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Tingling hands/peripheral neuropathy?


New member
Hi everyone,

My name is Ryan and I am 28 and recently finished 5.5 cycles of ABVD for Hodgkin's disease. I am now 3 months out of chemotherapy and have fortunately not had any major problems up to this point. I had some minor issues during chemo (a chest pain that spontaneously resolved after chemo and some leg swelling that is now improving), but lately I have been feeling pretty much back to normal.

However, last night, I noticed that as I went to sleep, my hands were tingling a bit. It didn't prevent me from falling to sleep, but it was definitely noticeable. Today, the tingling is coming and going a bit, but for the most part, it is there. I haven't had any tingling in my feet (at least up to this point).

The main reason this is worrying me is because prior to my diagnosis, I had a lot of generalized itching and swollen hands and feet that were very itchy, tingly, and sometimes burning. I saw a total of 7 dermatologists as well as a PCP and a rheumatologist over the course of 2 years for my skin symptoms, but none ever could definitively diagnose what my skin problem was. I was prescribed container after container of potent topical steroids, antifungals, antibiotics, antibiotic washes, and underwent multiple skin biopsies on my back and feet. The attempts to treat my skin itching and swollen hands and feet went as far being prescribed cyclosporine (an immunosuppressive drug used often in kidney transplant pts to prevent organ rejection) by one dermatologist.

It turned out that the only thing that could cure my itching was ABVD. One day I happened to notice that the left side of my neck appeared slightly larger than the right. I then felt a swollen tissue with my hand there, became worried but still not too worried, but of course the visit to my PCP then led to a pretty terrifying chain of events that culminated in me reading my own CT chest/abdomen scan and finding out that I had a 12 cm mediastinal mass "suspicious for malignancy."

That was the worst part of my experience having cancer so far. I then had a lymph node biopsy, was diagnosed with mixed cellularity HL stage IIA, and then underwent ABVD, no rads, for 5.5 cycles. That's pretty much my story with cancer.

Obviously after that long and frustrating experience I am worried that my skin problems are coming back and that I may be relapsing. Does anyone have any advice? Has anyone had similar tingling/burning/paresthesias in their hands and/or feet this long out of finishing chemo? I am seeing my oncologist in about a week and a half and of course will discuss this with him. My PET/CT scans have been good so far, and the next one is coming up in February. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ryan Rentz
28 years old
dx'd March 2009 Stage IIA NSHL, bulky mediastinal mass
ABVD 5.5 cycles April-Sep. 2009
Neulasta treatment x2
PET/CT May 2009: NED, "rapid response"
PET/CT Oct 2009: NED