Jan's Cancer Blog

Insufficiency fracture

Hi Everyone!  I have not posted for awhile but that doesn't mean I don't think about everyone who is batteling this horrible dis-ease! 

Its been 6 months since my last treatement and I felt that things were going quite well (considering ass cancer and all!) 

Two weeks ago I had pain while sitting & a large painful lump near my tailbone, as you all know anything like this freaks us out. OMG what if the cancer is back??! The stress of the unknown is a horrible thing to deal with. 

Went to see my radiologist yesterday (UW medicine Seattle) and he says this painful lump is probably a "insufficiency fracture". The definition of insufficient is lacking adequate power, capacity, or competence so I'm not sure why they refer to it as insufficient because it is very much there and painful as hell!  Radiation is most likely the cause because I had not done anything other than shovel snow that could have "caused" this.  Nothing they can do, just try to deal with the pain with anti inflamatory meds and don't sit for long periods of time.  Now the thing I will worry about forever is falling!  If I can get a fracture from doing absolutely nothing then what if I take a tumble?  Am I just going to be a pile of broken bones?  Geesh.  All these things to worrry about. Oh, & there's another gray hair?  ;-)  Just wanted to put this out there and see if anyone else has this on thier plate as well.  I wish everyone a blessed day filled with love & happiness!  ~Jan 

P.S.  I watched an awesome documentary on Netflix called "Heal", there's a lady on there who had stage 4 anal cancer and she tells her story of healing which is very interesting to me. I highly recommend it!  Another one is "Forks to Knives"  a great documentary on food & healing. 

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Ouch, I’m sorry to hear this! My tailbone pain was very present for at least a year post treatment and my doctors suspected a hairline fracture due to radiation. I’m definitely concerned about the same things (pile of broken bones)...in fact I did slip on the ice and landed on my arse a couple months ago 🤦🏻‍♀️ and I was pleasantly surprised nothing came of it. Two years later and I still can’t sit for extended periods of time, I have to move every couple of hours or I feel it. This has prompted me to do a ton of walking...which is probably a good thing anyways! Thanks for the Netflix recommendation I haven’t seen Heal yet but I definitely will add it to my list...I love documentaries that focus on health! Take Care Jan! 🤗
Jan, Inshock like this comment
I’m so sorry to hear you are dealing with this. I lasted only 4 months post treatment before my sacrum started crumbling last August. It took a month and way too many doctors to finally diagnose and even more before I found one to do anything. I’ve been doing PT since November, started a spine stimulator (Orthofix) in January. I used a walker from September to last month. I’m strong enough now to go without as long as I know there will be somewhere to sit when needed. It continued to get worse from Aug to December. I’m trying to get a new MRI to determine if I’m healing at all yet. I can’t tell you how frustrating it’s been. Post treatment I’d gotten back to cycling, hiking and even took a backpacking trip. I have been able to do a bit of walking again but short distances. I am glad that my muscles are getting stronger which will help avoid falling. But like you I can’t sit, stand or sleep in any one position for more than 1-2 hrs. I’m on 2 tramadol per day for pain. I ran out of pills last month for a day and was sad to realize that I really need them! I had a spasm 3 weeks ago that has set me back. Luckily I’m a positive person so I’m trying hard to enjoy non-active pursuits like sewing, baking, music, reading and almost ready to start seeds for my garden. I have help lined up to do the heavy lifting for my garden prep. I couldn’t have survived the last year without my husband! I’m not ready to imagine life like this forever! So I keep trying to see friends, etc. we want to go camping but it has to be close by as I still can’t sit in a car for more than an hour or so without pain. Hang in there! Find joy where you can. Hugs!
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I am so sorry you have been in pain, but it's good that you and your doctors now know what is causing it. I think whenever any of us feels a new ache or pain, we begin thinking about all of the what-ifs. I was dealing with severe hip pain on my left side last year and was afraid I might have an insufficiency fracture. I had to quit running altogether and walking was, at times, painful, as well as sitting for long periods of time, such as car trips. I'm glad to say that an x-ray did not show a fracture in my case, but I'm sorry you are dealing with one. Our bones definitely take a hit with this treatment, especially in our pelvic/hip region. I am small-boned to begin with, so that doesn't help matters either. It is always a worry for me that I will fall and break something! I wish you complete healing with some changes in your routine.

Thanks for the info about the documentary. Take good care!
Inshock, Jan like this comment
I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I had a lot of pain for a long time after treatment and my oncologist suspected an insufficiency fracture. And I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in my hips and spine a year after my treatment. Physical therapy and deep tissue massages really helped, but I have to say, 3 1/2 years out I still don’t like sitting for long periods. And it’s strange, but softer chairs and couches make my back stiffen up the most. I hope you get some relief from your physical pain and mental anguish, and just know that it all does slowly but surely improve!
Inshock likes this comment
After reading a lot of comments form other ladies, it's very commun to have all kind of ailments after first treatment. NEVER stop searching and investigating, because this cancer can be insidious. After 1 PET, 3 CT, 1 MRI, it took a biopsy to find that cancer had reestablished new quarters. The symptoms were different from the first time. I'm not saying its cancer, I'm saying that specialist know how to treat the first cancer, but the side effects, and other cancer... It's a different story
Jan likes this comment
Hi jan, feel bad u are hurting. Prior to radiation, my docs did not say that all these things could happen. I'm only 5 months out and my aches and pain is tendonitis of right shoulder, wrist, and hand unrelated to radiation and most likely more chemo related. Wonder how long does these fractures take to heal?
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Neuropathy after chemo

Hi Everyone, I hope you find joy in this beautiful time of year. I am wondering how many of you had 5FU with Mitomycin and are now experiencing neuropathy in your hands and feet? Mine never came about until about 2 weeks after my last chemo treatment. My legs & feet are very swollen by the end of a work day sitting at the desk even though I get up and walk or do the stairs every 30 min.  My Dr says its "impossible that this is caused by the chemo"  I personally think that chemo (aka poison) can cause about any kind of unpleasent side effect!  I appreciate your input.   Peace & Love, Jan

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The words I learned through that ordeal: We just don't know. My experience is that acupuncture has tremendous impact. Please try it if you have the possibility. Someone wrote: Treatment of cancer is the gift that doesn't stop giving. So true. This poison saved my life. Now, from here, I do I live my life? I have great pain probably from radiation but we just don't know... So I understand where you stand. Take good care.
Jan likes this comment
Hi Jan. I've got neuropathy after 5Fu, Mitomycin, and Cisplatin. My doc said that it's pretty common and prescribed Gabapentin. It works. Burning sensation is gone, althoug tingling and numbness are still there. I hope you feel better soon! Hugs!
Jan, Easterly like this comment
Hi, Jan—Just to weigh in, I haven’t ever had neuropathy. I hope you can find a resolution to your questions.
I had some tingling in my feet’s and some swelling but it went away by my 6 month mark. My doctor told me the same thing that it was not from chemo.
Hi Jan,

I had capecitabine (Xeloda) which is the pill form of 5FU. I also had a mild case of hand and foot disease near the end of treatment; it began to clear a few weeks after treatment ended.

Not everyone exhibits the same side effects,and others on the blog have not mentioned that they had hand and foot disease. colon and breast cancer patients take Xeloda for many months and some do not have this effects. However, hand and foot disease is a known side effect of 5FU/Xeloda. It should resolve in a few weeks or a month or two.

This is an excellent site for information about chemotherapy.It suggests you modify walking and presue on your feet!
Easterly, Jan like this comment
It’s very possible that chemo could cause this. I had trouble with balancing for a year after. You will see improvement as time goes by. XOXO
My husband is on 5FU and after about 3 months of treatment has developed neuropathy in his hands and feet. It’s not to bad but we can only expect that it will get worse with time and more chemo. He also had swelling in his face and feet. Our GP looked at his blood labs and said he was low on protein levels and recommended supplants. He takes protein supplements about 3 times a day now and the swelling is only occasional and minimal. I know, everything about cancer sucks.
i had tingling in my feet/legs every so often (and less frequent now at the 7 month mark), but my dr. basically said the same thing and to let him know if the tingling persists.
Neuropathy seems to be a common side effect of this treatment. You are not alone.
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Vital Info

Jan (jr)


April 24, 2018


July 30

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell stage 3A

June 23, 2017

Stage 3A

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 1



The constant fear

Listen to your body and treat it kindly

After reading blogs & doing a massive amount of research the treatments sounded barbaric and awful. I decided to take the diet and cannabis treatment road.

There is nothing positive about cancer drugs!

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Do research, as much as you can. Listen to others who have the same disease as you. Keep a positive attitude, count your blessings every day because there is always something to be thankful for!

July 27

I am going to the Dr for tests on May 7, 2018 and I am hoping for the news of the tumor being gone or much smaller. We shall see!

Had a dull ache in the bum area for a few weeks & it finally got bad enough I went to the Dr who recommended a colonoscopy & during the procedure they took a biopsy of the tumor they found. I was so shocked. It was unreal.


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