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Starting out to destroy this anal cancer!!

SisterPretty
Posts: 32
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi everyone! I am a newly diagnosised anal cancer patient. My family doctor diagnosised me with hemorrhoids due to a small amount of rectal bleeding. She prescribed hemorrhoid cream. I used the cream even though I saw nor felt any evidence of hemorrhoids, the bleeding continued and I told my husband I wanted to go to a new doctor to check this bleeding out. We saw a walk in clinic doctor who diagnosised me with a fissure and refered me to a surgeon. He told me not to worry as this type of bleeding usually does not indicated cancer, occult blood would.(he was wrong!) I cancelled my appointment with the surgeon twice due to work conflicts! When I did go to see the surgeon he did a rectal exam (the first doctor to perform this test!!) he told me he felt a tumor. I asked him a benign tumor and he said no I think it's cancer. He booked for a colonoscopy which confirmed the diagnosis of anal cancer. Also my MRI showed some spots on liver, I had another MRI and results were inconclusive. I have started on chemo and radiation treatments two days ago.I love this blog as I find all the information very helpful and everyone very supportive!!

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Congratulations! I am so glad that you are finished and are doing so well. You are so right about prayer and lots of love from family and friends. It makes all the difference!

I am wondering whether you had the opportunity to have a session or two with a cancer dietician. I am surprised you are drinking tea and tried fruit salad yesterday. You will want to avoid acidic foods for some time. Also, you will want to drink lots of water and increase your protein intake to promote healing. Some people eat meat, I was told the best cancer prevention diet is plant based. Greek yogurt is great for your digestive system. Also, to prevent the diarreah somewhat you will want to add hummus to your daily diet. I have about 1/4 cup a day. It really works to make bms less frequent and more solid. I was told to cook all vegetables to make them easier to digest.

I hope you have a speedy reecovery. Get the rest you need and take good care of yourself! You are a real trooper!

SisterPretty
Posts: 32
Joined: Jan 2013

Thank -you for your kind wishes, they made me feel great.
Unfortunatly, I am very scared again, for the past four days every morning I have been spitting up a small amount of blood in my spit mixed up with some mucous. I don't have a cold. My husband was upset when I told him because I said this could be a symptom of lung cancer and my cancer could spread to the lungs. He told me I am overreacting and I should br celebrating right now. I did call my oncologist and spoke to his receptionist who said maybe this is caused by dry air, but she would tell the nurse and if she was concerned she would call me back.I am scared because this is the way I found out about my anal cancer a little bit of blood, that no one was worried about. What do you think I should do? Should I insisted on a chest X-ray ,is it possible this cancer has spread to my lungs, my cancer was stage 2 my radiologist said my treatment would 90% cure me. Am I overreacting, would love some feedback.
Thanks!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2878
Joined: Jan 2010

My opinion is this:  Spitting up blood is not normal and I would definitely keep on your doctor(s) to find out the cause.  However, I would doubt that this is because you have a spread of your cancer.  My way of thinking is to always be safe and not sorry, so I hope you'll get your doctor to take a look at you and get you set up for any appropriate testing.  I hope it turns out to be nothing of concern.

Angela_K
Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

It needs to be determined what's causing you to spit up blood.  It probably is nothing but you want to address it now and not later.

 

Blessings,

Angela

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi. First of all, stay calm. Part of being a cancer survivor is learning how to deal with our fears. That being said, I would insist on an appointment with the oncologist this week. It could be anything, but being so close to treatment, you don't need to live with anxiety. They should get you in today or tomorrow at the latest. Your body can't heal if you are in a state of high anxiety and they should understand that!

Sending you good thoughts, prayers, and peaceful vibes. All will be well.

Mary

Angela_K
Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

I am so sorry that you are having such a tough time tolerating specific foods. Introducing food back into your diet a little at time, like Martha suggested is not a bad idea at all. This is in response to Marynb's post about diet, specifically meat because it is still getting a bad rap and should not:

I was fortunate to work with a hugely reputable holisitic cancer dietician, Thaddeus Hedges, DC, out of Austin, Texas and did not avoid acidic foods  or green teas at all. Fortunately, I have been able to tolerate all food very well, so again, I do believe it depends on the person and perhaps the varying opinions and expertise of dieticians. Red meat gets a red mark ONLY because those studies were done with grain fed, hormone injected beef. GRASSfed beef has less 'bad fat' than commercial chicken (thigh) and in fact has more Omega 3 fatty acids which may reduce your cancer risk. 

Of course, a diet high in fresh, organic fruits and vegetables is always recommended but grassfed red meat, whether it's beef, bison or wild game, does not have to be avoided altogether. 

And 'water' is a whole other issue that deserves some research on our part. (Tap? Filtered? Spring? Distilled?)

No one person's opinion is ever the absolute correct or the only way . . . no matter what credentials they have, or don't have, following their name.  I just urge everyone to do their homework and to dance to the beat of their own drum.

Blessings,

Angela

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I certainly did not mean to imply that I based any decisions about what I put into my body on my own opinion. What I said was that I was told that a plant based diet was the best way to prevent cancer. I was told this at a top rated, research based, hospital that practices only evidence based medicine by a scientist. I did my own homework and have read many, many articles on diet and cancer prevention. I would not accept the opinion of anyone who didn't "have letters after their name" on what I put into my body. That is not to say that anyone with letters after their name is correct, but it is a starting place for me. I have never seen any studies at all that contradict what I was told. Of course, those associated with the sale of animals for food would not agree.

I agree that everyone should do their homework, read labels, and make choices based on evidence.

Angela_K
Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

don't think I was personally attacking you at all, Marynb.  You just touched on a subject - the perils of meat consumption - that I feel is hugely misleading and inaccurate. Since having had cancer, I question everything and everyone . . .especially 'scientific studies' and yes, even top rated, research based hospitals. My message is to 'never take any information fed to us at face value.'  

Here is a quick little blog spot that mirrors more of what I've read regarding red meat consumption and those 'scientific' studies. It's the first thing that popped up just then when searching for an example to share with you. A lot more supportive data is available at our fingertips.  And when researching for yourself, remember 'those associated with the sale of animals' may have the most compelling evidence because THEY are having to combat the questionable studies and have the most at, um, 'steak.' :)  (I couldn't resist, ok?!)

In closing, it is my time to say good-bye to this Board. My two + years on here have been quite a journey.  I thank those of you who offered such words of wisdom and support when I was a newbie and still so full of fear and full of myself.  It takes awhile to calm down out of the 'fight' mode and settle into the new people we become after those six weeks on the battlefield. I will be back to report the outcomes of my milestone check-ups in order to give hope to those who need it.

I especially want to thank Martha for becoming such a friend and confidante. So non-judgemental, knowledgable, reassuring and inspirational. I want to be just like Martha when I grow up! We all have something to learn from her.

Much love to all who cycle through here to share fears, tears, joy and love. May God shower His many blessings upon each of us.

Angela

 

"Love is the only legacy you leave behind."

 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2878
Joined: Jan 2010

Okay, you've gone and done it--I am crying!  Cry  Partly because you are leaving this board, but mostly because of the kind things you have said about me.  I am not deserving of such accolades, but nonetheless, I appreciate your sentiments more than I can say.  I treasure your friendship and any time you need to talk, you know where to reach me.  We must not lose touch with each other.

I want to thank you for adding so much to this board in the way of support, information and education about anal cancer.  You have helped me and countless others who have come here seeking information from people who will tell it like it is.  We all know this is not a pretty disease and there is much more work to be done in raising awareness.  You certainly have gone above and beyond in that regard.  You are going to be missed, but as you have promised, we expect to hear from you now and then when a celebration is in order.  I feel certain that you have beaten this disease and that you will continue getting good news.  I am not a deeply religious person, but I do believe in prayer, and you will certainly be on my prayer list.  May you always be blessed with good health and much happiness!  We'll chat again real soon!

Thank you again for being the sweet friend that you are.  Take good care.

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 521
Joined: Apr 2009

angela,   have a wonderful life and i will miss you  but do come back every now and them.... your input was so valuable ...... much love to you.....sephie

SisterPretty
Posts: 32
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi everyone,
Thanks for all your advice, I really value everyone's input and experiences.
I did speak with my oncologists nurse and she didn't think any of my symptoms , blood in mucous and stomach pains were connected with my treatments. After speaking with her I made an appt with my family Doctor with was very lucky because the day of my appt I went to the bathroom stood up and was dripping blood. He diagnosised me with a urinary tract infection ( I did not have any pain on urination and still don't, just a burning vaginal pain which matches my burning anal pain) I am on antibiotic but have been lying in bed for three days, feeling exhausted and in pain. Today, feeling much better up and dressed and cleaned the house. Hopefully, I am on the road to recovery and nothing else will come up.
I asked to see dietician but nurse said no, I will see a naturopath myself as I agree knowing what to eat and drink is very confusing!

eihtak
Posts: 826
Joined: Oct 2011

Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better. I kind of forgot until reading your post (I'm 2yrs post treatment), but I had 2 bladder infections during recovery time. I think that is not too unusual. Rest, eat what works, continue to move forward!

Thinking and praying for health to all this spring!

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am glad you are feeling a bit better. Maybe you should call your health insurance company and ask about the dietician. Sounds very, very odd that your cancer hospital didn't refer you to the dietician assigned to oncology. Very strange. Also, what did they say about you spitting up blood?

Take good care of yourself now! You will remain in my prayers.

Mary

SisterPretty
Posts: 32
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Mary,
My family doctor is monitoring the blood I am spitting up. My medical insurance does cover a natural path doctor and dietician so I will go through them to see these professionals. I don't understand why my oncologist won't refer me to the dietician in the hospital the nurse told me she was relying my messages to him. When I see him in April I will be asking him why they would not refer me to the dietician, it seems to me they don't want to see me unless my problems are chemo related. Actually, there is a number at the hospital where you can express your concerns and complaints, I should leave a message with my concerns.
My appetite is very poor and I can only eat small portions and suffer terrible stomach pains if I eat dairy and fruits. I am just feeling like myself today, I have been suffering from a bladder infection and been in bed for three days.
Thank-you for your thoughts and prayers.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

The dietician that I saw in the hospital recommended a plant based diet when possible. Safe food for me were potatoes, green beans, peanut butter on rice crackers, eggs, greek yogurt, applesauce, rice, soups. Stay away from fatty foods for awhile. Chicken and fish are ok if you eat them.

I hope you feel better very soon!

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