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radiation side effects - question

StruTanToot
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2012

I was reading the posts about side effects from radiation...hip problems seeming to be the most frequent.

My question is: when do these side effects start?

I finished treatment Oct. 8 and so far, so good. BMs are still painful, and I seem to have some pain in my hips, but it's not constant.

Thank you for any information. As always, I'm grateful for this site and all the support you give.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2854
Joined: Jan 2010

These can vary from person to person. I tend to believe that for active people, the hip problems are not as severe. For people who are more sedentary, they may start immediately. I think moving is key to preventing them or keeping them at a minimum. As for things such as radiation proctitis, there are two kinds. Acute proctitis will be present within just a few weeks of the end of treatment. Late effect proctitis can occur months or even years after treatment has ended. Are there other post-treatment side effects you have questions about. I think the two I've mentioned are the most common. Also, some people experience lymphedema, which will cause swelling in the legs.

I'm glad you are doing fairly well. The painful BM's will subside with time. You're going to see gradual improvement until one day you will turn a corner and things will be SO much better. If you can do some walking and stretching, that will help with your hip issues. Take care and keep us posted!

mxperry220
Posts: 357
Joined: Mar 2011

Keep moving is critical. If I sit for too long I have stiffness in my legs and hips.
Mike

eihtak
Posts: 820
Joined: Oct 2011

Also agree, soon as possible! I happened to be in a nursing home for some complications at the time I ended treatment but the PT department insisted on daily PT. I sure didn't feel up to it at the time but was thankful shortly after! Never did have a hip problem and now do yoga, walk, and exercise almost daily! Start slow tho, healing takes time. As always, all in my prayers!

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Motion does keep everything from setting in stone, but that doesn't mean its a panacea.

I took 25tx up the backside and directly on both hips...8-years ago.

I've found that the issues encountered (for me) are permanent. Both hips ache...they move but they hurt...and the small of my back where they beamed has gotten much worse over the past eight years...it is in a degenerative state...it now hurts laying down, standing up, or sitting down.

It's tolerable but noticeable.

Mornings are the hardest...just taking a shower and lacing up your shoes and getting into clothers is like an olympic event...things just don't want to move...I still work, so my timeframe in the mornings are not just wake up...work on yourself...and enjoy your day.

It's about working for the man...and on his clock...somedays it feels like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

It gets somewhat better through the day as the muscles heat up and flexibility increases...but still it hurts...I just keep my head down and do what I can...and try to do the same thing the following day.

Don't know if there is a corrleation between how men and women are affected by the treatments...the women here seem to do quite nicely with it...I've never talked to many guys who have been radiated like I was.

I feel like a strange case...8-years of rectal cancer doesn't do a body good...I've had it spread to the liver and the lungs...knocked it down all 3x...but have paid a huge price.

Also Did 30tx rads to the lung last year...and the resulting scar tissue and the seven wedge resections and the two ribs they sawed out were a whip. Breathing and stamina compromised, spasms every night from the scar tissue and nerves rubbing on one another etc.

Looking at me, you'd never know...you just learn to live with it...in this fight, you have to trade tomorrow for today sometimes.

Good luck and listen to what these ladies tell you.

eihtak
Posts: 820
Joined: Oct 2011

Wow, sorry for your situation, but you are an inspiration to many of us. Tho, you may hurt, your inner strength is amazing! You are so right about the trade offs we sometimes have to make. As always, all in my prayers.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

I didn't want to forget you:)

Thank you as well for your kind words and support! It's nice to see you and I check in on you too...and a few others I've gotten to know.

I just don't get enough of an opportunity to say hi to my friends here too much:)

Best wishes to all of you for the upcoming holiday season!

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 519
Joined: Apr 2009

i am just sending you a million hugs. soooo sorry that you have fought so much... so glad that you have won the fight but hate that you hurt so much ... sephie

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Been awhile....:)

Nice to see you again! I'll be looking for those hugs to arrive soon!

Did you send via UPS or USPS?

LOL!

Thank you so much for your kind words...you've always been very kind and supportive to me...and you're one of the folks over here, I like to stop by and see.

After 3x of this stuff, I've finally gone 16-months clear for the first time in my 8-year fight...one doesn't expect to still be kickin' ass so late in the fight - but you of all people, know how different I am.

I just can't be beat:)

-Craig

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 747
Joined: May 2011

That was amazing. It is hard to put pain and coping into words, but you did it. I was very moved. I understand you. I really do. God bless. You have been through and are going through a real ordeal.

All the best,

Sandy

sherinc
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2010

I am in agreement with you sir. I too work full time and worked all but 2 weeks of my over 6 weeks of radiation and chemo. "Just go" I say to myself , some days are better than others. I will have surgery to rebuild the healthy tissue that has thinned to a point of break through. Ahh side affects. I am alive and moving through each day one at a time. I intend to keep on keeping on. Thank you Sundanceh I appreciate your perspective.

StruTanToot
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you all for your support and for the valuable information. Fortunately, I've been walking my dog a lot, so I've at least been a little active. I now plan to get back to the gym right away.

Also, someone on this site told me about a free 12-week program at the YMCA for cancer patients. I called my local Y, and it is starting the program in Feb. I think I will go ahead an join the Y though and take advantage of its yoga and other group classes. My regular gym only has equipment. I think the classes the Y offers will be very beneficial.

I do have one more question. A few days after treatment ended, I started having some pain in my right side, pretty much in the middle between my waist and my underarm. I'm still having the pain. Some days it seems worse, but it's not excruciating at all. It also hurts more when I pick up my dog.

Has anyone else experienced pain in that area? I don't know if I need to go to the doctor, and quite frankly, I'm scared to go. I just don't want to hear any additional bad news. I don't think it's anything serious, but of course, I'm a little worried.

Thank you wonderful people!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2854
Joined: Jan 2010

I can't answer your question about the pain, as it seems like an odd location for anything related to the radiation. I had lots of pelvic pain/discomfort after treatment that I described as a pulling-type of pain. My rad onc told me it was adhesions (scar tissue) forming in the pelvic area because of the radiation. It let up after awhile. If I were you, I would at least call my doctor's office and run it by the nurse who can pass it on to your doctor. I know you don't want to think that every little ache or pain is something serious, but if this is preventing you from doing certain things, then it should be looked into.

Good for you for wanting to begin an exercise program! I am a true believer in the healing powers of exercise!

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