Recurrent metastatic cervical cancer pain: Tips to relieve pain?

Posted by ellenkk @ellenkk, Feb 4 9:06am

I am a caregiver for my 35 yo daughter who’s cancer has returned despite chemo, radiation, and surgical interventions. She has had an intrathecal pain pump inserted and is on multiple medications for pain but the pain in her leg keeps getting worse. Local massage is a distraction and can sometimes get her to sleep but I can not constantly massage her leg. We have heating pads and ice pads and mechanical massagers, but they do not come close to helping her pain as much as physically massaging by hand. Pain medications have been adjusted many times, muscle relaxers have been added as well as medication to help with the nerve pain. She doesn’t want to get admitted again for pain management so we are looking to avoid that if possible. Any suggestions?

@ellenkk. Hi and welcome to Mayo Connect. Being a caregiver is a true gift of love and so difficult. I’m so sorry your daughter’s cancer has returned and now she’s having more recurring pain. This is not my area of experience but I’m so happy you’ve reached out to Mayo Connect. This is such a wonderful community for people coming together to find answers, discuss issues and hopefully ease anxiety. While we wait for others to reply and offer ideas for you and your daughter, how are you holding up? Your daughter is so fortunate to have a loving support system. Do you as well? Caregivers are often unsung, unintended heroes.

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@ellenkk I am so sorry to hear about your daughter and her ongoing pain. It must be so difficult for both of you. Do her doctors feel that her leg pain is directly connected to her cancer? Have they investigated whether something in the original cancer site might be pressing on a nerve and causing the pain? I would think that the intrathecal infusion would be helping—has it been increased?
Asking for a referral to a pain doctor or clinic might be your next step. Is there a large medical center somewhat near that you could go to?
You really want this taken care of so it doesn’t become any worse. Please let us know what happens. Becky

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My cousin had breast cancer at 40 and her severe leg pain was blamed on everything from sciatica to all kinds of things. Turns out blood clots so hopefully they ruled that out!

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@becsbuddy

@ellenkk I am so sorry to hear about your daughter and her ongoing pain. It must be so difficult for both of you. Do her doctors feel that her leg pain is directly connected to her cancer? Have they investigated whether something in the original cancer site might be pressing on a nerve and causing the pain? I would think that the intrathecal infusion would be helping—has it been increased?
Asking for a referral to a pain doctor or clinic might be your next step. Is there a large medical center somewhat near that you could go to?
You really want this taken care of so it doesn’t become any worse. Please let us know what happens. Becky

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Thank you for your post Becky. They have been unable to specifically determine if the cause of the pain is related to the tumor or from her surgery or radiation. They do think it is nerve related. She has had her pain pump increased several times. She has a pain team at University of Chicago that is supposed to be the best. Unfortunately, any adjustments to the pump or oral medications are either ineffective or very short lasting. We are hoping this new round of chemo will cause tumor shrinkage and decrease the pain. We are still waiting for that to happen.

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@saucy

My cousin had breast cancer at 40 and her severe leg pain was blamed on everything from sciatica to all kinds of things. Turns out blood clots so hopefully they ruled that out!

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Blood clots have been ruled out already.

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