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personal question personal question

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  #1  
Unread 01-23-2005, 10:45 PM
personal question

I hope that it's ok to post something like this, but I really need to know if anyone else has had this happen to them.

I had 4 implant treatments and 5 weeks of daily radiation for cervical cancer. After these treatments were over, my oncologist told me that I would need to use a vaginal dialater to keep from developing a lot of scar tissue and shrinkage. I was supposed to start using it in April of 2003 and I used it maybe 4 or 5 times. I know that sounds awful, but when I used it, it was just a reminder that I have cancer and I couldn't stand it. I also have not resumed having sex with my husband.

So as you can probably imagine, the vagina has narrowed and I have so much scar tissue over my cervix that my doctor couldn't do the pap test last time. He did do a rectal and he told me that he could feel my cervix that way and it was little, so he was assuming everything was OK. He said if my cervix was bigger or he felt anything different, then he would know that we had a problem.

I go back on March 1st and I'm wondering if just this rectal exam is OK, or should something be done about the scar tissue, how can he tell if I have any cancer cells if he can't do a pap test? I guess I shouldn't be too concerned about it, he doesn't seem to be.

I know I did this to myself. I should have just used it and I wouldn't have to worry about it. Has anyone else experienced this????

Thanks
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  #2  
Unread 01-24-2005, 01:59 AM
personal question

I don't have an answer for you but wanted to send you a and suggest that you try not to beat yourself up for not using the dilator.

It is very easy to understand how uncomfortable and unhappy it made you to use it, and we can all say "oh, if I had only...." but in the end, what is done is done and we can only go forward.

I think you should talk to your dr heart to heart about your fear that the rectal examination might not be enough--- I am sure I'd have some concerns about how efficient a check it is!

I hope things go well at your appoinment.
  #3  
Unread 01-24-2005, 08:46 PM
personal question



I'm sorry you find yourself in this predicament. But what's done is done and hindsight is 20/20. Don't beat yourself up.

It would probably be a good idea to talk about this at length with your gyn/onc. Perhaps there is a way to address the scar tissue so that things are more accessible for a PAP smear. The one concern that sticks out in my mind is that a PAP is supposed to help with early detection--hopefully early enough that any cells that are potentially developing are caught before there are enough of them to cause the cervix to grow in size. But that is just my own brain's thoughts, and it's certainly something to ask your gyn/onc.

And if there's nothing that can be done to change your situation, then do your best to accept it and do everything you can to keep yourself in good health! Eat well, take your vitamins, get plenty of sleep. See your doctor for those follow-up visits!

Let us know what your doc says at your next visit! Until then, I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and hoping for a great report!

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  #4  
Unread 01-24-2005, 09:20 PM
scar tissue

The doctor may be able to break up some of the scar tissue while you are under anesthesia. I was put under once so the doctor could get in there and open up my vagina a little. Don't beat yourself up. I didn't use the dilator like I was supposed to either. Then I got to the point where the dilator hurt and could barely go in. Talk to the doctor about it or see a plastic surgeon. They may have nonsurgical ideas to help.
  #5  
Unread 01-24-2005, 10:03 PM
personal question

Thanks girls for all the support. I will definately talk to my doctor on the 1st of March. Maybe he can do something about the scar tissue. Now that I kinda know it's too late, I have tried to use the dilator but it does hurt and it doesn't fit.

I will let you all know what happens on the 1st.

Hugs
Luvanimals
  #6  
Unread 01-24-2005, 11:41 PM
personal question

Don't feel bad...I didn't use the dilator either. I couldn't stand it! It's also been close to a year since the DH and I have had sex too. I believe it was our last anniversary. I guess we'll try for it again this coming anniversary. (Maybe!)

They removed my cervix which shortened the vaginal canal, which makes sex somewhat painful. Also with the vaginal dryness having to prepare takes the fun out of it. But my DH doesn't mind too much, he has high blood pressure and the medication interferes with his performance (if you know what I mean).

After going to the gyn this last time, I decided I would give that old dilator another try. The exam was awful. (It hurt like H_ _ _!) I'm still not using it like a should, but I'm aiming at least at once a week.

Keep us posted!
Jeannie
  #7  
Unread 01-25-2005, 08:21 PM
personal question

The plastic surgeon gave me a tissue expander, much like what they put under the skin in your chest to expand the skin for a breast reconstruction. It collapses small and is put in and then you blow it up like a balloon in your vagina with a syringe. It does not hurt going in and you expand it as much as you can stand. Then you take it out like the dilator. My gyn onc had referred me to a plastic surgeon and that group had a lot of suggestions. I am 42 and I did not want to end my sex life with my husband. I worked with the tissue expander and it worked to some degree. I ended up having reconstructive surgery to rebuild my vagina and fix my bladder due to scar tissue. If the dilator hurts that much you can use lidocaine also. You put the lidocaine on the dilator for lubricant and it numbs you up. You need a prescription for it. Ask about your options. That is a very private, sensitive part of you and it should be pleasurable, not painful. If you had breast cancer you would have the option to rebuild your breast. You lost your vagina to cancer. If you are not happy with what you are left with check out your options. I know what you mean about how everytime you use the dilator you are reminded of the cancer.
Take care.
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