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Extravasation damage - how can I help manage the pain.

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I have damage to my right hand after Docetaxel leaked from my vein during my 4th Chemo session in Nov/Dec last year. After the 5th, I had a far worse reaction with a very red and swollen hand. They used a different drug for my 6th in my other hand.

The lasting damage is obvious and it is life altering for me currently. The pain from my hand that radiates up my arm is extreme, more so later in the day after I have used my arm. It's in my dominant side too. I returned to work 2 weeks ago so the usage of my hand has increased, making this all much worse.

Any tips of what I can do to help myself? I take tramadol for an existing nerve condition on my left arm which only helps a little when it's bad (Such bad luck that both now hurt) and I am using CBD oil balm in the evening. The pain is so severe, it keeps me awake for much of the night most days, until I am so exhausted I fall asleep.

Any advice you have would be so appreciated.


Carole F - Macmillan

Hello Jane

Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to our online community. I see from your profile that you’ve joined a couple of groups. I hope you’ll find them a good source of support.

I’m so sorry to hear about the side effects you’ve had from chemotherapy. It can’t have been an easy few months for you. It’s good to hear that you’ve returned to work, but not so good to hear that this is making your symptoms worse.

We would recommend getting in touch with your GP to have your pain assessed. This is because different types of painkillers can be prescribed for different types of pain. Although tramadol is a strong painkiller, your pain might respond better to another type of painkiller. Unfortunately, it can be trial and error, trying to get pain under control. It might be worth downloading our pain diary and having a look at our information on types of pain and how to talk about them before having a chat with your GP.

Different healthcare professionals can help to manage pain. Your GP should be able to refer you to a pain clinic, or for physiotherapy, if they think it would help. Or, if you’re still under a team in the hospital, you might prefer to give them a call.

I hope this information is helpful. If it would help to talk things through with one of the nurses, please give us a call. We’re here 7 days a week, from 8am till 8pm. If you have any work related questions, you can contact our work support team on the same number.

Best wishes

Carole (Macmillan Information Nurse Specialist)