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healing and pain management

Posts: 38
Joined: Jun 2008

hi, it's me again. i know this is a rare cancer and there aren't very many active members here. since my dad was diagnosed, i have been researching on the web, trying to find out everything i can about it. since i joined, i've been reading through the threads here and reading profiles and blogs. i know my dad is worried about the length of time it's taking for his mouth to heal. even without radiation, he still has sores and rawness. he sees drs almost every week and isn't getting answers. they just say wait another month, then another and another. after surgery, has it taken anyone 5-6 months to heal and for the pain to ease.? i think he needs hope that there's an end in sight and that the pain will decrease.

one of his major causes of pain is from the removal of his lower eye orbit. his eye is barely supported by a thin layer of muscle that hammocks under his eyeball. the muscles are so strained that he has constant aching. because his lower lid droops, he must tape his eye shut at night so it doesn't dry out while he sleeps. each check up, the dr tells him that it needs to fully heal before they discuss surgery to put in some kind of support. yet, each time he sees the dr, he tells him to wait another 2 months, then another 1. he is very frustrated and i know ppl heal at different rates, but if anyone has experienced this or know of someone who has, it would help so much to hear how long others have taken to heal or what type of drugs may have helped them get through?


soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Bany, if you have read enough posts, you know that I, for one, am a firm believer in the power and importance of pain management in helping to heal, but more importantly, perhaps, in encouraging one to sustain.

There are any number of pain relief alternatives, and your dad's doctors will know what it is best for him (we hope). I hesitate to mention any of them because all is predicated on things like age, physical shape, other health conditions, level of pain, and so forth.

However, I WOULD insist, in talking to his doctors, that he be relieved of pain to the extent possible, and as soon as possible. It is simply not acceptable that one endure pain in order to survive. In fact, as medical professionals, including my wife, have pointed out to me, pain mgmt facilitates healing, as noted above. I would add from personal experience that it makes it much easier to look forward with hope when one is not burdened with unnecessary pain.

I will not forget one time when I asked one of my surgeons if some procedure was going to hurt, and he advised, "We are not here to cause pain for you, but to remove it." He did add that it would sting a little :).

Bottom line: insist that his docs come up with a sound pain mgmt plan that works for dad, and that they do so at once. It is vital to his current well-being and crucial to his will to move forward.

Take care, and best wishes to your dad and his family.


Posts: 38
Joined: Jun 2008

thank you joe, btw my name is elaine =] ya i see why it'd be impossible for you to discuss different medication. i've lost confidence in drs over the yrs and dad's drs are no exception. he will ask his family dr to refer him to a pain management clinic next week. i agree that it's so important for him to have less pain so he can have hope.

this has been very frustrating, since his surgery? each dr takes a dif part, one for his eye, one for his mouth, one for the cancer and a family dr. no one looks at the whole person. each say he needs to heal more before they can help. i see that he can't heal properly with the amount of pain he's in. i'm hoping he will discuss different medication to try to find something to give him relief or try again to find a dr that he likes and trusts and who will listen to him, understand and care enough to help him. he's a very strong and independant man, there's just so much he'll let me interfere with. i'm trying to help and still hold back my natural instinct to be bossy and make him do things my way lol =]

lol i've learned to brace myself when a dr says it will only sting a little :P

thank you for your encouragement, it really helps to see other ppl go through so much and come out fighting. =]


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