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Sister has burning pain in shoulder Sister has burning pain in shoulder

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Unread 07-06-2004, 07:12 PM
Sister has burning pain in shoulder

Hi again Sisters,
My sister is waiting for surgery on a ovarian cyst the size of a grapefruit and growing. She has a CA125 count of over 1100. She has been to a gyn/onc and is scheduled for surgery on August 9. She now has a burning pain in her shoulder that is causing her to feel sick to her stomache and takes her breath away. Any ideas what this new ailment could be??? Can it be associated with her ovarian cyst or is this something that is unrelated??? Anyone out there who has anything similar? I've suggested she goes to our Emergency Room that is affliated with the cancer clinic but I can't get her to budge. I'm willing to sit in line until she has some kind of answer. I'm so afraid that this thing is growing and attaching to her spine. Thanks again for your wealth of knowledge and support.
Boos Buddy.
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Unread 07-06-2004, 07:36 PM
Sister has burning pain in shoulder

Has your sister called her doctor about this problem? She should talk to him, and get into see him ASAP. He can order a CT scan, or whatever other tests she may need. There is no reason for her to sit in the ER when she has a doctor who can order the necessary tests. Why is she so reluctant to see the onc about this problem?

Why is your sister waiting so long for surgery? August 9th is over a month away! With a cyst that big, and a CA125 that high, she should be having surgery right away. Why is she, or her gyn/onc, delaying the surgery?

You are a very nice sister, trying to help and support your sister. Ask her if you can call her doctor for an appointment then volunteer to drive her. She may not feel up to doing that on her own. On the other hand, if she refuses to go, there isn't much you can do about that. Can she explain why she doesn't want to get this checked out? Does she just need someone to help her get there? Someone to make the appointment for her? Tell her you will take care of all the hassels, that might help.

Good luck to you and let us know what happens. Hang in there.

Unread 07-06-2004, 07:37 PM
Sister has burning pain in shoulder

Well, it could be related, and it could not be related. It is possible to have referred pain from the abdomen into the shoulder. Actually, that happens after laparoscopic surgery from the build up of pressure in the abdomen (from the air they pump in for visibility), and is also a symptom of a tubal pregnancy (pressure causing referred pain to the shoulder). So, there might be enough of a pressure build-up in her situation to have shoulder pain. Only a doctor will be able to help determine the actual cause. And it's possible that she won't know for sure until her surgery is done. It could be a shoulder-only situation, or it could be a heart-based thing. Please continue encouraging her to contact her gyn/onc or to go to the ER. She really needs to get a medical opinion and appropriate intervention.

I will keep her in my thoughts and 'ers. Please keep us posted.

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Unread 07-06-2004, 09:11 PM
Sister has burning pain in shoulder

I believe that she is having referred pain..........I think she's scared to go back to the Dr. I've offered to take her but she is very reluctant. As for the surgery date....we have only two Gyn/onc in our cut backs, and more cancer patients on the rise. Her surgeon is away on holiday, his associate is booked up for the month and can't fit another surgery in to the rotation. I'm just thankful that she went and saw the gyn/onc instead of having her surgery 2 weeks ago with her regular gyn. I think it will have saved her two surgeries! My thought is if she goes into the emergency unit they can have her assessed on a different criteria and maybe bump up her surgery if they suspect things are worsening.......I don't know I'm lost on what's best.
Unread 07-07-2004, 07:40 AM
Sister has burning pain in shoulder

The referred pain comes from pressure on the phrenic nerve, which is the nerve that controls the diaphragm. Her mass could be impinging on it -- the "burning" nature that you describe of her pain is a very characteristic description of nerve pain.

That being said, it's a concern that the mass/cyst has grown large enough to be hitting that nerve (or something nearby). Heart problems in women can also come on this way, and so it really does need investigation. Although heart is unlikely, OTOH, obviously your sister is under extreme stress at the moment, so she really needs to look into it.

She should speak with her internist -- perhaps they could call the oncologist and try to work something out for your sister to get her surgery earlier? It's got to be so scary for her!

If she has the internet available, I hope you've given her this site and encouraged her to write us. You're supporting her as best you can -- but that does mean that she'll need the encouragement to get this latest symptom investigated promptly, rather than waiting for August 9th .

You and your sister will be in my thoughts! Keep us posted, OK?

Unread 07-07-2004, 08:52 PM
Sister has burning pain in shoulder

I agree with Audrey. That was a great post. Your sister must get some treatment, one way or the other. She can't continue for another month like this. If an emergency room visit will help to speed things up, then you and other family members must get her into the ER.

Is it possible to go to another city for treatment? I know that isn't ideal, but will Canadian health care allow that? Can you get a referral to another gyn/onc in another city? Or is that not possible? I am so sorry that you all have to go through these waits. Waiting is awful, but when someone is in this much pain it's just not acceptable to have to wait a month. Surely they can do something about it, even with doctor shortage problems. No one should have to live like this for a month!

My best to you. You are wonderful to be doing so much to help your sister.

Keep us posted on what happens and continue doing what you're doing, trying to help you sister.

Hugs and comfort,

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