Trying not to panic

carolrichwrites Member Posts: 25 Member

I've reached the phase after radiation (week three) where I'm more active, and trying to recover my health, strength, and endurance from last year, before cancer took over my life. Because I'm more active now, I'm experiencing confusing sensations in my pelvic area...fleeting pain, twinges, etc. It could be from not having used my gardening muscles for so long, or from my digestive tract still finding its bearings. Or it could be a radiation side-effect I'm unaware of. Through it all, I've lost 42 pounds--the first 30 intentionally (I think), but the next 12 from the cancer, etc. I'm a few pounds under a healthy BMI, but I feel really good most of the time, pain-free! I know it's impossible to say, but I guess I'm looking for reassurances that my twinges are most likely from healing. It's been a long road. I've let my doc know about everything, and do have follow-ups coming up from my radiation onc, my surgeon onc, as well as my GP.

I've seen a few posts on here about not thinking that every little pain means recurrence. I'm trying to remain calm. Help!



  • BluebirdOne
    BluebirdOne Member Posts: 630 Member

    I can only speak for me, but it took me a very long time to recover. I never felt as good as I did pre-cancer as post, but of course I was 68 and now 72 so normal ageing plays a part. The body has sustained many insults from many invasive tests, procedures, surgery, chemo, radiation, and lack of estrogen, plus our own underlying conditions. I have terrible issues with osteoarthritis which were exacerbated by the chemo, which manifested immediately after chemo and blew up the 1st year post treatment but the most important thing is that I am still here, and happily so. So I think few get beyond treatment without some lingering issues but we are still here.


  • carolrichwrites
    carolrichwrites Member Posts: 25 Member

    Denise, BluebirdOne,

    We are still here. Absolutely! I'm 67 so I agree, there are underlying issues. My months of agony living with the growing cancer was hell, but post-surgery, I had no pain. I didn't even need pain meds, just NSAIDS for a couple of days after. I was hoping that post-radiation would be more like post-surgery. It's a little harder, I'm surprised to say.

    Still, I am so grateful to be here. Indeed. Every day is a blessing.


  • MoeKay
    MoeKay Member Posts: 454 Member
    edited December 2022 #4

    Hi Carol,

    I found the time after finishing radiation to be the most stressful. Like you, I had surgery and radiation, but no chemo or any further treatment. Even though I was anxious before and during treatment, I think my stress and anxiety rose to a whole new level after treatment was over. As long as I was undergoing treatment, I felt as though I was taking affirmative steps to deal with the cancer. When it ended, I began to notice and worry about every pain I felt and probably a few I just imagined. I recall telling my radiation oncologist about some back pain, and she ordered a CT scan which found nothing. Most likely my back pain was due to my body healing and adjusting to the level of my pre-cancer exercise classes at the gym.

    I think some of what you're experiencing has to do with the fact that your body has been through a lot and your mind needs time to process things. For me, the first year after finishing treatment was the worst, but as time went on, my body got stronger and my stress level began to decrease. I also had problems sleeping for quite some time after finishing treatment, which I think only magnified the problem.

    It sounds like you're comfortable with your treatment team, which is really important. I could tell you not to worry, but I know that's easier said than done!

    Take care and be well,


  • carolrichwrites
    carolrichwrites Member Posts: 25 Member


    Thanks for these words of wisdom. Much appreciated!


  • thatblondegirl
    thatblondegirl Member Posts: 371 Member


    I am shocked to write it….’cause I never thought it would happen!….but once I got past treatments and adjusted to immunotherapy, I felt pretty darn good! I know those last 2+ months before I was diagnosed I felt pretty crummy, but I was enduring very stressful events and I just attributed it to that mess! I didn’t have radiation, so I can’t speak of that, only to recovery from chemo.

    I know it’s been a while since your hysterectomy, and you’re kind of describing stuff that’s new…but I know that post surgeries I didn’t have pains, but everything in my pelvis felt pretty “wiggly-jiggly!” Some time later I read somewhere that even though the uterus doesn’t take up much space, it serves as kind of a bumper guard for the surrounding organs. I know I sure felt it’s a sense!

    😎, A

  • carolrichwrites
    carolrichwrites Member Posts: 25 Member

    thatblondegirl, That makes sense. It helps to hear other people's experiences. I really appreciate it. Thanks!

  • NoTimeForCancer
    NoTimeForCancer Member Posts: 3,247 Member

    I think it is natural for all of us to think "what is that" like a bump in the night when we experience a twinge that we worry if it is a recurrence or something sinister. I also think our dr offices understand, at least that much, that patients go through this phenomena.

    It is why, even this far along for me, I wanted to find a dr to continue to follow me. Not an easy task when you move, but I want someone to reach out to who understands what this is about and I can pop in to see if I want to get it checked out.

  • Echogurl
    Echogurl Member Posts: 20 Member

    I’m 6 weeks out from 8 weeks of radiation to my pelvis and still can’t comfortably sit on a bike seat or a yoga mat but it’s getting better slowly. I Still have fatigue but at 62 probably things just take longer to heal. Hope you are feeling stronger soon.

  • carolrichwrites
    carolrichwrites Member Posts: 25 Member

    Echogurl, Thanks for the encouraging note. I am two months out from the last radiation treatment and yes, I'm so much better. Skin is all healed. Endurance is much improved, almost better than ever. I hope you're more comfortable on your bike soon. Have you tried a little wider seat? I have an electric trike which I love. Continued health to you.