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Pain relief

Posted by

Hi, My son has been told he has one of two forms of stomach cancer and they are awaiting results of a biopsy to determine which. In the meantime he is in a lot of pain and is being treated with liquid and tablet pain relief. The relief isn't working too well and he is having terrible trouble sleeping and is constantly in agony. 

I know its a selfish question, but who can I talk to, to increase the help he's getting?

I don't want to cause any more grief but surely there is something that can be done to alleviate the suffering. He's in hospital now and has been since last Saturday

Rachel - Macmillan
Posted by


I hope you don't mind me posting here today, my name is Rachel and I work as part of the Community Team here at Macmillan. 

I just want to let you know that I've moved your question from 'Ask a Information and Support Advisor'  here to 'Ask a nurse'. this is because our nurses are the best specialists to help answer your question fully. 

One of our Cancer Information Nurses will aim to get back to you within two working days. 

If you have any questions, or ever need any support please do email the Team at 

Kindest regards, 

Macmillan's Community Team 

Ellen M-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi ,

Thanks for getting in touch with us and welcome to our Online Community.

It’s understandable why you’re wanting to know who you can talk to about your son’s pain and difficulty sleeping whilst he’s in hospital. Watching someone you love struggle with pain can be difficult. We don’t think you’re being selfish at all, it’s because you love him that you’re asking for help.

No one will give you grief. It’s important that they know how much pain your son is going through, so they can help him.

Although the staff may not be able to discuss your son’s treatment with you due to confidentiality, you can let them know how pain is affecting him. You can also tell them how difficulty he is finding it to sleep.

You can either give the ward a call and speak to the nurse in charge about your concerns or talk to them when you’re visiting.

Is your son being honest with the doctors and nurses looking after him? There are different types of pain. Pain does not feel the same for everyone. It’s important that he can describe his pain clearly. This will help his doctor or nurse to find the best treatment for him. It’s important that he lets the doctors know where the pain is, what it is like (for example dull, sharp, burning), how bad it is and when it happens.

Some hospitals use a pain chart to help them to assess someone’s pain. But if they don’t you could download our pain diary for him to use. This will help them to assess his.

There are many different people who can help to manage his pain. There are other drugs that can be prescribed with painkillers depending on the type of pain that he is having.

Before talking to the doctors or nurse about his pain we have this general page about pain that can be helpful to read. Although it refers to advanced cancer, the principles and information can still be helpful to read.

There are many ways that we can offer you support. You can join our stomach cancer group and talk to others who know what it’s like.

Remember you can call our Support Line on 0808-808-0000 and talk to one of our nurses. Our lines are open every day from 8am till 8pm.

I hope your son gets his pain managed better soon and he doesn’t have to wait too long for his biopsy results, so that he can get a plan put in place to start his treatment.

Best wishes and take care.

Ellen-Macmillan Online Digital Nurse Specialist.




Posted by

Many thanks for your help and advice. I may have jumped the gun as he told me the pain team were coming to see him this afternoon to help. 

His results came back today and He is getting more tests done tomorrow to confirm the type. 

Thanks again