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New to me... Survivors Clinic - anyone else run into this?

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

I had my annual check up with my radiation oncologist this morning. It will be my last - unless another physician refers me again. Next year's annual will be at the "Survivors Clinic". This clinic's specialty is post treatment observation. They make sure cancer patients get all the appropriate follow-up tests and care needed. I am getting moved to this because I am approaching the 3 year mark and continue NED - thankfully! I heard about this clinic at the Cancer Survivors Day they hold every September at my cancer center.

The doctor said the back and leg pains I feel are probably from radiation damage at the base of the spine. The tissue pretty well repairs but may not act just right so that some nerves fire up at unusual times - like for instance when I lie on my side and gravity compresses my hips. He said this may gradually get a bit better over the years but not that much. Fortunately for me, it rarely goes even to pain level 3 (though it sometimes wakes me up) and is not constant.
I am glad to see everyone is making progress - getting past treatment, etc. May all those still in the thick of it fare well and heal fast!

Priscilla

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2903
Joined: Jan 2010

It sounds like your check-up went very well and I'm so happy for you! Wow, approaching the 3-year mark--that's awesome! Please let us know when that special day rolls around so we can do a toast to you, even if it's virtually!

I have trouble lying on my left side, which is the side I normally sleep on when I'm not on my stomach. My left hip will ache after awhile and wake me up. I think it's all about the radiation. One thing that helps is to put a pillow between my legs, which helps take pressure off the hips and back.

Here's wishing you smooth sailing to your 3-year anniversary and every one after that! May you be happy and well!

Martha

ranelle65
Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2010

That's great news Priscilla...yippee!! I too, have been having leg cramps in my calves, but at this point it's the least of my concerns...perhaps after I get this urethral discharge taken care of, I'll address the leg cramps. And, like Martha, let us know your 3-year day, and I will also do a virtual toast to your survivorship. -- Ranelle

melbas2
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2010

And here I thought I was getting RLS after all this. The other thing that bothers me is, I don't know whether to take Immodium or a laxative. I get both diarehha and constipation in the same day. And it seems like the constipation is mostly the discharge...which also has a foul smell. I think I may be overdoing thngs trying to get unpacked and settled into the house, but I'm not one to sit still. I have my 3 week check up on the 28th, and guess I expected things to be back to normal by now. Any words of wisdom? Thanks, Melodie

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2903
Joined: Jan 2010

You are not that far out of treatment, so give yourself a little more time to get things back to normal. I never had any constipation issues right after treatment--mine was all diarrhea. You might want to try something like Metamucil to regulate your system. Make sure you drink plenty of water, whether you're in diarrhea mode or constipation mode. Your intestinal system is still trying to repair itself after treatment and some foods may be causing problems. Keep track of what you eat and what results afterwards, so you can determine if certain foods are not agreeing with you.

ranelle65
Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2010

I am just about 6 weeks outside of the end of radiation treatments and I am still having some diarrhea. I have not had any constipation, but have had some "regular" stools. I have not taken any Imodium or fiber laxatives. Even with where I am in healing, I know there are still some side effects that can be bothersome to me this far out. And, I am curious to know what "normal" is after having cancer and having going through 2 rounds of chemo and 5-7 weeks of radiation. I did not start having the leg cramps until about two weeks from the end of radiation, and they are not bad, just kinda achy at night. I do not take any pain relievers for it. Like others have said here, you have to climb into the boat of patience in healing...I was told it can take 6 months to a year before the symptoms become a distant reminder of our journey through cancer and treatments.

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

Hi Melodie - I have found different foods I eat will bother me differently, learning to see what works and what doesn't. Strangely I ate some licorice dots (okay, I bought some ofr the 3 year old son of my son's girlfriend and we shared) and I had forgotten I ate some of them. Well when I went potty the nexxt day it was green!!! I freaked out thinking gangrene was setting in and then I realized wait...I had licorice...duh. Our bodies are just reacting to what we eat and what we've been through.

I'm sure you are overdoing it too...I'm currently getting ready to have a craft boutique at my house and finding that if I overdue it one day I suffer for it for a few days after. Mostly with back and hip stiffness and pain or some cramping depending on the food issue. Next Friday I go for my 3 month scan - that came up fast - am worried but I think that is normal from hearing what everyone else goes through. Won't hear results until the 8th or 11th - 8th with both my oncologists and 11th with my colo-rectal surgeon. As for things being back to 'normal' I really believe that what we were and could do before has changed and we need to gingerly tread into the future with a new type of normal for us. I'm like you, I have to stay busy and active and that will happen but in time. We have not been through having a flu or having our appendix removed. We've been through chemo and radiation that rivals most. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You deserve that. Be well, Marilyne

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

Whoop Whoop Priscilla !!! Congratulatons on 3 years NED. I'm very happy for you and wish you continued good health. Be well, Marilyne

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