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So anxious, uh! Doctor appointment Monday

jbug2
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2013

I am so anxious about Monday's appointment, what can one expect at the one year appointment?  I have a few complaints (not sure if they are valid or not), my blood pressure is 102/61, never got back up to normal.  I get tired a lot more easily than I used to.  I have a constant pressure in the upper right ab area, just under the right rib cage.  If my BM's aren't rather loose, it's difficult to pass them.  I get frequent indigestion and a certain foods can cause about 12 hours of embarressing gas.  Uh!  And, what good would come of a genetics study, if I were to do that?  (A sibling also went through anal cancer treatment last year).

 

eihtak
Posts: 868
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi, don't you wish we could flip a switch to turn that anxiety off! I was anemiac before treatment but also after and have been taking iron daily since. When I miss a few days I'm definately more tired even with a good diet. What was your normal bp? Many people have unusual readings on blood work and I assume the same goes for bp changes after this treatment and could also be related to low iron, magnesium, and potasium. The radiation causes damage to the whole digestive system not just the site of the tumor, so some changes in diet can help with that. Lots of liquids, and trial and error on what foods keep things running smoothly. I kept a food journal for a couple months. Could the pressure be gas related????, or is it constant? I try to avoid too many supplements and get my nutrition from food, but the iron seems to be necessary for me.

It is amazing the after effects of this course of treatment and some symptoms show up right away while others long down the road. It also seems that some doctors are either unaware or have little concern for many of these issues......I will pray that is not the case for you and that you get some helpful advice.

I did go through genetic testing but not until being diagnosed with breast cancer after finishing treatment for anal cancer. There are different ways to look at it. Knowing if my children are at a greater risk for certain diseases and thus taking more aggresive preventative action or early screening tests is an option along with having some of their tests covered by insurance that otherwise may not have been. That being said, in my case the genetic testing was 100% covered and so I did it in the hopes that someone whether family or not may benefit from the findings down the road.

I will have you in my thoughts and prayers that your anxiety is relieved and your concerns are answered and just part of your body adjusting on the road to health.

jbug2
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2013

Thanks for your reply, eihtak.  My BP was about 120/80 prior to the chemo & rad experience, so going down to 102/61 is a drop.  I've been trying to cut down on coffee, just have it in the early am, and increase the water intake ... that's what was recommended in January, 2013 as a home treatment to increase my BP.  At the time, they suggested I be injected with saline infusions, I believe it was.  But the increase of fluids intake is the route we took~ 

Unfortunately, it's vanilla wafers, the cookie, that gives me the 12 hour gas attacks.  I used to eat them all of the time!  I've only had them twice in a year ... you would think after a year I could eat them!  I've been trying to increase the veggies and the salads ... I think I can maybe tolorate salads better now.  I did have to start with a tiny side salad right after chemo/rad treatments last year.  A lot of foods give me indigestion, forget spicy foods, pepper for seasoning or any kind of diet soda.  I sure hope it's gas that's creating the pressure in my right upper abdomen.

eihtak
Posts: 868
Joined: Oct 2011

Just had to say.....I LOVE vanilla wafers, I haven't bought them in years but used to eat them all the time!When I do eat foods that typically cause gas I try to suck on ginger drops or drink tea with ginger. I bought some ginger drops at a local health foodstore and they do seem to help. I have an ostomy, so a bag full of gas can be quite the problem, lol. As I said the radiation can cause problems throughout the whole digestive track. Others here have had issues with obstructions and tend to stay away from certain foods or at least take occasional breaks, hopefully this is not the cause of your pain. Things like raw veges and salads may have to be only an occasional thing now.

Keep us posted on how things go.

 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Good luck with your appointment. After treatment for this cancer, it is very important to pay attention to diet. In some ways your body is telling you not to put junk into it anymore. Our bodies were never meant to digest chemicals and processed foods. Cookies, sugary snacks, etc. are really poison to us. I want to warn you about Uing ANY artificial sweeteners! They are really very poisonous and could very well be the source of much of your discomfort! I encourage you to do a little research of your own on artificial sweeteners and also on healthy diets post cancer. I don't mean to preach, but diet is so important to our survival!

jbug2
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2013

I expected my digestion to return to normal within a year, but it hasn't, is this indigestion permanent?  I was reading the nutrition material on this site, also we have a cancer support center who advised me to "eat like a farmer".  I want to return with my husband so that he can learn along with me.  We (or "I") are making plans to plant our garden this year!  Yep, the vanilla wafers were a bad choice, but it's been almost a year and I wanted to see if my body could tolerate them.  Last night I had lemon flavored Bigalow tea, and the lemon caused stomach irritation, I wasn't expecting that.  I just never thought a year post-treatment that this indigestion would continue.  My husband complained I cooked pinto beans yesterday that where without taste, but I love the natural taste of the food, he can add his own pepper or spices.  The sweets in this house, I decided to make my own cakes rather than letting my husband buy them, some chemical in the store bought ones gives me indigestion and they are stiff, uh!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3020
Joined: Jan 2010

I wanted to wish you all the best with your upcoming appt.  I hope your doctor can give you some answers about your issues, which do not seem out of the realm of normal to me, considering how brutal this treatment is.  I truly believe that things do not really return to normal until about the 2-year mark, so don't lose hope--some of these things are likely to improve in time.

jbug2
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2013

Thanks for the reply!  My doctor reminded me that anal cancer is highly treatable and most likely mine is cured.  But it's been a year since treatment ended, so a CT scan is scheduled for Monday, and I am to talk to the surgeon about a colonoscopy, at the end of April/beginning of May. My blood pressure wasn't 102/61 yesterday, but had gone up to 142/80, the nurse just said BP is one of those crazy things (I used to always be about 120/80).

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3020
Joined: Jan 2010

Anal cancer is highly treatable.  I hope your CT scan will be clean and you can breathe a little easier.  I have had 5 colonoscopies in the last 6 years--they are not fun, but only the prep is unpleasant.  I hope you'll get all good news on that.  As for blood pressure, do they take it on both arms?  I recently read that it can vary quite a bit from one arm to the other.

jbug2
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi, mp327:

My CT scan results say "no evidence of metatsis"!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3020
Joined: Jan 2010

Woohoo!  That's awesome news!  I am SO happy for you!  Now you can breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate!

z's picture
z
Posts: 1262
Joined: May 2009

Great news! I wish you continued great news.  LoriLaughing

TraceyUSA
Posts: 144
Joined: May 2013

So happy for your good news!

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 847
Joined: May 2011

Yipppeeeeeeee! Nothing like a great scan!

jbug2
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2013

Thanks, all!  A good scan is great! 

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