Apr 19, 2010 - 5:55 pm
One thing that would have been helpful to me up front was a little bit of knowledge about some of the side effects of chemo or radiation and medications that may help. So I thought maybe we could begin to put something like that together for new folks and have begun a list below which I hope everyone will add to!
Mouth Sores - Calling these things mouth sores (which sounds innocuous) is a misnomer. These are actually the sores from hell. I could not eat or talk for 3 days and the sores actually lasted about 10 days total. I used the following two medications following the first round of chemo (the only assistance to me came in the form of the topical anesthetic - these did not cure the sores themselves) 1) Magic Mouthwash (In Atlanta this is a mixture of Benedryl, an anti-fungal, and lidocane.) 2) A mixture of maalox and lidocane which worked better for me in killing the pain. I used a spoon to coat only the specific areas affected. (For me it did not get my whole mouth at once thank goodness, but moved from site to site. The worst was when it hit the underside and sides of my tongue in the back of my mouth (rubs on the teeth - horrible), and my uvula and esophagus. I just started my second round of chemo and my Oncologist gave me samples of a mouthwash you start just prior to and during chemo which supposedly prevents these sores (Jury is still out I just started...) This is another mouthwash called Caphosol. Insurance will not cover it in all cases (mine would not, and a week's supply was going to run about $200, so I was thankful for the samples). For more information check www.caphosol.com and I'll plan to post once I finish chemo this week as to whether or not I got hit with mouth sores after using it.
Itching - This just about drove me crazy particularly in the female area. Proctofoam worked well for the internal piece (Can be used for both the vaginal area and the anal area)and I used lidocane externally.
If you have a port and or do not like needles - be sure to ask for some lidocane cream to rub on - use it roughly an hour before your appointment and you should not feel anything. I am a big sissy as far as needles go.
Painful urination - When you have anal cancer you get an up close feel for what babies go through with diaper rash! No wonder they scream like they are on fire... Many folks use a water bottle and just run it over the area when urinating. My Dr. was kind enought to give me a prescription for Pyridium (200mg) this turns your urine orange but you will not experience any burning whatsoever. (Two tabs a day.)