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Radiation Center down all week, treatment completion delayed, disappointed.

kirby77
Posts: 48
Joined: Jul 2012

My Radiation center had technical problems all week and will not be up until Tuesday. My completion date just got moved up by 8 days. I am disappointed, because I am giving myself two weeks to return to work after the completion of treatment. I am due to return to work on Oct.15, my last day was initially scheduled for Sept.25, now Oct.2nd.

The week off was a mixed blessing, I was in a lot of pain due to proctitis and skin burns, and some healing took place. Though it doesn't feel measurable. I am not able to lie on my back in bed or sit for very long. I am sure some healing occurred.

Question: I have 7 Rad treatments to go: Will I lose any of the gains I made this week healing?
How long can I expect the proctitis to continue?
Do you think it's reasonable to return to work on Oct.15th?

I am so disappointed in the completion delay and potential delay in returning to work when I planned.
I would appreciate any advice you have for me. Thank you.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1273
Joined: May 2009

Sorry about the technical problems, I know how much you want to complete tx. There were a couple of times when my imrt machine went down. From what I understand the radiation will keep working after the tx is finished so I don't think the 7 days will hurt anything. There are some patients who have to take a long break inbetween as they are badly burned. You should ask your radiologist which I'm sure you will. I went back to work a month after I completed tx, but probably could have gone back sooner. Tuesday will be here before you know it. I wish you well. Lori

kirby77
Posts: 48
Joined: Jul 2012

I appreciate the support, technical issues are beyond my control. Thanks for reminding me that it happens. It also helps to have a time frame in mind when it comes to returning to work.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3120
Joined: Jan 2010

I feel your disappointment and I am so sorry that the finish line is further in the distance than first thought. I do not think the layoff will compromise your treatment and since you only have a few treatments left, the gains you've made during the time off may make the last few zaps more tolerable. I just don't know, but that is my guess--and my hope for you. As for how long the proctitis might plague you, I really can't answer that either. There are two type of radiation proctitis--the first being the kind experienced during and right after treatment. The second kind does not present itself until months or sometimes even years after a person received radiation. As for returning to work, healing should take place pretty quickly and you will have almost 2 weeks between the last treatment and resuming work. It sounds totally doable if you have the good fortune of a quick recovery, as most people do. I think all you can really do is play it by ear. I am sure that work is a necessity for you, but if you find you are not ready to return, I hope you can work something out with your employer or whatever your work situation might be. Take care, hang in there and good luck with the remainder of your treatment.

MyHopen413
Posts: 38
Joined: Mar 2012

I was delayed because I had such bad burns by the 5th week of treatment. They assured me that it would not hurt the effectiveness of the treatment to be delayed. Perhaps if you cannot go back to work full-time, you could go part-time for a week or so. I don't know if your job will allow you to do that or not.
I know it is discouraging, I was through that several times. It will be OK, I promise. Both chemo and radiation continue to work and these little breaks won't hurt the overall effectiveness of the treatment.
God Bless,
Diane

kirby77
Posts: 48
Joined: Jul 2012

I've been resentful of the delay in my treatment due to the radiation center being down. Today, I do feel as if some healing has occurred after a very painful week suffering from burns and proctitis. I spent all weekend in bed or on the toilet(proctitis leaves you the sensation of needing to go constantly). Passing mucus or a tiny amount of stool. All horrible because as others have put it, passing ground glass.

Today, it's better and I am grateful. Hopefully to resume treatment tomorrow. My anxiety about being ready to return to work is still up there, but will take it as comes.
No control over time healing takes right. I'll do my part.

Thanks Martha and Diane for the support. Reminding me of gains and validating my disappointment helps alot.

Getting to the end is a troubled journey, I am determined to beat this.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3120
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm so glad that you will be back in treatment again tomorrow. Soon you will be finished up with it and this bad ordeal will be behind you. I know you're in the roughest part right now. Your description of passing ground glass sounds about right. I feel for you and wish there was some secret to making that pain go away. I'm happy to hear that you are some better today with the break. I understand the worry about when you'll be able to return to work. Since I was not employed during my treatment, it's easy for me to say don't rush it. However, I understand the finanacial impact that can have. I hope you'll have the answers when you get finished up with the treatment.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Kirby,

I am glad to hear that you are coming to the end of your treatment. Your skin will most likely heal pretty quickly when you are done. As far as turning to work, the problem that I had was unpredictable explosive diarreah and accidents, as well as severe fatique. My white blood counts got dangerously low and stayed low for some time. Also, my red blood count stayed low even longer. I guess it depends on your job and how accessible a toilet is for you. You haven't mentioned a low white blood count, so maybe you will be able to return to work sooner than I could. I would not rush it, if possible. Your body needs time to heal.

Hang in there.

Mary

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

I am with Mary here. Please give yourself more permission to go with what your body tells you is okay and not okay. Two weeks is not a lot of time to say to it "okay get back to normal and to work". I hope that works out for you, but if it doesn't please let yourself off the hook.

Fondly,
Sandy

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