I have just finished 27 out of 28 treatments. I am doing radiation with xeloda five days per week. I have tolerated the treatments very well. My side effects have changed somewhat throughout my treatment, but the worst has been itching in the entire area, especially my vagina. I developed an awful yeast infection, which made it much worse than it needed to be. I also have hemorrhoids and some blistering of the skin. Pain has been mild. No diarrhea.
Some tips - start taking care of th area now, before you start feeling uncomfortable. I take either a regular bath or a sitz bath twice a day using Aveeno oatmeal or Domebro astringent soaks. After soaking for 15 min, I apply copious amounts of aquaphor and cocoa butter. I apply cocoa butter all over the area (vagina to the top of the butt crack) first, then use aquaphor, including inside the anus. My doctor gave me a prescription for proctofoam, which really helped when my anus was getting sore. After using twice a day for a couple of weeks, I'm barely sore at all. I also followed a low residue diet but not very strictly. Drink tons of water. I will start using vaginal dilators and doing other pelvic rehab in a few weeks.
Keep in mind that a lot depends on where your tumor is located and the dose you are receiving, so my experience won't necessarily be similar to yours. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there about what to do, including how to minimize impact on sexual function. I am choosing to listen to my doctors advice, and it has worked for me so far.
I hated going to treatments every day, and felt humiliated by having to stick my bare ass in the air. But I did get used to it, and got through it (almost). Just grit your teeth and be strong - it won't last forever and could save your life!
39 yo mother of 3
7/29/13 dx rc six wk postpartum, met to liver
10/9/13 finished 2 cycles FOLFOX
12/2/13 finished chemorad
1/3/14 liver resect
7/16/14 finished 4 cycles FOLFOX
7/28/14 CT scan NED
10/27/14 CT scan 3 lung lesions
2/15 finished 4 cycles FOLFIRI
4/15 VATS on right lung
four mets in left lung, 2nd VATS on 5/21/15