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Post treatment pain and questionable integrity of the anus

mitchelsdaly
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2013

Hi, my name's Mitch.  I am 4 months out after chemo/radiation treatment for anal cancer.  The reason I am writing is that I am trying to figure out why I have so much fatigue and pain in my anus.  I received a clean bill of health, no cancer, as of 2 weeks ago, but the the way I feel is awful.  I have so little strength that all I do is lay in bed.  When I get up for any length of time my anus begins to feel as if it was clobbered with a hammer, like when you hit your thumb with a hammer.  Feeling this way makes me think that even though I got rid of the cancer, did the treatment for it do so much damage to my system that maybe I won't recover.  Any input would be helpful.......Thanks, Mitch

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi. I glad you made it through the treatments and you appear cancer free now. Your situation sounds pretty normal for 4 months out. It will get better, but there will be a new normal. I think that you need to push yourself with exercise a little bit each day, even if it is just to walk a little further each day. The Live Strong program has a post treatment exercise program, which is helpful. You can go on their website and see if there is a program near you. They are run through the YMCA and are free.the goal is to recover strength and stamina and also offer support for cqncer survivors. I also hired a personal trainer to help me. I still am not my old self, but better than I was.

Don't give up and take to the bed! That is the worse thing you can do.

Hang in there and keep believing that things will get better!

mitchelsdaly
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2013

Thank you very much for posting a reply to my post.  I very much appreciate it.  It helps to hear someone say it's going to get better.....All the best, Mitch

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2854
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry that your recovery seems like it's going slow, but it takes time.  I was treated in Aug/Sept 2008 and I would have to say it took a good 2 years to feel like I had made (almost) a complete recovery.  I have to agree with Marynb that beginning an exercise program might be helpful in getting past the fatigue.  I think it's very important to keep moving, not only to keep our energy level up, but also to avoid the hip pain and stiffness that is a common long-term side effect.  As for the pain you are feeling in the anal area, it may be because your skin has been fried there and is now quite thin.  You might look at your diet too.  I was eating a high protein diet because I weight train, but I was tired all the time.  Once I began eating more carbs, I had more energy.  I know it's hard to be patient with recovery, but it just takes time.  Just to give you some encouragement, I am a runner and ran a full marathon in April 2012.  Believe me, that took a lot of energy!  So it is possible for it to come back!  Hang in there!

mitchelsdaly
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2013

You ran a marathon?  Then there is hope.  Wow!!!!!  Thank you for posting.  It's reading postings like yours that give me hope......Best, Mitch

Gulamin
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2010

I was diagnosed in November of 2010 and have been declared NED since then. it took me also a good 2 years to get back to a normal. There is a lot of emotional and physical change and you will read a lot of success stories on this board. You can make it to the other side and get your energy back! i feel good and can do all my normal activities including pilates twice a week. All the best to you towards full recovery!!

Gulamin
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2010

I was diagnosed in November of 2010 and have been declared NED since then. it took me also a good 2 years to get back to a normal. There is a lot of emotional and physical change and you will read a lot of success stories on this board. You can make it to the other side and get your energy back! i feel good and can do all my normal activities including pilates twice a week. All the best to you towards full recovery!!

Gulamin
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2010

I was diagnosed in November of 2010 and have been declared NED since then. it took me also a good 2 years to get back to a normal. There is a lot of emotional and physical change and you will read a lot of success stories on this board. You can make it to the other side and get your energy back! i feel good and can do all my normal activities including pilates twice a week. All the best to you towards full recovery!!

Gulamin
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2010

I was diagnosed in November of 2010 and have been declared NED since then. it took me also a good 2 years to get back to a normal. There is a lot of emotional and physical change and you will read a lot of success stories on this board. You can make it to the other side and get your energy back! i feel good and can do all my normal activities including pilates twice a week. All the best to you towards full recovery!!

Gulamin
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2010

I was diagnosed in November of 2010 and have been declared NED since then. it took me also a good 2 years to get back to a normal. There is a lot of emotional and physical change and you will read a lot of success stories on this board. You can make it to the other side and get your energy back! i feel good and can do all my normal activities including pilates twice a week. All the best to you towards full recovery!!

Gulamin
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2010

I was diagnosed in November of 2010 and have been declared NED since then. it took me also a good 2 years to get back to a normal. There is a lot of emotional and physical change and you will read a lot of success stories on this board. You can make it to the other side and get your energy back! i feel good and can do all my normal activities including pilates twice a week. All the best to you towards full recovery!!

Gulamin
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2010

I was diagnosed in November of 2010 and have been declared NED since then. it took me also a good 2 years to get back to a normal. There is a lot of emotional and physical change and you will read a lot of success stories on this board. You can make it to the other side and get your energy back! i feel good and can do all my normal activities including pilates twice a week. All the best to you towards full recovery!!

Gulamin
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2010

I was diagnosed in November of 2010 and have been declared NED since then. it took me also a good 2 years to get back to a normal. There is a lot of emotional and physical change and you will read a lot of success stories on this board. You can make it to the other side and get your energy back! i feel good and can do all my normal activities including pilates twice a week. All the best to you towards full recovery!!

eihtak
Posts: 820
Joined: Oct 2011

Just want to say hi and agree with the others on about 2yrs to REALLY feel like my old self! I thought I was feeling pretty good by about 6months, but now in comparison even so much better. It is important to get up and get moving even if you don't feel like it. Eat healthy, high protien, but learn what foods may give your digestive system a bit of an issue....we're all a little different that way but most have some trigger foods. Glad you have completed what sounds like a successful treatment!!

mitchelsdaly
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2013

I cannot tell you how much it means when I read responses to my posts.  I won't go into details, but during my time battling the cancer I came to find out that you have very few friends in the world. I have been having a hard time staying in the positive, and not becoming too cynical.  Reading these posts reminds me that there are good people in the world......Best, Mitch

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Mitch, I had a similar experience with friends when I had cancer. Some of them just disappeared entirely, some sent cards, some just called, but a few were really there for me. I have found that you know who your true friends are when you need them most. I had a similar experience when I got divorced. By the time I was diagnosed with cancer the second time, there were very few left standing. I do feel less connected to society these days, but at least the relationionships that remain now are real. After battling cancer, I have learned what really matters. I hope that you value the relationships that survived cancer and that as you go forward, you are able to make new friends who are real.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2854
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry that you feel abandoned by some of the people who you thought were your friends.  It is hard to take.  While I have never had a ton of friends, the ones I do have rallied around me when I went through treatment, even though very few of them live near me and are mostly out of state, scattered everywhere.  I got frequent phone calls and cards in the mail, all helping me to remain strong and positive, at least until the last week.  I almost quit at that point, as I was in so much pain.  But a well-timed phone call from one of my best friends kept me in the game and I was able to finish those last 3 treatments. 

Your situation demonstrates the importance of joining a group such as this one.  Even though we can't sit face-to-face and discuss our diagnosis, treatment, side-effects and emotions, it is really helpful to be able to communicate, even virtually, with people who truly understand what it's like to take this journey.  It can be a trip to hell and back, but just knowing that there are people out there who have been there and done it and survived it truly helps.  I felt so alone when I was diagnosed and did not belong to any forum or blog group.  I didn't join any such groups until almost 3 months after my treatment ended.  How I wish I had joined them before I started treatment, as I could have gotten so much good advice on how to deal with side-effects, emotions, etc.

I will say this.  Even at almost 5-years post-treatment, I still have days when I'm angry, scared, frustrated and somewhat cynical.  As hard as I try not to let myself go there, it still happens occasionally.  The one good thing is I never feel alone in this because of all the great people here.  I hope you know that we all care and that you can come here anytime to unload any negative feelings.  Take care.

mitchelsdaly
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2013

Hi, after reading your replies to my post I felt a bit humbled.  I will say this.  This discussion board can be a life saver.  Usually I'm a man of too many words, but today I will keep it simple by just saying, "Thank you."  Mitch

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