Q. I am 66 years old, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma 2005, and have been in remission for 40 months on Velcade infusion maintenence. I've had tendinitis and bursitis developing over the past 6 months, and increasing 4 weeks ago. In the past four weeks it got to the point where I could not stand or walk, and had to stop working. MRI and then PET scans showed a lesion in the femur (no impending fracture). It was treated with 5 days of radiotherapy at that point. The restaging work up of my myeloma was stable. The problem is that the oncologist is saying the bursitis and tendinitis, is unrelated to that lesion or the multiple myeloma, or the drug. Pain is still leaving me incapacitated despite cortisone injections last week. I see my doctor in 2 weeks, who is letting the local oncologist manage the case until then. This is causing a lot of anxiety with my wife (my caregiver) and decisions about work and finances. There does appear to be much available info that I can find, and my "care team" is not regularly providing anything other than analgesics.
It sounds like you have been faced with a lot of uncertainty and confusion since the development of your bursitis and tendonitis. Compounded with the overall uncertainty of cancer, this can undoubtedly be unnerving.
Pain can often become so severe that it impacts your daily routine, and can interfere with work and family life. Having been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, it is understandable that you may correlate this pain with your diagnosis, as one of the most common symptoms of multiple myeloma is bone pain. However, as your medical team has indicated, the pain may be unrelated.
It is understandable that you are feeling frustrated by the lack of explanation and the inability to determine a cause for your pain. This frustration can even overshadow the positive news of your stable test results. As this pain is continuing to impact your daily life, ask your doctor for a referral to a pain management specialist who can work closely with you to help you find relief.
More information can be found in our publications, Controlling Cancer Pain: What You Need to Know to Get Relief and Opening the Door to Effective Pain Management: Getting the Facts and Getting Help.
You may also be interested in registering for our upcoming CancerCare Connect Education Workshop™ featuring the topic, Managing Cancer Pain: What You Need to Know.
More information on locating a pain specialist can be found at www.americanpainsociety.org.