Severe Pain after Pelvic Radiation Therapy - HELP!

Hi everyone,
I am writing to educate myself and my mother on the side effects of pelvic radiation therapy. My mom was diagnosed in November 2009 with Endometrial (Uterine) cancer. She had a complete hysterectomy in December in which they discovered that the cancer was at Stage 3. She went through 6 months of chemotherapy and was doing well. In September of this year the CT scans picked up a very small tumour on her pelvis. She then did 6 weeks of external radiation treatment and finished in early October. A month or so after the treatment she started having burning sensations and pain in her legs and hips. She is now in severe pain, especially down into her legs. I've been researching on the internet and it seems that this is quite common. One of the most common side effects that keeps approaching is Insufficiency Fractures. If anyone has any information or can share they're stories and tips with me, it would be greatly appreciated! The doctors have no idea why she is experiencing this pain, and have put her on pain medication. She has a CT scan booked in a couple of weeks - we are scared and there is not a day that goes by that i dont pray for her recovery! Any help would be so great! Thanks for reading! My thoughts and prayers for anyone going through any type of health problem...!

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Hi Melissa! In 12/2003 I was diagnosed w/Stage 3B cervical cancer. After having massive external rad., 2 internal rad., & 4 low-dose chemo txs. I have tons of damge from the radiation. Nerve damage in both my legs is the worst thing I can't walk or stand for any amount of time, & I walked with a cane for 4 years. I also have: pain in right hip, bulging discs in lower back, sm. fracture in lower back, spinal stenosis, etc. Good luck to your MOM! I saw a neurologist who put me on GABAPENTIN for my legs! IT REALLY HELPS!

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Hey Melissa, I am so sorry your mom is going thru so much pain, my sister was diagnosed with cervical cancer in april and has done chemo, radiation and internal radiation. We are finding ourselves now trying to figure out what is going on with her body. She is expriencing alot o the pain in her stomac, pelvic area and in her lower back. We are just now trying to figure out what all was damaged by the treatments. I hope you find your answers to help ease your mom and im searching for answers for my sister.
Have you had any luck?

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Of course the doctors do not know what is going on because they don't want to admit that the radiation is the problem. i also had internal and external radiation and it took me five years to find a doctor to tell me what I already knew. I have nerve damage in my hips and some days is harder than others but it has been six years for me, since radiation. The also put me on Gabapentin. Doctor do know what the problem is.....they just want admit it....too much money to be made with chemo and radiation.

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Thanks for the comment, I do think the doctors know also.... They dont tell you in the beginning all the things that you are going to be facing. during treatments everyone was so great but after that last treatment and all the pain started its been horrible even the nurse has attitude..... I just finally told them last week out of three doctors that are treating my sister they should be able to figure out where the pain is coming from and do more test or something, she has two small babies trying to tend to and cant even get up in the mornings. I am on the search for answers and will not stop until they figure something out, she so desperately wants to be the way she was before all this and she just isnt able. She never took medicine before never had to depend on anyone else to take care of her children and to take care of her and now she is just so discouraged and heartbroken,. If anyone can give me options of stuff to try to make it easier please let me know. I pray for each and everyone of you that are dealing with these issues. It tears me up to see my sister in so much pain and all i can do is just be there for her and fight the battles that she just cant. love to you all!

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What a supportive sister! I agree radiation has done a number on me. I had 25 external and brachy. I am always stiff and sore through the hips, 15 months out from treatment. Sitting on the floor is absolutely out, and housework is difficult. I have had scans that have shown post radiation changes but no cancer thank god! I am not back to the way I was and accept now that I never will be, and am making the most of my new normal. Am I angry and heartbroken? Yes, this disease takes and takes well after treatment is over and you stop being cared for by the doctors. What has helped me - walking, not too much, not too little. My chiropractor is amazing and helps break down the scar tissue and keep me flexible (ish). Deep tissue massage by a professional also helps. I hope your sister finds this helpful, I believe the drs have done what they can and this is where complementary medicine comes into play. Let us know how she goes!

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I was diagnosed with stage 3B cervical cancer in July. I finished radiation on Oct. 11th. 5 weeks later, I'm having severe pain in my pelvic, lower back, buttocks and groin areas that now extends down my legs. The doctors I'm seeing won't say that its from the radiation. But from what I've read on here and at other sites, this kind of pain is common after radiation. I was just given Gabapentin for the pain and I'm hoping that helps. I hope all of you find relief from your pain. I'll be praying for your healing.

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Thank you everyone who has commented on our situation. I am in the process of signing me and my sister up for the gym and I hope with some exercise, walking and stretching that it will help some, I know she has a long road still ahead of her but we will make it thru.... I am thankful that she has survived the cancer part of her ordeal and cannot wait till we can get her back managing herself and her babies... They have set her up to have a colon exam and to have the nerves tested in her stomach and surroundng areas due to nerve damage. I just pray that it will not be that and that we can just have some good news for a while. Cancer is such a life changing disease that just keeps taking and taking. But it takes all of us to have the courage and strength to help our loved ones thru these difficult situations, and with a little love and hand holding we will all be ok. I just remind my sister every day our mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 07 had 1 chemo treatment then had a massive stroke that has taken years to over come and to do treatments fr the cancer and if she can still kick around there is hope for us all.... Women are STRONG!!!!!! love and prayers to everyone

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Hi everyone, just thought I would give an update on what we found out on my sisters situation. We went to a colon specialist and they did some test found out my sister has a major infection in her intestine, which had been showing as abnormal in the ct scans that her cancer doctor had been running but guess he didnt think it was anything....... and they found some tumors of which they have done biopsy to see what is up with them, now we have to wait...... Waiting is not a very good thing for us!!! So when doctors tell you oh the pain is normal or that everyone is diiferent and you just may experience pain but deal with it.... always look further, if we had not pressed the issue this could be alot worse. Now we just hope for good news on the tumors and hope that the infection meds will hill up the intestine, if not she will be looking a surgery on the intestine to remove some of it.... not good! We are staying positive and sending up lots of prayers that the outcome is good..... Had I not chated on inspire I may not have thought about the intestine and all the other organs, yall have helped togive me some insight on her situation, doctors dont always have the answer on everyone..... I hope for everyones speedy recovery and that your pains get smaller and smaller.. Thank you

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Hi everyone,
Thanks for all your replies to this discussion that i started. An update to my moms situation...
I just spent the last two weeks in Toronto hospital with her. The pain that she was experiencing was actually VERY life threatening. I got a call from the paramedics saying that they were rushing my mom to the hospital as she was in severe pain and was bleeding from the rectum. My heart literally stopped...
She was medi-vaced to Thunder Bay hospital where they pumped 8 pints of blood into her in order to keep her from bleeding to death. They discovered from a CT scan that her main artery had been severed and there was a hole in her bowel. She also had a blood clot in her leg as the tumour that was there had been cutting off the circulation to her leg for quite some time. After desperate searching, they found a doctor in Toronto who would preform the surgery needed on the artery to save her life. The odds of her making it there were not good. We were flown out by air ambulance to Toronto - the doctors were waiting for us and had her in surgery within 15 minutes of our arrival - AMAZING! She had a stint inserted into her artery which stopped the bleeding and a filter inserted to prevent the blood clot from moving into her lungs or heart. Once that was done, they reassessed her and discovered that the tumour was depleted and there was a very serious infection where it once was. The infection was caused by the leakage from the bowel. She was put on very strong antibiotics and a drain was inserted into the infection to allow it to drain out the side of her abdominal area. She remains on tons of pain medication at this time and has just undergone surgery to have a colostomy (reroute the bowel outside the body) done. The doctors say that the colostomy is permanent. She is stable now, however there is great concern about the infection and the possibility of the artery becoming infected where the stint was placed - that would mean disaster!
I dont mean to scare anyone with this information, however it just goes to show how important it is to push for answers with the doctors! My mom went to the hospital a couple times complaining of pain shooting down her leg, through her hips and abdominal area, and all they did was give her pain meds to cover it up! It wasn't until the saw the blood that they actually did something. I dont want to "bash" the doctors in any way, as i do believe they are saints, but i do want to make it known that pain after radiation treatment can be very serious. I thank god for every day that he gives me with my mom and i pray that she pulls through! She's had a full body MRI and bone scan which have both come back clear!!!! Now we just need to get through the damage and i pray that she can have some healthy, happy years to come!
Thoughts and prayers for all of you and your families!!!

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Wow Melissa, I am so glad that yall have some answers to your moms pain... I hate that it has been such a long road for you guys, I know how frustrating it is to be by your loved one when all the doctors do is mask their pain with pain meds..... Same thing has been happening with my sister..... Even after her telling them she was bleeding they kepttelling her oh thats normal everyone is different, well thats just crazy if you hurt there has to be a reason, and thanks to everyones input on here we have found out that my sister has had a severe infection in her intestine and that radition has harden her intestine, they are treating for infection now and we want know anything till thats all gone as far as i the intestine has to come out... all we can do is pray. It just amazes me that they can miss or not see these symptoms and offer ideas to what might be going on.... its just so frustrating.....

I do pray for you and your mom and I hope she does have aspeedy recovery now that you kind of know what is going on with her. keep us posted on her progress, and we will keep up the prayers.

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