Up until now I've been an active, energetic person but things have changed. I was 70 in November. In December I had a scan for thyroid cancer (on hold for now) that revealed I had Stage II A, adenocarcinoma, a non-small cell cancer. The 6.3 cm (about 3 inches) tumor was completely removed, with all margins “clean” and negative pathology on all of the 17 lymph nodes tested.
I had the upper third of my right lung removed on January 20th. That is 4 months (or 123 days) from today. I was advised to have chemo to improve my chances of remaining cancer free.
I had half the chemo treatments but suddenly my husband needed surgery and I cancelled them in order to care for him. They made me very sick, tossing my cookies and all of that sort of thing. His recovery isn't going well, but that's another story.
I am ignoring my own pain to care for him and take him for his daily visit to his surgeon. My problem is pain. From the moment my anesthesia wore off, three days after my surgery, I have had pain from my sternum to the center of my right breast. This is NOT where my incision is. The incision is under my right arm and that area is pretty numb.
After three visits to my surgeon's office following my operation I was told that my ribs were accidentally broken during the procedure. The ribs and the cartilage. However, my pain doesn't seem to be from the rib as much as IN my breast.
To complicate matter, I had to stop the various medications I was given for the pain (Vicodin, Percoset, Oxycontin, Hydromorphone ) because of the nasty side effects. In addition to the constipation and feeling like a druggie, they all make me itch. Really itch! Even Benadryl doesn't help much. Ibuprofen, Aleve and Tylenol, which were recommended, don't help at all.
Pain level is something the doctors all ask about these days, although I feel the numbers are different for everyone. I feel my pain is mostly at a number two, with spikes to five or six (like today) and sudden, sharp spikes up to an eight. Basically, it hurts a lot.
Since this has been going on for so long I'm getting very depressed. I'm an actor and have had to miss auditions and work. I can't even wear a bra for more than an hour or so.
Has anyone had a similar problem or is there something else going on here? Something the surgery may have triggered.
I appreciate any information and encouragement anyone can provide.
A Maltese Mama