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Reoccurence Question

lizgino's picture
lizgino
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2012

Hi Gang!

Been a while since I've been on the board, been busy which is a good thing, working again part time, still dealing with side effects from cancer. I was diagnosed with anal cancer that spread to my rectum and some of my lymph nodes. I the myomiticin and 5 FU chemo and 5 weeks of radiation. I also had a colostomy. My problem was that I had a severe abdominal infection along with 2 recto vaginal fistulas due to that "wonderful" mesh they used to repair prolapse 4 years ago. Anyway, I finished Chemo/radiation in beginning of July 2011, repair of fistulas in Nov 2011, then thank God...a colostomy reversal in Feb 2012. The reversal has gone well, and I'm happy I decided to try it. I had a PET scan in June 2012. It came back clean, with the area where the original tumor was noted as "to watch", as they couldn't tell if something was going on or it was damage lighting up.

Well, I have developed numerous hernias due to the damage to my abd wall muscle from radiation and infection. I have to wear a binder to help with pain management.

So here is the question, for those of you who have it reappear, how soon after finishing your 1st round of treatment did it come back? My symptoms started 3 weeks ago, lower dull back pain, I can't sleep on my belly, if I wake up and try and turn over it is as if someone is sticking a knife in my back. My stool is formed, but it can alternate with loose stool. I am also having a lot of mucus, clearish brown, and have a little bit of blood (very little), and a couple of mild itching.

I'm calling the doctor tomorrow, but I don't want to appear paranoid. I'm just wondering. My body didn't handle chemo well at all, the radiation was fine. I'm kinda scared...

Dog Girl
Posts: 100
Joined: Sep 2010

Liz(?),

I hope your worries are just that; worries that you can soon dispel. I have not had a reoccurence, but my colorectal doctor told me that if there was a reoccurence it was generally within the first two years after tx. I know it takes a long time for our bodies to heal and you had many additional challenges as well, so while your symptoms are understandably scary, I hope they are just related to all the trauma your body has gone through.

Best of luck and keep in touch with the board. You know we are here for you and you and all the others still fighting this fight are in my prayers.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2892
Joined: Jan 2010

I can understand why your symptoms of causing worry and anxiety. However, this may just be due to radiation proctitis. I'm glad you are going to have your doctor check you out, but I hope it turns out to be proctitis and nothing more. Please let us know.

horsepad's picture
horsepad
Posts: 82
Joined: Apr 2012

My doctor told me that reoccurence usually happens within the first two years. I finished treatment in Sept. 2011. I was stage 4. I too worried because of sharp pains in my shoulder blade area, thought cancer may be in lungs. Dr. told me lung cancer that produces pains in the back is a different kind of lung cancer, not squamous cell. How often do you get pet scans? I am getting CT scans every 3 months and was told this will happen for years to come. I was told CT scan is better than PET scan because cancer had spread to liver. I also had cancer in lymph nodes. My stool alternates between formed and loose. I also have had alittle blood, not much and some itching. My last CT scan was 2 weeks ago and came back clean! I know I will worry alittle less after I hit the 2 year mark. I also worry about being paranoid when I see the doctor but they expect it. My doctor WANTS me to be paranoid to a degree. Had I been alittle more paranoid, I would have never been stage 4 before I was diagnosed.

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