My cancer saga started when I was diagnosed at 38 with Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have a twisted sense of humor and have tried to continue with laughter and optimism on my journey...

Cold = Pain = Help

Episode CVII - And I’ll find strength in pain


The weather is not my friend. By all accounts it is not even that cold. I do not live up north getting bombarded with snow. I am not dealing with snow at all, other than a dusting or two. Yet, my body feels like it has been hammered with aches, ailments, and aggravation. Did I mention, my body is not my friend!

Me not liking the cold!

The constant weather fluctuations causes aches and pains, while the cold air feels like stabbing ice picks on my skin. Even my hair follicles hurt... how is that possible?

Sure I just went through a similar - holy crap, this is bad - moment less than a month ago due to the weather. So, again I am resigned to pain and more pain. It is during these times that I resort to mild swearing and fist shaking!

I feel like I just live in continual misery and never know how bad my days are going to be. My pain gauge ranges from this sucks some to shoot me now. Seriously, when it gets bad I wonder if it was worth living. Cancer treatment has caused me so many additional life changing non-curable ailments that have negatively affected my quality of life.

Everything in my daily life is now a struggle... thank you chemo... thank you surgery... thank you radiation...

Cold really is literally a pain!

So, fibromyalgia is constantly kicking my butt and the cold really hurts. It is not like cancer was not bad enough. I mean I fought hard to live and then I end up with multiple live altering illnesses. Not sure about the irony in that!

You may be wondering how in the tarnation did I get fibromyalgia from cancer treatment? Physical trauma, infections, and toxins are known to be triggers in causing peripheral neuropathy (which the oncologists will admit can happen), but treatment can cause other nervous system problems (chemo-induced fibromyalgia).

Throughout my treatment basically any weird side effect was put under the "it could happen" comment. I think they really do not know as much as they think they do and little research is going into the effects of treatments.

Imagine the nervous system works like a clock, perfectly in balance. To keep the time correct the clock has to work properly. Now imagine that the clock gets slightly off-set, it is not perfectly balanced. The time will not be wrong. It will work but not correctly. All of the toxins (as chemotherapy is a toxin) off-set my clock, so to speak.

With a messed up clock, the nervous system is sending pain signals incorrectly and often consistently. So my pain ranges from burning, to the pins and needles, to stabbing sensations, to numbness – making living sometime very challenging. I want my clock to be reset!!!!

While I am grateful to be alive, I really do wish that my quality of life was better. Since I am stuck with what I have, I am having to learn to cope. Instead of blaring curse words and screaming about the injustice of it all... I do what any normal person wanting to help alleviate nervous system pain would do... I cover myself in a heating blanket and layer myself in warm clothing. I endure... I smile... I find the positives...

Chilly Willy understands!!!

Whine. Whine. Whine. I am whining. I am complaining. I am shocked that I am still whining eight months post treatment. The blanketed statement that "you should be back to normal" comments after six months or so from doctors were definitely not true. Maybe they meant a new normal full of fibromyalgia, arthritis, and lymphedema.

Seriously, I am in awe at how little I was told before treatment and how so many women (and men) on the internet complain of similar outcomes as mine. We need to unite - post treatment people with problems - and demand research and change and options for a better quality of life... yeah... email me...

Since I am hurting and whining I took myself back to the family doctor. Not the oncologist, because they do not see a need to treat this... and why would they... they only caused it. My family doctor really is trying to help and find solutions. He even found and new medicinal option. I would hug him if it did not hurt so much!!!

I cannot take the medication the neurologist prescribed, as it makes my hormone therapy ineffective. And the oncologist is all, stop taking that and get cancer again. So, I guess I am not taking that medicine. Now my family doctor found another option, something that is not as commonly used, but has been known to help with fibromyalgia. Bonus it will not affect my hormone therapy drug, so less chance of killing me. At this point I am ready to try just about anything.... seriously... drug me...

Let's try out some Savella.

The fibromyalgia medicines I am on work on different things.

  1. The nerve cells are firing off too many signals. Making me sensitive to stimuli that are normally not painful. Basically don't touch me! The Lyrica is supposed to help by decreasing the nerve signals, so I do not register pain all of the time.
  2. The nervous system changes can cause a greater sensitive to pain. So, Savella should work on my brain, changing the neurotransmitters and hopefully reducing the level of pain. 
While I have no idea if these drugs will help... I am ready to try.

In my head...

I cannot believe how many medications I am on. I did not take this many while I was in cancer treatment. Now, I am like a walking talking pharmaceutical experiment. And a costly one at that!

While I am trying to find an answer in a bottle, I am still trying to find relief outside of a pill. I have no specific studies to show why heat feels good, but it does. It is calming. It is like my body can relax under the warmth of my heating blanket and dull my constant pain. Aaahhh! I wish I could just walk around in my heating blanket. Wrapped up in a warm blanket of relief!

I feel that I spend most of my time complaining. Was I not just complaining that I disliked the summer because it caused swelling and other issues? I kept thinking winter will be better. Ha! Now I am in winter complaining because it is causing severe pain. Obviously, I do not like either season at this point. Now I have a dilemma....

I am begging my husband to move. To move somewhere with year round mildly warm weather... that does not rain, snow, sleet, hail... that has a small self-cleaning house...

Don't burst my imaginary perfect existence... a girl has to have dreams.

“Complaining does not work as a strategy. 
We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won't make us happier.” 
- Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Episode Reference: The Cave, Mumford & Sons song

(a song that meshes some of my favorite things
literature, Italy, & deep meanings
Homer's Odyssey, St Francis of Assisi, Plato's Cave)

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About happihare

Amy Brock is a cancer fighter and survivor. Diagnosed with Infiltrating Breast Cancer at 38 she has gone through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and other procedures since 2013. Post treatment she has been diagnosed with lymphedema, chemo-induced neuropathy and bone degeneration in her back, as well as other issues including dysphagia, bilateral hearing loss, and arthritis. From being completely healthy, to having a variety of issues, Amy began blogging about her experiences as a way to help others. Read more about finding humor in the craziness of cancer at her blog Amy is the mother of two children and has worked for various non-profit agencies. In addition, she is a fine artist creating works in multiple mediums which can be seen at


  1. Once again, you cracked me up with your "in my head" section. Oh how I can relate to being cold all the time! Did you know I sleep with my electric blanket on year round? My coldness comes from not having a thyroid gland and poor circulation but I can understand your need for a warmer environment! I hope the new meds do the trick. I'm going to see my onco on Tuesday and see what he has to say about my choice not to take the cancer meds...dragging hubby with me for backup. Keep hanging in there and know I think of you often. Blessings to you my friend!