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About to start week 5 radiation & 2nd Chemo - side effects to come?

Melindaxx
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi

I'm from Australia and its almost impossible to find local information. I am 40 and had routine surgery to remove a "skin tag" when my cancer was diagnosed. What a shock.

Anyway I am on a 2 week break from radiation and about to start week 5 next week. At week 3 my inner thighs started to go purple and my "fanny" got tiny cuts inside and I got hot flushes across it and swelling. I have been using flamazine when I'm not having radiation and kenacomb. THe flamazine is really really good. I've also been on 20mg of oxycontin 3 times a day and 10mg when ever I have break through pain. Last week my bum started to go purple and my inner thigh has peeled. I have been tired but not too had. I haven't suffered badly from diahhrea. This week I am actually feeling quite good. The oxycontin makes me a bit chatty and hyper. The swelling and hot burning flushes have got less - sometimes it was like a million red ants biting me.

So now I fear what I've got to look forward to in the next two weeks. My radiation is 'narrowing in' to my bum area, rather than general pelvis. Then I have my last chemo which is attached in a bag for 2 lots of 48 hours. Last time I was a bit queasy, like morning sickness, and had 2 mouth ulcers, but was ok.

Are my symptoms all going to get worse again in these last two weeks, or is it what I have been used to putting up with?

Any advice would be welcome

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2879
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry you are having to go through this, but you will make it, just like the rest of us. As for the worsening of your side effects, this is a real possibility. The effects of radiation are cumulative. Since you've been on a break, hopefully your skin has healed some from the first few weeks of treatment. Since your treatment field will be narrowed for the last few treatments, that is the area you are most likely to have problems with. Keep in mind that I was treated in the U.S. and went through my treatment without any breaks, so my entire area just kept getting worse. The good news is healing will take place quickly, so hang in there!

z's picture
z
Posts: 1249
Joined: May 2009

Hello, Welcome and sorry you had to find us. I had the standard 5FU 96 hour drip for 2 cycles 1st and 4th week with 1 infusion of mytomicin on the 1st chemo day, along with 30 IMRT radiation zaps. The only break I had was the weekends. What is the treatment you are receiving? I used a product called bag balm, used on cow utters which was given to me by my radiologist, and took daily baths, along with pain meds, in which I took 4 a day. The only place I was irritated was my anal area, but using the pain meds and bag balm helped a lot. I did have the diarreha and painful bms. I was also given silverdyne, which is specifically for burns and may be applied in the skin affected by the radiation. I hope you will complete your treatment with minimal side effects, and the 2 week break will probably have shown to help your irritated skin. I wish you well and keep us posted.
Lori

ranelle65
Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2010

Melindaxx,

I had a tough time with the chemo 1st round because the meds were "pushed" in 3 days rather than the scheduled 4. I was sick by day 2. The radiation did not affect me until about week 3+ when I had to stop because the burns were so bad. I spend nearly a week and half healing. Then I restarted radiation and have since finished. The 2nd round of chemo was bad, but not nearly as bad as the first round. I think the last week or so of treatment was tolerable.

Keep your chin up...like the rest of us, you will beat this.

Melindaxx
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2010

Yeah not the best place to be meeting people, but what did we do without the internet to provide information and find others in similar situations?

I had mytomicin C and 5FU during my first week of radiation. I have had 22 "zaps" of radiation. Apparently at the clinic I go to they usually give their patients a break after 4 weeks for healing. I must say the break has helped me so much. I can walk like I haven't been on a horse for a month. My burns have peeled but don't bother me so much. The silver cream is amazing and I have two baths per day. My tiny cuts in my privates have healed. I start back to radiation this wednesday and then have 10 more zaps. My bum hasn't been too bad. A few weeks ago it was like pooing razor blades but that stopped.

Unfortunately I have to travel an hour and a half to get to radiation. Which is a pain in the ass! I have my chemo locally. However the radiation is at a private cancer clinic and although its costing me $400 per week because I'm not in a health fund (we have a pretty amazing hospital system here in Australia) and I have to drive, the attention and the care they give is just wonderful. My dr is lovely and I can see him every day if I wish, they are always running on time, there are 2 nurses there available to see at any time. My oncologist I don't like so much, he seems vague and disorganised and I seem to have to the local clinic about when I'm supposed to do things. He hasn't decided whether I have another lot of mytomicin as well as 5FU again next week. He hasn't lodged his plan. Disorganisation drives me mental, especially when it affects MY wellbeing.

I guess now that I actually feel ok because of my break, I am worried what is to come. Queasiness from the chemo I am expecting. I'm worried about my poor bum and how much sorer it may become, and I guess I am expecing diahhrea because its the side effect of both chemo and radiation......

All in all I guess I have coped fairly well, though I'm not sure whether its the pain killers or the radiation (or chemo) that has made me completely vague and dumb. I cannot think straight most of the time, I've always been mentally really sharp and its awful being aware that I am sooo stupid at the moment! I have to make constant lists and my diary is a lifesaver.

I guess I am getting nervous about my last few weeks, and then not to mention what it may have done to my insides. The first I heard of vaginal fusing etc was here.....what a nasty disease and treatment we got. I suppose the upside is that cure rate is really good and I am young and healthy, I'm hoping that is a bonus on my side!

Melinda

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2879
Joined: Jan 2010

I just want to wish you the best with the remainder of your treatments and I hope that the side effects from the last few zaps will be minimal. Please let us know how it goes.

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

these last two weeks will fly by. (However, like when you were a kid, it may seem like forever.) Sitz baths, painkillers (with the small dose for breakthrough pain), silverdine, aloe vera (pure- no alcohol or coloring) and friends and family and you will be healing in no time.

Can you get someone to drive for you? I found it easier than driving myself - for sure at the end! Our American Cancer Society helps get people drivers - is there anything like this in Australia?

This discussion board is a "sucky" way to have to meet people but I thank heavens for it and the internet!!

I am now a survivor of 2 3/4 years and doing quite well... join us whenever you can.

Priscilla

z's picture
z
Posts: 1249
Joined: May 2009

Hi,

I see where you said your memory has been affected. I know mine was too. Just remember that our bodies have been through a lot, and we have had medicine we've never had before. My memory was not up to par when going through treatment either. It has since come back, and I must say I am smarter than ever. LOL. It will get better once you complete treatment. I wish you well, and your almost done and then the healing will begin. Lori

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