Pain Management for Cancer
I didnt have any pain when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2014 if I didnt find a lump I would have been none the wiser but when I started treatment I did start to experience pain.
One of the chemotherapies I was on gave me chronic back pain. It got so bad one night I was screaming in agony and ended up being admitted to hospital. It turned out one of my medication was causing me the pain and once they reduced the dose the pain was relieved a little but from then on I was prescribed Oramorph. When chemotherapy ended I was still in pain on a daily basis and when I was diagnosed with advanced cancer that was when the pain needed more management for me to cope on a daily basis.
My pain relief medications were increased and new drugs were introduced but I wanted to try other things as these drugs were making me very sleepy or made me feel sick so I started looking into other options for pain relief and these are a few that I tried.
I have been given pain medication from my oncology team and GP but I have recently had a pain management session at my local hospice. I was a little nervous about going to a hospice but now they are not all about end of life but also look at helping people with living with a terminal diagnosis and one thing St Peters who is in Bristol offer is pain management.
We discussed different options and the nurse wrote to my GP to get them to prescribe a nerve medication which I have just started. I was also due a medication review from my GP practice so I met with the pharmacist and we went through all the medications I am on and some of them were increased in dosage it has only just happened so I dont know if this will help yet but fingers crossed.
One of my symptoms is achy bones and joints it is very uncomfortable. I didnt really know that your body needed magnesium the only thing I knew about magnesium was from science class at school when they use to set fire to it and it would glow. Once I read that if your body needs magnesium for muscle and nerve function I decided to try magnesium oil.
The main reason I wanted to try it was because I had read it helped with twitchy legs. I have nerve damage so not only do I get pain the nerve go a big haywire and I get restless leg syndrome. It is worse at night and when I am on flights so I also have a travel size spray that I take on planes. I really do think it helps.
My mum uses it she has arthritis and she notices a difference when she does we both just need to remember to use it daily rather than just when we are experiencing pain.
I have also been a big believer in complimentary therapies. In the past I had the best acupuncturist who used to visit my house unfortatunely he moved away and I have not found anyone as good but I am still looking.
I first tried acupuncture to help with depression and my fear of flying but he started targeting areas when I had pain and it was brilliant I would highly recommend.
I have also tried reiki and reflexology. I absolutely love reflexology anything to do with someone massaging my feet I am going to enjoy but it also really does work. I was so constipated and my reflexologist said she could feel I was constipated and I hadn’t even told her she massaged a few pressure points and within a couple of hours I had movement I was so impressed.
Massages help with pain. I often have a massage when I am travelling, even before I had pain on a daily basis I enjoyed a good massage. Now I try and have them on a regular basis.
Now complimentary therapies can be expensive so if you have cancer you should try reaching out to your local cancer centre to see if they offer it for free or a reduced rate. I have found a local therapist who offers 25% off for people going through cancer treatment which I think is lovely of her.
Visit a spa that specialist in Cancer Treatment one of my favourite is The Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall.
There seems to be an App for everything nowadays but did you know there are apps to help you with pain management. I didnt until I did some more research. At first I thought how can a app help me get rid of my pain. I have been given a years free membership of this app to see if it helps with pain management for my conditions.
I have just started using a Pathways pain management app I can not report if it works yet as it says it will take a few months before I notice a difference. This app is designed to help pain management for a number of diagnoses such as :
* Back pain
• Headaches and migraines
• Neck Pain
• Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
• Shoulder Pain
• Joint Pains
• Digestive Issues
The app was easy to use and navigate. I liked the meditation part of the app as this will also help me with anxiety as I enjoy meditating and relaxation. I still have a few more of the features to try out but so far so good. You can find the app on App Store and Google Play
I have been a bit sceptical about trying CBT when I was diagnosed with cancer everyone was telling me to get on the cannabis oil and it will cure me. I dont believe this is true but I have started using it for pain management.
Mainly I wanted me mum to use it to help with her pain as she wont get any prescribed medication but she would only take it if I did and we have been on it a couple of weeks and I actually have noticed a difference. Not so much as in I am now pain free but I dont creak as much and when I stand from sitting for some time I find it easier and I am not moaning and groaning as much.
We tried a non flavoured one but my mum wouldn’t take it because she didnt like the taste so I got a peppermint one and because she doesnt notice the horrid taste she is taking it daily.
There are lots on the market now and I can only offer my personal experience on the one I have tried but I got 1000mg peppermint drops, they are pricy but if it helps then I will pay any price.
The content within this article should not be taken as advice, it is for information purposes only based on my own experiences. I am not authorised to give specific medical advice and recommends you always seek personal guidance from your GP or medical practitioner.