Pain - BruceB

Side Effects Associated with Colorectal (Colon) Cancer. Posted on April 3, 2019 View this journey (11 Experiences)

Well, I haven't posted on here in a while because I got tired of writing "downer" posts. But there are enough "vacant" profiles here, where I wonder what happened to the person, that I finally thought it would be good to give an update in case someone stumbles across mine. . . . . . . . . .

It didn't take especially long for the skin on/ around the anus to grow back. After a few weeks I was able to start using toilet paper again (tentatively at first, then with more confidence). That source of pain seems to have disappeared. However, I still get anywhere from 20-30 minutes of intense pain after each bowel movement. After trying everything my radiation doctor has recommended (nothing has worked), I've decided it must be referred pain from the poor old rectum itself. Any time it has to do any "work" (make a loose fist, then tighten it while grunting; that's what I mean), it just hurts like an SOB and sends pain signals out to the nearest receptors, i.e. in the buttcrack. No ointments or anything applied to the skin has any effect, and touching the skin while the pain is happening doesn't make it better or worse, so that's not where the source of the pain is. . . . . . . . . . . .

Radiation treatments ended January 23. Here it is early April and things have not improved and are showing no signs of doing so. I think that, since the doctors knew going into this that the plan was to remove the rectum altogether, they just went ahead and damaged it beyond repair in order to do a thorough number on the tumor that envelops it. In the long run that will be fine: with any luck, all that radiation will mean a smaller tumor to remove and hopefully a somewhat less complicated surgery. In the short term, it means 2 to 4 20 to 30-minute periods per day where I am not good for anything. . . . . . . . . . .

(I still take a non-narcotic pain killer to keep the baseline pain down to about a 2/10, and if -- *if* -- I can "schedule" things, so to speak, a small dose of oxycodone seems to help a little. I'm not at all sure it helps with the pain spike (what they call "breakthrough pain"), but it probably helps me feel better once that pain has subsided, and may help it subside sooner. . . . . . . . . .

Stool softeners are the other thing that seem to help, just because the rectum doesn't have to clench quite so hard. It's a mixed blessing though, because it means "going through the experience" more often.

So that's where things are now. I guess they will continue like this until my surgery. Hopefully the rectal pain will cease once I no longer have a rectum.

In a strange way, this has had a positive effect (or maybe it just proves that you can find a silver lining anywhere if you look for it desperately enough): I find myself actually looking forward to my APR surgery, thinking that maybe at least this particular type of suffering will end. (Of course I am still terrified on several levels, but at least there's this too. I guess you could call it a ray of hope. Yes, let's call it that.)

1 Comment
  • Teelee3's Avatar
    Teelee3

    We have to look for that “ray of hope” wherever we can find it

    7 months ago

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