The Burn is here

Aud Member Posts: 479 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I know many of you have experienced much worse than I have, so far. But I will complain anyway and take any helpful advice.
I've just completed the fourth week of radiation and my radiation oncologist was surprised that I had no major complaints. Well now, the Burn is here, in my vagina and anus. The butt wipes I used to use burn like hell even if I rinse them with water first. The only thing tolerable is unscented Dove soap and water followed by a pat dry. (My boyfriend is out buying unscented baby wipes at this moment. I didn't want to get them before because they're not flushable, but he tells me I could flush them anyway.) I continue to use preparation H which helps some. I have my period, which the radiation oncologist says should be my last, since treatment is expected to put me in menopause. I'm into the 9th day of my period and it looks like the 1st, no letting up. The oncology nurse said that she could give me sitz bath basin, but she said nobody hardly uses them. I wish I had taken it; I used that when I had my first son, due to hemorrhoids (this is a hell of a lot worse than hemorrhoids by the way.) and it helped.
The tension in my body from the near constant itching, burning, throbbing has caused my back to act up.

I know I have much to be grateful for: I am still basically healthy and active. I am working. I have a wonderful boyfriend and 3 good sons. There are only 2 weeks and a day of treatment left. And the most intense burning and itching doesn't usually last for more than a few minutes at a time, sometimes waking me up, but ususally after washing and reapplying preparation H, it improves.

And now, for something totally unrelated. I went to Quaker meeting for the first time in a long time and was very glad I went. I live in Jersey but spend weekends in Pennsylvania, with my boyfriend. They were very welcoming, meeting was inspirational, and I intend to go back.

Thanks for listening/reading.


  • coloCan
    coloCan Member Posts: 1,944 Member
    I had seven weeks worth with five of chemo and as my radiologist warned me, it would really kick in in the few weeks after radiation treatment stopped. She was right. i had rad directed at my rectum as I lay face up on table of machine. The burn on my **** was incredible. I remember using Aquaphor on cheeks of **** And silver sulfadizine( Need prescription for latter)for between crack in **** for relief of pain.Eventually redness and pain went away and pubs and anal hairs grew back. Hope this helps you a little.(can't help you with other body part)..Steve
  • JDuke
    JDuke Member Posts: 438
    Hi Julie,
    I had five weeks of radiation last year for anal cancer. I found that taking Benedryl allergy tablets really helped with the itching. I don't know if you are on any chemo currently so you may want to check with your oncologist first. As far as the burning, there was little that I tried that really gave me much relief. I did find that using distilled water in a bottle with a squirt type top (like a Zephryhills water bottle with the pull up top) to "rinse" instead of wiping really was more comfortable. One other trick was I found that offered some comfort was to place a fan at the end of the bed and just lay there with the cool air blowing on my bare bottom (no it wasn't a pretty site, but I couldn't have cared less). My GYN sent me to a local private pharmacy that mixed me up some cream with no preservatives and no fragrance that I found to be somewhat soothing. I don't know if this will help. I feel for you. Just know that once the radiation is over, the healing seems to go quickly. My best to you.
  • VickiCO
    VickiCO Member Posts: 917
    Get a sitz bath right away. I ordered one online. It really, really helped me with the burns, which were severe for me also. You fill it with very warm water and add a couple of tablespoons of either Milk of Magnesia or Mylanta. It is very soothing. When you are finished, just pat with a towel, do not rub. My radiation oncologist suggested this and it really helped.

    Good luck....Vicki
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  • robinvan
    robinvan Member Posts: 1,012
    Hi Audrey
    I just finished 3 weeks of radiation for a local recurrence in the sacrum/rectum. I used Glaxal Base liberally and spread it as far as I could reach without actually inserting it into the anus. This was recommended by the radiation technician as well as friends.

    My experience is that the side-effects sort of snuck up on me. I was hit hard with fatigue by the end of the treatment. Worse for me than previous fatigue experienced during chemo. It passed after a couple of weeks.

    I've been off radiation for 5 weeks now and am still using the Glaxal.

    I hope the next few weeks go as well as the first ones.

    Glad to hear the Quakers in Pennsylvania are showing you a warm welcome.

    Holding you in the light... Rob; in Vancouver