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How long do I need to stay on my meds?

Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2010

Hello everyone, I am new to this and I am 5 weeks out from my last radiation treatment. I had an unknown primary with a radical left neck disection. They removed my jugular and they removed my left shoulder trapezoid along with 23 lymphnods which 3 were positive. My pain is limited but the meds seem to help me cope with my situation. I sit here on the couch and only move to use the restroom and I was just wondering how long you guys stayed on the meds. I hope all of you are doing good and fighting this hell with your head high.

RushFan's picture
Posts: 223
Joined: Aug 2010

D-Byrd, sorry you find yourself here, but it's a great place for info and support. I did not have the extensive surgery that you had...but for me, I measured my recovery each week rather than each day. Everyone is different.

Six weeks post treatments and I had either weaned my self off (Fentanyl patches) or run out (Lortab elixir). I had 35 rads, seven once weekly chemo (Cisplatin) and one lymph node removed prior to treatment. I relate to the meds and coping. I was sorry to run out of my magic Lortab, but it was time. I was probably slightly addicted because I had some insomnia issues for 7-10 days afterward.

I too was on the couch...watching my world (wife and kids) go by. Which was okay.
At twelve weeks post treatment I was back at work part-time and feeling better.

Hope you heel quickly, feel better and the best to you and all here.

PattyNC's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: Oct 2006

There are some really fantastic caring people on this site. Any question you have, somebody on here has probably been in the same situation and can help you navigate. Good luck with your treaments & God Bless.


Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi D-Byrd,

You are going through perhaps the toughest period when everything seems to have stopped and you feel like S@#t. Just know that it will get better. It is bit like being at the bottom of the 'J' curve.

I was given and took the very good advice to start to get out and have a little routine away from the house. I started with a very short walk to a local Starbucks where I could sip slowly on a thick shake and read parts of a book for an hour or two. I used to people watch and do the papers. I then used to take my laptop and do email and read some books and other uplifting materials. This outing became my 'bright spot' in the day. You can then increase the walk 'to' and 'from' or vary your location to keep it interesting. Maybe alternate locations. Even if it's to go out and buy a paper and have few normal daily transactions, it gets you moving and bit by bit your dark patches get replaced by light patches.

I was taken off pain meds early and given anti-depressants and mood stabilizers which allowed me to get good sleep. That made a huge difference and was the turning point of my climb out of hell. You must get good sleep. Talk to your Doctors about this if it is an issue. It took a while, but week by week things improved, eating, exercise, contact with people and family.

After 3 months out i went swimming and did some light gym work (Pilates). About 8 months out I started riding a bike fairly seriously and now do 30 miles hard riding every Saturday and kick the butts of most in the riding group. I focus a lot on diet and supplements and am now much healthier than I have ever been. You can do it. Keep up the fight and get strong DB, you will look get to look back on this rough patch.


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