Cancer Ghost Pain’s are something that I really had to figure out what was going on after all my treatment as a new survivor. I became hyper-aware with the understanding of what was happening in my body during that time while I was undergoing all my chemotherapy. Because of this, you learn a lot about yourself. You learn a lot about how your body works and all the different things that you feel as you are going through it. Hyper-awareness really is the best word for it because you are feeling a lot of different things. Feeling a lot of emotions, feeling a lot of physical feelings that are going on with your body. You end up becoming really concerned when you start feeling things that aren’t normal.
When I would end up having little pains going on my in my right side where my liver was was, this feeling made me concerned. And I also had weird neck pains and soreness. These were the feelings that I couldn’t explain.
I asked my oncologist and my PCP about ghost or phantom pains, but they weren’t really sure what it could be because my checkups kept showing a good bill of health. Evan all my blood work looked good. So for all these things that were going on, all these pains that I was feeling, it was very possible that I was manifesting these feelings in my subconscious. And that’s why I call them ghost pains because at the end of the day they may not have been real.
At least It wasn’t debilitating for me. But it was enough to continue bringing concern into my head. Like, am I having another Reoccurrence? Are we going down this path again? And that was really a tough one to work through mentally. Because you’re never able to get over that and next hurdle because you’re basically on guard. It makes you think, okay, is it coming back? What’s going on here?
There was a point where I needed to have some sort of a definition to this issue. That’s when I came up with Ghost Pains, and I’m sure a lot of you can relate. Maybe you’ve even thought of it yourself. And that was the best way for me to wrap my head around why I was feeling these weird and sometimes intense pains that were going on in my, in my chest, legs, arms and in my feet, for whatever reason.
And by giving this some sort of a definition, I was able to start differentiating the kind of pains that I was feeling. Being able to assess how these pains were happening. Where they were, why and when they were happening.
So by doing this,
I was able to figure out how this was going to affect the next steps. I was able to use these pains as a way to figure out if they were really legitimate or if they were not. A huge majority, 90-95% of the time, what I was feeling was not anything that was important to address immediately. Most of the time these pains would come and go. most of the time they would be in certain spots that were in areas where I had surgeries and biopsies done. A lot of different spots.
Occasionally I get some weird weird ghost pains that happen where my biopsy happened in my liver. I would get some pains in my armpit where I had a lymph node removed. Even in my neck area where I had a mediastinoscopy, I get some weird sensations and things that happen there. Even then, even where I had my bone marrow biopsy in my hip, I get some weird sensations.
Not all pain is Ghost Pain
I will admit, some of these pains might be chalked up to some old sports injuries that I had. My feelings are they we’re really induced from the chemotherapy and the treatment that I was going through at the time. And by knowing this, I’ve really become a lot more at ease and a lot more peace with all the pains and feelings that I go through. Especially since I’m still very active.
I’m still very aware of all the things that are going on. I’m understanding how my heart works and how that relates to sports activities. Even got a GPS heart monitor watch so I can really keep an eye on when I’m super active. This has helped keep an eye on my ghost pains when I’m really active also.
So these are some things that I’ve been able to do. I’ve just taken a lot more interest in what my body’s telling me and how I’m feeling because of these Ghost Pains. This was huge for me to really wrap my head around and feel comfortable with it now. It took a lot of time and it took a lot of energy to really work my way through all this info. And then come up with something that made sense to me.
So I suggest for you guys out there that are reading this, if you’re feeling some weird Ghost Pains, maybe you’re feeling some true serious pains, take a moment and assess what is going on. If it’s something that comes in for a little bit, seems a little intense and just kind of goes away, It might be ghost pain or might be a real pain, just pay attention. Does it happen more often than not? Does it come and go on weird random spots?
Hard to say. But I can say that just pay attention to them. Sometimes these pains are very legitimate and need to be addressed and sometimes they don’t. I’ve learned with my body which pains that I experience are not to be of concern. This has taken a while.
I’m eight and a half years in remission now and has taken that long know how this has affected my body. So far so good, but I still get them. I still feel certain pains and I’m able to distinguish what ones I think are ghost pain and which ones are not. So take that time to really learn your body. I mean it didn’t take me eight and a half years to learn this, but it took me a few years to really start to decipher all the information that my body was telling me, and start learning what was happening.
For more information and start gaining more insight into the steps to take as a survivor, check out IA Survivorship Care Plan here!
Maybe ghost pains is a great way to explain how you’re feeling these crazy sensations that are going through your body as a survivor.