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Severe pain after radiation HELP

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2007

My mother had type 4a cervical cancer. She had chemo and radiation treatment, and did very well during the treatment. Now, almost 3 months later, she has lost soooo much weight, she is on a feeding tube, and complains of constant pain in her lower abdomen. The doctors have done all kinds of tests but can't seem to find out what is wrong. The cancer is gone, thank God, but my mom complains that the pain is worse than before treatment. She is in bed all day and taking high-dosage pain medications but they don't help with her pain. Can someone please help? What can we do to find out what is wrong?

Posts: 56
Joined: Nov 2005

It might not be from the radiation per say, but maybe a total of all the things she has been through. Did she have a total hysterectomy, then chemo and radiation? That is so much to put on a body and her age and health even before the treatments can have an impact on her recovery.

I had a total abdominal hysterectomy followed by radiation at age 46, and the recovery was pretty tough. I had been excercising daily for over 20 years and only wondered what it could have been like if I wasn't in the shape I was in.

What you might find, is that one doctor will point the finger at another as far as symptoms or discomfort after various treatments because they don't want to admit that it might be from some course of action that they ordered. Maybe you could research the chemo she had for potential side effects. Those normally last a lot longer than any effects from radiation because the whole system is exposed to treatment rather than just the pelvic area from radiation.

Have you thought about a second opinion from another doctor? Even if they are in the same group? Pain medication is also hard on the stomach and intestines, so she might be adding insult to injury.

I wish her a speedy recovery and wish I could offer more help. God bless you for trying to help her...and good luck on your quest.

Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

I'm so sorry your mother and you are dealing with this. I don't have anything helpful to offer, but I will be praying for you both.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2007

Chemo and radiation destroys all the good and bad cells in a persons body. Now you you have to work on healing from the inside out. Please look up this website: www.georgesaloe.com I was and still am taking this even after all my treatment. It's recommended for ALL cancer patients. I swear by it! Please check out the web-site, I drank this 100% aloe vera while going through radiation, dealing with my cervical cancer. I had 50 external treatments of radiation and I never burned. Even the doctor's were in awww. Please, check this site out....you will find it very helpful!

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2007

Oh, your poor Mom! I had stage 1b2 cervical cancer a year ago. I had a radical hysterectomy, radiation & two rounds of cisplatin. I am in constant pain in my legs, hips and a bit of pain in my arms. I am 41 years old. I keep on working, but it is debilitating. The doctors blame each other and pain meds don't really work. However, I do think it is from killing my blood supply to my hips from radiation. Joint pain can also be from chemo. I have swelling, too in the affected area. Actually, I can sleep if I take a smidgen of valium and plenty of advil. My second opinion dr. suggested hyperbaric therapy. My Occupational therapist friend suggested cranio-sacral therapy. I am still searching for relief. Also, cervical cancer patients' skin is not radiated, so we do not burn externally. I am open to suggestions.

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi, I just had a radical hysterectomy in April and, then, for "insurance" the gyn/onc suggested 5 weeks of external radiation and 3 sessions of internal/brachy radiation along with a low-dose cisplatin (chemo) once a week to sensitize the radiation. I did have bad internal burning from the radiation and the combo made my blood counts really low. Did any of you have this blood count problem? I understand it takes quite a while for it to come back to 'normal'. I found too that the 'after-effects' of the radiation and cisplatin are a lot worse than the treatments. And, it is now 4 months since the initial surgery.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2008

I did not have any pain honestly

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2011

i got to say i feel much worse after 5 rounds of cisplatin and 5 weeks of external radiation with 3 internal radiation. my back, my stomach, my legs, everything just hurts. i just want the pain to stop. i dont know how they expect us to work like this. very debilitating. and i am exhausted. its been a month since i ended treatment. i cant wait to see the doc on monday for some sort of relief.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2011

I had stage 1b2 cervical cancer over 4 years ago and the initial pain and discomfort went after a couple of months i now have occational stomach cramps and sickness which are controlled by tablets. The doctors are unhelpful they think as long as it's not cancer it's not important but it does affect my life the only break through i had was with crystal healing and herbal anti-stress tablets. I think the stress of having cancer can be very harmful and is under-rated it's very hard to stay calm when you're in pain.

Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2006

I had the same treatment as you mother. I also had frequent severe abdominal pain which started 6 months after treatment. I was having partial small bowel obstructions. The surgery plus radiation to to my abdomen did a lot of damage to my small bowel. I was diagnosed with radiation enteritis. I had to stop eating any fiber because that would consistently cause a small bowel obstruction. I was warned that surgery to fix the problem was very risky because irradiated tissue does not heal well. I finally chose to have surgery by an experienced colorectal surgeon at the University of Minnesota. He removed about 12 inches of small bowel and a little of my colon. He said that the part that he removed had been damaged by radiation and was no longer pliable enough to be effective in moving the contents of my intestines along so it would get stuck and back up resulting in my many partial small bowel obstructions. He also said that there were several strictures in the small bowel and an extensive web of scar tissue. The scar tissue was left alone because it will just grow back.
The surgery was a success! I can now eat anything I want to and I have no more pain. I had difficulty with uncontrollable diaoreah at first but I now take imodium daily and I am pain free and can eat a normal diet.
You mentioned that your mother is loosing weight. I found that I hated to eat because eating often brought on symptoms and pain. If this is her problem, it can be fixed! It is important to have the surgery done by an experienced colorectal surgeon. The gut is tricky to do surgery on and an irradiated bowel is trickier.
How is she doing now?

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