by kjcreager on Wed Jul 27, 2011 02:51 AM
I was diagnosed with Stage 2b cervical cancer following a May 2010 hysterectomy in which my uterus and cervix were removed.
I began treatment in July 2010. I had 4 treatments of Cisplatin chemo treatments and 36 external and 2 internal radiation treatments. I had a rough time through treatment and lost 27 pounds.
I began to have stomach issues in January 2011. Finally got really, really ill at the end of March 2011. After undergoing tests throughout Jan and Feb to no avail. At the end of March, I thought I had a rotten stomach virus. By the end of the weekend I had my mom take me to the ER. I was admitted with a intestional blockage. By May and my third block, my small intestines were resectioned and 18 inches of bowel were removed. I still have constant diarrhea which is only slightly sometimes is controlled by perscription anti-diarrheals. Therefore, I am on TPN feeds. I hookup nightly through a mediport to a bag of nutrition that has 2000 calories and tons of vitamins.
Due to the severe malnutrition, I have lost a ton of hair and another 17 pounds. I sometimes still get very ill and need IV fluids and blood transfusions.
Right after the surgery, I was then diagnosed with bladder cystitis. Radiation damage to the bladder. Feels like a constant UTI. It is controlled to a degree with meds. But if I am on my feet too much, I still need morphine.
Has anyone else experienced Radiation damage?
by ChristineElise on Thu Aug 11, 2011 01:35 PM
Kelly:I read your posting and think my mom has/is going through the same thing. In March of this year she was diagnosed with 2b cervical caner - she had not had a pap smear in over 10 years, so we were unsure how long the cancer had been growing. The doctors we initially went to treated us horribly because she was without health insurance. We never really received a concrete answer as to what her stage was, but they placed it at 2b.
A few weeks after diagnosis, they said her kidneys would be affected by treatment, so decided to put a drain tube (catheter) in her left kidney... so she has a catheter coming from the kidney through her back and a tube/bag. They started radiation, 5 days a week for a total of 25 initial treatments. She had 5 chemo treatments. She had to have 2 blood transfusions due to her blood count being to low and they continued to give her a chemo treatment. I think that nearly killed her. She just has not gotten much better since that last chemo treatment.
After her completion of these (by late May), they scheduled her for 2 internal radiation treatments - she stayed in the hospital for three days on each stay and had a device implanted that would deliver a regulated radiation amount. I think you mentioned you had this as well. After the second implant, they said the cervical caner was nearly dead, but wanted to continue treatments on the lymph nodes on her upper legs - she has not continued this.
She was having constant UTI/kidney infections due to the catheter bag and has gone to the ER twice over it. She is having horrible intenstinal problems, diarrhea, gas; it's just awful. She will sit on the couch and just cry from being in so much pain. Everytime she goes to the bathroom, it hurts her stomach and muscles from trying to go. It'll take 15-20 minutes for her to feel any better after trying to go. She's having uncontrolled bowel movements and waking up in the middle of the night peeing herself.
The last trip to the ER, they did all sorts of tests and nothing came back showing there was any type of blockage. It's just like the treatments have done permanent damage to her stomach/intestines.
I initially was thinking maybe the cancer was spreading, but then I came across this post and think this is exactly what is going on with her. She has lost about 30 pounds over the last few months and not gaining, although her appetite is slowly returning. I'm just scared that she will never return to a normal quality of life. I asked her today when she was going back to have the PET scan to see how the cancer has progressed/died, but she said she wouldn't do anymore treatments. She's been in so much pain, she's just over it all. We have so many medical bills, too, I think that's her main reason for not wanting to continue with treatments. The only thing I have found to help her with her bowels is a Rite-Aid brand medicine called Senna. It is sort of like a fiber pill and helps her keep some what regular, but it's not a cure. I hope things get better for you and her; it's just sad that the treatments end up doing more damage then what you initially have to begin with.
by kjcreager on Thu Aug 11, 2011 08:42 PM
I am so sorry that your mother is suffering. It is horrible to deal with the radiation damage.
The way I knew I had blocks was I would have terrible rolling pains across my abdomen. I could not eat without pain. After the surgery, the pain went away but the diarrhea is persistent. That is why I am on TPN which is a liquid feed that I hook up to the line they have in the port in my chest. She really needs to see another doctor if at all possible to get some relief. I was on high doses of morphine prior to the surgery.
I am still on morphine due to the radiation damage to the bladder.
Chemo and radiation felt like it was going to kill me too. I have started seeing a pain management doctor that works with me with morphine and vailum to help control the bladder spasms.
I hope she finds some comfort. I have had many days on my couch crying - it feels like it will never end - which according to my docs it won't end. Take it day by day. I don't blame her that she doesn't want anymore treatments - but maybe at the least she can get her pain under control. My sister had breast cancer - it got to the point she couldn't pay her bills - let that be the least of her worries. Just get the test done and don't pay or maybe negoiate a lower rate.
Take care and let me know if you have any other questions.
by carol1964 on Thu Aug 18, 2011 06:12 PM
I had damage to my kidneys like that too. I had the tubes out my bag and the leg/night bags. It became very irratating to my back. I eventually ended up in ER and they told my husband and family if they hadnt brought me I would have died, i was shutting down. In Dec. I had a major surgery and they took a piece of my bowel and tied it into the kidneys and now I have a urostomy. I was diagnosed April of 08 and so far the cancer hasnt returned but the complications have been horrible. Still not back to my old self and do get tired still easily. I hope things get better for you and yours .. in my thoughts, always.
by kjcreager on Thu Aug 18, 2011 06:36 PM
Thanks for sharing your story. Radiation damage is horrible. So glad they took you to the ER when they did. I hope the best for you and will keep you in my prayers.
When you track a discussion, you will get notified by e-mail if anyone else posts a new message on this discussion. Are you sure you want to track this discussion?
If you stop tracking this discussion, you will no longer get notified by e-mail if anyone else posts a new message on this discussion. Are you sure you want to stop tracking this discussion?
Did you or your loved one seek a second opinion before starting cancer treatment?
No, but we got a second opinion after we started treatment
We care about your feedback. Let us know how we can improve your CancerCompass experience.