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The pain... Oh! The pain!

Lady Salt

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My husband was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 19 2006. It all started with a very strong shoulder pain and night sweats. An X-Ray showed a mass located in the apex of his upper right lung. Our family doctor sent him to a respirologist, who performed just about every test known to man on him: CT/PET scan, MRI, Ultrasound, lung biopsy, bone marrow biopsy, bone biopsy, bronchoscopy, lymph node biopsy, mediastinoscopy… they were the 2 most nerve wrecking weeks of our lives.

The diagnosis was Adenocarcinoma of the lung. At the beginning the prognosis didn't look too promising (the mass was 4 - 5 cm in diameter), however, when he initial scans / biopsies showed no mets and no compromise of lymph nodes, the prognosis all of a sudden started to look a lot better. The tumor was latched to a rib and was pressing on the main nerve nodes of the back (which was producing the pain), so surgery was not an option at the time.

The doctors decided on an extremely aggressive radiation/chemotherapy treatment (25 days of radiation while receiving both CisPlatin and VP16). It worked… the tumor shrunk to the size of a blueberry and the doctors were able to remove it along with the upper lobe of his right lung. The surgery was the 22nd of January of this year.

All the lymph nodes extracted during the surgery were clean (thank God!) and the first CT scan was NED.

The surgeon warned that during the surgery he had had to go through the nerve nodes that were closest to the tumor and that we should expect David to be in pain while the damaged nerves healed. The healing process could take anything from weeks to years. We also learned the name of his type of tumor: “Pancostal” (not sure what that means)

The last months have been spent dealing with the unbearable pain that was left after the surgery along with 8 more sessions of chemo (CisPlatin and Navelbine together every Wednesday).

Chemo is over now and last week he had the second CT scan. We will go this week to learn the results of the same (cross fingers!!!). The pain is still there, and doesn't seem to diminish one bit despite the fact that he is taking Oxycontin 20 mg (2 pills 3 times a day), along with Apo-Gabapentin 300mg also 3 times a day. His breakthrough pill is Oxy-Ir 10mg, and he is taking 1 to 2 pills almost every hour. On top of that, he is also taking Apo-Nortriptyline 30 mg before going to bed. And he is still in pain!!!

The pills give him constipation and the combination of so many drugs and the pain has just about absolutely destroyed his appetite. His weight tonight was 51.1 kg (he is 5 feet 8) and he is been steadily loosing more and more since he was diagnosed (at the time he was weighing his usual 78 – 80 kg). His skin looks pasty, so pale and sunken… I am so worried about him!

I was wondering if anyone has gone through the same thing... if there is hope to be had... if there is anything he can do to relieve the pain. It is not only his weight he is loosing... every pound he looses takes away his self-confidence, his spirit, his optimism.

We will see the pain specialist again next week, and hopefully he can suggest something... in the meantime we hope, and pray, and hope some more that one day the pain will be less, and less, until it goes away completely. Until then I will visit this place often, and I will try to give and take comfort here. A peaceful place where there is always hope to be shared thanks to all of you.

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Hi Lady Salt,

Sorry to hear about your husband's pain. We were pretty unimpressed with the pain control clinic -- more like a place to get a lot of drugs with no real help to stop the pain. Others will be stopping by that have dealt with a lot of pain and will be able to give you advice. You might want to look into Reiki treatments. They are at least relaxing.

Just wanted to say hello. I just read your other post and see that you are a "milkshake" believer too for weight gain! I do recognize his "look" from the picture -- my husband has the whole rocky raccoon dark eyes too. Your husband may be feeling weak and in pain, but I'm sure he is still fighting inside. Their poor bodies are just very tired and it takes its toll mentally. He'll be back in fighting form soon.

I hope he is taking stool softeners or a mild laxative to keep his constipation under control. Those pain pills are really bad in that way! :shock: Plenty of fluid goes a long way for his whole body.

Take care and high hopes for good scans,


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My Dear Lady Salt,

I can't help with the pain issues as my husband refuses to take anything for pain because of constipation. He does take Glycolax daily. It is a prescription and he puts the powder in his coffee or juice or milk or any liquid daily and that helps with keeping him regular. He had a very difficult time with constipation when he was undergoing treatment and that was the only thing that helped. I certainly hope and pray that your husband will find some measure of pain relief.

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Hi There Lady salt.

I had lung cancer in my left lung and had the lung removed in feb 2001. after the pnumonectomy the surgeon put me on 4 tramadol tablets dailey, and I have been taking them ever since. If I miss taking my pain killers in the morning after midday I am in real severe pain and go into a crumpled hunch back position due to the pain. I have seen a pain specialist and he said I could have an operation to put an electric pain relief pack wired up on my spine nerves,but as I take pain tablets to ease it I have decided to stay with the tablets and live with the slight pain, untill one day when I awake and the pain has gone.the good news is. I am still here on the earth, and I will suffer with the pain till it goes away.I was told this pain could last all my life?

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Sorry about all the pain,

perhaps ''Statex'' could help

I think a prescription is needed(5mg)

or stronger medication.

For constipation Senokot (already

mentioned) 2 at night with 2 Colace

morning and night and don't forget

the Prunes ot the juice.

Take care


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I am so sorry to hear about your struggle. I don't have much to add but the fentynol (sp.??) patch helped my mom. I hope you find something soon. It is so very difficult to watch as someone you love endures so much.

It doesn't sound like his body has had much time to heal. With the chemo it is very hard for the body to heal.

My prayers go out to you both,


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Geez, I can't believe I'm admitting to this :oops: but (no pun intended)...

I've always suffered from chronic constipation and any pain medications I take make it worse...I *DO* have a solution that's always worked for me, though:

Handful of dried apricots (Go Becky!!!) or prunes in the morning, LOTS of water (as opposed to my normal soda intake), and walking. Senakot and the such has never done anything for me, so I had to go the natural route.

No advice on the pain issue...wish I had something to offer there other than prayers, but you definately have those!

~Thinking of you and praying~

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Thank you all for your advice. I truly appreciate it as the pain seems to be escalating in intensity for some reason. David is taking 3 senokot and 3 coolace morning AND night. I still need to give him enemas more often than not to get him to have a bowel movement.

I will try all the tricks you are suggesting, anything that will help!

I wrote down the names of the medications and will ask the doctor. Our last call to let the doctor know about the increased level of pain caused an increase of the same medication he was taking before which brought up other issues I mention in another post.

Getting pretty desperate.

Thank you all again, you have no idea how much I appreciate this!

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