Managing Mesothelioma, Advice from Lorraine Kember
- Outreach & Awareness
- Jan. 10, 2013
In today’s video, mesothelioma caregiver Lorraine Kember describes how mesothelioma pain can be controlled, what medications are used to treat pain, how often patients should take pain medication, ways to deal with symptoms of mesothelioma, and complementary therapies. You can see other videos and blogs from Lorraine here.
“How can mesothelioma pain be controlled?
Everybody worries about pain. It is important to realize that pain is just a word. If we cannot describe the intensity of pain and the type of pain that we are experiencing, it is impossible for a doctor to be able to treat that pain.
As a caregiver, you can help your loved one to manage their pain by encouraging them to tell you the intensity of their pain by using a pain scale of null to ten. It is also important that they tell you the type of pain they are experiencing, because not all pain will respond to the same medication. Good communication between the patient, the caregiver, and the doctor is vitally important if cancer pain is going to be brought under control.
What sorts of medications are used for the treatment of pain?
Morphine and methadone are often used for the pain associated with mesothelioma.
Correctly prescribed and taken at regular times, they are remarkable for controlling pain associated with mesothelioma and patients, once they don’t have pain, are able to enjoy their daily life. Sadly due to a misconception that morphine and methadone will make people sleepy and unresponsive, many people are suffering pain unnecessarily.
How often should the patient take the medication?
Prescribed medication must be taken at regular prescribed times. If a patient is not feeling pain do not stop giving them their medication. This causes them to be chasing the pain, instead of in front of it, and it can take quite a while to bring the pain under control again.
How can mesothelioma symptoms be managed?
Controlling symptoms related to mesothelioma are the same as controlling pain. Good communication between the patient, the carer, and the doctor is vital. Take a note of any symptoms the patient’s experiencing and take them to the doctor on each visit. He will then be able to prescribe the necessary medication to bring those symptoms into control.
Do you think that complementary therapies would be helpful to people who have mesothelioma?
Complementary therapies are very beneficial to both cancer patients and their carers. Therapies such as rykie, reflexology, massage and pranic healing, to name a few have proven to be wonderful ways for patients to relax. It also helps them to sleep better and helps them to cope with the effects of their radiation and chemotherapy treatments.”
Lorraine Kember is the author of "Lean on Me," an inspirational personal account of her husband's courageous battle with mesothelioma. She is an accomplished public speaker in Australia and is passionate about sharing her journey with cancer. Her website can be found at www.lean-on-me.net.