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Newly Diagnosed

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2005

Hi-I was diagnosed with stageIII vaginal cancer about two months ago and am scheduled to start treatment next week after exploring various ways of treating it. Reading your postings have scared me to death. My first five weeks of treatment will consist of 25 external radiation treatments and 5 chemo ones. They told me the chemo was being used to strictly enhance the radiation. After these treatments I switch to interstitial radiation therapy which includes two treatments per day every two-three weeks. This is where they put the straws directly into the tumor after they hopefully have reduced and defined it. There is some thickening of the vaginal wall under the bladder. Were any of you in pain before treatment? I have extreme vaginal pain. The pain that most of you talk about with the radiation bothers me a lot. Can any of you give me an update of when they say you will have some relief? How are you feeling now? I am sure you can tell I am very green and do not know what to expect. I was looking forward to getting rid of pain and it seems you are saying that it is just the beginning. Thank you in advance for helping me understand what I am in for!

Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2004


You may want to consider contacting some of the individuals on this discussion board directly. You can do this by clicking on the envelope icon below their posting. This will send them an email through their CSN internal email account. Best wishes with your treatment.

Take care and be well,

CSN Dana

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2005

I just finished treatment for vaginal cancer in May. I read this and I realize you have already started treatment, hopefully not without some of your questions answered.
I answered a post on the link below with a lot of my history and treatment experiences, so you might want to read that, but I can answer some of the things you asked directly in this post.
(link to other post)

I didnt have much pain prior to diagnosis. What I did have, was the tumor dying, and basically leaving me with the sensation that I was urinating nearly constantly because the fluid would come out. That sounds so horrible and it was, and I hope you really dont have that symptom.
I had very little pain from the actual cancer.
I understand how talking about the pain increases the anxiety, especially when you already have pain. I am not going to give you horror stories, but the pain toward the end of radiation was not fun. I did have about 33 treatments so mine lasted longer than yours will and hopefully that will help yours to be less painful. They also gave me some great drugs and did everything they could to keep my pain under control. I continued to have pain for a few months following, but it wasnt really where or how I expected it to be. I still have some and its mostly in the tendons of my legs and my bones sometimes. I have some vaginal scarring that makes things painful, and the doctors and nurses are working with me now to try to keep the scar tissue broken up so I can heal normally. I am going to start physical therapy soon for the pain, and I am looking forward to that. Anything that helps is worth the pain I think.
My anticipation of the pain was worse than the actual pain, and but unlike you I had not been able to really find anything on how bad the pain could be from radiation. It really wasnt as bad as I feared, and my doctors were wonderful dealing with the pain I did have. Not saying it wasnt bad, but it was a very controlled bad, it could have been so much worse I imagine.
I know near the last two weeks they did give me the option of taking some time off to allow the burns to heal some and then resuming, but I didnt want to have it get better then worse, so I just toughed out the last little bit. Once the external radiation ended, it was, it seemed, no time at all before the skin, muscle, intestine pain lessened. Almost like a really bad sunburn pain I thought. It lingered a bit, then it sort of just quit. I have tightness in my leg tendons, some limited range of motion in my hips now, and sometimes pain in the joint of my hip. That too gets less and less frequent and less severe as time goes on. So it has been 6 months and I use pain medications (other than ibuprofen about once a week) very rarely. The discharge is totally gone, and the pain I have now is what I call "avoidable pain", which means I only really have pain when I have to make sure the scar tissue isnt getting out of control...

Best Wishes and I hope I helped you some.
Let me know if there are any other questions you think I might be able to answer. I can at least tell you what happened to me, for good or bad.
I will be thinking about you.


Nancytahoe's picture
Posts: 31
Joined: Feb 2005

Did you start your radiation? How are you feeling now? Did you find your cancer thru having a pap?

How old are you? I was 53 when I found out about my cancer.

Read my postings, and if you want, send me a reply, and I will check the American Society email.


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