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  • Writer's pictureSean Quinn

Controlling my Pain with hypnosis

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

I learnt that with self-hypnosis, a relaxed state of focussed attention, excluding all other thoughts, that I could manage my pain. I have tried this method many times since my cancer and it works for me very well. It is basic hypnotherapy 1.01. The following is from the journal I wrote to help me get through cancer and is a reflection of what was happening, and what I was thinking, at that time.

Nearly halfway through my radiation treatment now. It is quite a challenge going in to have radiation every day and knowing that every dose of radiation will make my throat more damaged and painful than the day before. But that is the treatment, as long as it blasts the cancer. The pain in my throat is getting very severe now. It is constant and intense, even swallowing water is painful. Targin, Liquid Endone, Fentanyl patches and Lignocaine gel get me through, but eating is very difficult. I am not getting much nutrition. I am very lethargic now and just grabbing snatches of sleep throughout the day and night. I lay down nearly all the time now and have almost no energy.

I am learning to reduce pain by focusing on it. I relax my body and go into a meditative state and examine how the pain feels. I give it different labels, it's not pain but an unusual, interesting feeling. Instead of trying to distance myself from the pain, I am embracing it, examining it, understanding it, and controlling it. I imagine that I am dialling the pain level back on a big knob like the one I used to have on my sound system as a teenager. It works, I can manage this!!

I am looking at life a little differently now I guess. Some of the small stuff obviously goes out the window. I am yet to really grasp what I need or want to be doing with my remaining time. One thing I know for sure, that is how temporary and how finite that time is, so I don’t intend to waste any more time doing things that are not relevant to my purpose.

I have lost 16 kgs now, down to 58 kg. I could ride a top weight at Doomben ha ha. If I get down to 56 kg they will put a enteral feeding (PEG) tube in. Hope I can hold out.

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