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Help! Post-Op Follow-Up Exam With GO & Also Exam by RO

woodstock99's picture
woodstock99
Posts: 108
Joined: May 2021

The radiation oncologist told me he would need to physically examine me before starting external treatments.  I kind of freaked out as the timeline wiill fall around the same time as when I am due for my post-op follow-up with my GO which I am sure also requires a physical exam.  

I had surgery on 6/10 and my appt with GO is on 7/19 (possibly 7/12 if she gets a cancellation as she only has office hours one day a week) and the appt with the RO may be the week before as he wants to start treatements the weke of 7/19 so they will be the same week or very close. 

Prior to this, I had mahor issues with pelvic exams as I have not been sexually active for  many years.  My regular gynecologist was very sensitive to me and used the smallest possible speculum and was very gentle.

Do you think I can ask the GO to forgo the exam if the RO says he has to do one?  Wouldnl't they both be doing similar exam?  I was also surprised that the RO told me that he and the GO wiuld be alternating my 3 month cheeckupsI thought when I was done with the radiation I would not see him again.  

I worry that these new doctors with not be so understanding or gentle with me and I am terrified of the first exam. 

I am stressing out thinking about exams every 3 months as it is and having to us ethe dilator after treatment.  I definitely will be using the small size and wish there was a mini. 

Apprecuiate any suggestions. Thanks.    

Forherself's picture
Forherself
Posts: 566
Joined: Jan 2019

So sorry you are feeling this way.  As a nurse, I would recommend you send a message before. your exam, explain your anxiety and difficulty, and they can prescribe medication to help, and will use the small speculum.   I would take two Ibuprofen and ask for some anxiety medication.   I think the GO has to do an exam, and it is in your best interests to have her do so.  Same with the Radiologist.  They NEED to be sure what they are doing is correct.   You are not the first patient who is worried about the exam. They have had this probelm before and should be able to help you.

Reach out to both doctors and let them know.

 

Harmanygroves's picture
Harmanygroves
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2021

I had a great deal of pain when I got a pap smear in late December of 2020, but thank God I did. The pain is really hard on me too.

I think that Forherself has given such considerate and good clinical advice I won't add to it, but as much as you hate the exams (as I do), never refuse one. 

Medications really help. Best of luck to you. You may want to use some meds now, so you don't stress. Sending you a big hug.

 

 

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1802
Joined: Jun 2015

Woodstock,

Please ask them to give you some lidocaine. You can get it by prescription. I always use this prior to my exams and it makes a world of difference. It will numb the area inside and out.

Best of luck. 

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

woodstock99's picture
woodstock99
Posts: 108
Joined: May 2021

Thanks all.  Can you tell me more about the lidicaine?  Do I use this before the exam and internally or externally? 

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1802
Joined: Jun 2015

Before the exam. I generally put it on after they take me to the exam room. They usually have a bathroom close by. I put it internally about an inch in and externally.

I got my first prescription from my radiologist/onc. Can't say enough good things about him! He also used it prior to each of my brachy therapy sessions.

I don't know why more GYNs don't offer this to ladies that suffer from exam pain. No one should have to deal with pain. It is simple to use and is not expensive. It comes in either a tube or a syringe. I have used both and they work the same. The one in the syringe is also used by people that have to use a catheter.  It is lidocaine HCI jelly USP, 2%

Feel free to PM me if you have additional questions.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 2064
Joined: Nov 2009

Eventually they should work out where you will see one or the other every 6 months.  that's what they did with me.  

Dak82's picture
Dak82
Posts: 83
Joined: Dec 2020

My GO asked if the RO had done an exam at first brachytherapy. When I said yes she toldme this was probably the only time she would forego an exam! So they will get this worked out and in your schedule.

Deb

Harmanygroves's picture
Harmanygroves
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2021

I have some from a previous prescription! Yay! I used some the other day when my vag hurt. I don't think it went in deep enough to deal with the pain, but just knowing I had some made me feel better.

Side point: I read some years back they used to prescribe this stuff for teething babies, but it got discontinued for them owing to some deaths (too much numbing and some infants choked? or an allergic reaction?). 

I'll be seeing my RO or my gyn onc every two months for two years. Anyone else get put on that schedule? Some probably see their doctors more often. This is kind of a lifestyle!

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1802
Joined: Jun 2015

Just a bit of caution.... My GYN/ONC said not to overuse it internally. She said it can cause heart problems if used too much. Now, using it before check ups or sex isn't going to cause any issues. And, for occaisional pain won't cause issues either.

I just wanted to share that one caution that she gave me. 

So glad that you have some on hand. Make sure to check the expiration date. It will make your checkups so much less fearful.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Harmanygroves's picture
Harmanygroves
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2021

Enquiring minds want to know!

And thanks for your advice regarding the gel stuff. I have become very puritan in regards to digital gel insertion since my surgeries.

There's dragons down there! Ha! All new territory. I keep telling myself, "This is your vagina. It's okay," but it's all so wrapped up with the trauma of everything, and is now healing, so I must let it heal.

 

 

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1802
Joined: Jun 2015

You are a funny lady today Harmanygroves! Glad you are feeling better! I just read your solidly built post and I'm still laughing.....

One more tip that I learned on this board.... You may have some itching down the road. Amazon sells some vitamin E suppositories that are incredibly helpful for that.  

Teddy is the light one and Bear is the dark one.... They were named by the Vet that rescued them from a high kill shelter. They were very bonded and she wanted them adopted together so named them Teddy and Bear..... My boys are over 10 now and starting to slow down. They have been through it all with me.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Harmanygroves's picture
Harmanygroves
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2021

....did you mean "up the road"?

I saw my radiology oncologist today, and she had her intern in the exam room with her, a very nervous younger woman learning to be a radiologist in the field. My doctor asked me if I wanted her to check my vaginal cuff, and I said, "NO, Dr. XXX. Stay away from my vagina!" 

I asked the intern if she'd ever heard a patient say that, and she hadn't! She did say that she'd heard men say, "No, I don't want you to check my prostrate today."

Today is a much better day for me, and I'm glad to be eating well and feeling stronger. Your dogs are adorable, by the way. I have a charcoal lab named Cinderbell, and a yellow lab named Tegan, and they've been a tremendous comfort to me. 

 

Maxster
Posts: 90
Joined: Apr 2020

I see my GO alternately with my RO every three months. So each sees me every six months.  Originally the schedule was see my GO every six months and oncologist (who does not do an exam) every six months.  I decided to follow the MSK recommendations of an internal exam every three months.  And my RO agreed so that's how I got that scheduled.  At first it seemed so unclear about what they were going to be doing so I just said what I wanted and it all worked out.  End of story is a pelvic exam every three months.  Since my RO is at a reseach/teaching hospital I get to have two exams when I see her: the RO and her current resident.  I am just very resigned to it now.  Since that's how they can find an early recurrence, I am all for it.

Harmanygroves's picture
Harmanygroves
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2021

All in, and grateful I can get checked (although I don't like it, I'm all in).

 

Take care!

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