Lower Back Pain After Cancer

Following what I thought was the most severe, debilitating pain of my life, radiation for anal/rectal cancer, which included a malignant recto/vaginal fistula, new pains arose while I was recuperating from radiation. I had severe lower back pain, same pain in my lower extremities, mainly hands, lower calves, ankles and feet.

The lower back pain is the worst and this pain would hit me so hard, especially at night and upon waking that I was literally debilitated and helpless and would have to inch across the bed screaming out in pain to reach my morphine and take some then wait until the pain was at the point where I could somewhat move.

Because of this at times I wouldn't make it to the bathroom in time either which made me even more in despair just crying. I would then have to slowly pull myself across the bed and use things like my nightstand and hands and elbows to try to prop myself up sideways, then slowly and with pain drop my legs over the side of the bed then use the night stand at first then place my hands on my thighs and slowly push myself up to a standing position. All this would take at least 30 minutes. I am 46 and I felt like a 85 yr lady with rheumatoid arthritis.

Once up I could barely walk and stairs were awful, I had to slowly do one stair at a time. This has been going on for over a year since radiation and I can't handle it anymore, it's cost me my job as a caregiver in the hospital, it's cost me my social life, I can't do daily living skills when it's severe and I've had to take alot of narcotics such as morphine, fentynal, oxycodone, oxicontin, norco, vicodin and at times those don't even help the pain when the attacks are real bad.

My bladder is also severely stenosed now because of radiation damage, so I am awaiting to see a urologist for this. Otherwise I'm frustrated because my one surgeon for the rectal cancer just thinks I'm a drug addict who's making excuses like back pain to get more drugs and this just makes me cry - if only he could feel my pain for a week - he may change his outlook. My PC Doctor handles it better and is sensitive to my pain but also thinks I take too many pain pills. What am I supposed to do? I'm at the end of my rope.

Four days ago for the first time this put me in the hospital, I couldn't walk, move, I just screamed out in pain in the ambulance and in the ER they said they felt sorry because I was in so much pain and they filled me up with all kinds of narcotics and sedatives until they put me to sleep. If anyone out there has had this problem I'd like to hear your comments or advice. I'm so tired of not being able to enjoy life anymore and on top of it have to take pain pills just to make it on a daily basis, then have certain doctors say - "you are not in pain, it's an excuse to get drugs, you're a drug addict."

I don't know what to do anymore but don't want to give up either. Please reply back at this site. God bless. - Michelle

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