Long term side effects of radiotherapy

Aside from short term side effects as I’ve mentioned on my post on August 18, 2015 such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable bladder (or radiation cystitis)
  • Feeling sick
  • Bleeding from the vagina after internal radiotherapy
  • Soreness and redness of your vulva or back passage, 

there are also long term side effects of radiotherapy like as follows:

  • Swelling in the legs
  • Bladder and bowel side effects
  • Ovaries stop working, causing an early menopause
  • Vagina becomes narrower and less stretchy
  • Vaginal area becomes drier

Radiotherapy can have long term effects on your vagina which can affect your sex life. It can make healthy tissues become stiffer and less stretchy. Doctors call this fibrosis, and it can shorten and narrow your vagina. To try to prevent or minimise this, it is important to start using vaginal dilators after your course of radiotherapy treatment. If you do not use these, it can be difficult to have sex comfortably.

You can read more about these side effects here
As it was already planned right after I finished the radiotherapy at the end of September, I went to the hospital to have a visit to my profylax nurse. I should use vaginal dilators already 6-8 weeks after the last radiation therapy. She explained to me how to use the dilators and we went through difficulties and important things to do to make things easier like using oil and such things to prevent dryness. I feel so sad, I never ever had this kind of problems earlier in my life. Now is this the end? IS IT GAME OVER FOR ME?
The dilators I got is a test tube shape about 16 cm long and a radius of nearly 8 cm and diameter of 2.5 cm. It looks like a white candle. It is very advisable to use this once a day in 2 years in order to make gynecological examination easier later on if needed. Together with it I have to use a lubricant and I chosed almond oil. Aside from that I have to use a medicine called Ovesterin both in cream form and suppository. This is for estrogen deficiency.

The worst side effect I have is that I have to visit the toilet so often specially if I eat a lot then I have to go to the toilet probably 2 or 3 times after a meal that’s why I don’t go to parties anymore where I got tendency to eat more. I stay at home most of the time. I don’t go out longer than 30 minutes and if I do I have to look where the toilet is immediately as soon as possible in case I have to run to it. It’s very uncomfortable. I guess I have to live with it. I am just grateful I survived.

Published by queenkeandra

I am a swedish citizen with asian origin, lives in Sweden, entrepreneur, accountant, fashion designer, dressmaker, professional interpreter and translator and from year 2014, I also became a local politician with some assignments from the local government. I moved to Sweden after marriage with a Swedish national in 1986. Two years later we got a son followed by a daughter after 21 months. Satisfied with life in fact, I guess I got all I wished for, it feels I have everything. Being married is not just a bed of roses, the roses have thorns also and you can get it at times but we’ve always been doing pretty good. Kinder and better husband I do not think I can get, everyone has their flaws and life becomes easier if you can accept them. I’m not a perfect person either. I became a grandmother quite young, only 45 years old, was a little skeptical at first but then I loved to be one. Now I am already a grandmother of two, a boy and a girl of 20 months between them, such a great feeling, it feels like it was a replay of my life. When I have both of them at home, it feels like I was young again and is the mother of small children. I can not explain but so damn good it is. When I moved to Sweden I knew nothing about the country, but now it feels like I’ve always lived here. I speak Swedish better than my native language, better in Swedish grammar than my husband, it may sound strange but it’s true. I dream even in Swedish. I hang out with many Swedes, have worked and still working in Swedish companies. I go to the Swedish church though I am a Roman Catholic. We believe in the same God anyway. I’ve adapted pretty well in Swedish society. I think I have to adjust to that country I moved to, not the country or its citizens to adapt to me. Sweden has no responsibility whatsoever that I wanted to move here so I could not demand anything else, but now a citizen, I think I have the right as any other native Swedes. I pay taxes and do my duties as a citizen. I think I am a good role model and a loyal citizen and can fight for my new country.

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