Medical Questions > Cancer > Leukemia Forum

Leukemia Bone Pain: what does it feel like?

So, I am being part paranoid and part detective. Yesterday I finally went in to the doctor after dealing with strange bruises on my legs for a few weeks. I have so many that my family was concerned and made me go to the dr (of different sizes as well. Some as small as a pencil eraser, or smaller, and some huge -- as big as a baseball).
During the course of my exam the doctor asked a bunch of questions that I never would have thought to ask, like if my skin is itchy or if I have nightsweats, etc (answer to both: yes). Another topic she touched on was pain, and although I have several different types of pain, they were nothing I wouldn't shrug off: headaches, abdominal pain/naseau (hard to really describe that one... its kind of both), and achiness.
They drew blood and now I'm waiting to hear back from the doctor about the results.

At one point the dr. asked if I had any family history of blood cancers, or bone cancers, at which I replied no. Of course she needed to ask him but it's kinda got me thinking/scared. Could my bone pain be due to leukemia?

Which is why I'm here. Could someone describe the bone pain they've had, or tell me if mine sounds like anything in particular?

My bone pain is not long lasting. It's usually an achiness that comes up for a minute or so, but then fades away. Sometimes it's in my joints: hips, knees, shoulders, wrists. But other times it's in my extremities, like forearms and legs. Sometimes its very sharp but then fades away within seconds.

My headaches vary too, and sometimes I can tell they truly are headaches. Other times, when they are at the back of my head, they almost feel like they are in my skull/neck. It’s so hard to tell.

I know there could be many causes for my symptoms, but I just wanted to do some of my own detective work until my results are back tomorrow. Some other symptoms I have:
-many bruises, mostly on legs but also show up on arms and other parts of my body
-fatigue
-headaches
-heavy periods
-blood in stool (sometimes. Not every time)
-itchy (my husband has said before that I’m the itchiest person he’s ever met)
-bone pain
-nausea/abdominal pain (hard to describe. It’s like the nausea is painful…)
-night sweats (which I always attributed to bad circulation of air in our bedroom)
-strange appetite. Some days I’m hungry but other days I don’t want anything to do with food, or I feel full without having eaten.
-absentmindedness. I feel really loopy some days, like I am unable to focus or I forget things easily.
-no swollen lymph nodes, but they FEEL swollen. This may sound weird but I just feel sick, and the back of my neck feels swollen, but I didn’t get any clue from the Dr. that my l. nodes were actually swollen.
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First Helper mballa
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replied November 20th, 2012
Hi, I just read your post & I swear you just described ME!! Will you share with me what you found out? I would like to know because I am planning on going to a doctor as well. The last time I went (which was probably about 2 years ago) the doctor looked at me like I had 2 heads. I'm going to a different doctor this time because honestly I feel like there is something wrong. Thanks in advance for your help.
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replied February 9th, 2013
hi i am having similar symptoms, please reply and tell us how the blood test went
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replied February 19th, 2013
I have many of the same symptoms, and have been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. The bone pain is the worst symptom, and worsens towards the end of the day when I'm tired.
I've cleaned up my diet, although I already ate carefully (organic foods, lots of fresh fruit and veggies); I eat iron-containing foods and am managing my anemia without pharmaceutical iron supplements (switched to cast iron cookware, and take Spatone iron supplements, available in liquid pouches from health stores ... NO nasty iron supplement side effects from this stuff!). After a long period of exhaustion, I'm truly feeling much better. So far, my doctors have chosen no treatment (I'm ok with that).
Because of the depression I experienced with the anemia, I take three capsules of St. John's Wort and two melatonin tabs every night (I fiddled with the doses until I found a combination that works for me). I am sleeping much better, and my memory has improved remarkably. Smile My sleep goes through all the normal cycles, and I wake up feeling refreshed. I take it about 9 hours before I want to get up.
Overall, I'm feeling better now than I have for the last couple of years. I was first diagnosed with a pre-leukemia blood disorder (monoclonal b-cell lymphocytosis) about two years ago, and am actually relieved now that the CLL has been diagnosed. It's not a death sentence, and I'm overall feeling very good, other than this BONE PAIN!
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replied February 19th, 2013
CLL bone pain
I have many of the same symptoms, and have been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. The bone pain is the worst symptom, and worsens towards the end of the day when I'm tired.
I've cleaned up my diet, although I already ate carefully (organic foods, lots of fresh fruit and veggies); I eat iron-containing foods and am managing my anemia without pharmaceutical iron supplements (switched to cast iron cookware, and take Spatone iron supplements, available in liquid pouches from health stores ... NO nasty iron supplement side effects from this stuff!). After a long period of exhaustion, I'm truly feeling much better. So far, my doctors have chosen no treatment (I'm ok with that).
Because of the depression I experienced with the anemia, I take three capsules of St. John's Wort and two melatonin tabs every night (I fiddled with the doses until I found a combination that works for me). I am sleeping much better, and my memory has improved remarkably. Smile My sleep goes through all the normal cycles, and I wake up feeling refreshed. I take it about 9 hours before I want to get up.
Overall, I'm feeling better now than I have for the last couple of years. I was first diagnosed with a pre-leukemia blood disorder (monoclonal b-cell lymphocytosis) about two years ago, and am actually relieved now that the CLL has been diagnosed. It's not a death sentence, and I'm overall feeling very good, other than this BONE PAIN!
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replied April 13th, 2018
Hi, I have all the symptoms and I just want to fine out how's your treatment, please let me know thanks you
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replied July 23rd, 2018
Experienced User
Bone pain can occur in leukemia patients when the bone marrow expands from the accumulation of abnormal white blood cells and may manifest as a sharp pain or a dull pain, depending on the location.

The long bones of the legs and arms are the most common location to experience this pain. Bone pain is commonly one of the presenting features of acute leukemia in childhood. Bone and joint pain have been reported to occur in 21-59% of children with acute leukemia.
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