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Is this normal now?

Worden4's picture
Worden4
Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 2009

After reading many of the discuss boards for anal cancer survivors I feel "normal" now. I have had episodes of "was it really worth it to survive if I have to live like this". And after reading many of your stories I now see that I am not alone. I chose to wean myself off of the pain meds as quick as possible so that I did not develop an addiction to the pain meds, but now have a very hard time getting my doctors to give me anything for pain. My main problem...I am allergic to many of the pain meds, such as hydrocodone and that limits the doctors on what they can give me. Most of the ones they can are highly addicting so they choose not to give them to me. I also have arthritis, osteoporosis, and diabetes, which all cause pain also. I have told my doctors that it makes it difficult for me to want to do anything because the more I move the more my body aches and the pains become even more intense. I am grateful to be alive for my family's sake, and mine, but at the same time the pain just makes me wonder if it is all worth it. The other issues of being an anal cancer survivor make it easier to wonder if it is all worth it...the accidents, the bleeding, the intestinal problems, the digestion problems, etc. I am now 44 years old. I know I had cancer throughout 2007, but was not officially diagnosed until March 2008. I also had cervical cancer in 1998.
I just wanted to say THANK YOU for helping me feel "normal".

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 522
Joined: Jul 2009

You've been through so much and only 44 years old. I'm sorry that you have so many side affects plus all the other health issues. I hope things improve for you as time goes on and that you find some relief.
Liz

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 544
Joined: Apr 2009

i so understand your feelings. i am older by 13 years and have no children so at first i was not sure that i wanted to go through chemo and radiation. at that time , i had noooooo idea of all the pain, side effects, etc. but i am at 19 months post tx and i made it. yes, i have problems still with pain on left anal side and accidents and etc. sexual pain . i use the dilators but they are different and easier than the real thing. hang in there sephie

netkickin
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2011

I am glad that you are starting to feel like you are not alone. I felt like why me and like I was too young to have cancer. But as you did I found this site and everyone here has been there and done that also. It made me feel better knowing that I can get through it just like everyone else. It is hard I give you that but we all got through it with a little help from everyone here.

mxperry220
Posts: 369
Joined: Mar 2011

I was diagnosed with anal cancer in November 2008 and completed radiation/chemo treatment mid January 2009. I found taking advil effective for pain. I am taking 3 immodiums daily to control my bowel movements. The doctor advised me to do this. I have had a few accidents post treatment, particularly right after final treatment. I still do not feel comfortable going anywhere before 10 o'clock each morning. This may be more psychological than physical. I did not have severe radiation burn during 6 weeks of treatment. The doctor said my skin was extra healthy. Also, I used an over the counter ointment for my burn. It was aquaphor. I found this to be the most effective of any of the ointments I tried. Also, you may want to use moist wipes to clean up after a bowel movement.

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 544
Joined: Apr 2009

i also have to get up 2-3 hours before leaving the house to handle my BM's. like you, too many of them. i have done what they have told me but it is not working. i will try more immodiums. i did have really severe burning of anal tissue with extreme swelling of all private parts, blisters, bleeding but that calmed down after a few months. not completely ok but sooo much better than before. i am 19 months post tx . i still have this red rash thing with swelling and pimple on left side. oh well--- i am still here but complaining too much hugs to all sephie

mxperry220
Posts: 369
Joined: Mar 2011

BTW I forgot to mention I take all 3 immodiums in the morning first thing afte my first BM.

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 544
Joined: Apr 2009

thanks, i will try that way. i have been taking one at nite. sephie

mxperry220
Posts: 369
Joined: Mar 2011

Sephie,
I get my immodium equivalent at Sam's. It costs much less than immodium and comes in a larger quantity bottle. It is Sam'a brand name. It is Members Mark and has 350 caplets per bottle. Hope this helps.

alis7910
Posts: 80
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi:
You have been through so much; I can only hope you find relief from the pain and can feel peaceful again. I didn't find pain pills that helpful. I used 99% pure aloe and lidacaine ointment, which both gave me great relief. I also had regular acupunture treatments.

My love to you

goofytc's picture
goofytc
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2011

I am 38 and a survivor of rectal cancer. I have pain in my tail bone area, constantly, most times it is tolerable. When it isn't I do take a pain pill. I am also allergic to most pain medication. I am taking tramadol, it is not considered a narcotic (controlled substance), so doctors seem to perscribe it a little more freely. I hope this helps you. It has really helped with my pain. You have to eat with it, or you will get severly sick.(I learved that the hard way) We are survivors of cancer, and are learning to survive the side effects or treatment, we can do this together!! I am so thankful for this place, it is nice to hear stories from people that know EXACTLY what it is like to fight this battle.

melbas2
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2010

I am 11 months post treatment for the cancer. Now I' battling a-plastic anemia, which is causing my bone marrow to eat itself. I get blood & platelet transfusions which are a pain, but they seem to be working. But the pain at the surgery sight in unberable. I;ll go days with out having a bm and that is followed by days of the squirts. My butt is either itching and/or burning, and I still hve blood from my rectum.I have tried so many creams and soak, all to no avail. The thing I do have or emergencies is regenacre, which burns like a ***** going on but it numbs the area for awhile. I'm going back to see my surgeon on Monday, hopefull it's something they can fix without more surgeery.
Melodie

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