Radiation Damage

jlfmiller Member Posts: 4
I had surgery for rectal cancer in July 2003 (with a permanent colostomy), followed by 16 radiation treatments. I was supposed to have 30 treatments, but had to stop because the radiation caused a bowel blockage and then the colon totally shut down (eventually repaired its self). I also had bleeding of the "rectal stump" this past January, due to radiation damage and frequently have mini colon blockage, that I am sure is most likely caused by radiation damage. Is all this damage normal? Are there others out there who also have had radiation damage after colon surgery. Thankfully, I have now been in remsission for one year.


  • Suehere
    Suehere Member Posts: 1
    Hello (jeff?)Miller. I am Sue Fitz. I just joined this group. I cant tell you HOW HAPPY i was to read your post. Im sorry you are facing these issues, but Im HAPPY to find someone ELSE who is going through what I have. Heres my synopsis:
    Had cervical cancer. It spread while I was prego and waiting for baby to grow big enough to survive the world. Cancer spread. I had radical hysterectomy, during which of course they handle youre bowel, bladder, ureters...... Then I had high dose radiation implants (yes, they were where you THINK they were.) Daily treatments of rads to the abdomen area, AND chemo therapy.(cisplatin-- sp?)
    So here I am, 7 years later. I had to get a urostomy-- An Indiana Pouch. It's a "new bladder" made out of illium and secum tissue, with a stoma on my tummy-- two years ago and wear pouch as the rads completely ruined my bladder and ureters. I can cathiterize many times daily through the hole in my tummy and a ctue red rubber tube(MENTOR 12 French), to keep the bag from filling, but STILL it isnt "normal". I can write my name in the snow now. Girls dont do that.... gender crisis! (kidding)
    Ive been advised to get a colostomy too. I told the guy I would do that later, when I had NO choice. Im not in a hurry to become the bag lady. Im only 44 for crying out loud!
    NOW I have to have a kidney removed. Radiation ruined it too. Whats NEXT? I always try to calm myself down by saying "At least I'm here to complain about it all." It isnt working today. And family? They have NO CLUE how we feel!! I dont blame them, and I dont wish this stuff upon them. But by gosh..... I wish I knew someone who had the same things going on.
    On to slight bowel blockages. Aren't they the most PAINFUL THINGS??? You know how the pain comes and goes.... as you're intestines contract? Well guess what! You now know kinda what LABOR PAINS feel like! Lucky you eh? They ARE different though. They can be more intense, and of course the fear during a blockage is different than labor.
    Im sure you have your own tricks to help the pain when the mini blockage occurs, Ill just add what I do, and maybe you can share YOUR ideas with me.
    #1: I buy some Ensure,V-8, and any sort of drink that sounds good, cuz sure enough, I will NOT want to eat during these bouts.I lay down with a heating pad, and tell the family "Thats it. I have a small blockage , im done for the day, SORRY!"
    I also have this muscle massager. Sometimes, if Im not in too much pain, I set it on low, and put it on where i know I am blocked. I use it like you would an ice pack. A few mins on, and few mins off, a few on, a few off. Then of course, sleep.
    Im totally off pain killers. Since you have a colostomy, can you take narcotics for the pain that comes with a blockage? I cant, of course, cuz one of the side effects is constipation! I just wondered if it were different with your stoma etc.
    So, different cancers, both in the abdominal area, and here we are, with the same sort of symptoms. Go figure eh? By the way, have you found that the Doctors are reluctant to say that youre damage and symptoms are due to radiation? I cant get anyone to admit one way or another. Seems the Chemo doc blames it all on the Rad doc, and now my Urologist, and my "buttologist" (the guy who wants to install a colostomy) they BOTH shake thier heads and say they dont know HOW this happened! HELLO?????/ Im not trying to sue anyone, I just want to know what to expect NEXT! TELL THE TRUTH GUYS!! I suppose in 2005 they definately won't admit due to malpractice suits and all. Shesh.... I wish they would trust me though, and give me an idea of what could go wrong NEXT due to my cancer treatments.
    As Ever, alive and kicking, Sue Fitz
  • livin
    livin Member Posts: 318 Member
    Hello everyone, let me add my two cents about radiation damage. It to cause a blockage in my instestine. Boy the pain was worst, I mean worst than me trying to pass a kidney stone. I had this blockage for over a month lost 30 pounds while the doctors said they wanted to see if diet would un block it. Diet meaning Ensure. I felt like dying. Ended up with Pneumonia too. Any way they found out diet wasn't going to do it so they did a dialation of my instestine. This worked would have to have it every 6 months( dialation of intestine with a Colonoscopy. Well on the second dialation the doctor perforated my instestine and I am now the proud owner of a Colostomy. I have gotten use the colostomy-- no other choice because when I was suppose to get it reversed I had developed Liver cancer so the refersal is on whole. The radiation damage came from my colon cancer that I had in 2001. The blockage showed up in 2003 and the perforation occured May 25th 2004. The liver Cancer August 2004.