Pain is a Teacher

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Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 4/18/2011 9:26 PM (GMT -6)   

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.

 Respectfully,

David in SC

 

 

 

 

Post Edited (Purgatory) : 4/18/2011 10:08:06 PM (GMT-6)


Sleepless09
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1267
   Posted 4/18/2011 9:46 PM (GMT -6)   
David, I hope you don't misunderstand, (I know you are a literal guy) but the above is beautiful, as well as thought provoking and wise. You remain an inspitation.

Thank you for sharing this. You are one of the many people I've missed in the past many weeks (must be near two months?) I've not been here.

Sheldon AKA Sleepless
Age 67 in Apil '09 at news of 4 of 12 cores positive T2B and Gleason 3 + 3 and 5% to 25% PSA 1.5
Re-read of slides in June said Gleason 3 + 4 same four cores 5% to 15%
June 29 daVinci prostatectomy, Dr. Eric Estey, at Royal Alexandra Hospital Edmonton one night stay
From "knock out" to wake up in recovery less than two hours.  Actual surgery 70 minutes
Flew home to Winnipeg on July 3 after 5 nights in Ramada Inn  ---  perfect recovery spot!
Catheter out July 9
Final pathology is 3 + 4 Gleason 7, clear margins, clear nodes, T2C, sugeron says report is "excellent"
 
Oct 1st 09 -- dry at night, during day some stress issues.
Oct 31st padless 24/7 
 
First post op PSA Sept 09  less than 0.02
PSA on Oct 23, 2009 less than 0.02
PSA on Jan 8, 2010  less than 0.02
PSA on April 9, 2010 less than 0.02 
PSA on July 9, 2010 (one year) less than 0.02
  

reachout
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 725
   Posted 4/19/2011 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree, that is beautiful. I'll remember this post if and when I go through painful episodes. Your post reminds me of the saying, whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger. And even if you don't feel stronger physically, you have certainly shown your strong character.

I realize spirituality is outside the scope of this board, but what you've said is also consistent with most faiths.

Ziggy9
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 981
   Posted 4/19/2011 9:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I have to agree dave it was beautiful. One can only admire how well you have handled the past few years. I doubt I could..

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 4/19/2011 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you sheldon, and reachout - the saying you quoted makes sense, never really thought about it that way, thanks.

ziggy, my path of pain is not always pretty or graceful at times, but something inside makes you fight on. i can't lie, past couple of years, especially all of last years, i have been in enough raw pain to be broken down to tears on more than one occassian.
i don't believe in mercy killings, but starting to understand how a loved one watching someone suffer endlessly can get into that mind set. fortunately or unfortunatle, depending on one's perspective, i am one of these sanctity of life guys, "from the womb to the tomb", so my only option is to play out the cards dealt, and struggle for hopefully better times.

david in sc
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10

maldugs
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 784
   Posted 4/19/2011 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi David, back from holidays, very well written indeed.

Regards Mal.
age 67 PSA 5.8 DRE slightly firm Rt
Biopsy 2nd July 07 5 out of 12 positive
Gleason 3+4=7 right side tumour adenocarcinoma stage T2a
RP on 30th July,

Post op Pathology, tumour stage T3a 4+3=7, microcsopic evidence of capsular penetration, seminal vessels, bladder neck,are free of tumour, lymph nodes clear, no evidence of metastatic malignancy, tumour does not extend to the apical margins.

Post op PSA 0.5 26th Sept. Totally dry since catheter removed
PSA 23rd Oct.0.5 seeing Radiation Onocologist 31st Oct.
Started radiation treatment on 5th Dec, to continue until 24 Jan. 08.
Finished treatment, next PSA on 30th April.
PSA from 30th April 08, until now range- 0.5 to 0.6, I am now 70

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 4/19/2011 6:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Mal, glad to have you back, wondered where you were
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10

maldugs
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 784
   Posted 4/19/2011 6:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi mate, been fishing walking the beach, drinking and eating too much, in a place called Albany here in the west, good break, now back to reality.

Regards Mal.
age 67 PSA 5.8 DRE slightly firm Rt
Biopsy 2nd July 07 5 out of 12 positive
Gleason 3+4=7 right side tumour adenocarcinoma stage T2a
RP on 30th July,

Post op Pathology, tumour stage T3a 4+3=7, microcsopic evidence of capsular penetration, seminal vessels, bladder neck,are free of tumour, lymph nodes clear, no evidence of metastatic malignancy, tumour does not extend to the apical margins.

Post op PSA 0.5 26th Sept. Totally dry since catheter removed
PSA 23rd Oct.0.5 seeing Radiation Onocologist 31st Oct.
Started radiation treatment on 5th Dec, to continue until 24 Jan. 08.
Finished treatment, next PSA on 30th April.
PSA from 30th April 08, until now range- 0.5 to 0.6, I am now 70

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 4/19/2011 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds wonderful, Mal. That's what I need, a real break away from all of my current world
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10

Newporter
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 225
   Posted 4/19/2011 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Eloquently said.

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 4/19/2011 7:54 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks newporter, and john's wife, its a reflection on my battle with pain since PC, but i feel it could apply to anyone going through or anticipating pain. i use to panic in pain situations, especially once it got over the 7 on the pain scale. its amazing what you can really take, if you have to.
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6949
   Posted 4/19/2011 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
David,
 
Well expressed.
 
I'm really sorry you didn't get to LA. There will be no excuses for the September edition. Period. I can say that although the subject of the weekend was all PCa, we had a good time with some of the discussions. We even worked a tiger who's paw was bigger than my head into the mix. Can't say what my mascot is in public, but put in the same pen, Mike V will win and get a free lunch.
 
I sent off a new (hospital issue) night bag with Worried Jeff for "special treatment". Lets see what he comes up with. I suspected he was a real engineer, but ....
 
Sonny turns out to be the guy in person that I thought he was - I'll take him for a big brother any day. For once, I latched on to good advice, and found quite a crew at HW. 
 
 
 
 

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 4/19/2011 8:22 PM (GMT -6)   
142,

you have no idea how much i wanted to be there. is there already a plan for a september one, and if so, where?

i have met my share of HW guys on a one by one basis, and they are all great, but never as a group.

not singling sonny out, but have met him twice, with his ever lovely wife, lynn, and all i will say, he's a true friend and a brother of the PC, and a fellow Viet-Nam Navy vet like myself, so I feel a closeness to him. He's the real thing.

I would have loved to have met you and the rest of the Cajun Gang. Hopefully next time.

David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10
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