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Thread: Sharp pain in left side " can it be the spleen?

  1. #1
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    Sharp pain in left side " can it be the spleen?

    Hi all,

    I'm having a few days of vacation away from my home state until Monday, so I'm posting this question in order to ease my mind of worry and uncertainty until then.

    This is the second or third day in a row that I'm having a sharp pain in my left side.
    Here's the exact location: move the finger from the belly button laterally to the left.
    The painful area is located in the mid of the side of the body above the hip bone and the thigh side's center, and in the same height from the floor as the navel. It's about 4 inch below the rib cage and it's located about 2-3 inches deep. Is this is where the spleen is? If yes, is it common to have spleen problems almost three months after the end of chemo? If not, what else can it be? Any ideas? I'm sure it didn't come from over stuffing myself with turkey and everything else yesterday. I was careful¦
    I wonder if I call the doc-on-call over the weekend whether he can have any answer over the phone without seeing me.
    Please help me to finish my vacation with better peace of mind.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi Vincera

    This pain is unlikely to be Lymphoma and I would not worry on this score. I would, if it persists, take your concerns to the doctor if I were you. It could be a number of things, some of which can be life threatining or it could be nothing to cause concern. A doctors visit is very much in order in my opinion.

    Good luck and let us know how you go.
    Age 57
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011
    NED on the 2/01/2013
    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  3. #3
    Newbie Top User joepet's Avatar
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    Having had an enlarged spleen, I don't think that it would cause pain. And if your spleen went down that far, it would be incredibly huge, and if you've had scans recently, it is unlikely to have gotten so huge without somebody noticing something already.

    But obviously, if the pain persists, consult with a doctor.
    My Story: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=11396
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 1AE (localized in colon)
    Began six cycles of R chop 21 3rd Dec 2008
    Finished R chop 21 Apr 2009
    Complete remission as of May 2009
    Confirmed April 2010

  4. #4
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    Thank you, ChemoMan and Joe.
    From Joe's post and from what I see in anatomy diagrams and spleen physical exam descriptions and pics, the area of my pain is way down and sideways to where an enlarged spleen would be. It looks more like the area of the large intestine. My latest CT-PET scan was done about five weeks ago. As Joe is saying, if nothing was found then, then it's unlikely to be an enlarged spleen. Obviously, I'll call the doc soon if the pain persists. I guess I have to live with the unknown for just awhile.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  5. #5
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    Hi,

    I know it sounds weird, but if you are dehydrated it can cause pain in your intestines. Are you drinking enough water? Anyconstipation recently? This can also cause sharp pains in this region.

    Just so you know, if you are concerned about the spleen, you will usually feel some sort of pain just under the ribs on the left, so yeah, it is probably your intestines.

    Hope you feel better soon.
    Diagnosed Hodgkins lymphoma, nodular sclerosis, grade 2. Stage 2.
    Completed chemo and I am now clear!
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=55268

  6. #6
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    Wow Aisha, this was a fresh thought!
    I was waiting for your response, and I'm thanking you for it.
    I just came in from the pool where I realized that my skin is dry. It hadn't been like this until I landed here where I am now. I also exercise here more than I used to before and maybe I haven't been drinking enough.
    Also thank you for reaffirming for me the spleen location.
    Anyway, I'll keep drinking and watching.
    I hope you're feeling good, not only young.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  7. #7
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    Latest update:
    Called my onc team and described everything over the phone. Doc said that it isn't lymphoma nor spleen related.
    I understand this is also based on my recent PET/CT scan.
    Will be seeing my PCP in two days.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  8. #8
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    All tests are negative. Same is the condition of the patient

    Hi all.

    Onc. doc ruled out any onc issue.
    Went to PCP.
    Physical exam - nada. Blood and urine - zilch. CT Scan - as healthy as Rambo (I'm talking about his body only...)
    The patient - feels s*&^. Pain is even worse. PCP's suggested strategy : sit and wait and talk to him every day. Either new symptoms come up or pain will go away. Who says medical science is advanced?
    Any suggestions?
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  9. #9
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    This is an important update because this may also happen to other chemo patients or grads.

    My onc said that the pain may indicate the onset of shingles, since my immune system can be still compromised despite the normal blood counts.
    Getting anti-viral med. Taking it one step at a time.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  10. #10
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    Updating you for the same reason mentioned before - you're all candidates for getting it, if you had chickenpox when you were young.
    After 15 days of pain it has become more likely that I have shingles, especially that I developed a band of rash and itching on the skin above the pain area which also travels laterally. I'm on a high dose of gabapentin which is supposed to address directly the affected nerves.
    We're all disposed to have it because our immune system had been compromised and we may have some stress. If you can, try to reduce your stress level as much as you can because it may invoke shingles .
    SingleDad - be on guard; you're at the age group which is most likely to get it.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  11. #11
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    Still shingles haven't erupted yet after 19 days of sharp pain.
    Since the pain is sharp and burning and the area also itches
    from time to time, the diagnosis is "maybe shingles".
    I'm resorting to "alternative medicine" which helped me in the past.

    1. Started yesterday to drink tea made of boxwood leaves. It's supposed to be an anti-viral agent. It helped me in the past. Maybe I have some relief today.

    2. Read that acupuncture can help shingles. Called a Chinese acupuncturist that had helped me in the past with a damaged nerve disease " Bells' Palsy. This was a miraculous cure. Standard medicine could do nothing about it other than "sit and wait".
    Since shingles affects the nerves I assumed that acupuncture can help here too. She said that she has cured lots of shingles cases.
    Made an appointment. Will update.
    Again, please note: all of us ex-chemo patients who had chickenpox are disposed to get shingles. You can lower your risk by preventing stress.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  12. #12
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    Alright boyz and gals, long time no cee. Reason being is that this post chemo whatever it is condition consumed all of me and sometimes I was ready to trade the days of chemo with this s^%$ because of the pain and the discomfort. Not to mention that there's no clear cut diagnosis.

    Most likely it's Post Herpetic Neuralgia which is a complication of shingles, but where the hell are the shingles? I never got them.

    Anyway, the reason I'm writing is not to bitch and moan about my suffering, but to encourage you all to be proactive because the docs are limited.

    So number one, I tried three acupuncture parishioners and the third one seems to help.
    Number two, I heard about a med that they used 20 years ago but they stopped using, most likely because it's too cheap. You got it right. You can get it over the counter
    and the drug companies don't push it any more so the docs have forgotten about it.

    I'm talking about Tagamet. The difference between Cemitidine, Tagamet's active ingredient, and the modern drugs is that it is supposed to cure the disease, not only to deal with the pain , as all the expensive nerve- specific drugs do.

    Anyway, the good news is that I'm no longer on the floor doubled up and suffering from level 9-10 pain. The bad news is that I'm probably recovering slowly. The mostly affected part now is the skin, but there's almost no deep pain any more.
    Another suggestion to all you chemo graduates : talk to your doc about getting a shingles vaccine shot. You're all candidates to get it as mentioned in the above posts.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

  13. #13
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi Vincera

    hello again ....nice to see you posting! Terrible news about your pain but at least you seem to have got on top of it. Re the shingles that seems strange considering you don't have blisters?. By the way you can't get a shingles shot. Shingles usually happens to people who have had chicken pox...the pesky virus hides in the Central nervous system for years and the when you are down and your immune system is weakened it resurfaces as Shingles. It hurts like hell . Perhaps the anti virals you got when this started have prevented the blisters from developing but not enough to stop the nerve irritation. I'm glad you found some relief in the Tagamet but it is not an analgesic it is used in relieving symptoms of Stomach ulcers ! maybe you should mention to your doc that you had pain relief from taking it, it may give them a clue to what is going on.

    Good luck Vincera I hope you get on top of this and recover soon.
    Age 57
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011
    NED on the 2/01/2013
    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  14. #14
    Newbie Top User joepet's Avatar
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    Vincera hasn't posted in this topic since January.
    My Story: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=11396
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 1AE (localized in colon)
    Began six cycles of R chop 21 3rd Dec 2008
    Finished R chop 21 Apr 2009
    Complete remission as of May 2009
    Confirmed April 2010

  15. #15
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi joepet



    Your right of course....silly me

    damn chemobrain
    Age 57
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011
    NED on the 2/01/2013
    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  16. #16
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    OK, the good news - it's gone, almost a month now.
    Tadah!
    I feel like a winner. I did better than the docs!
    There has never been an eruption of shingles, and maybe it was an early sign of my CNS lymphoma (see the other thread.)
    I attribute the cure and the recovery (not just symptomatic pain treatment) to accu and Cimetidine.
    Update on the CNS lymph coming soon.
    Chemoman - what happened to that post asking me about the spleen? I didn't have a chance to read it.
    61 y.o M, Diffuse large B cell NHL, stage 3. Lower back. Diagnosed Mid May 09. Completed 6 R-CHOP treatments on 9/8/09. In Remission: 10/19/09. CNS lymphoma (spine only) March 2010
    In treatment ever since.

 
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