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this has scared me this has scared me

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Unread 04-06-2001, 05:23 AM
this has scared me

Hi again girls, well my oncology nurse gave me a booklet to read about radiation. In this booklet it lists complications of having a combination of internal and external radiation. They are horrific !!! between 5% and 10% of women will have serious complications such as: repeated bouts of cystitis, chronic vaginal discharge, chronic pelvic pain, obstruction of small or large intestine (may need surgery), pelvic bone fracture and worst of all the passage of urine or faeces through the vagina, a fistula requires and operation and may result in a permanent colostomy. What I am so worried about is that ever since this saga of my hysterectomy has started, I have always fallen into this 5% range, gee I am scared, probably worrying for nothing but I just dont know what to do. I could cope with most of these but no way could I cope with the last one. I am probably sounding quite silly but I could sure use some advice. Thanks so much
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Unread 04-06-2001, 05:34 AM
this has scared me

Hi, Robyn!

Nobody likes to read about the possibilities and percentages of things going wrong. You must be so scared! I'm sending cyber hugs your way (((((hugs)))))!
I'm sorry you feel as though you are always in that 5% group all the time. There must be a number out there that says what % of women are always in that 5% group. That number has to be so astronomically small that it's not possible for you to be in it. And with all your sisters praying for you, surely we can secure you a position in the other 90%. We'll do our best for you!

On the other hand, not having these procedures could lead to some even bigger complications. And your family needs you--and we need you! I've been reading your replies and you've been so very helpful and supportive and understanding of so many of our sister's needs. You're going to come through this!

As always, I am continuing to pray for you. May God bless you abundantly with swift, uneventful healing.
Unread 04-06-2001, 05:43 AM
Robyn, my friend...

None of your fears are silly! They are valid and real. I understand completely. When I was first diagnosed I remember feeling so hopeless about myself, not sure I had the fortitude to face all this and still be sane, still have the energy to be the person I was before cancer. Guess what? I am not the person I was before! I think I am better! I have much more understanding of the real fears that millions of people face every day. I think my heart is bigger..{maybe it grew some to fill that empty space where my uterus used to be }.
I will pray that none of these complications happen to you. I think the DR.`s always give us the worse case scenerio.
OK Robyn...get ready for my hugs `cause you know they are coming....


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Unread 04-06-2001, 07:32 PM
this has scared me

Robyn, I don't blame you for being scared, but only because we always tend to think the worse when we are the ones who are sick. Please know that I am praying for you dear. Take care and try not to worry or jump to conclusions!!
Unread 04-06-2001, 08:31 PM
this has scared me

Ah, the joys of informed consent. Of course you're scared!

They gave me the list of possible serious complications for the hysterectomy as I lay on the gurney getting the first happy juice. I was almost ready to leap back up and say, wait a minute, no one said anything about that!!!

They have to let you know the scary things, but they won't happen to you. We won't let them!! {{{robyn}}} Never underestimate the power of the hystersisters!

Seriously, you know we're with you through this. You can do it.
Unread 04-07-2001, 08:53 AM
Oh, the scary things

Hi Robyn

Of course you're scared. I was also thinking that there must be some miniscule statistic that would say you would *always* be in the 5%. I mean what are the chances, really? But after your experiences I can understand that it would be hard for you to visualize yourself in the 95%. Well, you could try . . .

I recall my anesthesiologist telling me all the horrible things that could happen when I asked him what the risks were. I mean he really did go a little overboard if you ask me! And I remember thinking 'well, it has to be done, so we'll just do this, pray for the very best outcome, and deal with whatever happens.' And that's what I'm doing. Dealing with the outcome!! Ugh.

You already know, of course, that the anticipation is the very worst part of all this stuff. So we're all rooting for the best possible outcome (and we do make a difference!) and know you'll deal well with whatever outcome you get.
Unread 04-07-2001, 09:24 AM
this has scared me

Hi Robyn, Yes reading about the possible side effects to radiation is certainly scary. In fact, I'm surprised they can get anyone to consent after reading them. I had stage 2A cervical cancer and the doctor told me I had an 85 - 95% chance of getting it into remission and I focused on the small %-15% chance of it not going into remission. The most common side effects from the radiation are symptoms that resemble irritable bowel syndrome. (and sometimes "irritable" is the key word there as they make me irritable!) Shrinking of the vagina is a very common side effect and if the staff do not mention a vaginal dilator to you please ask. I did require an addition surgery because of scar tissue around my vagina and bladder but not having the radiation was not an option. Try to go into the radiation treatments in the best frame of mind possible and focus on your recovery. If and when you need to deal with complications from the radiation hopefully the cancer will be beat. I hope that this doesn't sound harsh but your frame of mind and your desire to do what you have to do to save your life at this point is important. If there is a social worker available where you receive your treatment tap into their services and keep asking the medical staff how you are doing and report problems as soon as possible so that they can be addressed. know that many people on this site will be praying for you and they care about how you are doing. Keep us posted.

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