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anal cancer & treatment

ranelle65
Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2010

I was diagnosed with anal cancer from what I thought was "just a hemorrhoid". I began chemo (mytomycin & 5FU) and radiation on 6/23/10. The skin being treated has started to burn and I'm using 2 creams and cornstarch talc for irritation. During my first round of 2 chemo treatments, I followed doctor advise and started taking the anti-nausea meds the day before chemo started. It was supposed to be a 4-day dose of 5FU, but they infused it faster than planned and I was ill for 3 days. I am curious if the 2nd round of chemo will be the same, or worse. I've heard that it would be worse since there are still some residuals from the first round. Thanks for any and all responses. My 2nd round starts on 7/21/10, and I'm getting a little anxious.

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

Not to scare you but just to allow you to prepare, my experience was that the second chemo was difficult. It was probably in part due to the fact that I was already feeling compromised by the effects of the radiation. I had terrible diarrhea and ended up severly dehydrated. Please be aware that you need to drink as much as possible to stay hydrated and to help flush the chemo through your system as rapidly as possible. It will also aid in diluting you urine so that the discomfort will be reduced somewhat. I know others will chime in soon with their experience. Just know that you CAN do this. Once you are finished the healing will be swift and you can put all of this behind you.

Hugs,
Joanne

lemonade
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2010

My second round of chemo wasn't as bad. I didn't develop the mouth sores like I did with round 1. Everybody's different.

Barbara

duckyann
Posts: 162
Joined: Jun 2009

My 2nd chemo was not as bad as far as mouth sores but like Joanne I got diarrhea so bad and lost a lot of weight. I am not trying to scare you either just prepare you. Make sure you drink, drink, drink. You will make it through it. Just keep reminding yourself that it is a short time and once the treatments are done the recovery is pretty quick.

Nancy

Chris3
Posts: 53
Joined: Mar 2010

It sounds like your first round was tougher than normal due to the infusion error. It's too bad your experience was so bad from the start.

I don't recall being any sicker from the 2nd round of chemo than from the first round. I think the mouth sores were actually less severe the 2nd time around, but that could have been because I started gargling with Mylanta at the beginning of Week 5 in hopes to minimize the sores. I was obviously more tired, but I don't remember having a significant increase in any diarrhea. By then, my appetite was really low. I wasn't horribly nauseated, but nothing really sounded or tasted that great. So, I would just tell myself to grab something out of the fridge and just eat it. I also drank Ensure to supplement. And, as the other members have mentioned: drink that water! I carried a bottle of water with me everywhere I went. (I still drink lots of water even though my treatments are completed.) My big problem during Week 5 was from the radiation rather than from the chemo.

I hope your 2nd round of chemo goes easier than your first.
Chris

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2979
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry you have to be here, but you are among friends. As for 1st. round vs. second round, my second round seemed to be worse. I think the accumulative effects of the radiation had really kicked in. I got mouth sores both times, had terrible diarrhea, fatigue beyond belief. I went into the 2nd. round thinking it would be better since I knew what to expect, but it fooled me. But perhaps you will be like some of the others and not have such a rough time with the second round. That is certainly my hope for you.

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Welcome Rannelle
So sorry for you dx, but glad you found us!
I pretty much breezed through the first and thought I was a super hero going in to the 2nd, then BAM it kicked me!!
My only words of wisdom is take the good days and make the most of them, so when you have a down day, you can just be down without worrying about the house, laundry, etc.....eat and drink as much as you can on the good days to build your strength......and like I always say...."This too shall pass" Tough to go through it in the summer. I know the heat really bothered me.....but now I'm in a summer that I can totally enjoy again!!

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

Great advice Sue. I'm listening to it as well. Marilyne

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

Hi Ranelle - I too will be starting my second round next week and reading this thread helped alleviate (or prepare me) for my next round. My radiologist did tell me that the second round might be harder because of the cumulative effect of that and the radiation. The most we can do is be prepared and try to stay ahead of the symptoms should they occur. I agree, I'm anxious about it as well...but in order to get to the end point, we need to pass through this point. I hope that your second round is easy and not worse (as I hope mine is too!). Be well, Marilyne

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

I finished my second round and it was harder than the first but not during the infusion, the day after the picc line and chemo bag was removed. I ended up with a high fever and severe diarrhea but no nausea and vomiting. That was the extent of the second round of chemo for me. The first round was totally uneventful with little nausea. from what I gather we are all so different and respond so differently but still, its good to hear all sides and everyone's experiences to prepare ourselves. I feel that my treatment went well because I was prepared from listening to everyone on the forum express their experiences. Hopefully yours will be smooth sailing. Marilyne

ranelle65
Posts: 63
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks for all of your input/feedback. The 2nd round of chemo did seem worse for me, but the radiation was far worse. I ended up with 3rd degree burns in the groin area and had to spend time undressed to allow the air to help dry and heal the burned areas. Clothes were not an option. But, I have since finished radiation and am now just waiting for my PET and CT scans and the doctor appointment -- hopefully to say "ALL CLEAR". Thanks again for your comments.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2979
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm glad to hear that you are done with your treatment. Please let us know when your scans are coming up so we can send you some good vibes!

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

Now the wait to see how well they knocked the bugger out! The waiting was hard for me but easier in a way because I began to heal and obviously so. Sorry your burns were so bad. I sure hope they are well on the mend!

And remember we are all here to cheer you on so do let us know when your testing is.

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