Learning how to deal with pain, is an important factor in dealing with PC, or any other cancer as far as that goes. While my actual cancer has never directly cause any physical pain (so far, all I know about the status of my cancer is numbers on a piece of paper, i.e. PSA scores), I have underwent a journey into realms of serious and chronic pain due to my original surgery (and all its twists and turns) and my ill-fated SRT journey, which led to my Bladder By-Pass Surgery in September.
I have dealt with constant pain since July of 2009 as the results of side effects, surgeries, radiation related issues without a single break. Hard to believe but true.
I admit, prior to all of this, I am a pud about pain. Was use to pain only in short doses for small amounts of time. But all of this has changed since I got PC. There has not been but at most, a one month period in all this time, that I didn’t require at least a minimal amount of prescription pain meds to get me through it. The worse was during my SRT, the 51 weeks following it, and the still ongoing recovery from my last surgery. I don’t like to take the meds, but pain has taught me some lessons.
Pain in itself is a teacher.
It has taught me, that no matter how much you can hurt, you can hurt far more than you ever thought possible. It taught me that no matter how tough you think you are, given enough pain for enough time, it can break down the toughest of men. It taught me, just how frail the flesh is, and that people that enjoy good health have no idea how fortunate they really are. It also taught me, that no matter how much you hurt; there are those that are in much worse pain at times.
On the other side of the coin, pain teaches humility. It teaches you the senselessness of trying to be the tough guy, when adequate and proper pain control can actually heal you better. It teaches that avoiding pain meds, when and only if needed, is a foolish path to follow; there is no need to suffer needlessly.
Pain teaches you respect and empathy to all those suffer. It teaches you its alright to call on others for help and support, instead of suffering alone. It teaches you to help your fellow man in their time of need. It teaches you that through the darkest hours of pain, you can survive, and make it through even Pain Level 10 types of pain, even though it seems hopeless at that moment.
Pain also teaches you limitations that you don’t normally freely admit, not even in your private thoughts. It can make you make changes to your lifestyle that you didn’t choose to choose.
I long for the day, even for a day, that I could be free of the hurt side of what I have been through. A week would seem like bliss to me. A month, a miracle. At the present stage of my PC journey, I don’t honestly know what is ahead for me. But I have met pain head on, and have been dealing with it. Once you get use to pain, you no longer have to fear it, you learn instead to control it, you learn and adapt to it, and you keep fighting it, even if it’s a daily battle.
David in SC