I asked my former oncologist once: “How long does it take for the chemo to get out of your joints?”. It was a legitimate question at the time because the pain was frequently excruciating. I knew the aches were coming from the Neulasta, but also knew it was a result from the chemotherapy itself. I was allergic to Taxol, and my oncologist didn’t figure it out until my second infusion of the drug. They still administered a third treatment before switching to Abraxane for the final dose. I have suffered severe muscle, joint, and bone aches, starting/continuing on from my third or fourth chemo infusion. The oncologist’s response to my question was, “The more you move around, the quicker it will exit your system; however, it could take years.”
It’s hard to move when your body doesn’t let you. Years? You can’t be freaking serious…
I read an article a few months ago that talked about how the weather has an effect on chemotherapy-related bone, joint, and muscle aches. And, most notably, how the barometric pressure plays a role in it all. Remember when your grandparents complained that they “knew it was going to rain” because their arthritis would “act up”? Well, they weren’t totally crazy: weather is a key performance indicator/contributor. Today, the weather is not just about my grandparents’ arthritis anymore…it has an impact on how I feel.
For the last several days, my hips, spine, knees, and wrists, have ached so bad that not even the medications I take provide much relief. I live in South Florida and it rains almost every day in the Spring and Summer. This isn’t anything atypical in our climate/weather pattern. In the summertime, it rains while the sun is still shining. And every once in a while, this area is so flat, that you can “see” the rain on one side of the street and not the other.
But these last few days have been unbearable…
I have a very close friend that seems to have severe headaches/migraines coincidentally at the same time my bone/muscle/joint aches set in. Our texts go something like this (I am the green text):
Then, in the next day or so, she says:
I bought a Goethe barometer off the clearance rack at Walmart last year, and I have been watching it. When I walk out of my bedroom each morning, it is the first thing I see. If the liquid is high in the tube, I know I’m going to have a rough day. If it is low, then I know what to expect: it will be a day of “shuffling” my feet. Watching the barometer(s) makes me feel normal…that I am not crazy…that this is just part of the new normal…
If they told you what they were going to do to you, would you still have done it?
When I look into the eyes of my husband, parents, friends, and family; I say “YES”.
I am considering keeping a journal of how I feel versus the barometer readings. I have a data analytics background, so why not try to trend this and find the “top offenders”? In addition to AC (Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide), Taxol, and Abraxane, I also did Neulasta after each infusion. For the next 9 years, I am on an aromatase inhibitor, Anastrozole (aka Arimidex); it is a hormone-based chemotheraphy. I also take Lyrica for the nerve damage and neuropathy, caused by the Taxol. I list all that out, so that if folks provide feedback, we are comparing apples to apples. Have you considered doing the same, and if so, how did it work out for you? What did your findings reveal? I am sure this translates to other conditions/diseases, and I am curious to see if others are experiencing the same thing.