Ask DJ Lyons: Pain is your body saying something’s wrong


Pain is the body’s way of alerting us that something is wrong.

If we immediately throw a pill at it, thus treating the symptom only, we miss out on the opportunity of tuning into our bodily wisdom.

Instead, take some moments to try to discover what is at the root of this pain.

For Example


Perhaps you have been sitting in front of a computer or a TV for hours on end. You finally decide to get up to get some food or to visit the bathroom or to answer the phone. You try to get up and discover that your knees or ankles hurt.

Perhaps your first inclination is to take a pill like Tylenol or Aleve. Or perhaps you visit your doctor who gives you an antibiotic to mask the pain of this symptom.

With the pain temporarily relieved, you carry on day after day spending hours sitting in one position. Each time your body attempts to alert you that something is wrong. Since it can’t call you on the phone or send you a text or e-mail or letter, it must use the only tool in its arsenal. It sends you a signal by allowing you to feel a flash of pain.

Just as in the Hero’s Journey construct developed by Joseph Campbell, this is the Call to Adventure our body is issuing us. You can avoid this one-time or repeated call by treating the symptom with a pill or antibiotic or a Ben Gay rub.


You can accept this “Mission Possible” before it becomes “Mission Impossible.” By doing this, you are taking the time to evaluate what is really going on.

Ask yourself this question:

“Why do I think I might have pain in my knees or ankles after sitting in one position for hours?”


Well, …, perhaps my body is trying to let me know that I should set an oven timer for every hour or so to take a minute or two to get up and move around. Flex my ankles. Flex my knees. Walk. Move. Stretch. Get the blood circulating at a faster rate.

Then sit back down feeling refreshed. It is very likely, if you do this, you will not find it necessary to take a pill after all.

On the other hand, if you continue to allow yourself to sit hours on end in one position, …

There could come a day when you cannot easily get up ever again.

What is the moral of this hub?

When you feel pain, immediately take some time to evaluate what your body is trying to tell you. Try to discover the root of what is really going on. Then, once you have figured this out, treat the symptoms.

A Cautionary Tale


Years ago, before I ever met him, my husband was playing in a golf tournament. His uppar arm and shoudler hurt. Because he was playing one of the best games of his life, he kept playing through the pain. Between plays, he would hold his elbow up with his other hand.


That evening, he went to visit his folks. His mother gave him an aspirin to deal with the pain. When his arm still hurt the next day, he finally went to see about what might be causing the pain. He went to a walk-in clinic only to discover ... drumroll, please, ... yup!, you guessed it. He had experienced a ...


... heart attack. The end result was that he had to have triple bypass surgery.

His body had tried to alert him. Thank goodness his mother gave him an aspirin or it could have been so much worse. Too bad he did not observe his body's signals, perhaps ask a few questions from people around him, and then visit a hospital immediately.

Another Cautionary Tale


 Around June of 2009, I noticed a small dimple or indentation on the left side of my left breast. I felt of it and not feel a lump. I rationalized, "Well, it's probably nothing. After all, breast cancer does NOT run in my family. It's probably just gravity kicking in."

Then I lectured, "Get over yourself. You cannot expect a 51-year-old breast to look as pretty as a 21-year-old breast."

Sighing a little, I carried on living my life, just like normal. Every now and then through the months that followed, I would scrutinize that small dimple. "No change. Still there. Sigh!"

Fast forward to six months later. Four days before Christmas, I am standing in front of the bathroom mirror and getting the shock of my life.

That little dimple now looks like the top third of a walnut sticking out. Next to this lump is a large indentation that has the look of somebody that has stuck their finger into skin-colored Play-Doh or clay. She removes her finger, and the dent remains. God had orchestrated it that I could no longer ignore the obvious.

I had Breast Cancer.


 FYI - Please notice the use of past tense. It's 2011 and I am cancer-free. Woo-hoo!

2010 went like this:

Jan. 4th: Diagnostic Mammogram and Breast Biopsy

Jan. 7th: Diagnosed with Stage 3A Breast Cancer. The 3x5 inch lump in my breast had 2 kinds of cancer: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) and ILC (Invasive Lobular Carcinoma).

Jan. 9th: Got my hair cut while it was still healthy and gave 24 inches of it to Locks for Love.

Before and After Look
Before and After Look | Source

Jan. 12th - Met my surgeon for the first time - Dr. Mark Patterson

Jan. 15th - Got my port surgically implanted to make receiving chemo easier

Jan. 19th - While I still had hair, I received training form my beautician on how to straighten my hair. My husband loved how silky and soft it was. I got to enjoy this look for less than a month.


Jan. 21st - Met my oncologist for the first time - Dr. Dharmen Patel

Jan. 28th - Bone Scan, CT Scan, and Echo Cardiogram

Feb. 1st - Got Scan results. Three x Five inch tumor in left breast. One penny-size lymph node under left arm. Grapefruit size fibroid tumor in uterus plus other smaller ones. (They were all benign.) The most blessed news of all was that the cancer was confined to my breast and had NOT metastasized to my bones.

To make a long story short of frequent doctor's visits, etc.

Feb. 4th through July 1st - Had 8 sessions of chemo - 3 weeks apart.

During this period, I went bald. I mostly wore scarves or a hat. I only wore a wig when I had a storytelling performance to do. When my hair did grow back in, it grew in very soft. Thanks to these 4 tips that you can read in the first hub I ever wrote for Hubpages, it also grew in quite thick.

 Aug. 11th - Double mastectomy and full hysterectomy. Then lymph nodes removed under left arm. No cancer in any of them due to successful chemo treatments and Power of Prayer.

* Left breast removed. The tumor had shrunk by more than half thanks to successful chemo treatments and Power of Prayer. They got all the cancer out.

* Right breast removed. There was early stage breast cancder in that breast. What a blessing I had followed my instincts by having both breasts taken at once.

* Hysterectomy successful. Large fibroid tumors were successfull removed vaginally rather than being cut open. Minimal pain or side effects as a result.

Aug. 30th through Oct. 4th - Several sessions of Physical Therapy to regain full mobility of left arm.

Sept. 10th - Began taking daily low-dosage chemo tablet. I will be taken the generic version of Arimidex for five years to help prevent cancer from returning.

Sept. 15th through Nov. 5th - 35 days of radiation by Dr. John Boys for preventative purposes only.

Oct. 14th - Put away all my scarves and hat. It wasn't long before I gave back the wig to the Reach for Recovery group. Thanks to those four hair-growing tricks, I could go out with my natural hair. Woo-hoo!

Who gets credit for me being cancer-free?


What is the moral of this story?

In addition to a lump, there are 5 signs of potentially severe breast cancer.

You can watch a 30-second video on Animoto that I made by clicking 5 WARNING SIGNS OF BREAST CANCER.

Here they are:

1.dimple of indentation on breast

2. rash on breast

3. puckering of breast

4. nipple discharge

5. breast suddenly shrinks

That last one is not included in the video. I learned about it from a chemo nurse later.

Be aware of how your breast normally looks or feels so that your body can give you an early signal that something is wrong.

If I had gone to a doctor in June of 2009 about that tiny dimple, I most likely would not have had to lose both breasts or even one breast. They could have treated the root cause of the dimple.



A Sad Fact

1 in 8 women and 1 in 1000 men will get or already have breast cancer. Be alert!

Listen to your body's wisdom. Your life will go more smoothly and well-being will abound.

Many blessings to you all now and always!

DJ Lyons aak Debbie

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Comments 4 comments

Karanda profile image

Karanda 5 years ago from Australia

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am so relieved for your improvement. Such a positive attitude must have much to do with your speedy recovery.

Ask_DJ_Lyons profile image

Ask_DJ_Lyons 5 years ago from Mosheim, Tennessee Author

Thank you so much for your kind words. I do believe that a positive attitude really helps!

Yosia 23 months ago

Absolutely! Just found out a person close to me has bserat cancer. I and all my friends are doing the bserat cancer walk again this year! Hopefully this continues to raise the awareness of bserat cancer or any cancer for that matter!

SoJobs 23 months ago

Thanks for sharing- that is awsomee! I found your blog and the blog hop and I am your newest follower! I would love to have you stop by and follow back if you would like to!Camille

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