Anyone else get shingles after their treatment was finished?

Jewlz Member Posts: 13 Member

Hi everyone. First I want to thank everyone for such great informational posts. I was diagnosed in August of this year with anal cancer and I was able to put together a fairly good sized arsenal before I began treatment and I used almost everything! I had a couple of complications along the way and finally finished treatment on Nov. 2. Anyhoo, I haven't come across any posts about shingles and I was just wondering if anyone else developed shingles fairly soon after their treatment ended? I went to the clinic on Monday for a small rash on my lower back (hubby made me go because I was like meh just a rash). I haven't had the excrutiating pain I've been reading about thank goodness. I've mostly had pins and needles in hands and feet and a sizeable headache. I was wondering how long this will meds are for 10 days (anti-viral and nerve pain)? If anyone else has had a run-in with shingles post-treatment could you share your experience? I'm worried it might last longer than normal or develop into something else because of a lowered immune system.

A little about me:

I'm a 45 year-old female. My b-day is Nov. 3 so I was 44 when diagnosed and yes I celebrated quite a bit on my b-day this year. I was having anal/poop issues and unfortunately as many others also experienced, my cancer was missed numerous times. Even with a colonoscopy and follow-up complaints from me it was never caught by my GI doctor. I finally went to the rectal surgeon he refered me to (I think he refered me to get me off his back lol) and that doctor knew right away. He didn't tell me this until after I was officially diagnosed through a biopsy. I can't say enough good things about this doctor. The one good thing my GI doctor did was refer me to him. I saw him on a Friday and I was in the OR with him on Monday. He fixed the absess/fistula that had developed from the cancer and took a biopsy. I visited him a week later for a follow-up to the surgery and was told I had anal cancer. Yes, my fistula healed and I owe it to this amazing rectal surgeon. If you are not familur with fistulas there is a 50/50 chance they will heal up correctly after surgery. I've been told by everyone, even a nurse during a hospital visit, about what a great surgeon he is...everyone knew of him! He also performed my port surgery.

My husband journaled on the Caring Bridge website ( during my treatment if you are interested in a different perspective or are here because a loved one has been diagnosed with anal cancer. You can look it up under my name: Julie Neider. Readers Beware: Hubby is pretty blunt, has a potty mouth at times, this is not innocent reading! LOL...I wouldn't want it any other way. My husband was my rock during treatment and I think this was his way to vent. 

Best to Everyone,




  • mp327
    mp327 Member Posts: 4,440 Member
    edited December 2017 #2

    I'm glad to see your post, Julie, and I hope that someone will be able to give you some feedback about having had shingles post-treatment.  Fortunately, I did not deal with that.  However, I will say that my husband had shingles a few years ago and it was not a pleasant experience--very painful--so my heart goes out to you.  I hope you case will be mild and I would suggest that you ask about getting the shingles vaccine as soon as is possible (don't know if they can give you that until you get past this case or not).  It's my understanding from what my husband's doctor told us that if someone has already had shingles, the vaccine may not prevent them from getting them again, but it will probably help them from being so severe. 

    As for the anal cancer, your journey began like so many others--being misdiagnosed or totally missed.  I'm so glad that you finally got to a doctor who knew immediately that you had cancer.  If I am understanding your post correctly, you are now finished with treatment and are on the recovery side.  I hope you are doing well and that your treatment was effective.  I went through chemo/radiation in 2008 for anal cancer that was right on the fence between stage 1 and 2 and so far, so good.  I am a 9-year survivor.  The good news about this cancer is that the survival rates are quite high, as compared to other types of cancer.  So, you have every reason to be hopeful that you have kicked cancer to the curb.  I wish you all the best as you recover from treatment.  Please keep us posted as to how you are doing during post-treatment and dealing with those shingles.  Take good care.