• Lingering side effects of pelvic radiation

    Asked by jearlesred on Monday, May 6, 2013

    Lingering side effects of pelvic radiation

    Hi All, I received six weeks of radio-chemotherapy that ended July 2012. I then had a colectomy and temporary ileostomy in September 2012. The ileostomy was reversed in late-November 2012. I already knew I had radiation damage in my rectum because of persistent symptoms. Then, on Monday, April 29, I came into the hospital because of a two-night fever that peaked at 101.7. I also had nausea and vomiting. My doctors did blood and urine cultures, a CAT scan, and a gastrografin enema. The scan showed two abscesses and the enema revealed a leak. My questions are: How long after radiation therapy do patients experience side effects? Has anyone had a similar experience? Why, if the previous enema done in November showed no leaks would there be one this far out? What causes this? My doctor wants to leave the ostomy up about six months, but is this enough time?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      Hi Jearlesred, unfortunately I do not have a similar experience but hopefully someone will come along that has gone through something similar and will chime in. As far as side effects of radiation, that greatly varies from person to person and I don't think anyone would be able to give you a specific time range. I know hearing from people who have been through similar situations is great but if no one replies, please call your doctor and ask him/her all these questions. Based on your specific cancer type and treatment your doctor would be better able to answer your questions. Wishing you all the best. Hugs.

      over 3 years ago
    • jearlesred's Avatar

      Yes, my doctor did the ostomy so he is well aware of my situation. He has not experienced anyone having these side effects this far out. I thought I would ask the network to see if anyone else had. Thanks so much for your support!

      over 3 years ago
    • lisaissa's Avatar

      Hi jearlesred! I had 6 weeks of radiation ending at the same time as you and am still seeing side effects from it (passing blood here and there along with occasional pain). I had a colostomy done in November 2012 and was given the ok to go forward with the reversal in the next few weeks. I'm scared to have the reversal with still having lingering effects from radiation. Not sure what to do.

      over 3 years ago
    • jearlesred's Avatar

      Hi lisaissa, since posting this question I have had to have another colostomy put in. My doctors discovered two abscesses and a small leak. It's strange because I was given the okay for reversal back in November, had the reversal, and didnt show any signs of leaks or infection for six months. My doctor tells me we can reverse it again in another six months, but I'm not so sure about that. I know the effects from radiation can show up years after treatment - I'm scared too.

      over 3 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      Hi jearlesred; I was diagnosed with Stage 3C endometrial cancer in Dec. 2011; had a total hysterectomy; chemo; internal and external radiation treatments. In Aug.2012 I had a colonoscopy and was diagnosed with Stage 2 colon cancer; had
      a hemi colectomy but no further treatments.
      I continue to have occasional abdominal bloating and bowel issues that may soon require wearing Depends. I believe this is all due to radiation damage. I am not sure how to answer your questions but my hunch is that the surgeons do the best job they can and every patient has their own individual results.. That's how they get their statistics, I suppose. I am thankful that I did not need a colostomy but recently I had an elevated CEA level and may need to have another PET scan. Not sure what's ahead? and find this concerning some days.
      Wishing you well.

      over 3 years ago

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