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#148815 - 04/28/12 06:24 AM Self medicating...
Jodezilla Offline

Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 23
Loc: Oregon , USA
whos' done it and when does it become destructive? I guess Im talking about drinking too much and eating opiates. Where is the line ??
8/24/11- SCC stage3:tongue reconstruct from left arm & radical neck, feeding tube,trache.
3/28/12- SCC:radical neck again,chemo/radiation.
Started Cisplatin/radiation 5/2/12. Finished 6/13/12.
37yr old male.
7/19/13: All checks/scans have been good. Body weight and strength have return.

#148817 - 04/28/12 12:58 PM Re: Self medicating... [Re: Jodezilla]
Cheryld Offline
"OCF Canuck"
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 5260
Loc: Toronto canada
Excessive drinking is considered one of the causes of oral cancer they recommend minimal drinking if you've had oral cancer. It's an irritant this is why it used to be considered primarily an old man's cancer - heavy smokers and drinkers - in fact my drs all asked me how much I smoke and drink, when I told them I don't do either - the almost fell off their chairs. As for opiates. I think I have a fairly high pain toerance. Only needed and used them go a week following rads - frankly the didn't help with the pain... Just made me sleepy. I would talk to your dr though.. It can be very hard to ween yourself off of them. Good luck.
Cheryl : Irritation - 2004 BX: 6/2008 : Inflam. BX: 12/10, DX: 12/10 : SCC - LS tongue well dif. T2N1M0. 2/11 hemigloss + recon. : PND - 40 nodes - 39 clear. 3/11 - 5/11 IMRT 33 + cis x2, PEG 3/28/11 - 5/19/11 3 head, 2 chest scans - clear(fingers crossed) HPV-, No smoke, drink, or drugs, Vegan

#148818 - 04/28/12 02:27 PM Re: Self medicating... [Re: Cheryld]
EricS Offline
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 1844
Loc: Idaho

Opiates and alcohol should never be mixed. Opiates work by depressing the central nervous system which then slows your cardiovascular system, which affects your breathing. Adding alcohol to that mix causes death in a very real way, trust me on that one.

I had a "relationship" with pain medications for a total of 23 months, it wasn't until a Cranial Nerve Graft was done, taking the nerve that controls half of my tongue and grafting it into my facial nerve that the pain in my face became tolerable without drugs. I still have daily pain however I've been able to manage it without the use of opiates or anti-seizure meds (like Neurontin) or low dose tricyclics.

I did use vaporized or ingested marijuana (never smoke) for about a year after my last surgery to help with nerve pain, moods and appetite, however like any drug it too has it's side effects in memory loss and paranioa. What I like about MJ if you need to use it (drugs are tools to be used if the need arises) is that it doesn't have any known drug interactions and there's never been an OD recorded that I could find, and I've searched. On the other hand I've almost died twice due to a fentanyl overdose due to issues with the delivery system of that drug (heat activated patch).

I also used MJ to help with the withdrawels of the opiates. I cavemanned the fentanyl (went out to a cabin in the woods with a qualified professional, who happened to be my mom too, and quit it cold turkey) and then dialed off the oxycodone a month after that, 2 weeks after my last surgery.

Just keep in mind that medications are tools to help you through until you can walk on your own two feet, which should be the goal. Medicating as a coping mechanism is dangerous and usually ends badly.

Good luck, let us know if you need help my friend.


Edited by EricS (04/28/12 02:41 PM)
Young Frack, SCC T4N2M0, Cisplatin,35+ rads,ND, RT Mandiblectomy w fibular free flap, facial paralysis, "He who has a "why" to live can bear with almost any "how"." -Nietzche "WARNING" PG-13 due to Sarcasm & WAY too much attitude, interact at your own risk.

#148819 - 04/28/12 02:30 PM Re: Self medicating... [Re: Jodezilla]
Charm2017 Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 3082
Loc: Alexandria VA

The line is when you wake up with a hangover and/or your head is too fuzzy to think. unfortunately, drinking and pill popping don't work any better for the pain, frustration, anxiety, fear, anger, etc of cancer than they do for job stress, unhappy marriage, romance problems or financial issues.
That said, did I get drunk a few times after it became clear I would never ever get rid of this feeding tube. Of course, I did.
Doing it again though would be destructive.
Both alcohol and opiates are depressives so in the end they make matters worse if overused.
Indulge yourself in something else - I spent hours "killing", aliens and zombies in NOVA 2 and Modern Combat on line. Wasteful and pointless but dulled the pain.
but if you slip and fall, hey, don't beat yourself up.
Use the OCF forum as an outlet
Keep the Faith'
65 yr Old Frack
Stage IV BOT T3N2M0 HPV 16+
2007:72GY IMRT(40) 8 ERBITUX No PEG
2008:CANCER BACK Salvage Surgery
25GY-CyberKnife(5) 3 Carboplatin
Apaghia /G button
2012: CANCER BACK -left tonsilar fossa
40GY-CyberKnife(5) 3 Carboplatin

Passed away 4-29-13

#148820 - 04/28/12 02:49 PM Re: Self medicating... [Re: Charm2017]
EricS Offline
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 1844
Loc: Idaho
The PEG was a good delivery system for whiskey though smile I've shot a snort of scotch down the tube before, makes for a quick drunk as you don't feel the burn. It also put me in a world of hurt and I learned my lesson, would've sucked to survive stageIV cancer and the treatments for it and then die of a stupid drug/alcohol interaction...I've never claimed to be a smart man...
Young Frack, SCC T4N2M0, Cisplatin,35+ rads,ND, RT Mandiblectomy w fibular free flap, facial paralysis, "He who has a "why" to live can bear with almost any "how"." -Nietzche "WARNING" PG-13 due to Sarcasm & WAY too much attitude, interact at your own risk.


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