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sitz question

LaCh
Posts: 536
Joined: Dec 2012

My radio onc has forbidden me from using a sitz bath with or without epsom salts (including plain water) or even from taking a bath (showers only) when the burns come (they haven't yet). This seems to contradict what I've read on this site, unless I've misunderstood what I've read. Can someone clarify this for me? Have you used sitz baths (with epsom salts or without epsom salts) during the worst periods of burns?

geneviasue's picture
geneviasue
Posts: 89
Joined: Oct 2012

Both of my doctors recommended them for me. You might ask your doctor why. He may have a specific reason relative to you.
Many blessings to you along your journey.

Gigi

LaCh
Posts: 536
Joined: Dec 2012

He said that it makes the burnt tissues drier and more irritated. I don't buy it and will do what I think is best. I have zero confidence in this guy but don't want to change horses this far into the race. I haven't gotten any burns yet but want to be prepared and ready when they come, with or without his "permisson," with or without his knowledge.
What about witch hazel?
What about epsom salts?
What about Tucks?
What about Baby wipes?

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

I used Aveeno colloidal oatmeal in the sitz baths. About 1 teaspoon per bath, dissolved. It really seemed to help. I agree with Gigi though - it might be something particular to you as to why he's recommending not using the sitz bath. From everything I've heard (and been through), they're highly recommended. Don't know why he would say not to, unless he's got a particular reason for doing so.

LaCh
Posts: 536
Joined: Dec 2012

It can't be particular to me because I don't have burns yet. I think it's just his personal philosophy. I'm not happy with him, as I've said elsewhere, but don't want to change radiology oncologists at this late stage.

AZANNIE's picture
AZANNIE
Posts: 396
Joined: Mar 2011

Hmm - interesting. I wasn't told not to use a sitz bath. I found it to be soothing to the area.

Ann

LaCh
Posts: 536
Joined: Dec 2012

If and when the burns come, I've decided to use a sitz bath and will look to this website to find solutions (to add to the bath) that have worked for people. I don't need his permission and sadly, it's come to that. Changing rad oncologists is always an option but one I'm reluctant to follow this late in the game. I think I'd be solving one set of problems and creating another.

AZANNIE's picture
AZANNIE
Posts: 396
Joined: Mar 2011

Towards the end of my treatment I wasn't thrilled with my radiation oncologist. He was recommended by the medical oncologist who I trusted. The radiation tech was great. I was really burned about week 5. The radiation oncologist never checked the area. I saw him once a week and all he did was listen to my heart and lungs (wrong end). Then the tech asked him to take a look because she apparently thought I needed a break. He looked and said no break. A few days later I ended up in the ER and spent almost a week in the hospital. The medical oncologist visited me in the hospital since he was on staff there. I expressed my displeasure with the radiation oncologist and I think he (medical onc) was surprised about the burns. I almost didn't finish the last five treatments. The medical oncologist talked to the radiation oncologist. I did finish radiation and I think I had two follow up appointments with radiation oncologist and that was it. So I can understand how you must feel. I hope things improve.

Ann

AZANNIE's picture
AZANNIE
Posts: 396
Joined: Mar 2011

I also might add that I'm 18 months post treatment and doing fine and I still use my trusty sitz bath.

Ann

LaCh
Posts: 536
Joined: Dec 2012

Yes, although the issues are different and individual to each person, it seems that I'm not the only one with them ("issues" that is, and displeasure with one of the people that, ideally, you're supposed to trust).

So when you say sitz bath, do you mean that you used epsom salts in water?

Right now I have no external burns but can only imagine what they'll feel like, since I do have something happening internally. "Going" is quite painful and feels like crapping knives.

AZANNIE's picture
AZANNIE
Posts: 396
Joined: Mar 2011

I just used plain cool to warm water the the sitz bath.

OMG 1012
Posts: 61
Joined: Dec 2012

ALL of your Dr's should be working as a TEAM.
Do you have a particular Dr on your team that you really like?
Can you say to them
"I would like to talk to you OFF the record"
and then explain your feelings about your Rad Onc?
My Rad office has a few tech's, maybe they can just change your
tech person?
I would ask the other Dr's in the team!
I wish you well---there is nothing worse then going through this
yet having to deal with someone you are not fond of---

LaCh
Posts: 536
Joined: Dec 2012

My feeling is that all my doctors and I should be on this team. My rad onc is an older guy from the old school. His idea of the doctor/patient relationship is that he'll tell me what to do and I'll do it, I won't ask too many questions and that's that. That's so diametrically opposed to how I am and what I expect from any health practitioner that I think it's the crux of the problem. I've spoken at length with the gastroenterologist who I like and trust and will set up another appointment with her this week; I have no qualms about that and am not the person that holds things inside. I like my med onc but have a few concerns with him as well, different concerns but things that aren't insurmountable or deal breakers. When the blood blister was discovered under the plastic needle holder inserted into the port, he remarked, "Wow! We really can't touch you with ANYTHING," and I thought to myself, "Dude. Did I not you that the first time that we met? Were you listening? Did you think I was making it up?" When I tell people that my body responds in very unexpected ways, I'm trying to impart information to help them, help me. It falls on deaf ears over and over and over. Now I'm wondering, if I reacted to what is, basically, inert plastic, what's happening inside the blood vessel that the catheter passes through. To make things even more complicated, I started experiencing numbness in a surgically repared knee. My feeling is, "Ok, I don't know what this is, but the surgery was 23 years ago, so chances are that it's related to the chemo or radiation." Is it a weird but benign thing? My guess is that no one will know and no on will want to investigate it, which I think is a mistake which I'll have to try to rectify on my own. My reason is the following. I don't know what might cause the numbness but to assume it's benign without knowing that is it isn't sound medicine and not in my best interests. If it's a benign symptom I'm more than happy to ignore it. But until it's identified, to assume that it's harmless isn't in my best interests. I have a metal staple in that knee. Are there changes to the bone from the chemo and/or radiation that are affecting the staple? Is there some reaction between the treatments and the metal that need to be addressed? These are questions that need to be investigated but my guess is that no one will want to do that because things that fall outide the bell curve of expected, predictable reactions are most unwelcome to the majority of doctors. What I need is infomation. Really, that's all that I need and the only way that I can make informed decsions. Thanks for your support in this. Yes, you're right, there's nothing like going through this with someone who you neither like nor trust. It adds an entire layer of unnecessary complication to the entire affair.

OMG 1012
Posts: 61
Joined: Dec 2012

I am still in TX. finished last week of chemo yesterday, 7 more RAD TX to go. my Rad Onc has been great, we are taking it one day at a time.

they gave me 2 packets of the domboro soaks.
told me to disolve one packet into a bottle of water.
I put the bottle in refrigerator.
I got a small tupperware container
I cut a washcloth in 1/2 and put it into container and poured the cold liquid on it
being careful not to use too much of the solution (I then put the bottle back into fridge)
I squezzed out the excess liquid into the tupperware container and applied the washcloth to my
"area" for 15 min to 1/2 hr making sure to get the cloth into "cracks"
during that time I would take the cloth off and reinsert it into the liquid, and reapply cloth.
Be sure to air dry for several minutes when soaking is completed
MAKE SURE TO NOT REUSE cloth when done! ( I put mine into laundry)
I do wash regularly so I only had to cut up a few washclothes but it was worth every penny!

My Rad Onc is very adament about the applying the solution and then airdrying, she said this
is the best way to stay clean and infection free!
and to heal quickly
Best Wishes for a speedy TX

LaCh
Posts: 536
Joined: Dec 2012

Thanks omg, I'll check it out, with or without "permission."

Jo Joy
Posts: 39
Joined: Oct 2012

My young, Harvard graduate, anal cancer experienced, radiation doctor prescribed sitz baths at least 2 times a day . She said that anytime I could get my butt into clean water and soak for at least 10 minutes to do it. Now I have almost always used Epsom salts in a fully filled jetted tub. When it really hurt, I did use the oatmeal bath occasionally, but it made the bottom of the tub very slick . Since I am stepping in and out of the tub by myself I was afraid of a slip and fall. I use a cup and a half of salts each soaking .

However, when the rad nurse was asking me about what I was doing for skin care and I told her about the Epsom salts she told me not to do that. When I asked her why she said that they aren't sure if there would be an adverse effect with the radiation if there were traces of salt left on my skin. Since I always rinsed with clean water before treatment, I kept using the Epsom salts. Last Thursday was my last rad treatment and all in all I am PAIN FREE. Yes things are burned and in various stages of red, black,peeling, and raw. No blisters however. I only had one of those and it was at the edge of my vagina a few weeks ago. I attribute this PAIN FREE miracle, at the time when this journey is supposed to be the most painful, to the sitz baths, My faith, and the prayers of others. The rad DR was astounded that I could sit flat on the exam table at my appointment a few days ago.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am so glad you made it through with little pain! God is good! Thank God! Enjoy your holiday with your family. I hope that you continue to heal and feel better each day! Take good care of yourself.

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