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Possible cancer occurrence

JanerToo
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2014

in 2012 at the age of 35 I was diagnosed with stage 2 Cervical Cancer.  I had a radical hysterectomy, chemo and high dose radiation therapy.  After 5 months of treatment they cleared me and said my cancer was cured.  Now, almost 2 years later I have noticed some issues.  Over the last month or so I have had blood/mucous in my stool. Almost every time I go.  Often there are clots in it as well.  I finally went to a clinic last week where they sent me for blood work and asked me to provide a stool sample.  Now I am waiting rather impatiently for those results.  Has anyone had experience with cancer coming "back" but in a different spot?  I'm terrified to be honest and my mind is going to all the worst case scenerios.  The first time I was "sick" I was certain I was NOT and then BAM! How wrong I was... I've been researching on line causes of rectal bleeding, but I am afraid that makes my anxiety worse!  I'm pretty sure based on WebMD that I have 9 different kinds of cancer and my insides are going to fall out! (LOL) 

 

A little guidence or some opinions would be super! 

ccfighter
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi Janertoo,

 

im im sorry that you are experiencing symptoms that are worrying you.  There are many causes of blood in the stool, including radiation damage.  I am glad that you are having it checked out, and considering your history of cervical cancer, I can understand your worry for recurrence.  Have you followed up with your gyn oncologist?  You should be seeing him/her every three months for two years, and then every six months for a few more.  

I was diagnosed with stage 2a cervical cancer in november of 2011.  I had a recurrence in 2012 and am followed every three months with pelvic exam and ct scans.  I did not have any obvious symptoms of recurrence.  I was just really fatigued.

 

i hope everything goes well with your tests and that they find a simple and benign cause for your symptoms.  Hugs.

JanerToo
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2014

Thanks for your reply, 

 

I have my 3 month appointment the first week of May.  My last appointment consited of simple blood work and an interal exam.  I felt a little uneasy about the lack of scans, BUT have to trust the GynOnc knows what they are doing. 

 

I've noticed that I've been incredibly tired the last couple of months, but it's hard for me to pinpoint that as a symptom.  It's usually dismissed as being related to hormone imbalance as I make my way into the super fun world of menopause. 

adri1493
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi CCFighter,

The reason I clicked on this subject matter (which I'm glad I did and was able to help out Janertoo a lil bit in my own way) but I just passed my 1yr remission and during that check-up, I was given my results yesterday it came back "abnormal" so I need to go back for a coposcopy :(

I was pretty much freakin' out yesterday.  As I read you're reply to Janertoo, I saw that you had a reoccurrence.  I have been feeling very fatigue also and wanted to know from you ccfighter, what happens if my cancer is back.  From what I read, they cannot radiate me anymore, which is the most concerning part to me.  So what are the options when a reoccurrence happens...what was your treatment plan if I may ask?  The unknown and the waiting is always the hardest part.  So if you can help me, I would greatly appreciate it!

 

Thanks!

-Adri

ccfighter
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi Adri,

im sorry that you had an abnormal pap and have to worry and wait again.  Many women have abnormal paps after radiation and often the cause is simply radiation damage and not a recurrence.  I hope that that proves the case for you.

 

if in fact it is a recurrence, treatment will depend on where the recurrence is and if it has spead to multiple areas or just one.  For myself, I had a recurrence in the abdominal wall and lung.  I was fortunate to have surgery to remove both of those tumors, and then went on to chemo for a while.  If you have a recurrence at the vaginal cuff, and there is no evidence of disease anywhere else, more surgery may be an option, known as a pelvic exenteration.  Though further radiation is not usually an option, depending on the location of the tumor, cyber knife may be.  A chemo combination is also used, often carbo/taxol or cisplatin/taxol.

 

i hope that the atypical cells found are just from radiation damage and not a recurrence.  Good luck and positive energy being sent your way.  Let us know how things go and if you have any more questions.  Hugs.

adri1493
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi JanerToo,

I was also diagnosed in 2012 at the age of 39 with cervical cancer 2a - no rad hyst, but yes on chemo, radiation and brachytherapy.  After I was cleared, 9 months later, I started having the same symptoms you're having - blood, clots and mucous in my stool.  It started off w/ barely noticing when going, but then it became quite obvious.  I made the apptmt to my primcary care physician right away and he ordered bloodwork/stool samples/ and a colonoscopy.  I freaked because I was also thinking the worse.  Plus, I also "googled" stuff and that did not help any of it. 

Long story short, the Dr who performed the colonoscopy gave me pics of my rectum and showed me that it is very irritated and the skin is "thin" because of the radiation that was received in that area.  It's called radiation proctitis and quite common in cancer patients who receive radiation in the pelvic area (inc men with prostate cancer treatments).  During my next follow up apptmts with my Gyno/Onco and my Radiation/Onco, I showed them the pics and they said the same thing that it's very common to have radiation proctitis after being in remission... my reaction was "But 9 months later?!?!? Really???" It turns out the radiation side effects come after 9-18 months later sometimes even later than that.  I was prescribed suppositories so now my challenge is going thru that and hoping this will be the remedy for it. 

I hope this helped and wishing you the best results. 

JanerToo
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2014

You have no idea how much "better" that makes me feel.  It certainly makes me feel much less like the sky is falling!  

My GP sent samples to the lab, who them misprocessed them (so frustrating!!) but new ones will be sent off tomorrow Along with updated blood work.  I'm hopeful that it's simply a side effect of high dose rad. Brachytherapy was totally awful by the way! I'm a firm believer that one should be sedated for that treatment! Holy!! 

 

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, you've taken a bit of the fear away. I'm 20 months out- maybe a little on the far end of what you mentioned, but hopefully that's all it is!  It's scary when these things happen and Dr's are hesitant to say much. Makes my wild mind scatter! Being hormonal doesn't help either! ;)

Did you find yourself very tired as well as the other symptoms? I've been incredibly exhausted for a couple months. Also, did you experience any dizziness? 

 

thanks again!! 

adri1493
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2012

Hello again... Sorry for the delayed response. No, i didnt have any dizziness but I have been feeling tired since then and yes, I also dont know if it's the hormone imbalance.

By the way, with radiation proctitis, the bleeding does kinda stop with your diet. I found that eating badly like starchy foods, red meat or spicy foods, my symptoms got worse. When I eat lots of greens, drink plenty of water, and mainly a pretty healthy diet, i bleed less. Im still sending you lots of positive thoughts that your results are just something minor and temporary. You're more than welcome to email me to keep in touch with how it goes with you.

And again, sorry for not responding earlier but I was also going thru my own "freaked out" moment (still kinda am lol) over getting my first "abnormal" pap. Im not sure if you have experienced this but when Ive tried talking to my friends or family about aomething like this, I could see that they cant relate to what an "abnormal" pap means to me. I usually get a response like "oh ive gotten those before, it's gonna be ok; dont even worry about it". I know they try to alleviate my stress but it sometimes doesnt help me. It's when I read posts like yours that I know someone like you, ccfighter or anyone on this board that could actually relate to what I may be going thru. So in a way, helping you out, helped me out too :)

 

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