Recovering from anal cancer treatments - things are looking up!

anothersunrise Member Posts: 8
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi all...have not been on here since the end of August. Just an update...I finished chemo and radiation on 9/17. It was hell, but for any newbies, it does eventually get better! I was diagnosed on 7/7/2009. My tumor was over 5cm and at stage II/III. I had 30 radiation treatments and chemo once a week for 7 weeks. I had an allergic reaction to Oxaliplatin after the 3rd dose and ended up in ICU for a few days. I had horrific pain from the radiation - especially in the anal area, vagina, and labia - it was like medieval torture treatment. I had a continuous metal taste in my mouth; neuropathy; uncontollable diarhea; headaches; and nausea. It was awful, but I made it through!

Since then, my skin has healed miracuously; I have normal bowel function; I am no longer in pain; I can eat anything I want, just like before...even dairy, raw veggies and fruit, and spicy foods! I had a CT Scan on 10/5 and the tumor is gone. The results of the scan showed only a small area of thickened cells - my oncologist and radiology oncologist both believe that this may only be scar tissue (fingers crossed!). I saw the colon/rectal surgeon yesterday and he said NO SURGERY!!!! He concurred that the tumor is gone and said that my next steps are follow up exams and scans (PET and CT). He also believes that the thickened area of cells may be scar tissue and stated that the PET scan will show whether or not the area is actually scar tissue/normal cells or if there are still malignant cells in that spot - as well as show that no cells got loose and decided to swim to any other part of my body. I feel great and went back to work last week. If you didn't know it, you could not tell that I have ever been sick. Just wanted to let anyone just starting out on this journey know that each case is different, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!



  • Julie 44
    Julie 44 Member Posts: 476 Member
    Good for you
    Glad to hear the worst is behind you (no pun intended lol lol) It does take awhile to get to what we call "a new normal" Just remember to rest as much as you can because getting back to work will take a toll on you for awhile. Yor body and mind has been through a great deal so things will be different now..But this is your new life now so ENJOY it...JULIE
  • Fight for my love
    Fight for my love Member Posts: 1,522 Member
    Hi Dawn,this really sounds
    Hi Dawn,this really sounds great!You made it.Best luck to you with everything!Take care.
  • just4Brooks
    just4Brooks Member Posts: 980 Member
    I'm so happy for you
    I just got done with my 4 th out of nine Chemo treatments. Already did the Radation/Chemo (6 weeks) and then surgery last Aug. You're a strong person and I'm glad you made it. I cant wait for my day to come.
  • lizdeli
    lizdeli Member Posts: 569 Member
    So glad to hear your good news! I was diagonosed around the same time as you and finished treatment on 9/11. Same type of cancer, 2.6cm tumor. I have to wait until Dec for my first CT scan though. Your news is encouraging for me!
    All the best,
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Isn't it grand?
    I remember the relief, that first 'clean scan'!

    And, 2 years later, when my sister was diagnosed, to be able to say "You know, you have a great chance of going on with living, even tho the treatments are very challenging". She, like you and I, is doing just fine now.

    I had surgery, but it was anal cancer in the rectum, so everyone wanted to 'make very sure' it didn't come back....

    Hugs, Kathi