Pain Management

Feet, hands, back, arms. Got pain? Post surgery; post treatment. The pain seems like it will never go away, but it usually does at least lessen. One-third of cancer patients continue to experience long-term pain after cancer treatment. The degree of pain can vary from mild to severe, and may last months to years.

Complimentary treatment can help ease the pain. Things like hypnosis, reiki, or massage can help — although it may be best to have lymphatic massage instead of a deep tissue one. Since cancer, I’ve stopped getting acupressure, but have found relief with acupuncture. Yoga can help, too, but again, be careful. If it’s too much for your lymphatic system, it’s not in your best interest. Soon after completion of treatment, a friend and I set out in our head scarves for our first and only yoga class. I sat through most the class as it was beyond my endurance level at the time. That night, my friend’s  arm puffed up due to her stressing her lymph system during the “modified” yoga class. Just as when you go to the doctor, you must be your own advocate with complimentary treatments. Just because everyone else can do it, or is willing to listen to the teacher and not their own body, doesn’t mean your body is ready or willing to do certain things anymore. Pay attention.

I would get down with the pain because it never seemed to lift. I’d have treatment, then surgery—another treatment—another surgery . . . this went on for quite a while. As soon as I felt I was ready to get back into life, pain would set in—or another treatment, or surgery.

Be patient. Be loving to yourself. Be hopeful. I was one of those who a year out looked back and said, “I did all that for this level of living? No!” —And had what could be considered moments of regret, and depression—fear for the unknown lifestyle I had before me. I’ve learned not to compare with what was, or the person next to me at the gym. I am a miracle just by waking up each day. (The truth is, we all are – with or without cancer!) So, if you wouldn’t give your best friend grief about how far they’ve come, lighten up. Get off your own case. Move forward. Here’s a link re: chronic pain after cancer treatment.





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