Hi Colleen, I was diagnosed Ovarian cancer in 2016 and developed neuropathy early on during chemotherapy. Unlike most people, mine did not go away. I also have Hypothyroid, Celiacs, Osteoarthritis and Raynaud's. Because of the Raynaud’s, it was confusing at first; my symptoms weren’t completely the same as before. My feet are super numb, and they feel like I have something thick stuck to the bottom of them. On the upside, the burning and tingling from Raynaud’s is significantly reduced…which means I need to be even more careful about heat and cold. My shins and knees also hurt. My hands are now extremely sensitive, painful as heck and I lost a great deal of my dexterity and strength in them. I was a legal secretary; so, needless to say, the career came to an end. I used to be a musician, artists, seamstress, did extremely delicate embroidery work, smocking and loved gardening. I now try to find other creative outlets that require less dexterity or trauma to my hands.
Last year (2 years later) I went through radiation for breast cancer (I’m BRCA negative, go figure!) and shortly after completing treatment I thought I was having a major flare: Nope, i was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. They changed the AI I was on which helped a bit. I was already on gabapentin so they increased the dose to 2400mg. They also increased Cymbalta to 90 mg, increased the muscle relaxant and added an anti-inflammatory. They also increased the amount of Xanax I take on top of my regular meds. I think it helps the spasms in my hands.
To be honest I am not sure how much all the medication helps. I am still in a lot of pain. Movement helps more than anything. I try to keep moving by doing restorative yoga, or Qi Gong, TaiChi, walking, bicycling, swimming and lake kayaking. I also developed lymphedema which comes with its own set of issues, and does limit some of my activities. It doesn’t help that my immune system hasn’t recovered and I get everything that goes around.
I am stubborn, which I think is a good thing when you have any ONE of these diseases. If something doesn’t work one way, find a work around. Larger handled hair brushes, a stand to hold the hairdryer, gloves that help to hang on to things (I.e. my kayak paddle), shoes that slip on or have Velcro (yes it’s a bit embarrassing sometimes). My sweet husband paints my toenails for me and got me a robotic vacuum. I avoid small buttons, zipper pulls and snaps in favor of larger ones.
I have good and bad days, some days pain wins. Given my diseases, I am blessed to have more time. More time with family and friends.
I am also very blessed to live in Colorado. Four season, each with fun outside activities and the bluest skies ever. And, cbd is legal here. So, when a friend suggested I try It I thought, “why not”. After speaking with my doctor, I did a bunch of research, recruited a friend (five in fact) to go with me, and gave it a try. Finding the right product/blend is tricky but it helps. And it gives me more good days!
Wishing everyone MORE GOOD DAYS!!