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Such confusion on my part and Monday I start treatment

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

i came here a few weeks ago because i was hoping to find some peace of mind or at least to get some reassurance etc for my upcoming treatment...at first it seemed that was the case but now all I am reading is the difficult complications so many people are having after radiation/chemo that its almost impossible for me to think my treatments will go any differently...my doctor told me that this is a good cancer to have because its curable but all i read is about how many problems so many are having...i feel so badly for each and everyone that is having problems but not even this Atavan that I am now taking can make me not think the worst is yet to come... i know my negativity is not a good thing for these boards but honestly I have not read a post from one person yet that says everything is going to be fine or as my doctor put it that i just have six weeks of chemo and radiation and that "should do it!" i guess the side effects or long lasting side effects are not spoken to me except in the books i was given on chemo and radiation but even those seem to be just about side effects that happen during treatments...i am sorry to anyone that thinks i am whining, complaining etc but i honestly am so scared after so much I have read here and on the yahoo site...part of me just wants to stop reading the posts and try to get through my treatments which start monday and are scheduled to end dec 20th...and then part of me thinks i will find a post from someone who says that they are fine after treatment and they dont have any long lasting side effects or problems... you all are such wonderful people and support is a great thing but I guess I am not using this support or site as it should be...i think I am looking for someone to tell me everything is going to be just fine but of course nobody can do that...the social worker at Mass General North told me to "stay off the computer" but I seem to always check back to this site and read the postings...take care all of you and thank you for the things you have told me so far I do appreciate all of you....Chris

z's picture
z
Posts: 1271
Joined: May 2009

Hello Chris, I have no long lasting effects and I am fine, I feel great and better than I have even before the cancer. I completed tx 6-30-09, I returned to work a month after treatment ended, and I have a very physical job. and was able to do it. I am 52 and had the cancer at 50, so I'm older than you. You will be fine and you will see once you start treatment that the thoughts in our minds are often exagerated and all we think of is the worst, well you will be fine and you will get through this, I just know it. I wish you well and Monday will be here soon and you will see that you can do this, just like many before you. Lori

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

Lori thats so great and thank you for sharing with me. Hugs! Chris

AZANNIE's picture
AZANNIE
Posts: 396
Joined: Mar 2011

HiChris,
I completed treatments June 1 of this year and am doing fine. I'm older than you and I didn't think I would feel this good again, but I do. I'm back to gardening and using the weed whacker. I joined the site in March but didn't start posting until recently. I find it reassuring that there are people on this site who are more than a year post treatment and going strong. Yes, it is scary, but you'll make it like the rest of us have. Sending positive thoughts your way...take care and best wishes to you as you begin your treatment!

Ann

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

Ann thank you so much. Glad to hear you are back to normal. Your posts and others are very comforting. Thank you! Hugs! Chris

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

Chris, I'm fine too. Back to work and enjoying life. I can eat anything I want and don't have any serious lasting effects from the treatment.

You're probably going to feel like dog poop for a while towards the end of the treatment and for a little while afterwards, but then things will get better.

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

Rose thank you for posting. I do feel better today after reading yours and other posts about feeling good again. Thank you so much. Hugs! Chris

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3109
Joined: Jan 2010

I had my treatment in July to September '08 and am over 3 years out of treatment now. I would describe my life as completely normal now. I do everything I did before cancer and more. In July '09, less than a year after treatment, I ran a 10K race, running it from start to finish. Then in May '10, I did a 5K and finished second in my age group ahead of 40 other women. I am now seriously considering training for my very first marathon sometime next year! I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and help build houses. I have a large yard that I take care of, do my own housework, and don't have to rely upon anyone for help. I just recently drove by myself for 11 hours to visit my mother out of state. While treatment was not fun, what I'm telling you is that it's of short duration and the healing begins immediately--I was back running in 10 days, albeit slowly! You will find out that you are much stronger than you think you are, which was my experience. You have family for support and all of us here who will help you through this. I wish you the very best with your treatment and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

you sound so happy and running marathons! thats what i want to just get back to normal after treatments are over... i know i have to take it one day at a time but your post and the others give me inspiration of what will happen to me... these posts make me feel comforted because i was reading too many posts about bad side effects etc and thinking the worst...have to really start being positive for Monday's start...thanks again! hugs! Chris

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

Chris,
Take heart. I am less than three months from my last treatment and all my bodily functions are working just fine. A little prednisone the doctor prescribed for asthma took away my muscle aches and pains and I just took a great trip to SC from New York by car to see my Mom for her 85th birthday. I promised her I would be there when I was really at the sickest point from the treatment. At one point I did not log on to this site either. Do what you have to do to take care of yourself but all in all, I learned so much from this site and it kept me from getting panicky knowing there were so many of us who had symptoms but got over them, which all in all I have done already. Remember, though that we are interested and care about your progress and are here to help you. All the best, Sandy

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you! You look great and I am glad you feel good too! Thanks so much! Hugs! Chris

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 566
Joined: Jul 2011

Oh Chris, I am sorry you are so very frightened, but must tell you that most, if not all, of us were just as scared. We cried and looked for answers as to why. Then we went through treatment and healed. You will too.

I was told that I had anal cancer on my 61st birthday. I had never even heard of anal cancer. Talk about scared! It took two weeks to get into MDA and all tests were repeated (not colonoscopy or biopsy). Started treatment on August 28th (I think that is right), finished on October 13th. All that time I was climbing stairs at the hospital, at least one flight, and walking from appt to appt thou they have carts to take you if you want. Exception was one sky bridge that was quarter of mile across and if I was tired that day I would ride.

I left Houston on Oct 16 to drive the 800 miles home. I should have stayed in Houston another week, but am stubborn. Then I caught an infection,
Yes, I was in the hospital for 7 days. I did have two units of blood and IV antibiotics. I had special creams for my behind. When I left the hospital I was on the mend and still get better every day. I am two days shy of only one month out of treatment and going for walks every day and have even gained a pound.

Yes, I still have some side effects. Mostly a tender rear end and some fatigue. This blog got me through those almost four months of waiting for and then getting treatment. Everything from what to expect to where to find clothes that do not rub a sore behind. I have had times when I was in a panic. I have had times when I needed to share with others who understand the problems and fears that I have had. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT FOUR MONTHS FROM DIAGNOIS TO NOW AND PHASE ONE OF TREATMENT IS OVER. Phase two being the 3 month check ups.

So being scared is normal......NOT being scared not so normal....good luck and do well....Lorie

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

You and everyone else on this board are very brave and strong. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I hope I will be as brave and strong as you and the others. I am going to take this weekend before I start on Monday to probably stay off the computer and try to relax. Monday will be here soon. My radiation will be at 130pm every day and chemo is started Monday at 2pm...already i am looking forward to it coming out Friday. Then I have it the last week. I will look for loose cotton boxer shorts over the weekend and buy some baggy cotton sweatpants. Thanks again! Have a great weekend to you and everybody else on here! Hugs! Chris

shirlann54
Posts: 161
Joined: Aug 2011

Ia'm 57 and doing real good .I got done Jan ,19th 2009 allmost a year.And another good thing is i stoped smoking the day i started my chemo & Radiation it will be a year the 29th.I stay busy i go shopping with my mom and she is a shop till you drop girl lol .I take my dog Reesee for a long walk ever day, I Give my living room and bedroom a whole ne
w look with my husbands help .AND i love to cook i won 2 blue ribbons this summer and they even had a write up in the news paper about my recipes.I do more for me then i ever had before. And i feel so happy.I'll be thinking about .

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

Hey congratulations! Blue ribbons and newspaper write-ups - that's great! Give us a good, calming recipe for Chris?

shirlann54
Posts: 161
Joined: Aug 2011

Thank you .I wish i had a recipe to calm chris down poor guy .I,M praying for him.He needs to get out and do somthing he injoys this weekend.And stay as busy as he can .Befor he starts his treatments.

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

Have a nice weekend Chris! Relax, rest, get ready, do it (Monday) - you'll feel much better once things get started. Blessings and good thoughts being sent your way!

7243
Posts: 223
Joined: Feb 2011

Chris ... I think our group tries to be both optimistic, yet realistic. We don't want to paint this as all rosey, however as you can see, many of us are doing well and did great through treatment and recovery. This cancer thing is a process, we're all at a different place with it. My treatment ended in February of this year and I am doing pretty well. My greatest challenge is managing my emotions. I worry about recurrence and can't quite get my mind wrapped around this whole "cancer diagnosis thing" and how do I live and thrive post treatment. I am not completely healed physically and have some anal stinging, mild pain and some vaginal stenosis which is causing some inability to have sexual intercourse, however I'm working with a Physical Therapist and all is coming along there too. I'm about 85% considering both physical and emotional issues.

I had very little side effect from the chemo; mouth sores and some vague nausea ... not bad. I had pretty severe burns from the radiation, and pretty severe fatigue for 4 months post treatment ... however 95% healed and I'm 9 months out.

I am 52 years old and healthy ... you'll do fine. Take it one day at a time ... I suggest really getting into meditation ... like an 8 week mindfulness based stress reduction class. I'll bet there's one in your area ... ask your oncologist or therapist. This changed my life.

I was so afraid in the early stages I didn't want to hear anything negative because it just sent me into a tail spin. Hang in there.

AND I absolutely agree with RoseC ... once you get started you'll feel much better about it all.

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