocaine help. Finally, start doing physical therapy - that can often help.

Good luck with your scans. I am sure they will be fine, and it is great you are getting them done.

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