Preventing pain is key. If you have pain medication, take it as prescribed by your doctor. If the instructions are to take the medication as necessary, take it before you experience severe pain. It’s easier to cut pain off at the pass than it is to de-escalate pain. Consistency with pain medication or other techniques really does help.
Tell your doctor if your pain gets worse, or if the medication doesn’t provide lasting pain relief. Also, tell your doctor about any side effects your experience from your medication. Keep a journal and write down concerns and questions you have before your doctor appointment. Bring the journal to all your appointments. If you’re concerned about becoming addicted to pain medication, bring this up with your doctor.
Some non-medication pain-relief suggestions could include: meditation, prayer, music or exercise. If you’re interested in massage or acupuncture, run it past your oncology team first. I was requested to avoid those modalities while in treatment. It may be suggested you wait until after treatment, then get a lymph drainage massage from this point forward versus any other type of massage. This holds true if you’ve had any lymph nodes removed.