How do you handle watching someone in pain

Discussion Board Forums Introductions! How do you handle watching someone in pain

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    Welcome to the website. I hope that you will find some of the answers you seek and some good support along the way. So sorry to hear about your sister in law. I hope that the new chemo drugs will be effective against the cancer because that is often one of the best pain killers available – at least it was for me. When I had a combination of chemo that was effective at killing the cancer and preventing it’s growth cycle I felt a lot better from a pain perspective. Now that I have stopped responding to chemo (still trying though!) I have found my pain is also an issue. I currently use the Fentynal patch in addition to oral morphine. The patch along with an oral med for breaktrough pain is a good method because this way you get a constant release from the patch and a boost from the oral when needed. There are times that I find I let myself get behind though and don’t take the oral meds when I should and then it is a battle to get pain under control again. You also have to remember to change the patches out every 3 days on time or you will get behind on the pain as well.

    As far as other ideas for the pain – my specialist at Mayo has recommended a nerve block. The source of my pain is in 2 spots. One is due to a distended gallbladder resulting from a blocked cystic duct and the other is due to peritoneal metastases. He feels that interventional radiology can sucessfully block the nerves that are causing this pain by undergoing a procedure in which they numb or kill specific nerves. I’m considering having this done on one of my next trips to Mayo. Another option for controlling pain is to get Hospice involved. That usually has a stereotype to it, but the main purpose of asking for their help would be to control the pain. They have access to and can help in ways that your oncologist or pain doctor cannot. They can get you liquid morphine which seems to work better than pill form, Actiq fast acting Fentynal in the form of a lollypop, and some other top notch methods of relieving pain. You can even get a pain pump from them to infuse IV morphine or dilaudid if things are really bad. I have looked into Hospice for pain relief and decided against it because I am still very much in fighting mode and I feel that by calling in Hospice I would be sending a message that I am giving up which I am definately not ready to do.

    The other thought that I have is that sometimes emotional pain can enhance physical pain. A lot of cancer patients get depressed and this can make physical pain worse. So, if she is experiencing any anxiety or depression there are meds available to help control that and in the process maybe help with physical pain as well.

    I wish the very best for your sister in law and family. Please keep us updated on how things are going.



    Hi Dawn,
    Like others, I want to welcome you to the site – it’s a great place with wonderful people to support you. My Dad was also originally diagnosed with pancreatic cancer before the doctors realized it was actually the bile duct. Dad can’t have morphine and takes both oxycontin and oxycodone for pain, and for the most part is usually manageable. He does get some break-through pain but is able to take another dose when this happens.

    I will have you and your family in my thoughts and prayers tonight – I am sorry for what you are going through and understand entirely how difficult it is to see someone you love in pain…. I hope she finds something to help manage it a bit better soon.



    Dear Dawn,

    May I join the others in welcoming to the site, here you find support, guidance and answers from those of us who have been touched by cc in one way or another.

    I cannot add anything new to what the others have suggested, I woul advocate gettting the hospice outreach nurses involved as pain management and symptom control is a priority for your s-i-l right now.

    Please keep us updated on her progress, Best Wishes,



    Hello Dawn,

    Welcome to the site, although I am sorry that you had to find us all. And I am very sorry to hear about your sister in law and the pain that she is experiencing right now and I know it is very hard to watch a loved one suffer. I do agree with Lainy’s comment about bringing in hospice care as they will be able to help with your sisters pain.

    When my dad was in hospice care, he used to get morphine injections as and when he needed them and they helped him a lot with regard to his pain. He was also getting pain meds through his syringe driver constantly and that also helped him. Hopefully others will be able to offers more suggestions as to what can be done here to help your sister in law.

    I hope that you will keep coming back here as you will get a load of support and help from everyone. I came here when my dad was diagnosed back in 2008 and everyone here helped me so much and I know they will do the same for you. And yes this is also a great place to vent and let out some anger if need be.

    My best wishes to you and your sister in law,



    Dear Dawn….I am glad that you have joined us, but am so sorry to hear of your dear sister in-law especially, for the fact that she is experiencing pain.
    I believe it might be helpful to speak with the physician re: your sister in-law


    Dawn, welcome to our family and we are so sorry about your Sister. My husband Teddy is on Morphine now and his system is taking it very well. First he takes a long acting pill, 10mg every 8 hours. Then he can take a liquid Morphine every hour if needed for break through pain (15mg). Many times he doesn’t need the break through Morphine and all is working quite well. The Nurse also told him to use a heating pad where the tumor is and that has really helped a lot. From what I understand the Morphine is the strongest pain med there is.
    You might also ask your doctor about bringing in Hospice as they are not just for the “dying”. They are wonderful and their goal is to keep the patient pain free.
    Yes, this is a dreadful Cancer and I read where it has surpassed Pancreatic as the most devasting, a title we sure don’t need. Please keep in mind though that we have quite a few survivors. Sometimes it is good to get a second opinion and a 3rd if needed. Feel free to visit us often and we welcome venting, tears or just a hello. Hang in there and stay strong.


    I saw this site 5 months ago when my sister-in-law was diagnosed with bile duct cancer. I read many of the stories and was both touched and impressed by the support each of you have given each other and the information that was shared. This is my first message I have typed on the site. I need opinions or information on how to handle watching someone you love be in so much pain. My sister-in-law, Rita, was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer by our local pathologists and oncologists. It was recommended that we see a specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. The specialist informed us that Rita had bile duct cancer. We thought this was great news – never heard of bile duct cancer – just knew we didn’t want pancreatic cancer. Oh…. I have learned that this is not a ‘better’ cancer to have. Later we found out it was inoperable. She was originally in pain and the chemo treatment of cisplatin and gemicide seemed to help the pain. In the last month the pain has increased. She is taking morphine orally on a regular basis. We found out this past Thursday from a catscan that the tumors have increased in size and frequency. So…..we are stopping the cisplatin and gemicide and trying two different chemo drugs on Tuesday. Her quality of life is not good. She is tired, weak, and hurting all the time. Are there other/better drugs for her pain? She was on percacet and a patch before switching to morphine a month ago.
    Her mother is her main caregiver, but my husband and I try to help out as much as possible. I go every week and sit with her during treatments and my heart breaks watching her and so many others deal with their cancers.
    I believe in God. I pray for her all the time. I am just soooo sad she is going through this. At times, I just want God to take her and free her from this pain and at other times I just want to scream and cry and complain how unfair all this is. She is 50 years old and has no children or a spouse. She has dedicated her life working with special needs and mentally ill children. She is one of the ‘good guys’ – as I am sure all of your loved ones are. Thank you for letting me vent and sorry for the misspelled words – I am crying while I write this and I can’t remember how to spell the drugs.

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