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I didn't know THAT could happen...

ranelle65
Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2010

I haven't been on CSN for many weeks...okay maybe more like almost 2 months...but I learned something about what's been the potential problem I've been having. A brief synopsis: Diagnosed with Anal Cancer on 5/28/10. I had 2 rounds of chemo (4-day packs in July and August), along with 6 weeks of radiation, from which I had to take a 2 week hiatus because I was burned so badly on the surface skin to the groin area. Well, since about 2-3 weeks after I got to finish the rad treatments, I started having what I thought was a urethral discharge. First it was greenish, then yellowish, then clear/opaque, but always leaving its mark on my underwear and/or pad. A few times it had pink color, indicating blood so I made appointments with the PCP, Oncologist, Rad Dr., and all to no avail. The PCP dr was sure it was a terrible after effect from the radiation since I was so badly burned on the outside, that surely my insides were cooked as well. Or so we thought. Well, I went back to my PCP yesterday, 12/29, because there was blood in my underwear that leaked enough to go through the underwear and my pants. Kinda scary. Ok, so PCP was able to use a speculum and do a full vaginal exam, and she said what she thought she saw up near the cervix/stitching from hysterectomy was blood and what she said appeared to look like pee. A urine test showed elevated RBCs, WBCs, and pus. "How the hell did that get in there?!" she said. And then I got scared. She told me that she thinks, after the exam of the area that there might be a hole in the upper vaginal/cervical area, or the cervical stitching from the hysterectomy somehow got a fissure or tear, allowing urine to leak into the vaginal area from the bladder that now sits directly on the cervix/hysterectomy closure.

OK, so OMG I'm freaking out now because I have pee in the vagina and we think there's a hole in between those two organs in my abdomen. What else could be happening up in there? I asked the PCP if there is a hole, could the urine be leaking out into the general abdomen? Her response of "well, possibly" has me terribly concerned while I wait for my GYN exam which isn't until Jan 18th. Great, three weeks of Hurry up and WAIT!!! I know I've been having some mild cramping like menstrual, but I don't have a uterus, and it doesn't hurt/burn to pee...

Has anyone else experienced anything like this, or am I an odd person with stranger-than-normal after-effects from treatment?

z's picture
z
Posts: 1257
Joined: May 2009

Hi so sorry for all these issues. I have heard of fistulas and they have to be closed up. My understanding is they will take time to heal. I know the waiting for the answers is the hardest part. I hope the days will speed by and before you know it, it will be the 18th. I would think that if it were an emergency your PCP would have made you go to the hospital. At least it doesn't sound like your experencing pain. I will be hoping for good results with your appointment. Lori

ranelle65
Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks for your prayers & well wishes. I am having some mild cramping but I guess that would be expected with some kind of infection and problems in that area. What have you heard about these fistulas? How do they get closed? Another surgery I presume. Sigh.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1257
Joined: May 2009

A fistula is an opening where there should be none. Yes I believe surgery would have to be used to close it. But of course your drs will tell you what the treatment is to fix it. I just know that they may be fixed and thats the important thing. I hope you will get relief soon. Lori

mbh97766's picture
mbh97766
Posts: 39
Joined: Nov 2010

I too, have heard that fisulas came be somewhat common after this kind of trauma. Surgery, while not our desire, can fix problem. I feel your fear and will pray for strentgh and patience for you.

ranelle65
Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2010

Ok mbh, I'm not looking forward to the gyn exam by the gyn dr, but we'll see what he has to say about the problem Thanks for the prayers.

patacz
Posts: 64
Joined: Sep 2010

Ranelle, your story seems so similar to mine, we were practically diagnosed at the same time and I was given the same treatment. I am having the same problem and also thought it was a urethral discharge. Mine is clear/opaque and kind of sticky, so I have to use small pads. I was too afraid to have a vaginal exam, but I'll have one scheduled on the 17th. I will let you know of the results and findings after my appointment. But don't worry too much and don't get discouraged, after what we went through with the treatment, we can handle getting this fixed. Keep the faith and take care

ranelle65
Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks patacz...does your discharge have a smell to it? It's rather annoying, so I hope the next couple weeks fly by and I can find out what the heck it is and see how we can get it fixed. Let me know what your dr says after your appt on the 17th, and I'll update this thread when I see the gyn on the 18th, and then again after I see the urologist on the 24th.

patacz
Posts: 64
Joined: Sep 2010

Hello Ranelle,sorry it took me a few days to update you on the results from my dr. appt. I’ve just been very busy at work, and getting home very late. No, my discharge doesn’t have a smell to it. My doctor told me that the discharge was due to normal shading from the vagina, as long as the discharge didn’t have a bad smell, or blood. . She said it was good and an indication that it was still working. She didn’t see any fissures and consequently didn’t recommend further testing. So, I am not so worry about this anymore, but will keep an eye for sudden changes. Also, since my pep was normal last year, I had to ask to get tested this time. According to the new law, if our last one was normal, the insurance will only pay for them every three years. There is no way I’ll wait three years, even if I have to pay for it myself. Hope you are ok, hang in there, and keep the faith. Hugs! Pat

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

I have a vaginal fistula caused by radiation/surgery. My gyn finally did an MRI, located it and said "You can have another major surgery to fix a minor problem, or you can wear a pad and live with it." I opted to live with it, at least for now. There is no infection, and I just take extra care in the shower to be sure I am clean so as not to attract any infections.

Hope this helps. Vicki

ranelle65
Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2010

Vicki, I know I don't want another surgery, but I think I'd opt for getting it fixed. It's annoying. I'll decide once I have better information from the gyn dr and the urologist.

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