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2 months post treatment

mbh97766's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: Nov 2010

I am now 2 months post treatment and feel like I'm healing pretty well and quickly. I suffer from a feeling of dryness both in my anal area and my vaginal area. Sometimes this feeling will wake me up and I have to go put aloe cream on both areas just to get comfortable. I've been lax in using my dialator, and need to pay more attention to that. Intimacy with my husband is painful and that just makes things hard for both of us. My bowel movements are o.k. I guess, given what we've been through.
I have also been experiencing a severe stiffness in my hips, can no longer bend the way I used to without it hurting. I used to be so agile, now I struggle to put my socks on. This frustrates me to no end, and I suppose Yoga is the answer. use it or lose it, right?
My calf muscles also ache, they hurt to the touch. One of my pre-treatment pleasures was at night, while watching tv, my husband used to rub my feet and legs (I, of course then had to rub his), but now it hurts for him just to touch my calves. Has anyone experienced that? I walk my dog daily and sometimes this is a laborous thing. I'm only 50, so it's sad to me.
My last problem is probably the biggest and most confusing. About 3 weeks ago, after everything was going fine, I woke in the middle of the night with severe stomach cramping and vomitting. Continued to vomit about 8 times before I took myself to ER. Of course they found nothing and were reluctant to do CT as I have had enough radiation. I thought it was a diet issue, so took great pains in watching what I ate for next 2 weeks. Nothing helped. Daily my stomach would twist and wrench and I became fearful that maybe I had developed adheasions or some other colon problem. Went to Oncologist who ordered CT scan, and results returned with "abnormal cecum". The cecum is the area where the large and small intestines meet, and is the "u-turn" where the appendix lies. I had had mine removed just in June. The Onc doctor said that the CT can't really reveal what the "abnormality" is, so recommended a colonoscopy from Colon/Rectal doc. It probably is either scar tissue or trauma from radiation, or maybe surgeon erred in appendix removal and this coincidence is now manifesting, either way, I see him on Tuesday. In the meantime, I just suffer pain and nausea and wait. Sometimes grateful that something was found, often stomach pains go undiagnosed, but also concerned about what is it? And can it be fixed? will I need more surgery?
There are moment when I miss my "old self" so much. My husband told me in his sometimes brutally honest, but less than tactful way, that I have aged about 10 years through all of this. He sees me lying on the couch, resting at times, and says "that's so un-Darcee like". My skin is pale and dry, and my energy is still low. I know it's temporary and I will get better, but patience is not my strong suit. Cancer sucks and so does treatment.
Spring is coming, and it's always been a time of change, rebirth and a new outlook. I will apply this to myself also, and look forward to regaining the old Darcee to some degree.
I will keep you posted on the colonoscopy results. In the meantime - I MISS MY COFFEE!

mp327's picture
Posts: 4106
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Darcee--

I want to wish you good luck on Tuesday and I hope you get all good news on your colonoscopy. As for things taking awhile to return to normal, that's, for lack of a better word normal. Don't be discouraged as it does get better with time. The stiffness in your hips may be helped with gentle stretching and exercise. Now might be a good time to begin a walking program. You also might benefit from one or two sessions with a physical therapist who can instruct you in good exercises to do for increasing flexibility and range of motion. I hope the cause of your vomiting can be identified and easily resolved and that it's nothing serious. Please let us know how Tuesday goes.

Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

So good to hear from you. I often wondered how you are doing... one week ahead of me. Sounds as if you are doing ok and are on your way back to 'normal'. I too had a stomach scare but it went away quickly and I did not have to go to the ER. I will think about you tomorrow! All will be good!

I started my yoga practice again and that really does wonders for getting me back. I made lots of changes in my life and my husband thinks I actually look 10 years younger... so, you will also get back to it. The exercise helps tremendously. The first sessions were hard but now I am right back where I started. My energy is still a little lower than before and I fall asleep with my 2 year old many times I put him to bed... not the best for a romantic relationship. I have hot flashes sometimes at night and am now in menopause. The dialator is also something that I need to do more off... I heard that the Milex dialator MX25 is suppose to be much better than the candle looking aparatus I received from my nurse... I will order it and see if that is better. It is a lot better now with my husband again as I realized that I was so nervous and anxious about it that I could not relax... that was the main issue... once I could relax it got easier... and, easier said then done...

I have my anoscopy March 30th. When is yours? Anxiety is building up...

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2009

The vaginal dilator is important. My doc told me of two cases where the vagina sealed over, and it becomes very difficult, if at all possible to re-open. In both cases the wound from re-opening took months to heal, in one case, over a year.
I have found other dilators on line (search "vaginal dilator"), some are more tapered and some a little more flexible than the "candle" they gave me. My OB-GYN recommends a set of dilators in increasing size, but they sell for $300!! He did have a good suggestion for making use easier: Kepp the dilator and the KY gel in the shower. You can use it standing up. Insert it (I cross my legs after I insert it), wash your face or brush your teeth, then remove it, wash it and put it away! I never forget now. Good luck!

Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 2010

I found mine on Amazon.com of all places. It was about $50 with 3 sizes. It is made by Dr. Laura Berman I think.

grandma2selena's picture
Posts: 200
Joined: Jun 2009

I had the same problems with my hips. They will get better! I still am not as limber as I use to be, but the pain does get better and so does quite a bit of the stiffness. Hang in there it does take time after this treatment to heal. The hip thing was explained to me as radiation recall. My Onc told me it was due to so much tissue damage from the radiation, and all of that tissue has nerves, that while we are healing reads pain from what we went through. Through the healing process I have found that this has truly gotten so much better and am only bothered on very rare occasions now.

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