Vulva cancer

Affected by VIN (a pre-cancerous condition) or vulva cancer? Join this group to share experiences and ask questions to people who understand what you're going through.

Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy

Posted by

Hi guys, I am finding it so hard to cope after being told I have valua cancer  February I was then told last week I also have anal cancer I will be starting daily radiotherapy and chemotherapy on the 17th and I'm so scared. I can not handle the dreaded unknown and I am being told that I won't be kept in at all through out the 7 weeks this has scared me even more. I am 28 with 2 young boys firstly I really hoped they wouldn't have to see me sick and weak from the treatments. I caught infections so easily and antibiotics don't work on me like they do most due to over prescriptions from doctors from a young age. I have 15 days before it all starts and I don't think I even have the strength to make it until then. Im feeling like I know some of yous have as well like the room is full but no one can see or hear you. I want to run and hide knowing I can not as my rocks are here my beautiful boys keep be going but also make this harder as I know I have to fight for them even when I feel I can't I know I need to. Sorry for the rant I just had to get it off my chest 

Posted by

Hi. I’m so sorry you are going through this. It’s an absolute nightmare of a time.  I’m in a similar situation to you with 2 young boys although a little older than you at 45  I was diagnosed with breast breast cancer in May and just completed my 1st chemo treatment yesterday.  It was not too bad and I woke up this morning feeling just a little thick headed and ach but nothing major.  I am hoping with a positive attitude I can keep major side effects at bay. My boys are 7&11 and we told them last week. They were both very positive S we made sure that they I was being looked after and being given the best treatment. In fact my youngest was most concerned about me taking him to school with a bald head.  I have them both important jobs to, the oldest is in charge of handgel at the front door and youngest is in charge of keeping my water bottle topped off. They loved this and felt important to have a job, so maybe something g you can try. May also help with you apprehension about infection.  

I had some great literature from the hospital and also the school has been fantastic. 

Speak to your cancer nurse about infection, side effect and your concerns.  They have so many medications that counteract side effects and I’m sure they will be able to find an antibiotic that helps, especially when it’s done by IV.  

Ive has some horrific days when I thought I would not cope and once the boys were at school just cried all day, but believe me the strength does come back and you get stronger. I was never one for tablets but my friend pursued me to go to the Drs and get an anti anxiety tab. I was given diazepam and it’s the best thing I e done. I only take it when I feel I need it, it kicks in within an hour and it helps me keep a lid on my emotions and deal with things in a more positive way.  This may not be for you but at least you know you have options. 

It does get easier to manage I promise. 

Posted by

How hard for both of you young ladies and having small children at home. I hope you both have help or a support system in place. I don't know much about how the chemo and radiation affects a breast cancer patient but I can give you some info on radiation and chemo for Vulva Cancer.

Normally they give the chemo called cisplatin to go along with the radiation because it helps the radiation work better. Mine was given IV weekly for 6 weeks and too about 4 hours for the treatments. The chemo through me in to menopause instantly, however, I am 49 and my chemo was November 2016-January 2017 so I am quite abit holder than you Stars16. I did not lose my hair. I got very queasy when I smelled old lady perfume, body odor, certain foods I loved I still can't eat and the smell gags me, dry mouth so I always had water, chapstick, and hard candy. For the smells I put a dab of VICKS in each nostril when I left my house. The obvious is try not to be around other sick people to bring your immune system down further. I ate a lot of toast with cheese because I could only handle bland.

The radiation I found to be the hardest...I had 5-6 weeks (weird I can't remember for sure) anyway I started getting tired around week 3 but I wasn't very active to begin with and I know people who had no problems until their treatments were all done. My only child is 24 so I didn't have to worry about little ones and my treatment was in a different state for 6 weeks so I didn't have to come home to clean, cook and take care of people. Get yourself some salve called Aquaphor or if you are not allergic to sulfa, get a burn med prescription from your radiologist. You will have to drink a ton of water before each radiation treatment, the radiation will eventually start burning your but and vaginal area and you may experience diarrhea. I loved water therapy until I had to worry about diarrhea then I had to stop that too. 

Radiation lasts for months afterwards and for me it got worse about my third week after treatments were finished. I sure hope you can get some help with the children for when you are tired or hurting. You may experience butt spasms, loss of bowel control, diarrhea, chaffing in your rectum and vaginal areas and pain from the radiation damaging your lymph nodes.

It does get better but radiation aftermath sucks!! Please ask all questions you can think of with your radiologist and nurse and of us here. I will be thinking of both of you, your families and your children.

Big hugs,

Lisa from USA Michigan