Topic: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

My Dad was diagnosed with this type of cancer in October of 2006.  He has the type that is worse of the two (intrahepa or extrahepa.  I can't remember which one but it is)  He cannot be operated on becase it is on both lobes of his liver.  He has decided not to do Chemo or Radiation and has chosen quality instead of quantity of life. (Despite my wishes)

The problem is that his quality of life is quickly decreasing.  My Dad has had pain steming from his lower back by his shoulder blade and it comes around the side and to the front.  But the back pain is really troubling him.  He has been taking hydrocodone but it makes him almost sedatedall day and then up all night.  We tried lowering the dose and switching to Darvocet but nothing seems to kill the pain without making him sleep all day.  Does anyone know why he is getting this pain and if it is related to the cancer.  I am hoping this is only due to him sitting in a recliner for long periods of time.  Can anyone suggest a medication that will help with the pain but not put him to sleep?

In addition, he has also completely lost his appetitie.  He will only drink ensure once a day, if that.  He has down to 139 lbs and is very week.  I researched a drug called Megace and asked the doctor for it but he said he would only give prescribe it to my Dad if he comes in for a visit.  The problem is he is not strong enough to go to the doctor.  He hasn't seen a doctor since May.  I have been looking into hospice but I am not sure that this is what he wants.  He rarely complains so I don't know the real severity of everything.  I try to discuss it with him but he says that the topic must be boring and he changes the subject.  Has anyone tried Megace or have any other suggestions?

Thanks for reading this. 

May God grant you the strength to endure this terrible disease.

Fathers Daughter

Re: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

Father's Daughter,   I have experienced same type of pain  and it wore me out before I told the doctor how much pain I was in.  Both times was tumor enlargement creating pressure on nerves that would not otherwise be compressed.  Once with my liver and once with with an unexpected mets to my rib tail bone area pressing against my spinal roots.  I had 3-D conformal radiation both times and it shrunk the tumors to the point of no pain.  He would probally need a MRI with and without contrast to verify what is happening. Wishing you the best and hope.
God Bless,
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

Hello fathers daughter,
Like Jeff said, the pain could be from metastasized tumors somewhere else in the body, but it could just be from the liver - I've heard of "referred pain" where the pain is in the back and shoulder instead of the liver area - the nerve endings just send the pain there for some reason. It would be hard to know without MRIs or CAT scans.

If your father's too weak to go to the doctor, it's positively INHUMANE that they won't prescribe something without seeing him! That's really infuriating. You may not want to hear this and HE may not want to, either, but I think hospice is your best bet. As I told my mother, hospice doesn't mean you're on the verge of death - it just means you refuse to get any chemo treatments. Hospice will prescribe any and all drugs that keep you comfortable, as their aim is to give you the best quality and most pain-free existence until the end. I am a great believer in hospice, as they also offer counseling and arrange for a hospital bed, oxygen, clergy, anything you need to be delivered to you. If you need meds for nausea, pain, anything - they usually find a way to get it for you. The wishes of the terminally ill and the wishes of their families should be listened to, and doctors just don't get it sometimes.

I know hospice is a scary word and I had trouble getting my mother to accept it, but they even offer home care attendants to come in for a few hours a day and I thought they were marvelously compassionate and caring. My mother didn't want to accept it, but I just told her that if she wasn't having chemo and she was too weak to keep going to the oncologist and being forced to sit in a waiting room for hours, then hospice was the only way to get medical treatment and prescriptions. I guess the hospice care all depends on your area and not all of them are good, but my experience was wonderful -- well, as wonderful as it can be under these circumstances.

As for the pain meds, I really don't know of any that don't make you sleepy. He may need to sleep a lot because of the cancer, also - my mother was very fatigued even without the morphine and hydrocodone she took, but she still sometimes felt awake and insomniac in the middle of the night, which the hospice people told me is a classic sign of late-stage cancer. Hospice explained so many things that the docs just didn't have time for. Morphine makes you sleepy but it takes away the pain, and if the pain gets too bad, that's all that matters at that point. I'm sure they would prescribe Megace, too, if you wished it.

I wish you the best of luck and my heart goes out to you and your family at this difficult time. Try giving your father some Prilosec OTC in the morning so he doesn't feel heartburn or queasiness and then maybe try to give him a small amount of yogurt if you can - just small portions of something every now and then is probably all he can tolerate. Other people on this board have recommended medicinal marijuana for increasing appetite. If his stomach is swollen he probably doesn't have much room for food and it makes him uncomfortable.

Again, all the best of luck and much love going your way,
Joyce

Re: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

Thank you both for the suggestions.  I was hoping it was just him being in the chair too much.  I want it to be anything but the cancer progressing.  I am always hoping that I can make some modifcation that somehow he will feel just a little bit better.  I don't even wish for him to get better anymore, I just wish he would stop getting worse.  This is a ruthless cruel disease that daily tortures my Dad and there is really nothing I can do about it. 

I don't want to sound ungrateful for the information because I consider this website and people like you who offer information and support to be a resouce for me and my family, so again thank you for taking the time to reply.

God bless.

Re: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

I totally understand that you're holding onto hope right now, and you could be totally right - he could be getting pain from not moving around enough or sitting in the chair. Don't let us get you down! No one knows the answers, we're just fumbling in the dark. No need to apologize - I know the feeling of helplessness and how you desperately want to help your dad. Your love for him is admirable. Keep up the fight and we'll be pulling for you.
-Joyce

Re: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

Hi Father's Daughter-wish I knew your name.....anyway, diseases of the gall bladder with any inflammation have symptons of shoulder blade pain...it is referred pain, so he may have growth of his tumors that is causeing the pain and radiation may help to shink the tumors a little and decrease the pain.  But, having said that, he has to be willing to go to a doctor to get some help.  He can go to the hospital by ambulance if he doesn't feel well enough to ride in the car.  Hope this helps some.   I am sorry for all your troubles and hope your Dad can get some relief soon.  Patrice

Re: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

Hi guys I have pain due to my tumor and the only thing that has worked for me is 80 mg of oxycontin twice a day and 10 mg methadone three times a day. For the most part the pain meds actually make me very talkative and hyper. The doctor can't believe that I am not comotose from all the pain meds I take but I finally have some relief...And my pain was in the front and the back....and if it does make you sleepy, I don't know but I'd rather be sleepy than in the pain that I feel from CC.

Re: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

tpapi76,  If you don't mind me asking, How advanced is your CC and are you actively seeking any type of treatments chemo or radiation?  Would be nice tohere more about you.  I agree with the doctors you shoulf be atleast half way comotose with that medication.  Glad it's working though. Best to you!
God Bless,
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

Daughter- i have quality of life- i work full time, even overtime during tax season, and go on weekend getaways, family get togethers- life is better than ever- with radiation- check out www.Y90support.org don't let Dad give up!

becky
blessed are those that are cracked,
for they let in the light!

Re: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

Hi Fathers Daughter,
I too have the shoulder pain and sometimes in the back.I was told it is referred pain from the tumor.I take oxycondon and it too make me hyper and talkative.So far I only take a dose in the morining and another at night.I don't think I could handle it every four to six hours.I would climb the walls..I find taking hot soaks to help and have some one to  rub my back and shoulders when needed ..I went for a massage but that was a bit too much and I suffered from it..I think they were too hard on me.Any way  tell  your father to hand in and keep fighting...

Lissa Spears

provervbs 3: 5 & 6

Re: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

I would ask the doctor if he would give you a Megace sample for your Dad, they gave my Mom samples.

Patty

12 (edited by JeffG Tue, 16 Sep 2008 19:21:18)

Re: Pain in the right side by the lower shoulder blade? Is this related?

Hi All, Just a friendly reminder, above your name on the left , in the highlighted green bar is the date of actual/original post from other members.  Sometimes we don't start new links and keep on answering a post that is,  very old.  In this case it started in august , 2007 over a year ago.  Feel free to open new topic and start a new thread, even if similair topic or others may think your still replying to an old message, and not reply to your  new post either.   
Cheerios,
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)