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Pain Meds

Dapsterd's picture
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Hello Knowledgable Famly out there!

I hear alot about pain meds and LC. I have nsclc, stage 3b and central nodes, now a tennis ball size tumor in upper right lung (was fist size, down 30%!!) I have 20 rads left and about 22 chemos left....am I missing something? SHould I have more pain?..My hair is about 50% thinned out, and I have a scratchy head !!

The only pain which is not as bad as I was led to believe, is to my throat area from radiation and although it sometimes feels like swallowing a bag of Doritoes! Also i am radiation burned pretty bad on chest and back.

Should I have more pain, or are people abusing the pain meds?...be honest now !!


Posts: 22
Joined: Jul 2010


I had radiation twice a day for 15 days instead of the typical 30 day. Believe me, the pain in your throat will sneak up on you, specially if you have 20 days left. I had to use Clacks solution toward the end, which has a topical pain med (lidocane) among others. My throat is just becoming somewhat normal and I finished radiation May 19th.

Other than that, I had no pain either, however I was lucky because I had one mass central lobe, limited stage. If it blocks the bronchial passages and fluid builds up..it would have been another story. If there are masses all over the lung or both I am sure there is a tremendous amount of pain, especially if it is encroaching on other organs, nerves..etc...

I hope your throat does not get any worse, however with rads passing through it may.


Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Dave, I was dx in May 2008 nscl 3B and had 4 chemos (Carbo/Taxol) once every 3 weeks and 35 radiation treatments same time, my burnt esophagus from rads was the worse part for me. I was never on any pain meds i condsider myself very lucky when i read what some others have gone through. I did have some pain in back from fluid around lung and had drained in Sept.2009. Have been good since then. Best to all in this fight.... Dan

Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Dave,
Glad to hear that your tumor is down 30%.
I finished my round of 35 radiation treatments last August and finished my round of 4 chemo treatments (you have 22 chemos?) Through it all the chemo was by far the toughest. Radiation does make it hard to swallow (doctor prescribed Diphenhis/Lidocain, I got the prescription filled but never used it) and the burn on the skin was severe (presciption of Silver sulfadiazine which works like a dream).
As far as pain, hardly any. I felt (and still feel) some pressure and discomfort at times but no pain that would require meds.
I guess we're the lucky ones. good luck to you with the rest of your treatments.

Dapsterd's picture
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Good stuff--thanx family.

Let me clarify my treatment, looked like some questions.

I have 21 weeks (left of once/week chemo for 3 hours). Simultaneousy, I get Radiation M-Friday for at total 24 more times. I get the terms rounds and cycles confused !

Carbplatin and Taxol, Just had 5th treatment of chemo and hair is about 50% thinned-out and my scalp gets very itchy ??.

I will be ready for the sore throat ppain, although I have had some pain but not totally unbearable, and lasted about 3-5 days....I will be looking for it !!

Can you folks work during your chemo and/or radiation? I find it difficult and took the FMLA for now, maybe even do long term disability, although I am a young 47.

Finally had to start drinking Milk of Magnesia !!!!!!


hope0310's picture
Posts: 324
Joined: May 2010

Guess everyone is different. Mom was dx w/SCLC with mets to brain, it then went to spine. She has been on minimal meds, mostly in the beginning with the head aches she had due to brain mets. She had 12 rad to head, 12 to spine and then 4 chemo cycles.....no pain from any of that....

Take care....if you do have pain, you for sure want to manage it, enough going on, you do not want to deal with pain as well!! (nor do you want to be loopy!!)

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

For the rad burns, please ask your doctor about the viability of using an ointment POST-RADIATION to alleviate this problem. Some people swear by natural aloe (it is important to stay away from those aloe-based products that contain petroleum), while others use Aquaphor. In my case, since my wife is a wound care nurse, she provided something called Biafine. It worked like a champ.

As for pain management, hope0310 is absolutely spot on! Next to cancer itself I would venture that pain is your second worst enemy during your treatment and recovery, as it is the one element that can best convince you that the battle is just not worth it. If you are getting by without pain, that is great, Dave, but if and as the pain shows up, do not hesitate to address it properly.

Good luck!

Take care,


Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2010

My husband has had nsclc stage 3 for 2 1/2 years. Took Radiation and chemo up till about 6wks ago. He lost his hair and I kept waiting for him to hurt. He never has hurt from the cancer or the rad or chemo except briefly like 1 year after radiation he took some of that sekuls solution for raspy throat. His back and chest were burned but no blisters.Hope you continue without pain. I don't necesarily think everyone abuses the pain meds but certain areas just are so much more painful like the abd,kidney areas --usually those patients have lots worse pain IN MY OPINION>

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