• Radiation progress

    Asked by lindsayfanelli on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

    Radiation progress

    So, today after 17 radiation treatments my oncologist said that she plans to tack on an additional 3 treatments bringing the expected total to 31. She did a rectal exam today and felt that while progress was there, she had hoped for more. However she reasoned that I had swollen to double the size when treatments first started, so to be down almost 2 cm was maybe great progress. I don't know what to think? Anyone have any insight into their anal radiation progress?

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      I was radiated in 2002 for 16 weeks.

      Every time I think of the damage ... but I am cancer free.

      over 5 years ago
    • liznparadise's Avatar
      liznparadise

      Hi, I had 30 rounds of radiation. 5 days a week for 6 weeks. It's no fun, but it's been over 3 1/2 years and no more cancer, so it was worth it. Hang in there. Best of luck and strength in your journey

      over 5 years ago
    • warrior3's Avatar
      warrior3

      My protocol was similar to Liz's, 5days for 6 weeks. If they had told me they needed to add an additional few sessions to finish the job I know I would have said "XXX, yeah" - whatever it takes to banish cancer. I think you need to trust that they have seen this before and that they know what is needed to keep your disease at bay. You can do this!! Remember to stay hydrated, eat when you can. When the pain got to me it helped to soak in the tub and to lie on my side with a fan pointed straight at my radiated parts :) Good luck! and keep us posted.

      over 5 years ago
    • svhous' Avatar
      svhous

      I, also, had the 6 weeks/5 days a week radiation with chemo. It has been finished for over 2 months, and my nether regions are pretty much healed, swelling nearly gone. And the high-resolution anoscopy last week showed no cancer, so I'm hopeful that this is done. What is left (if the cancer is gone) is adjustment to the new normal for internal functions. I can manage that! I consider myself very fortunate.

      over 5 years ago
    • lindsayfanelli's Avatar
      lindsayfanelli

      Thanks everyone. I too will have 31 sessions when it's all said and done, but I was originally scheduled for 28. I had started with a 4-5 cm tumor and now it's around 3 at 17 treatments. I guess I was discouraged that this wasn't enough shrinkage and that was why she added more, however the radiation techs today told me that this is a good response.

      over 5 years ago
    • garson's Avatar
      garson

      Hang in there!!! No one wants to hear "you need more radiation!" Boo!! You can do this!!! You are almost there. Listen to Warrior!! She has excellent advice and I took all of it!

      over 5 years ago
    • warrior3's Avatar
      warrior3

      Aww, thanks, Garson. It really makes me feel good that I was able to help somebody else. That's one of the best parts of this community, love it!!

      over 5 years ago
    • NeverGiveUp's Avatar
      NeverGiveUp

      Hi lindsayfanelli,

      I was diagnosed mid-2010 with Stage III squamous cell rectal (4cm) and Stage 1-2 squamous cell anal cancer.

      Received chemo (5-FU and Mitomycin-C) beginning and end of a six week treatment with 30 rounds of radiation. I was scheduled for an additional 3 booster radiation rounds. However, was physically unable to go the 3 additional and was admitted to ER after the 30th round. Hospitalized for 2 weeks, then a SNF for another 2.5 months.

      While hospitalized a CT showed the rectal tumor was 80% shrunk and anal lesion was not detectable. A month and a half later the rectal tumor was 100% gone! Radiation is the gift that keeps giving, so even though treatment ends, the effects of treatment should continue to shrink the tumor.

      Note: squamous cell has a slightly more favorable reaction to radiation (as opposed to other kinds of cancer cells). I had no surgery of any kind and am 5 years cancer free. If you can go the extra, might be good. But if you can't, then you may still be fine.

      Sending positive thoughts for strength and full recovery!

      over 5 years ago
    • warrior3's Avatar
      warrior3

      Hope you're still doing well, lindsayfanelli, and hanging in there with your treatments. You must be almost there, yay!!! Stay strong and keep us posted :)

      over 5 years ago
    • lindsayfanelli's Avatar
      lindsayfanelli

      Hi guys, treatment was completed on 9/1 after 30 sessions. I am healing nicely and don't have many side effects left at this point. I am starting to feel slightly depressed tho. It's weird to be finished, and I am not sure if it worked so the unknowns are scaring me. I won't know anything until a digital test on October 6th. Did any of u ladies have fear after it ended?

      over 5 years ago
    • liznparadise's Avatar
      liznparadise

      I think that once you've had cancer, it's always in the back of your mind that it can happen again. Don't let fear rob you of the present. I am now almost 4 years from diagnosis and still caner free. I figure if it happens again, I'll deal with it but until then I will enjoy each day.

      over 5 years ago
    • warrior3's Avatar
      warrior3

      Oh yeah, lindsayfanelli, I think that is a very common feeling. I wouldn't say I was depressed, more like obsessed - always wondering if the cancer was still there, would it return… I am a very lucky woman, 10 years cancer free. I am thankful each and every day but I still have those occasional days when I feel that old nagging feeling. But I agree with liznparadise, enjoy the "now" - you are a survivor!!! So happy to hear that your side effects are just about gone :)

      over 5 years ago
    • garson's Avatar
      garson

      You are SO fortunate that you have minimal side effects! I had major side effects but doing well now. Hang in there. It's a really strange thing to go through this battle then it comes to a screeching halt and you have to wait months in between scans. It is nerve wracking but once you get that first one past you, it won't be so bad!!

      over 5 years ago
    • lindsayfanelli's Avatar
      lindsayfanelli

      I hope so guys about it getting easier. I appreciate all of your help and comfort!!!!

      over 5 years ago

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