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Feeling Alone & scared
At 52 years old in Jan 12th 2020 was last treatment of cancer not even being able too pronounce the cancer i got but, i went through process of chemo and radiation treatments. Now i sit here in a lot of pain because i refuse pills for pain, i used to be a real drug addict and it took me years to overcome that desire for hard drugs..... Now Alone in my pain even though my Wife really tries to lift my hopes inspire me to recover, i feel scared that doctors only opened up can of worms.... and the rest of my days here are numbered and being a caretaker of disabled wife to start with Whos going to help her when im gone... always sad disappointed i didnt use my 52 years of life to do more for good things now i feel like a life wasted... so sad...
6 Replies
ACH2015
1903 Posts
Rocken Buddha

I was not addicted to drugs in my life, but I shared your concern over addiction and becoming hooked on the morphine, hydro morphine, and the other pain killers I was given during hospital stays, and also needed for pain relief before, during and after multiple surgeries for my cancers.

I was fortunate to have a very good home care nurse that took the time to tell me how best to take the drugs to achieve comfort before the pain became unbearable and would require far more medication.

Have you discussed the previous addiction to drugs with your oncologist, family doctor or anyone else since your diagnosis? I know there are pain management doctors that deal with multiple types of drugs for multiple types of pain, and how to use the drugs as sparingly as possible. For example I was also on Gabapentin to assist with and reduce nerve pain vs morphine for other types of pain. I was able to reduce the amounts and duration of medications by learning how to take them before the pain hit a 10 out of 10. It takes practice and self awareness, but I encourage you to seek out a means to deal with both your pain and your concern over relapsing into addiction.

I used to drink and smoke, and quit both habits decades ago. No desire for either, and I understand your concerns and the struggles addiction can have. Give yourself a chance to move forward as best you can with some medical assistance and perhaps counseling as well. Many cancer centers have counseling for patients and their families as part of their services. Mental health is just as important as the physical health, and although it may be tough to get in person assistance, the virtual world of medicine is a growing industry with even greater need since covid 19 hit the world.

I also encourage you to contact the Canadian Cancer Society directly at 1 888 939 3333 to seek out resources that may be available to your needs as well.

Hope this helps you find some solutions.

ACH2015
Rocken Buddha‍ Welcome to the site. I'm sorry that you are in so much pain but inspired by your determination to not take medication because of your previous addiction. Perhaps you need to branch out to other methods for your pain management. Runner Girl‍ has used acupuncture to help with her pain and it has allowed her to run again. Meditation and exercise help others. In some cases doing something you enjoy can be a distraction from the pain.

I can't imagine what is like to care for your disabled wife and the concern you have for her. That in itself shows that you have not wasted your life. It depends your definition of success. Personally, I feel that if you get to a point in your life where you do good things like being kind and caring to others then it doesnt matter how much or little you did in between. If you were that kind of person all along then that's great. If you weren't but found your way there then you have made a difference. A change in yourself is a change for the people around you.

Please let me know how you are doing and if you have managed to find some relief from your pain.

cancertakesflight
Runner Girl
1409 Posts
Hello Rocken Buddha‍ ,

I'm sorry for your situation and hope that I can help you with pain management ideas.

As cancertakesflight‍ has mentioned I needed pain management help. I was having serious side effects from being on tamoxifen after breast cancer treatment. I did not get relief from conventional medications so tried acupuncture, after one 30 minute treatment my pain was GONE. During the lockdown when I could not get acupuncture it all came back, to the point that I was having great difficulty walking for the pain in my feet and running was an exercise in torture. As soon as they reopened I was able to get in to see my acupuncturist and again, 30 minutes later pain gone. A tune up every 3 weeks was all it took to maintain my pain free status.

I highly recommend you give it a shot.

Runner Girl
Buddy65
42 Posts
Hi,

You could also talk to your oncologist about trying methadone instead of the usual pain meds. I know someone who also has a past filled with drug addiction and she too was afraid to take any pain medication. Her oncologist recommended she try methadone. As you probably know it is something that is given to drug addicts to quit opioids.

This woman has ovarian cancer and was suffering so she agreed to try it. The change in her was dramatic. She no longer has pain and this has improved her quality of life in so many ways. Four years later and she is still with us and she continues to take methadone without any negative side effects. Maybe it will also work for you.
Trillium
829 Posts
Another option is to ask your doctor’s if there is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program close to where you live. I was referred by my family doctor when dealing with anxiety and depression many years ago. It changed my life. This was originally developed by Jon Kabat Zinn for people with chronic pain where nothing else worked. It was so successful that many hospitals now offer this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gevAxNb4u0&feature=emb_title

Cynthia Mac
2928 Posts
I'm a huge fan of Jon Kabat-Zinn, too. I've got several of his books and meditations in audio and hard copy formats.

Rocken Buddha‍ I hope you are able to find some relief, somehow. Living with chronic pain can wear a person down so badly.
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