Sobriety: My SO’s sobriety date is June... - Melanoma Caregivers

Melanoma Caregivers


kellyOd profile image

My SO’s sobriety date is June 1st, 2016.. long history of drinking, opiates, and other insane drugs.. and now he’s on an ungodly amount of narcotics.. taken as prescribed; so sobriety has been maintained.. meetings and all.. we are both in recovery.. anyone have any experience with that? Another large part of our journey that is incredibly difficult.. he doesn’t want the meds.. but he needs them. He wants this tumor removed surgically (4.7cm) in the chest but I don’t think it’s an option ANY doctor will explore. Too risky.. what quality of life is this?.. emotionally vomiting all over the place but.. does anyone have any advice? Experience?

3 Replies

I was in recovery for a very long time. Make sure he reads “in times of illness” and ignore anyone who gives him crap about his meds. My daughter has melanoma and it is difficult to watch your child suffer. I have no feedback on surgery but I will say that the immunotherapy has shrunk the tumors in her lungs. In my experience with her less meds is better and helps the vomiting. Fentanyl patch is working great and she’s off oral narcotics. Palliative care team really helped with these Med changes. Glad to hear you guys are still making meetings:)

missyrand profile image


Kudos on your recovery time. This tells me you both have strengths in working with a chronic, relapsing illness and have day-to-day coping strategies upon which you can rely and build.

One thing you might consider is adding in a board certified addictionologist who specializes in pain management/ oncology. You can be an addictionologist from any medical specialty, and they can be a great addition to your team or to the palliative care team.

There are times in recovery when pain management is a NEED, not an option. Surgery and living with cancer pain are two of those times. Talking with someone who understands triggers, craving, and the voice of "the beast" and also understands that pain which is not appropriately managed can lead to relapse is a valuable resource.

It also sounds like you all have put into place access, dosing, verification of appropriate use of meds and perhaps even an intermediary person to help keep all of the process consistent with your recovery goals and cancer management goals. Having sponsors who understand this would be a bonus. Having professionals who manage prescribing who understand all this language and your concerns sounds essential.

Addictionologists who specialize in pain management also have more experience in alternatives to narcotics like teaching folks how to use guided imagery, cognitive-behavioral strategies, use of cold or heat or TENS units to interrupt pain or reduce use of narcotics. But managing the pain is essential.

How is the collaboration with your care teams going?

This is a great topic.


Thanks for the recommendation! I’m going to check it out when I go to GBMC and see if they have anyone like that that can help :) and thank you it took a long time to get here it’s a huge blessing!!!

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