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After Surgery Pain

Rogge
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2003

I had my esophagus yanked in Jul01 and the stomach sewn to connect to my throat. Now, nearly 3 years later my pains in my upper right chest seem to be getting worse. I am in actual pain about 85% of the time and extreme discomfort the rest of the time. Nothing seems to relieve it for long. It wakes me up 6-7 times a nite but I am always exhausted and sometimes on the weekends sleep most of the day. The doctors have blood tested me, CTd me, EKGd me, stress-tested me, and said they can find nothing wrong with me. So that part is great news to me, but there must be something causing my pain. Also, it will sometimes migrate around to my back, or down into my stomach area. I used to be a runner but now can't get past a 3k run. I still keep trying my exercises because I have found that I will have pain regardless of exercise or not so might as well try to stay in shape.

Now, this next comment sounds harsher in print than meant, and is not intended as a knock on Doctors. But, although they did a great job of curing me, it seems that post-cancer care or knowledge does not have a high priority. It seems I go to the doctors and explain my problems and they order a test or two and all of a sudden the appointment is over and I still have no answers. If I don't force the issue to try and find out about tests conducted I would never hear anything again.

I guess this sounds like whining and wimping, but would appreciate a comment from other people who are about 3 years out of their surgery to see if this is the way it is supposed/going to be; or, if there are some solutions other doctors are providing with success.

I basically take no medicines at all except for an occasional motrin 800 when the pain is real bad and more and more lately I have had to take a chug of Maalox II once or twice a day.

Thanks.

Rogge

griffinherbert's picture
griffinherbert
Posts: 10
Joined: Mar 2004

Rogge: I have similar results. I had an Ivor-Lewis esophagectomy in Feb 2001. I also have what I affectionally refer to as RSTP (Right Side Thoracic Pain). Basically, I kinda like it. It is a gentle reminder that I am still alive! If you can run 3K not to worry, of course, I'm kinda old (58) and 3k would take months of training. I do however still fly. Got my FAA Class II medical back eighteen months out of surgery. I have found that Prevacid (and it's kin; Nexium and Prilosec) more effective in preventing late at night reflux than other medicines. I also take Reglan once a day to get my much customized tummy to empty; otherwise, i wound up much like a cow chewing it's cud (ha). Knowing the brutality of eshphagectomies, I fully expect to have some pain for the rest of my life. I am able to manage it through just being stubborn and not letting it dominate things that I want to do. Hang in there....

Lee

griffinherbert's picture
griffinherbert
Posts: 10
Joined: Mar 2004

Rogge: I have similar results. I had an Ivor-Lewis esophagectomy in Feb 2001. I also have what I affectionally refer to as RSTP (Right Side Thoracic Pain). Basically, I kinda like it. It is a gentle reminder that I am still alive! If you can run 3K not to worry, of course, I'm kinda old (58) and 3k would take months of training. I do however still fly. Got my FAA Class II medical back eighteen months out of surgery. I have found that Prevacid (and it's kin; Nexium and Prilosec) more effective in preventing late at night reflux than other medicines. I also take Reglan once a day to get my much customized tummy to empty; otherwise, i wound up much like a cow chewing it's cud (ha). Knowing the brutality of eshphagectomies, I fully expect to have some pain for the rest of my life. I am able to manage it through just being stubborn and not letting it dominate things that I want to do. Hang in there....

Lee

Rogge
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2003

Thanks for your response griffinherbert. I had been in pain or discomfort for more than two years and was also somewhat prepared to live with it at a certain level. And I wanted the level to be managable without taking any medications other than an occasional tylenol or aspirin. But it was steadily getting worse and eventually I figured the pain was trying to tell me something so started going back to the docs. Most of the time they said it was something I would have to live with, but it just kept getting worse and I couldn't accept that. So I would go back every couple of weeks with the same pain. Finally I got referred for a decent CT a week or so ago and apparently there was something as they are going to make an appt for me to see an oncologist. I had been getting steadily weaker, but this past Saturday got in about 18 minutes of a rugby game at the Univ of Missouri at Rolla's annual St Pat's day tournament. If I have to have more chemo or rad, or surgery, I guess my rugby will be on hold for a few months. And congrats on getting your license back. Oh, one of the docs had also put me on tylonol 3 with codeine for the pain, and a couple of days ago my system finally rebelled and my head and face swelled up to about twice the normal size. They gave me some prednizone and switched my pain reliever to darvocet which seems to work as good.

Rogge

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