Fibromyalgia After Breast Cancer

A couple of months after I’d had surgery for breast cancer, I began to experience a lot of pain. It was mostly concentrated in my spine, but also radiated to other parts of my body. I began to become concerned. I’d heard my oncologist mention when cancer comes back it often attacks the spine, brain, bones, lungs or liver so naturally, I thought the worst. I dealt with the pain for months and months before contacting my doctor. I was afraid of being told my cancer had come back, so I suffered in silence. Soon the pain became unbearable and I had to do something. Over-the-counter pain medication wasn’t working. I contacted the doctor and he quickly responded. As I described my pain, the doctor listened carefully. He said it sounded like I was experiencing fibromyalgia. I listened as the doctor explained some of the symptoms related to fibromyalgia:
–  Morning stiffness
–  Irregular sleep patterns
–  Headaches
–  Irritable bowel syndrome
–  Painful menstrual periods
–  Tingling Hands and feet
–  Restless leg syndrome
–  Sensitivity to cold or heat
–  “Fibro fog” (memory problems, cognitive problems)I was experiencing almost all of those symptoms, which was strange because I hadn’t experienced any of them before my cancer diagnosis. I was told it wasn’t uncommon for breast cancer patients to develop all over body pain after surgery or treatment. Some women developed fibromyalgia. Although I didn’t fully understand the syndrome, I knew I was very uncomfortable and needed relief. The doctor felt medication could help. I was surprised when he prescribed Cymbalta. On the television ads, I’d always heard that drug was for those suffering severe depression. I wasn’t suffering from depression. I wondered why he chose Cymbalta, but I trusted him and agreed to take the medication.


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