Jan 20, 2006 - 6:03 pm
Hi, I'm new to the site and very glad to find somewhere to talk about this bizarre set of circumstances and symptoms! I had metastatic squamous cell carcinoma, primary site not determined, which spread to the vagina, 3 1/2 years ago and licked it with chemotherapy. It recurred this summer and we tried chemo again but it didn't entirely eradicate the cancer this time, and in the time gap before starting radiation a whole new tumor developed on the left side of the vaginal wall, growing very quickly and causing bleeding from the vagina. I've now completed 20 out of a projected 25 external radiation treatments. That palpable tumor seems to have disappeared very rapidly and the bleeding stopped. I am having such incredible pain with every bowel movement, even while working to control diahrrea with imodium and the low fat, low residue diet... I am taking a little break from the treatments for a few days at my doctor's advice. The area around my anus and rectum are so inflamed and sore that they are throbbing all the time, I can hardly sleep at night, and live in fear of going to the bathroom -- and this is WITH pain medication! I was wondering whether any of you did stop the radiation early because you just couldn't take it any more. I was very relieved to feel the cancer disappearing -- at this point now, it's hard for me to even have the larger perspective any more that this could be worth the pain because it could be the final touch in saving my life. My doctor is still planning to do some internal vaginal radiation and some more targeted doses at the area where we suspect the cancer originated. It's the radiation to the anal area that is making me suffer so much. I'd like to know on what scientific evidence the doctors base their decision as to the number of treatments. Anyone know?