How to support fatigued wife on pain meds?


Question from Steve: My wife has advanced breast cancer and recently began treatment with Navelbine. Within 24 hours of treatment, her fatigue and pain increase. To combat the pain, she is taking Oxycontin. Between the Navelbine and Oxycontin, she has no energy and loses desire to eat well and exercise. What can I do to support her?
Answers - Tish Knobf When starting a new pain medicine like Oxycontin (chemical name: oxycodone), there is often a transition time for your body to adjust to the symptoms. So, it's not uncommon that you may feel a little more tired, maybe a little less clear in your thinking in the first week or 2. Especially if your dose needs to be adjusted, so you need to speak with your physician and your nurse about the symptoms and the schedule of your medicine.
Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. When a person is in pain, the most helpful thing is eating small, frequent meals as opposed to typical, traditional large 3 meals a day. Eating what they want, when they want. And as the pain comes under control the appetite and desire to eat will also normalize.
Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S. It's wonderful that you're online representing her this evening with the goal of helping her with her treatment. As we know, breast cancer is a disease that affects not just the patient but everyone who loves her. Don't ever underestimate each moment you spend with her, how valuable that is to her and her fight against this disease.

On Wednesday, January 16, 2008, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Managing Fatigue During and After Treatment. Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D., Tish Knobf, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., A.O.C.N., and Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S. answered your questions about ways to keep up your energy, how nutrition can affect fatigue, and how exercising can help.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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