I eventually made the decision to have the second surgery - level 2-5 neck dissection to remove 30 lymph nodes. Even though none of the nodes came up positive, I'm still glad I had the surgery as a preventative measure. I realise that its going to be a long recovery. I won't sugar coat my situation. I am in extreme and constant pain 2 weeks after surgery and still not able to work. the offers of help have kind of died down apart from family involvement and there are days when the pain gets so bad, and i'm on max pain medication that i just put myself to bed and cry myself to sleep. I have limited movement in my neck and shoulders, so I can't drive or lift or sleep properly. I went for my first physio session yesterday and while it helped somewhat, the after effects were agonising. I'm going again on Friday as I believe in the long term it will help. I'm hoping I never have to go through this again. For now I'm cancer free. I have been able to avoid chemo and radio but have the horrible scars to prove it. Wishing you all good health and happiness on your recovery journeys.
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Super Contributor
I don't have any experience of your kind of surgery but it sounds like a huge thing . I hope you can be free from pain soon . Being cancer free is great but to be pain free is life changing too .
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Contributor
Hi Monners I have had surgery on face, neck, wrist/arm (graft & tendon for face), and leg (graft for arm) - 14 months since surgery. I was continually told by many that pain would have eased by 3,6 9, 12 months until finally I was told it was not likely to ease much before 2 years, if at all. That took away all my false hope & futile waiting in some areas. Physio has helped shoulder pain and restriction. I have about 60% movement range whereas after the op it was down to about 10%. Pain has eased to about 25% of what it was there originally. I have about 25% increased movement in wrist/hand but no less pain. Even my leg graft has about 2/3rds the original pain and is much slower healing than I expected. I sincerely hope your situation is much better than mine and improves tremendously, but much of it may well be the new norm. I believe that if this has to be, I can accept it (though that is very hard at times) because my alternative was not to be contemplated. Life is not fair nor easy for many of us, but I am just so happy to be alive. Prayers of strength and warm hugs of comfort, Pamela 🙂
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