Jun 09, 2012 - 11:05 am
I am at the end of my treatment. I started on May 7th with the usual chemo/radiation followed by 3 weeks of radiation alone followed by one week of chemo/radiation. While the chemo is standard for everyone, radiation is not. It is very much individualized. I had 22 imrt treatments and 3 "boosts". I still have one boost remaining on Monday since we skipped the Monday of Memorial Day. In the 22 regular treatmensts I was getting 19 "beams". There were 9 positions with 2 beams from each of the 8 and 3 beams from the location directly above my pelvis.
I did look at the list of beams and noticed that the strongest seemed to be 30gy. I believe that gy number corresponds with the strength of the beam so not all 19 beams were the same.
I want to give that background information because I don't want to make it seem like I'm some "super human". I've not had most of the severe side effects that others have experienced. I have a little bit of irritation in the folds where my legs meet my groin but it is minor. It really does feel a bit like a mild sunburn. I have had normal bowel movements with almost no pain. A little discomfort maybe but not pain. I was taking pain medicine at night before bed but only to help me go to sleep.
For skin treatment I used the aquaphor on the anal area. I got some of those cotton squares that you get in the cosmetic section of the drugstore to apply. Those felt better than tissue. For the vaginal area I used a personal lubricating gel and that was soothing. It took care of itching and some buring pain. I have a lazy boy chair and sat with my legs up and sort of in the treatment position most of the time that I was awake at home.
I can't think of anything else that I did that might have helped. I can't say that this will help anyone else because all radiation treatments are not the same.
I was originally diagnosed with very early stage I. It was found during a routine colonoscopy. The surgeon removed what they were referring to as a "lesion" on April 10th. She said that she got 99% of the cells and that just a small amount had invaded the tissue just below the surface. No muscle involvement or nodes or anything else.
Hopefully this wll be a help to someone else who may be in the very early stage of diagnosis and treatment.