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My dad's pain

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2007

It's with a heavy heart that I join your ranks. My father has rectal cancer and I could use any ideas you may have. I will try to be brief, but some background will be required. My dad is 75, he has had cancer before. Throat cancer 15 years ago, treated with radiation, gone. A large mushroom shaped growth on his head a 1 1/2 years ago, radiation, gone. He has had the surgery to remove the tumor in his rectum and this week will complete the 5-FU I think it's called, the radiation and chemo pump both. He is in so much pain that he can barely move. He had a hemoroid-ectomy 15 years ago and thinks his pain is from that site, and not the surgery site. He told me just yesterday that he has had a lung collapse, throat cancer, and so many other that men his age would have, but has never had pain so bad. He hasn't had a firm BM in 2 months. It's a little diahrea every 20 minutes. (Sorry to be so graphic) The doctor is giving him percoset 10, but the meds arent helping. He has done the sitz bath, with a very little relief. I am not sure his stage, but his PET showed cells at the surgery site and the liver. He will have 4 wks to recover, before they begin the 6 months of IV chemo. I read many of the previous messages here before joining you. His pain is not at the skin from the radiation, so creams won't help. Do you guys think the pain may still be from the radiation? Someone had told dad that the chemo would bring out old injuries and previous cancer sites. Is this true? (he has some spots on his face and arm that are very red that were previous cancer sites). Again, my apologies for such a long note. I can't get him to participate in support groups. He does nothing now but lay in bed.

Posts: 39
Joined: Oct 2007

I'm sorry to hear your dad is going through such pain. I too have rectal cancer and am 5 weeks post op from resection surgery. I am also finding myself running to the restroom every 20-30 minutes with little or no evacuation (haven't had a decent bm since before surgery). I'm not sure of his pain, but I have been experiencing what I can only describe as a throbbing with rectal pressure, almost like a bearing down, very uncomfortable. Maybe this is the sensation he too is experiencing. I also at times feel a burning sensation. Unfortunately, since it is still so soon after surgery for me, I have no answers as to what helps (I have been using pain meds to take the edge off) but others on this site have told me that things do improve with time. It is great that he has you, so I would just recommend keeping him as comfortable as possible and staying positive.

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

I had rectal cancer but had the chemo/radiation prior to surgery. The pain he is having is likely due to the radiation. There is a burn from that but also swelling. If he can hang in there it usually gets better about two weeks after stopping the radiation. The spots on his face are probably from precancerous spots that are affected by the 5-FU he is getting. They may look terrible now but will clear nicely. That is one of the ways they found one of the treatments for sun-damaged skin- they use a 5-FU cream. Keep checking with his doctor to see if there is something else for pain control.


Posts: 39
Joined: Oct 2007

My bad, I didn't realize your dad was currently going through radiation treatment.I also had chemo/radiation prior to surgery, but I agree with Vinny3 there is pain and swelling (as well as burning)from the radiation. I too felt better about 2 weeks after the treatment ended.

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