Every cancer patient who
has experienced unrelieved pain can provide their own list of
the damage pain can do to everyday life.
Even if you believe
that you, personally, can tolerate the pain you feel from cancer
or cancer treatments, consider this: by living in pain, you are
depriving those who love and care for you the full pleasure of
your company. To continue to suffer, especially in light of the
fact that very good quality of pain relief is available for
almost all cancer pain, is not only hurting yourself, but also
those who care for you.
It's important to understand, too, that cancer pain can
undermine your ability to fight your cancer. If pain has you in
its grip, your appetite diminishes. This means you may not be
receiving sufficient nutrition to retain energy which, in turn,
leads to exhaustion and feelings of sadness and depression. As
this cycle continues, a person is worn down gradually, may
become more vulnerable to infection, and the ability to
withstand necessary cancer treatments may diminish.
The list of damage that pain does to quality of life is
staggering, but we can help:
sleep is disturbed
ability to work is impaired
exhaustion can become a constant companion
sadness, depression and worry are commonly felt emotions
simple pleasures such as enjoying one's family are impaired or
trips and vacations are uncomfortable or impossible
reluctance to move or exercise is experienced
feelings of isolation from the world increase
family and friends who are caregivers become exhausted.
to Index of Chronic Pain Management