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Anyone with Rheumatoid arthritis and cancer?

NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 113 ✭✭✭

Hi everyone, I’m new here and just wondered if anybody has experience of being treated with immune suppressants for auto immune diseases such as my rheumatoid arthritis and then developing cancer? I had a malignant melanoma 16 years ago which was excised successfully but has now reappeared and have a leg full of the ‘blighters’ as we have christened them. They were misdiagnosed as phlebitis for about 9 months (long story) so I am now Stage 3.

Also, I am now having immunotherapy which while having a good effect on the melanomas seems to have upset my endocrine system and was completely exhausted after my first two infusions, now being given cortisol to counteract.

Best wishes


Best Answer

  • PoppypipPoppypip Posts: 2
    Accepted Answer

    @NanaBubbles hi there I'm new just signed in today and saw your post .

    I have rheumatoid arthritis and throughgetting this diagnosed it was found I had bowel cancer.

    Until today I've not spoken to anyone with the same problem . I just have a lot of tiredness and pain , my life which was full,work family etc came to a complete stop it's hard having two horrible things to cope with isn't it. Hope your having a good dayx


  • jacksjacks Posts: 4

    Hi @NanaBubbles

    It seems you haven’t had a response to your question. I’m sorry I can’t help you but just wanted to say that I hope things are going well for you. X

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,286 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Good morning Michele!

    I know we have had a few chats on other posts, your question missed my radar!

    It is great the immunotherapy having an effect on the melanoma, but I am sorry about the side effects you are experiencing. I don’t have any experience of your treatment, but I am sure there are others here who are also having immunotherapy, hopefully they will have some better insight and wisdom how to counteract the side effects.

    Chat soon,

    Lou x

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 113 ✭✭✭

    Hi PoppyPip

    Thanks for writing and welcome. I am so sorry to hear of both of your illnesses and wonder what treatments you have been offered? For my RA I have been on a succession of immune suppressants for many years but all I can have now are steroids ongoing,. As it happens, because of the immunotherapy, my adrenal glands are not working properly so I have been put on hydrocortisone tablets which, as a happy coincidence are helping the RA. I just wonder what can happen next as I am sure you do too!!

    You are right about the exhaustion which is at its worst after immunotherapy but the hydrocortisone tablets help thankfully. I had to give up work when I started the RA but now have grandchildren to look after in school holidays and my wonderful husband is having to do pretty much everything. Fortunately he is retired now but I can remember what a struggle it was trying to cope with family, trying to work and one set of parents in Cornwall and one in Yorkshire with husband in a job which meant he had to travel and work all hours!! Neither of us needed cancer as well!!🥺🤔

    Because I can’t use Ibuprofen any more, I have found that the Arnica ointment from Neal’s Yard rubbed on to painful joints does help. I also use heat (hot water bottle, wheat bag etc) or a medical flexible ice pack to ease pain and swelling. There are pain management courses I have been told about but I don’t have the energy to do that at the moment and doubt you have either. I have found that high dose Vitame C (eg Rosehip supplement) and Omega 3 fish oil tablets help too.

    I do hope that whatever treatment you are given will do the trick and help you to feel better at the same time.

    Sending a ‘virtual hug’ and very best wishes

    Michele x

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 113 ✭✭✭

    Thank you to Jacks and Sunshinedaff for your notes and good wishes. After a week of exhaustion I am a bit better this week - just as well as grandkids arrive this afternoon! I expect lots of us will find it especially tiring with children on school holidays particularly with iffy weather!

    I hope you are both doing ok and sending best wishes.

    Michele x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,286 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Michele,

    School holidays!! Yes, such a shame the weather has decided to change. Parents are coming too right? I hope you don't get exhausted again although being with them is lovely. My daughters are grown up, both studying and revising for various exams, so a different pressure here, not 'What are we doing today Mum?' Bless them, they are both working hard, and I have to remind them to take a break.

    I hope you have a lovely time with your grandchildren Michele, hopefully the sun will return!

    Take care,

    Lou x

  • NanaBubblesNanaBubbles Posts: 113 ✭✭✭

    Hi Lou

    No parents, regrettably! My daughter divorced last year and is working like a mad thing to pay her mortgage and all the expenses of one 8 and one 12 year old on her own. The kids are pretty good and know Nana is not well but I/we have always looked after them as you do and would sooo hate it if they didn’t come - although last week I don’t know how I would have coped!! My granddaughter loves to paint and bake with me while the 8 yr old grandson loves spending time with Grampy who organises trips out for them while I rest a bit if necessary. He is taking them to see some Helping Dogs puppies tomorrow nearby.

    We also have a 2 1/2 year old who lives in London with her parents who is hard work but, as they are further away, we don’t see her so much. She is the most determined child and wants to do everything for herself which can get quite difficult. She’s the one who calls me Nana Bubbles 🤗

    Good luck with the daughters’ revision and exams and hope all goes well for them. I remember our 3 going through the same and the stresses and strains of that and was glad to put it behind us. Then they went off to work and came back home twice each after uni. Life has a way of always throwing something at us, doesn’t it?! And even when they are self-sufficient they are still your kids and their problems become yours somehow. However, we now have parent-child reversal particularly from daughter !

    Hope you have a lovely Easter. Stay well and, as you say, let’s hope for some sunshine.

    Best wishes

    Michele x

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