Does Cancer Hurt?

The pain changes everything. It makes it hard to speak, difficult to concentrate, nearly impossible to stay human. It crowds every other kind of thought out of your brain.

Now, it's not like I wasn't warned. My doctors told me the recovery from the surgery would be long and difficult. And after all, I chose to do the surgery. But thinking about it ahead of time, and experiencing it for real, are two very different things.

About a year or so ago, when we first started the blog, someone asked if cancer hurts. I have to say that up until now I've been lucky. The pain I have felt has been the result of treatments and procedures. But that kind of pain is just as real and just as difficult. I know that so many of you are facing your own pain, physical or mental.

For some reason, the pain medications don't seem to be very effective for my pain. We're not sure why, but we're looking for new possibilities. Nighttime is the worst. Lying watching the minutes tick by. Hoping that when you finally do fall asleep, you'll wake up three or four days later and the pain will be gone. But, of course, that's not going to happen.

I know that what I'm going through now was worth it. I know that without this surgery I very likely would have died within a matter of months. So all I can do now is what all of you do. Fight like hell to get through the next day.

The answer to that old question, does cancer hurt? That's an easy one.

Yes.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Dear Leroy,
Though I cannot literally feel your pain, your words bring it all to life again. I hope you find something to take the edge off so your body can heal.
I am so sorry for you and Laurie. I pray things get better each day.

Sent by Robin Smith | 7:54 AM | 10-12-2007

Pain distorts everything. I am so sorry thus far you haven't found the relief your body needs. I hope and pray you do today. Blessings to you Leroy during this challenging time.

Sent by Judy | 7:55 AM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy,

I am sorry you are having as much pain as you are. It is too bad that your doctors cannot find the right meds or combinations of meds to give you relief, especially at night.

Keep pressing them for other options, perhaps a visit to a pain clinic where anesthesiologists treat patients with chronic pain might help.

I hope that as your body heals from surgery, the pain becomes less.

I continue to hold you and all in pain or having health issues in my prayers.

Sent by Sue Chap | 7:57 AM | 10-12-2007

Good Morning Leroy. Hope you managed to get some sleep. How can you even write your thoughts when they are being crowded out by the extreme pain?
Are they sure that it is the cancer that is hurting you or the surgery? I know from my husband's back surgery , the pain is unbearable after because of all the nerves that have been disturbed by the cutting. They must have cut a lot to do what you say they did.
The wonderful thing is that you are walking, standing, and are back with us all once again. As the nerves get used to their new backbone, hopefully, the pain will begin to subside.
What is amazing is the huge family of friends and loyal followers you have amassed! Now, it takes something and someone vert SPECIAL to do that in a World such as today's. Your cries of pain are heard and shared by us all. Listen to the ROAR of LOVE.

Sent by J C R | 8:08 AM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,
I fully understand how you feel.You are not alone.I have bone mets and had radiation on some in my spine.I was not prepared for the instant increase in pain and the other side effects. Up till now, I could live in partial denial, that I have Stage 4 breast cancer. Now I realize that I am as sick as the doctors say. When I feel ill, it takes all my energy to be human. I just keep praying that I will soon be better.
You have done well and I pray that this pain will soon be a distant memory for you and that your eyes will correct themselves.

Sent by Dianne | 8:10 AM | 10-12-2007

Oh, Leroy. I'm sorry the pain is so huge. I assume your great medical team has a pain specialist among them. If not, ask to have one. My husband's oncologist called in a pain specialist who did a spinal block. It made a tremendous difference. I can only imagine how hard it must be to keep waiting for the time and pain to pass. Wish we could hit a quick fast forward for you!

Sent by Laura | 8:11 AM | 10-12-2007

Poor Leroy.. I feel so bad for you and wish there was something we could do to make you feel better. It must be awful for Laurie; seeing someone you love in pain is also one of the worst pains there is. Hang in there guy.....this, too, shall pass!

Sent by betty obst | 8:18 AM | 10-12-2007

I am so very sorry that you are in so much pain. Just try and stay focused on what will be when the pain subsides. Always sending positive energy. Take care.

Sent by Sandy Lathe | 8:25 AM | 10-12-2007

Wishing you peace and relief from the pain, physical and emotional....just a little relief each day...and a little more the next, and the next....

Sent by Karen | 8:27 AM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy, I'm one of your blog friends who reads every day, but I haven't written for months. I want to say how sorry I am this recovery is painful. Since our oncology doctor has successfully found the meds and combos to make my husband comfortable, I believe your doctors will find the right meds to alleviate your pain too. You continue to inspire us. And we will continue to pray for you, and all the wonderful people in this cyber family.

Sent by Debbie in Dunwoody | 8:33 AM | 10-12-2007

Leroy, I pray your pain eases and stops torturing you soon.

Prayers and hugs,

Lori

Sent by Lori Levin | 8:43 AM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,
We are all so sorry to hearr of the incredible difficulties you are enduring post surgery. Please know that there are many, many of us here who have gone through similar ordeals and can appreciate your situation. My particular one involves 3 major surgeries to repair hip fractures caused by breast cancer mets. Each one included the literal hammering in of rods and screwing in of metel plates, so pain was inevitable.
And, oh yes Leroy, those nights! I remember them well! Who knew just how much time we usually spend sleeping? Only those of us who have stayed awake all night counting each long minute! I can remember thinking around 3am, good, only 2 hours until Morning Edition comes on. At least there will be something good on the radio to listen to!
My only advice to you is to try and avoid taking naps during the day, and stay awake as long as possible in the evening. This helps a little. And make sure you are getting ENOUGH pain meds! After all, you are a big guy!
Last, but not least, please remember that you have a huge following here on the blog thinking of you and sending you healing thoughts every day. It is the least we can do for someone who has done so much for us!

Sent by Karen K | 8:52 AM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,
Excruciating bone pain exhausts without the reward of sleep. Your objective is healing and improving which you are destined to do. Afterall you have always surpassed your goals. We are all behind you for support. It's time for us to payback for your many hours of correspondence. Get well.

Sent by Claire | 8:54 AM | 10-12-2007

Leroy:

I have followed this latest episode in your life as if it was happening to a close friend. I've been dealing with metastatic breast cancer for nearly 4 years now. And I've been low at different times, feeling like that compromised state will be my life moving forward. After near total lung failure from radiation, I could barely walk to the kitchen. I'd sit in front of the refrigerator like a fat chef contemplating the contents--but my motivation was the inability to stand and breathe. Now, I'm running around doing my job, getting on planes. Getting winded a lot faster. But I'm living my life. There have been other moments when I've been trapped on the sofa popping pills after surgeries, unable to do much. Our bodies are amazing. I hope yours, in time, proves this once again.

Sent by Laura Buckley | 9:00 AM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy, I'm sorry you are in such pain and the medication isn't helping enough - hopefully they will find the right medicine to help you soon. Today I feel the need for a "pity party" of my own. I have stage 4 breast cancer. I just finished radiation to my head and back for mets there and NOW am experiencing the side effects - dry eye (makes my eyes water all the time), not being able to see through my glasses, nausea (relieved by medication) and a huge burn on my back that itches but realieved by cream and then the extreme tiredness. I started chemo again and am hopeful it will help because the pain in my ribs and coughing so hard I almost vomit are the pain from my cancer that came back. I know that there are many people worse off than me. I can't taste food and my toes are numb. I can live with all these things but sometimes it gets me down like Leroy's unrelenting pain (which is much worse). I think I just want to know that there is one person out there that has gone through similar things so I can be a little more hopeful. I am feeling selfish today but need just one person to say "THIS TOO SHALL PASS". Thank you for listening. God bless all.

Sent by Vicki (FL) | 9:08 AM | 10-12-2007

Leroy - I think many of us feel so helpless - if only there were something we could do to alleviate your pain. Please know you are in our hearts and on our minds, moment by moment. Even in the middle of the night.

Sent by Wendy | 9:09 AM | 10-12-2007

I just wanted to say I missed you.

Every day I read your words---very close to the words that I can never articulate. I discussed with my husband yesterday how you don't know unless you've been there. I know you've been there..and back...and there again..and it is comforting to know someone else "gets" it. I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

Sent by Laurie | 9:22 AM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,

I'm also so upset to hear of your pain, and in awe of how you can be so prolific in your words while you're going through this recovery period. I pray that the doctors find a good combination of medicines/therapies to relieve you of your pain as your body heals. Sometimes the healing process is the most painful, both physically and emotionally.

From what I've read, I think we share the same sense of humor. I'm enjoying this season's Curb Your Enthusiam. I'm sending good wishes that today you find things that bring a welcome smile, and remind you that things will get better.

Thank you for fighing each minute - we all love and appreciate you and Laurie so much!

Sent by Amy | 9:28 AM | 10-12-2007

Pain can skew your outlook on everything, so you do need to find something that will help you get through this. There are so many different pain meds out there - keep trying them til you find the one that works. You have such a fabulous medical team, it probably includes a pain management specialist - but, if not, get one right away.

My husband went through every pain med imaginable during his ordeal last year. And we were lucky his docs just kept changing them to find what worked best for what he was going through at the time. We worried about him getting addicted, but all assured us that would not happen as long as he only took the med when in pain. After 8 bedridden months he's now walking again - with those titanium rods in his back - and just needs 2 Lortabs a day to keep the pain at bay.

I pray that your pain eases soon, Leroy.

Sent by Dianne in NV | 9:31 AM | 10-12-2007

I know you are doing just what the doctor ordered - trying to keep your mind around other things. Easy to say -hard to do! All good thouhgts your way.

Sent by Betty OConnor | 9:32 AM | 10-12-2007

Like Laura above, the first thing I thought of after reading your blog entry today is: epidural (which after the birth of my son ten years ago, has consistently shown up on my list of the century's greatest inventions).

It just about makes me sick to my stomach thinking of the pain that you're going through, that kind of never-ending scream that wipes out everything else. So sorry friend. YELL at your doctors! Just joking...sort of.

Prayers, hopes, vibes, love, all coming to you and Laurie.

Sent by jordis | 9:36 AM | 10-12-2007

Your description of the pain made me gasp in recognition of what I experienced following back surgery. Damn all the nerves impacted when they mess with our spines.

I hope the meds will soon be available to bring you relief. You have become a part of so many lives, know we are all sending positive energy every day.

Peggy

Sent by Peggy Miles | 9:37 AM | 10-12-2007

Leroy, your wit got to me today. I was reading along and when I got to the last two sentences where you repeated the question about whether cancer hurts and gave your one word answer. I actually chuckled out loud (garnering stares here in my quiet office). Your personality is coming through loud and clear. No matter what.

Sent by Joan F | 9:48 AM | 10-12-2007

Yes it does. To us and those around us.

Sent by Lisa | 9:49 AM | 10-12-2007

The only good thing about pain is that when it is gone we soon forget how horrible it actually was. May it soon be just an unpleasant memory for you.

I hope you are able to fine something beautiful to focus on today, if only for a moment or two. The changing leaves are keeping me grateful right now. Can you see them out your window?

Hold on, we all are with you.

Sent by Laurel M. Jones | 9:49 AM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy,

I have not written in many months, probably from some strange guilt that, having completed my treatment, I am not so immersed in the cancer world as I was for 16 months.

It hurts to hear that you are in pain, and I, like many millions of your listeners and readers, would willingly take on some of your pain if it would ease your burden. I don't know if it helps, but imagine, please, that the pain is slipping out of your body to be diffused among all the many people who have come to care for you.

Sending you prayers and healing thoughts,
Shosh

Sent by Shosh | 9:50 AM | 10-12-2007

LeRoy, thank you for your stamina and determination to connect with us while you are in so much pain. Our prayers continue to be with you in your current struggle. You are truly an inspiration for all of us and have given us a common voice. May you get some relief from the pain and some sleep ! Take care.

Sent by Lou Loggi | 10:01 AM | 10-12-2007

I live with a constant level of pain from a variety of ailments. It is often so difficult for those around you to understand how that pain when excessive, rules your mind and behavior. I have come to be scared of the night when the the pain lets me know it's still around. But it is now morning, and I feel hope again. Hope it is the same for you.

Sent by Robert | 10:10 AM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy,
So sorry you are in such pain. I hope your doctors find a pain med to help with this. My hope and prayers are with you.

Hugs,
Diane

Sent by Diane Vandenberg | 10:18 AM | 10-12-2007

Dearest Leroy, The clarity and complexity of your thinking astounds me, and is a testament to the resources you command now despite your pain and need for rest. I hope you can see the fall beauty and that somehow that will seep into your cells and help the healing process. Have you asked whether TENS units and other techno marvels might help interrupt the pain signals and give you respite? Have you considered guided imagery visualization, Reiki, and other options? Belleruth Naperstek's guided visualization (can be downloaded online or purcahsed as CDs and tapes) have been very helpful to many [including vets with PTSD and cancer patients -- including me]). Reiki and other forms of energy work can sometimes ease pain and other issues too. Please explore whatever you feel open to now. You are in new territory. In my life, that always opens up new willingness to look at things I'd never considered before. Buoying you up gently, like a gentle ocean swell, and sending fresh energy like a breeze rippling the marsh grass of your being.

Sent by Sarah | 10:25 AM | 10-12-2007

I hear you. I pray for you.

Sent by Linda | 10:26 AM | 10-12-2007

Good Morning Leroy,
May your pain grow weaker and your health grow stronger. Hang tight, the results will be worth it. Love and Hugs to you and Laurie.

Sent by Teresa in WV | 10:34 AM | 10-12-2007

For Leroy and Laurie,
I am thinking of little umbrellas, white sandy beaches, brilliant blue atolls, lime chili shrimp, a warm loving hand in yours, a fair breeze, smiling faces.....
Pain, pain go away....
Willing you relief, comfort and healing.

Sent by Stitches | 10:38 AM | 10-12-2007

Leroy, I know you don't want to hear it, but you are an inspiration to all of us. I too have spinal bone mets. I know it's just a matter of time until I will be where you are now. It is comforting to know that you are blazing the trail. I continue to pray for your healing and relief from your pain. Your willingness to share with all of us is a blessing in our lives. Hang in there.

Sent by Anne Hart | 10:39 AM | 10-12-2007

I am so sorry that the pain persists and even intensifies so that sleep is not possible at times. Hope that your docs acn find the right meds for you. Might sound strange but you might consider marijuana. I know, I know... it is not legal but we are talking about a medical emergency here! Some evidence suggests that it does work to alleviate intense pain (even if it masks the pain, who cares).

I was given medical marijuana in a pill to see if it would stimulate my appetite while on chemo since I was losing so much weight. It didn't, so I stopped after a week of trying it.

Anything and everything is within the bounds to try for relief from the pain. Our prayers are constant for you and Laurie.

Sent by Al Cato | 10:40 AM | 10-12-2007

Hey Leroy,
Nice to see your voice again!
I know the pain is great, the drugs are not working, and the 1/3 sight loss all grates on your energy. We are here to encourage you to persevere as you have done with us. You have friends here!
I wish you a speedy recovery, much rest and better drugs!

Sent by Michael (Caretaker Survivor-Chicago) | 10:47 AM | 10-12-2007

Hi Leroy and all, I was going to write a note about dealing with the pain after two of my surgeries (and then there's labor, which is in a class of its own:-), but, after reading the comments posted, I realize that my story is nothing compared to what some of you have had to endure. I have one little addition though. The sleep cycle gets totally messed up. Our bodies/brains seem to adapt and reprogram in the face of pain. As my pain subsided, I needed to take prescription strength sleep aids for a short time, just to get back on track.

To Vicky in FL -> You have been so determined in getting through all of your therapies. You WILL get through this course of radiation and chemo treatments. I'm sending positive healing thought s to you.

Wishing relief for all of you out there.

Sent by Sheara | 10:54 AM | 10-12-2007

If wishing made it so, you would be resting quietly on soft pillows in a darkened cool room and dreaming of that wonderful trip to Hawaii you made earlier this year.

Sent by glenda | 10:58 AM | 10-12-2007

Oh Leroy, I am so sorry your in pain.
Yes cancer hurts us..if its not emotional its downright physical at times.I hope and pray that with each day it gets a bit better.
Beautiful day here in Michigan.However I am on my way to rehab....I mean torture..sorry tumor humor. But intend to enjoy the sunshine and breath in come of that crisp fall air in.
Take care of you Leroy. Sending healing prayers and positive vibes your way.

Sent by Kerry | 11:27 AM | 10-12-2007

Good morning, Leroy. I just wanted to again add my name to the list of well-wishers, this time praying that your pain eases soon.

Sent by Sharon | 11:27 AM | 10-12-2007

I appreciate reading the comments today. I was recently diagnosed with mets in several places in my bones. They were found when I suffered what we thought was a "back spasm" that drove me to the doctor twice. The family physician ordered an MRI. That caused them to order a PET scan, and my NED period was over. I am finally facing the fact that this cancer will kill me, but I intend to fight it along with my doctors. Right now, I am working my usual 30 hours per week, and dealing with spasms as they come up. I save the Vicodin for biggies.

Larry, I can imagine the pain you are going through, and it's probably even worse than that. The fact that you can blog tells me that it is at least less than before, and it will continue to lessen.

Yes, cancer hurts. My first tumor didn't hurt, but pain has been the indicator for me since then, as my breast cancer has moved to my bones.

Take care, Larry, and everybody.
http://ruthsmusings.blogspot.com

Sent by Ruth from Virginia | 11:32 AM | 10-12-2007

I'm sure you know that if those of us that follow your blog & feel the connectedness with you, could each take a turn to take the pain away from you and tranfer on us, we absolutely would and you would be free of pain as there are so many that care for you. Of course, we feel powerless in that regard not being able to do so, but hope that while you're in the pain and observing it, you can are also able to detect the positive energy and good wishes being sent to you by all of us holding you constantly in light and in love, having faith your pain will ease up very soon. Take good care, our friend. You're in our thoughts.

Sent by sheron | 11:38 AM | 10-12-2007

Vicki, I had head and neck radiation for lymphoma. I read your post..and cried. I remember six years ago how tough it was and where I have been.
Yes THIS TO SHALL PASS.
There were many days I felt the same way and some days I still do. But its on a different level.
The eye issues and eating issues for me were tough. The eating thing had been regained. However the eye issues one eye is back to normal the other one isn't.
My vision is poor there and seems I have a re curring infection issue going on. So we hit it heard and finally on the other end of that. But the vision did suffer.
All I can offer is a deep understanding on what your going through.
Thoughts and prayers.

Sent by Kerry | 11:41 AM | 10-12-2007

Leroy my husband is on the morphine patch you replace it every three days also if he gets break threw pain he can take 1 teaspoon morphine liquid 3 times aday so far he don't need the morphine liquid.He would be in terrible pain without this combination of drugs well let me tell hubby how your day is going hope you feel better

Sent by Carolyn | 11:44 AM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,
I'm sorry the pain is unrelenting but keep the hope that they will find the magic combination. My husband is in tremendous pain due to tumors in the bone from prostate cancer and getting ready to start chemo and he's so very run down. Like you he has always had a wonderful outlook on this monster but each day gets more difficult. For you both and all the others please don't give up or give in. Prayers to all.

Sent by kathie | 11:50 AM | 10-12-2007

Thanks for helping us all through our own ordeals. Your insight, wit, etc. have helped me find a compassion I thought I had but didn't...until now. One of the gifts I guess from this scourge. So Leroy, may relief from that durned pain come SOON.

Sent by catherine | 11:52 AM | 10-12-2007

When I (unknowingly at the time) had a recurrence (spinal bone mets, vertebral fracture and collapse), the only relief from the unremitting pain that I found (until I began radiation tx) was from a Chinese-trained acupuncturist (she specialized in spinal injuries). I know don't if that is even possible for you given your surgery and personal preferences, but many biomedical physicians are open to complementary alternative medicine treatments. Either way, I hope that your early morning awakening without pain is in the near future. Keep up the fight, we're with you.

Sent by Marcia | 12:01 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy, My surgery was on my chest, with my rib cage being cracked. Not as severe as yours, but what worked for me was the proper us of pillows. You have to prop your arms and legs up to help remove the pressure on your back. And then take a double dose of Percoset.
Keep fighting.

Sent by Brit | 12:02 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy, I felt that the pain I was experiencing after my esophageal sugery would never go away, but it did eventually. It hurt like hell, it really did, but it does lighten up, it just takes time and medication. I was on hydrocordisone and liquid morphine. The meds caused their own problems but for the time being they calmed the pain down and I worried about the side effects later. You hang in there, it WILL get better. You are alive, thank God for that, keep pushing for more pain meds. Take care, I'm praying for you too.

Sent by Ruth White | 12:05 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,

SO SORRY you are hurting like you are. In the world of modern medicine, it seems like there MUST be something to help you through this! Are you protesting enough?

Be better.

Sent by Diana Kitch | 12:08 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy, the sleeping with pain is the hard part. After I had heart surgery I found a Lazy Boy chair all the way back was the only way I could sleep. My last heart attack while I was in a Vercid induced coma. To get away from the pain, I became a Knights Templar( I had just read The Last Templar) and went to a castle in the Middle East that had an alcove that was quiet and peaceful, with Citrus juice fountains, and a reflecting pool. Here in my mind I was safe from all the CHAOS going on with my body. My brother in law has bad back problems and has trouble getting comfortable to sleep, so I suggested he find a safe spot like I had, His was a barn loft on a New Mexico ranch. He says it helps him now on his bad days.
So you need to find you a place to get away from your pain.
It is hard to let your fight down long enough to resupply your body, You know that MONSTER will take advantage of any weakness you show. Hang in there, this is going to be a long war, you are just in another phase of the battle now.

Sent by Sam Means | 12:11 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,
Years ago when I was still in the insurance business we did workers' compensation claim reviews to see if we could identify people who might be taking more time off than needed. The smug point of view was that "pain is not debilitating". Obviously, none of us had ever had any pain! I look back now and think how stupid that was.
I pray that they find the right medication to give you relief. May healing come quickly!
Charlotte in Temecula

Sent by Charlotte Kewish | 12:16 PM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy,

Does cancer hurt? Well, that was a no brainer. But, for those who have not walked in our shoes or have been close to someone with cancer, it was a darn good question and an even better answer. Yes, it does hurt. I feel your pain... or is that my pain? I got my biopsy report back on Wednesday. It confirmed a 4th recurrence of my head and neck cancer in the past 2.5 years. I'm stressed out over this. Regarding your sleep issue, I also had trouble sleeping. I know we are all different. What worked for me on top of the pain medicine was Xanax. I tried different dose levels, but finally settled on one that can give me a reasonable 6 hour sleep at night. Maybe you can talk to your doctor about the appropriateness of this medication in your case.

Take care,

Ed Steger
www.hncancer.blogspot.com

Sent by Ed Steger | 12:36 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,
Sorry you are in so much pain. I know it's hard to stay positive, but I also know you can get thur this. You are a incredible strong person and we are all with you in this battle. After all we are one big cancer family and lots of love and prayers are with you.May God bless us all.

David

Sent by David White | 12:39 PM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy,
Yes, cancer hurts! Before I was diagnosed I had no idea how painful cancer was. I knew of the side affects from chemo & radiation, having watched my dad and grandpa go through cancer. What I did not know until my own experience is the constant pain, my cancer has spread to many places and there is nerve involvement (I have a tumor that presses on my sciatic). The doctors finally have me on a dosage of pain meds that keeps the pain minor and does not knock me out. I'm back in chemo and having a bit more trouble than the last two types I did. My white count was very low this week so no chemo. I know how much you are going through, but I want to send you my encouragement and let you know that when the pain passes and you are better the memory of the pain will pass too. You inspire so many and so many of us are praying for you and sending healing thoughts. I wish you relief from your pain, healing and peace.

Sent by Martie | 12:44 PM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy,

Yes cancer hurts. It hurts in every way possible: emotionally, physically. It hurts in ways we are sometimes not even aware of until later. Your body is responding to all this hurt right now. It's responding to the loss of vision, to the knowledge that this surgery has kept you with your loved ones longer. No wonder you hurt! I never have been much of a hoodo voodo type of person, but you might try hypnosis to help with the pain. What do you have to lose?

I'm not in the least way trying to compare my experience to yours, but I had delayed reconstructive surgery where they had to take a chunk of my latissimus dorsi muscle and tunnel it under my arm to help create a breast mound. It hurt like hell and took me much longer to recuperate from that initial surgery than I ever anticipated. I thought I would never stop hurting. Then, one day I woke up and realized that I had slept through the night and that I felt human again. In two weeks I go in for my final stage of reconstruction. I have been told by the doctors that there should be very little pain. I don't think they understand the pain I feel everytime I enter a hospital or doctor's office. For just a second, I am sick again and scared. The feeling passes but it is painful.

I wish I had some magical words to say that would make your pain go away. I won't waste my time or yours with the usual, this too shall pass. Just hang in there.

Best thoughts,
Mo

Sent by Mo Spikes | 12:46 PM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy, I hope that the pain is there one day and gone the next, or at least more than tolerable. Back pain is awful, awful stuff. You might actually consider taking MORE pain medication than has been prescribed, discuss this with your doctors. It is a controversial approach used by some pain management doctors and has had some really positive results. Of course weaning yourself off of them is a bear, but nothing like what you are going through now. Love and a very ginger hug, Alycia

Sent by Alycia Keating | 12:51 PM | 10-12-2007

For Vicki from Fla.

I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer with mets ten years ago. I've had the spine surgery Leroy just had, massive radiation, tons of chemo, just about everything. The pain and the fear are as toxic as the treatments. I sometimes thought they're saving my body but killing my spirit. It's a lonely time. But here I am, still going, still looking forward. Most of the side effects have abated and I feel like I'm among the living again. Hang in there, Vicki. Be especially loving and gentle with yourself. Nurture yourself. When I'm that low I read only positive stories about people having overcome great obstacles. If they can do it, I can do it, I tell myself. There's light ahead for us: My onc tells me that the FDA is soon going to release a drug that targets bone mets. That will be good news for all of us.
We are on the cutting edge. We just have to get thru this difficult time.

Blessing to you, Kate

Sent by Kate Fuehrer | 1:00 PM | 10-12-2007

Soooo happy your surgery was successful, and soooo sorry you are having to endure this pain. I'm sure that some future day this will be considered barbaric treatment,
but....

My son has had another successful scan & now begins his 1st year post treatment.
What an emotional disease.

I'm sorry for all cancer patients & their
own individual nightmares.

I wish you the best & hope the pain subsides soon.

Sent by Joan P | 1:01 PM | 10-12-2007

I wish the best possible outcome for your surgery, and that your pain will be short-lived. May your strength increase and your pain decrease daily.

Sent by Nancy K. Clark | 1:02 PM | 10-12-2007

i am so sorry. i know bone pain and i know the exhaustion of never really sleeping and waking up refreshed. i have to believe it will get better and the trial you are going through is temporary. to you and Vickie and all of us "This too shall Pass."

Sent by cv | 1:02 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,

I'm so sorry that the pain is relentless and hope that soon it will disappear. There is nothing quite as physically exhausting or mentally confusing. Try to focus on the constants in your life....and realize that this pain is not one of them. It all comes down to that famous saying - This too shall pass. And it will. Hold tight to your Laurie - knowing she is there to encourage and comfort you, read our words, and soon you will ride this out. Push out your chest, clench your fists, and barrel through the pain. I know it sounds so simple, but you'll be a great deal stronger and a lot more resilient once you have weathered this storm. Once again we will have your example to show us "You survived - and that we can, too!"

May you claim strength through your suffering.

You will be OK. You will!!

Sending you love, peace, and hope for comfortable days ahead.

Sent by Suzanne Lindley | 1:03 PM | 10-12-2007

one little positive comment, i noticed there are alot of stage 4 BC patients on this blog. when i was diagnosed 7 years ago it seemed like no one lived. hey, we are still here and that is a happy thought

Sent by cv | 1:05 PM | 10-12-2007

I cannot even imagine what so many of you are going through. My fiance is having radiation on a tumor that is pressing on his airway. He says his throat hurts so bad he can hardly eat, swallow or breath. I can only sit by and watch, hold his hand and try to get him to eat whatever he will. The doctors say it will pass when the radiation is done. Todays blog reaffirms that. Thank you for that! I believe it will get better, Leroy, you will too!

Sent by Laurie Hirth | 1:38 PM | 10-12-2007

Cancer, and the gifts it keeps on giving, really sucks.

Praying for you and Laurie daily...

Sent by Ronni Rhodes | 1:44 PM | 10-12-2007

I'm so sorry you are hurting so badly.

I keep rewriting what I'm going to post because I think I can add some sort of wise words, or something that will make you hurt less. I've realized that I can't. Please stay strong, and know that there are a lot of people out there pulling for you to feel better.

Sent by Heather | 1:52 PM | 10-12-2007

God's peace to you in this difficult time.

Carl

Sent by Carl Wilton | 1:59 PM | 10-12-2007

Hi Leroy.

Cousin Denise introduced me to your blog. It was one of the last communications I received from her prior to her death at 53, ravaged by years of fighting breast cancer???then lung cancer and bone cancer and brain cancer and spinal cancer and and and.

Her death devastated so many of us. We knew that if anyone could beat cancer, it would be Denise. She endured endless, horrific treatments and continued to push herself, maintaining as normal a life as possible for her wonderful husband and two daughters???and the rest of us who loved her so dearly. We prayed fervently to hear Denise say: I???m in remission. Instead, her last words were: I???ll miss everyone so much but life goes on.

She was my cancer-beating icon. Now, you are.

Death diminishes me. Death by cancer shrivels my hopefulness. Hers did and yours will. What will I do then?

I???m not being selfish, just tired, just losing hope. My family???s graveyard of cancer victims is plentiful: Denise in March, my brother in 1985, my father in 1990, and my mother in 1997. I tangled with the beast from 2005 to 2006 ??? breast cancer. I am luckier than my relatives, I am still here.

Cancer has changed me, fundamentally changed me. Today is the only day that counts. Today, no one has told me that I have cancer. Yesterday is my history???I can learn from it but not change it. Tomorrow is a mystery???one that begins and ends with passionate prayers to my gods that the beast which skulks in my body be still and quiet. I settle on today being my day. Every today will be my day???until I hear those words again: You have cancer. Will I beat it again?

So many of us need to read these words from you: I???m in remission. Because, if you can do it, we can too.

Sent by CC Caldwell | 2:19 PM | 10-12-2007

Bless you, Leroy, I hope by the time you post next week you are feeling much relieved of the pain. You're still in my prayer and positive energy links and will be as long as you need them.
Sondra

Sent by Sondra Scott | 2:20 PM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy,

My own nerves are on a razor's edge right now anyway, due to my mother. She's not doing well. She doesn't even make sense sometimes, I feel it's definitely "chemo brain". She hasn't been able to take her last treatment, because of her white cell count, but should be taking the final one next week. Then we start the scans, etc. I'm so afraid of what we will find. What a hellish year for so many people! When I read of your constant, incessant pain, I just want to pull my hair out! I'm sure you've considered the same thing. Waiting for the moments to tick by in unrelenting agony? Sheer unadulterated hell! All I can say is what many others have said, just hang on. Hang on. And keep trying anything, and everything for the pain. Call a specialist in. Let him/her make a house call. WHATEVER IT TAKES! There's no need for you to suffer like this if there's any way around it. My heart breaks for you, and Laurie. You've been through so much. I continue to pray for you and everyone here, on my knees. I'm praying hard. I will think of you this weekend, and pray that you find some relief. Bless you!

Sent by Connie E. | 2:29 PM | 10-12-2007

I so appreciate your blog. I was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer seven years ago. Inoperable because I had a 4 centimeter tumor pressing on my coronary artery . Huge. .Inoperable because chemotherapy was considered to be ineffective on the small cell tumor I had. However my thoracic surgeon encouraged me to try chemo hoping that it might shrink the tumor in order to allow him to remove part or all of my left lung. He thought that would be a "cure."

I remember feeling stigmatized. Lung cancer is the most lethal of all cancers and my prognosis was not good. I have been a very public civil rights advocate all of my adult life, so the community felt that it "knew" me. Because of this, our local newspaper, The Courier Journal wanted to do an interview of me now that I faced this terrible death penalty. I resisted, thinking it would end up reading like an obit.

The paper was obstinate. Finally I agreed, hoping that an article about my lung cancer might do some good in Kentucky.Our state harbors an abundance of tobacco farms and cigarette factories.

My husband had died of lung cancer 16 years before mine was detected, and I decided to go ahead with the treatment so my five children wouldn't have to watch me die too. At least not right away.

What I hated about all of this was/is that because I had a very public lethal illness, and survived after my left lung was removed, everywhere I go----and I go everywhere,--- people ask in a hushed, loaded tone of voice "how are you?." Whatever good I did by agreeing to go public meant that I have had to live with a cancer that, for the time being is invisible yet I cannot run away from it because so many caring people want to know how I am.

I spend a lot of energy assuring people that if I were any better "I would be dangerous." They mean well. It isn't their fault. But I wish I had not been found out while I adapted to an inevitable death penalty. It has been exhausting.

Sent by Suzy Post | 2:50 PM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy, i just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. i have been saying the rosary for you every nite. i saw you on the 3 hr special. i can't believe how alike we are. having the same thoughts, concerns, fears. it is a mean sneaky disease. no one should have to experience it. i am sure you have all the same questions i had/have. but prayer is powerful, whether you are jewish, or christian. he hears all of us. i have been trying for such a long time to be able to write to you and finally someone told me how. i am saying extra prayers for you, in the car, having a meal, in the shower, taking walks. please know soooo many care about you. you are not alone. continue with your attitude.

Sent by bernie madden | 3:02 PM | 10-12-2007

I'm sorry you are going through your pain. As you know, cancer frequently involves pain.

Good wishes for you and I hope they find some good pain medication. I've been there. The best think is when it goes, you forget how debilitating the pain can be.

Let's hope it's a memory soon.

Sent by Scott S. | 3:35 PM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy,
I'm so glad you were able to write today. This community would not survive without you. I'm sorry you're in so much pain but hopeful it will abate soon. You had tremendous courage to undergo the surgery and we all applaud you. To all of you out there dealing with the physical pain from cancer or the emotional pain of watching a loved one suffer, I wish you a peaceful weekend.

Sent by Elaine | 4:18 PM | 10-12-2007

Leo,

I have been living with a very rare form of cancer called ACC ( Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma) for over 7 years now. I am 50. It is very painful. I have been thru 4 surgeries since June 2000. My first surgery, I had my hard pallet removed. The second surgery I had my left eye removed. After that I went through 8 week of radiation. The cancer came back about a year ago. In December of 2006 I had a tumor removed for my neck, that was sitting on my jugular.

I had been having a lot of chest pain over the last couple of years. One day about Aug. 2006 I drove myself to the emergency room on my way to work thinking I was having a heart attack. They found something in my lungs. In February 2007 they went into my lungs with a scoop type instrument and took a piece of one of the many tumors in my lungs and found it to be the ACC. I have maxed out on my radiation and there is no treatment for my cancer. I have been on pain medication for years now. The doctors say my cancer is in a stage 4, but because of the type of cancer, which they seem to know nothing about, is most of the time slow growing, no one is sure how long I will survive. I have been reading your blogs since the Ted Kopple Special aired. You have been an inspiration to a lot of people. I am hoping that thru you I can find some hope with my own cancer. As I said earlier there is no treatment for my cancer. I continue to look for clinical trials, but the only one at this time is in France. I feel hopeless a lot of the time. I am scheduled for a CT scan on November 5th to see how much the tumors in my lungs have grown since last March and if it has gone anywhere else. I wish you and all people living with cancer Hope and pain free living. No one should have to live in pain! Thank You for your time. Best Wishes

Donna Box

Buena Park, Ca

Sent by Donna Box | 4:22 PM | 10-12-2007

"I stand on a barren, ravaged, plain of pain,
Isolated on a totured mesa of malignancy.
Here, far from the world of normalcy,
I search for a place of solace, a place
of consolation."

Leroy:
I hope you find your place of solace, your place of consolation.
Love, Don

Sent by Don Winslow | 4:46 PM | 10-12-2007

Hang in there!

Sent by m jackson, Portland, Oregon | 4:47 PM | 10-12-2007

Good Afternoon Leroy and All,

Leroy, My heart goes out to you and Laurie. You are both fighting so hard and the fatigue can be overwhelming! We do have so far to go before we can say that we can adequately control pain. And I know that night time pain is the worst. It may give some relief if you can change your sleeping position to what is called the Semi-Fowler's position. The head is slightly elevated and the knees bent, with pillows used for support under the knees. This position takes a lot of strain off the back. Please check with your doctor first, to see that the postion is not contraindicated in your case. But if it is ok to use it, it just might bring you some needed relief at night. It's an old nursing comfort measure that we used for back patients who were hospitalized. I know you are hurting and also very concerned about your vision status. Where is that darn magic wand when we need it?

Vicki, You are fighting with all your might too. And we all join you in that fight! When it all seems overwhelming, just tap into the love being sent your way.

To All, May your seas be CALM and your pain be GONE! God Bless!

Eileen Pruyne
Charlotte, NC.

Sent by Eileen Pruyne | 4:55 PM | 10-12-2007

Hey Leroy and others:
I am cheering for you...praying for you. Lost my dear Mother to pancreas cancer in 05. What an ugly sneaky beast! We had to work with managing Mother's meds all the time during her four months from diagnosis till death.
Hang tuff all
Hugs
Deb Bibart SC

Sent by Deb Bibart | 5:02 PM | 10-12-2007

dear leroy,
i'm feeling really sad because you are in so much pain.
i hope and pray you feel better very soon.
sincerely,
jen

Sent by jen | 5:21 PM | 10-12-2007

LE-ROY! LE-ROY! LE-ROY!

Sorry. Ran out of things to say that sound good to me at all, so today, it's just cheering.

Goooooooooo, Leroy!

Sent by Linda | 5:31 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy
You are in my thoughts. I pray everyday for your recovery and I hope the pain lessens quickly.
Mary Scrugg
Cypress, TX

Sent by Mary Scruggs | 5:34 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy, All pain will be gone soon. Each day gets you closer to pain free. Be sure of it.

Hang in. Pulling for you.

Sent by joanne | 5:37 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,

I believe that positive energy feeds the body. Be positive, you need that energy.
You will be in my prayers. I am about to start 4th line chemo for my recurrent ovarian cancer. Cancer world is a roller coaster ride.

Hang on friend

Sent by Betty In Germany | 5:59 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy, when you asked the question about pain with cancer and I thought back to my best friend and realized that struggling with pain just isn't healthy. Take enough drugs so you don't have to breath it with every breathe. Worry about withdrawal some other day. Keep your sense of humor and desire for life at your usual level if you can. Hey, pain means that you are still alive (don't you just hate optimists!)

Sent by Pat Zalewski | 6:10 PM | 10-12-2007

Keep your positive energy flowing. I am sure it helps you and it inspires others to see beyond the moment to a more painfree future. Your are in my prayers. Linda

Sent by Linda | 6:57 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy, Thank you for your words during this difficult recovery period. Your comment that "the pain made it hard to speak" hit me hard. I can not imagine such intense pain. I hope that your doctors will be able to find some relief for you. I heard from a friend yesterday that a family friend went to the ER last Thursday because she was in a lot of pain. They told her that her body was full of cancer and gave her one day to live, yes one day. She passed away on Monday, just four days later. Yes cancer hurts some more so than others. I pray that your pain may ease in the coming days and want to thank you for sharing your experience with all of us.

Sent by Chris D | 7:26 PM | 10-12-2007

a joke i hope will give you a chuckle:

Demetri Martin, a comedian often on the Daily Show, tells about a day when he tripped on an escalator..."I fell down the stairs for an hour and half."

Prayers for your strength,
Catherine in PA

Sent by Catherine | 7:31 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,
I'm a regular reader but not much of a responder. It is with such great respect for you that I write this. Your blogs are very meaningful to me as I take my own adventure with cancer (AML.) You are at a rough water spot right now (in an already turbulent sea) but you have proven yourself to be a strong swimmer. I know you will progress and adapt to your new situation, though it certainly won't be easy. Pain is draining, but you have immense inner strength and will forage ahead to more days poolside in Hawaii with a tropical, umbrelled drink in hand. Just know that many of us are pulling for you and sending up intense prayers for your full recovery. I'm also a California 'kid' and appreciate your disappointment in the car transportation situation. Here's to a better tomorrow.

Lee Barnett

Sent by Lee Barnett | 7:42 PM | 10-12-2007

I ready Leroy's blog everyday and I frequently read many of the comments. Today I read every single one.
On Saturday, I will participate in the local Making Strides in honor of each one of you and two dear ones in my circle. There is something empowering by walking along with a large group with a single purpose. It makes a strong statement and hopefully, brings us closer to the awareness that Leroy often repeats....there are "too many."

Peaceful days and nights to all.

Sent by Rochelle | 7:48 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy -

Just back home from AP and liver resection surgery for my colon cancer. Had a rare complication from surgery that kept me there for 2 months instead of the 2 weeks originally projected. So this is the first I have learned of your current situation (no NPR!). I wish I could put my thoughts for you into words in the way you are so gifted at doing. Whenever you talk about your cancer I am always struck by how you are able to voice the thoughts I feel about my cancer in exactly the way I would voice them if I had the skill at articulating that you have. I particularly related to the story that compared the decisions we make in our journey to the kid in the helicopter in Apocalypse Now.

Be well and God bless.

Fondly,

David Ripley

Sent by David Ripley | 8:32 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy, I'm grateful your surgery was successful and you are once again home. What a lovely word it is - home. The comfort you longed for and, despite the pain, now have. Each day means going forward to recovery and away from the pain. Blessings to you and those who you care about and care for you.

Sent by Jilly | 9:04 PM | 10-12-2007

Arrgh!

Sent by Joyce Smith | 9:07 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy, sorry to hear about the pain. Have you tried guided imagery? Cancer sucks...but you rock. Hang in there.

Sent by Beth | 10:15 PM | 10-12-2007

Your damn right it hurts! It hurts inside and out. It hurts those with the disease and those who love them. The amount of human courage to bear it all is unbelievable. Best wishes, Leroy, for a little less pain over the weekend.

Sent by Marilyn | 11:30 PM | 10-12-2007

Dear Leroy,
You are right cancer does hurt!! I am a widowed mother of three, ten, seven, and five. My husband died of colon cancer in Jan.06. He never gave up or asked why. As I read your blogs I think of him. Keep fighting it's time for one of the good guys WIN!!! My prayers are with you.

Sent by nikki | 11:41 PM | 10-12-2007

Leroy,
Peace! I've only had a very few days, so far, of real pain. And the medication worked rapidly to nock it down. There must be something they can give you to help without making you a zombie. The trouble with some of the drugs is they send you to la la land.
I pray for you and your loved ones. Keep up the good fight.

Sent by Robert G. | 1:03 AM | 10-13-2007

If loving thoughts could cluster, they'd pick you up, rock you gently, and put you down in ease.

Sent by Joan | 1:08 AM | 10-13-2007

Leroy,
You know we are 100% with you buddy, and hearing of your pain reminds us of ours at its worst. BUT we get through it and you will also. Today I had a great day but full of mental pain. My best days are out on the ranch, and today was beautiful, clear, and breezy.
The project was simply to bolt on some cross boards on a new bridge and connect a 110 volt circuit box. Cannot walk, cannot stand so from a side chair I could not measure bolt lengths so I got the wrong size, then I could not check the continuity of a wire or find the short. All I am is an observer fully at the mercy of those doing the work and when things don't work I can't fix them... just make suggestions. On days when I had pain the "HURT" took my mind off my helplessness. But on a GREAT day when I can't do ANYTHING USEFUL, I wonder which was worse... Momentary Physical Pain, OR the Mental Pain associated with Physical Helplessness.
Hope you feel better in the next few days. I will get over my little self-pity days like this afternoon.
Just know that all of us who write in and those of us who simply READ your blog are pulling for you.

Sent by John Zizelmann | 3:57 AM | 10-13-2007

Leroy, you are so brave and your sense of humor is wonderful. We find so much strength in our selves and in our loved ones when we fight our cancers. I think about you every day and hope you feel better. Cancer is such a monster! We have to fight it with all we have, and that's what you've been doing. As a fellow cancer survivor, I'm honored to have you say so eloquently what we all feel.

Sent by Miriam Schapiro | 11:03 AM | 10-13-2007

Leroy --- I share a prayer with you and many prayers for you.

Dear God, be good to me. The sea is so wide, and my boat is so small.
Breton fisherman's prayer

Sent by A fellow cancer survivor | 11:09 AM | 10-13-2007

Thanks so much, Leroy, for sharing your experiences through your blog, both the good and the bad. It has been helping me through the grieving process of losing my brother to an especially aggressive case of ocular melanoma over 2 years ago. I feel like part of my childhood has been stolen, it has been very hard to process all that happened but you are helping--whenever I read things you write about, like whether or not to renew subscriptions, I can say, yes! My brother went through the exact same things. The other thing that both helping my brother and reading your posts does, something I apologized to my brother for, but those of us who have not (yet) had to deal with cancer in ourselves have been able to learn a lot sadly at your expense.
One thing that struck me most while helping my brother fight cancer is that I didn't fully realize the incredible roller coaster that cancer puts you on. I look forward to your posts and hope that your roller coaster ride is now on a slow uphill climb for a good long time, that each day is better than the one before. I hope the vision thing gets better, the pain lessens exponentially every day, and the next time the roller coaster sends you downhill it is a short ride before you're on your way up again.

Sent by Cheryl Kimball | 2:29 PM | 10-13-2007

Leroy,
Continuing to wish for an easing of your pain...I wish I could do more. Would some sort of nerve block be possible to relieve your pain?

Sent by Laura | 4:21 PM | 10-13-2007

My husband goes through this kind of thing much of the time, either due to a surgery, or previous back pain, or the chronic-flulike drag resulting from his perpetual, maintenance chemo. He does have relaxation CD that seems to help when not even his Fentanyl patches, or percoset, or heating pad, or Ben-Gay, or (hmm...what else does he resort to?) gets it. Cancer does hurt, physically, in addition to sucking mentally. I hate watching it, especially as there's nothing I can do. I find myself leaving the house, or going upstairs to read detective novels when I can't bear watching it.

Here's hoping yours passes. Also, have you considered a cat? Something about a companion animal of the right disposition can be kind of pleasant and soothing sez my husband...

Sent by Teri | 4:56 PM | 10-13-2007

Leroy and Laurie,
I have been following your incredible posts through e-mail for many months and was totally unaware of this incredible network of caring you have gathered around you on this blog. This latest bout has been excruciating to even read about, but I clicked online searching for the e-mail post each day to find out how the back surgery went. I cried with relief to know you were in recovery but am so sorry to read about the vision problems. Even saying that I am praying for both of you seems feeble. One of life's ultimate ironies is that we must seek comfort from the almighty being who seemingly inflicts the suffering. But I am praying mightily and will continue to do so. Blessings to both of you. Judy

Sent by Judy Roy | 11:51 PM | 10-13-2007

Yes Cancer hurts. Rest heals...so I pray you find pain relief that helps you get sleep at night. Thank you Leroy for your blog and for being such a strong spirit!

Sent by Linda Mowbray | 12:13 AM | 10-14-2007

Leroy -

I've just caught up on your progress post surgery and wish you a speedy recovery. It was just five months ago that I had major surgery to have part of my kidney removed thanks to RCC, so I can sympathize with your pain and frustration. The difficulty sleeping, the long row of staples, the inability to get comfortable, and dare I guess, the intense fear of that first post-surgical sneeze - all those memories are still quite fresh. Rest assured, if not comfortably, that your body will mend, the pain will ease, and the surgery will soon become a distant memory.

You are in my prayers.

Andy

Sent by Andrew Kearns | 12:53 AM | 10-14-2007

HI leroy,
It is Sunday morning a couple days since you wrote this. I pray that by now your pain is less. I was at a knitting convention this weekend. My daughter took a wheelchair in case I couldn't make it. I did make it, because knitting is a passion for me. It gives my mind a place to go to get away from the pain. I bought a few new projects. A jacket for a new baby in the family. I'll concentrate on his new little life while making this for him. I got things for my children that makes me concentrate on them and pray for them, not me. I'll leave these beautiful things behind for them, like a hug from me. Knitting is a hope filled activity. It gives me a future. It takes my mind off everything. Even in the middle of the night I can get up if I'm not sleeping. I have a vertebral compression fracture making it difficult to sit. But if I'm knitting I can get around the pain. I have 6 children and my life has always been very busy. I have always wished for the the time to just sit and knit. I didn't realize that the only way to get that was through illness. But here I am now with hours of sitting around in treatment centers knitting. I thank God for this ability and pray for you all. Viki, you are especially in my prayers.
Love Eileen

Sent by Eileen Pluta | 8:14 AM | 10-14-2007

When i've experienced pain that no medication can take away and i feel almost delirious, the only thing that helped me is visualization, and breathing. Picturing myself somewhere else, and the breathing ...i pictured the in breath as a white healing light that literally cooled the hot painful areas. Whatever works for you. I'm sorry you are in so much pain, leroy. Its a crazy place to be. I truly hope it lets up soon.

jenn from maine

Sent by Jenn | 9:08 AM | 10-14-2007

Dear Leroy,

A little late in posting, but always thinking about you. Sorry to hear about your post-surgical discomfort. Hopefully, in time it will get better.

Prayers to you and Laurie.

Sent by sasha | 9:56 AM | 10-14-2007

Leroy, it's the neuro nurse again I'm so sorry for your pain. Like many of the previous writers, i believe that there should be a better combination of medications to handle your pain. Don't wait because it's Sunday; please call the physician on call.

Sent by julie | 11:12 AM | 10-14-2007

Hi Leroy: I can relate to what you're going through and I don't know what to say except to know that hundreds of people, including myself, are sending you healing thoughts and prayers that you will get some rest soon. Keep strong, as much as you can. Rooting for you, Cathy

Sent by Cathy Q. | 12:30 PM | 10-14-2007

Leroy - I went through a bit of pain over the last week from a bad tooth. It's nothing compared to what you're experiencing, but it kept me up at night too. I'm struck by how much of an impact the pain, and mostly the not sleeping, had on me. I took to spending my nights out in the living room with my cat and three basset hounds. They keep odd hours too and I didn't feel so lonely having them around me at 3 a.m. Plus, the nights were never too quiet that way (two of the hounds are champion snorers :)

We're all wishing you well here, Leroy. The pain will pass soon and normalcy will return. Take care and feel well soon.

Sent by El | 1:52 PM | 10-14-2007

I have cancer. It's been in remission since initial treatment. I know it can come back. Easy to say now: I don't plan to fight if it does return, but would wish for the best in morphine, etc.

Sent by Jane | 2:52 PM | 10-14-2007

Leroy, Perhaps your pain is nerve-based. From what I understand, typical pain meds do not touch this type of pain. Perhaps the neurologist or a pain clinic could find something more effective? I do hope your recovery gets more manageable soon. I am so very sorry you are facing this.

Sent by NancyGM | 7:43 PM | 10-14-2007

Leroy,
I remember lonely nights in the hospital not being able to sleep with pain. I started doing what I called my grateful litany and it wasn't long before I was peacefully asleep. The litany I said to myself went sort of like this: I'm grateful for this bed, I'm grateful for medicine, I'm grateful for the nurse who just came in, I'm grateful for electricity, I'm grateful for my good doctor, I'm grateful for those flowers, I'm grateful for the needle in my arm...and so on. You get the picture. I was just grateful to be alive. Hope this little trick helps you peacefully fall asleep. My litany today would include I'm grateful for Leroy so all of us do not walk this road alone. God bless.

Sent by Pam | 8:57 PM | 10-14-2007

You have been in my prayers. The pain you describe brings back my feelings of helplessness as I cared for my mom. One thing that seemed to help the pain meds kick in for her was Lorzepam. It took the edge of her anxiousness thereby giving way for the pain meds to take over. This suggestion was given to me by a nurse who I called at 4:00 AM in desperation. Yes, things are worse in the night. To that, I am wishing you brief nights and lots of long bright promising days. Holly

Sent by Holly Gaenzle | 11:25 PM | 10-14-2007

Hi Leroy - I'm sorry you're in so much pain. This most probably sounds like a silly question but why are you awake? When my husband was in agony they pumped in the morphine and added a clinical sedative and that was it, sleeping like a baby. My mother used to say 'you might as well sleep through the pain'. Anyway I hope you are feeeling better soon. Love and prayers

Sent by lisa.burt | 2:49 AM | 10-15-2007

Leroy, I'm so sorry to hear of your pain. I know the pain my husband endured during his illness. I say I know the pain, but I don't really know the physical pain, I know how much it hurt to watch him going through it. I hope God alleviates your suffering and allows you to heal soon.

Sent by Cindy | 5:22 AM | 10-15-2007

I must tell you about the most amazing & touching thing that occurred after one of my cancer surgeries. One night (it is of course as you pointed out always much worse at night)...they simply could not get the pain undercontrol. It sounds silly but when you have so much pain you can not sleep or rest it is maddening. Finally my nurse (an older nurse like myself) said to heck w it. She gave me a big dose , something to sleep, and something for nausea...then she stopped everything she was doing and sat at my bedside & stroked my hair/forehead gently for a very long time. I know it was over 45 minutes because I finally drifted off to sleep. I saw her the next morning 2 hours after her shift. I immediately inquired why she was still there..she said she was very behind on her charting after stroking my hair but would do it again every night just to see me be at such peace. My God where do such wonderful people come from??? I am 48 having been a nurse for 30 years. I can only hope and pray I was so kind to some of my patients and remembered that the human touch is so important. It will get better hang w us Leroy.

Sent by Cherie Brown | 7:16 PM | 10-16-2007

keep fighting. feel our prayers and good wishes. i just put the rosary beads down. i am sure the sun is shining there.

Sent by bernie madden, cape cod | 9:54 AM | 10-20-2007

Did you cancer hurt all over or just a few places.

Sent by dianna | 2:29 AM | 3-25-2008

About