I had 2 breast cancer surgeries in one month a little over 3 years ago. When anesthesiologist talked to me before surgeries about pain relief after initial (mastectomy), he told me there would be “strong” pain med prescription for me to pick up at hospital pharmacy when i was released next day. He seemed flabbergasted when i told him to do NOT take any of the pain meds with narcotics. That i have IBD with constipation; if he REALLY wanted to see me in pain, watch what will happen if i end up with bowel blockage! I said i was unwilling to take chance; i’d rather be in post-op pain. He said he did not want me in pain because it interferes with body’s ability to heal. I just kept saying he can leave all the opioid-based pain pills he wants at pharmacy dept, but i intended to LEAVE them there, even if i’m charged for them. Finally he offered me what turned out to be “miraculous” way to deal with post-op pain. I’m very easy to medicate – “less is more” all of my life. He informed me of the risks. I asked him if he’d feel comfortable recommending the injection into my spinal cord for his mother, wife, sister. He said he would. I was given some kind of injection in spine in my back on side near to breast being removed. Anesthesiologist said in most patients the pain block eliminates/reduces pain for 2 – 3 days post surgery before slowly wearing off. In my case, i had no to very little pain for almost a week. Then i was able to take Aleve to deal with pretty mild discomfort after the pain block wore off. I am so grateful i was offered alternative to strong pain pills! The MD Anderson anesthesiologist took the time to fully explain there WAS pain pill alternative. He even dropped in to see me morning after the surgery, although nurse told me that was unusual. I guess if breast cancer returns in one way or another (i have about a 50-50 chance of that happening) i will decide how to deal with the pain as i’m dying from breast cancer when the time comes.