anxiety about treatment & side effects

MesquitePoet Member Posts: 10 Member
edited October 2022 in Anal Cancer #1

I have a history of colon cancer that required surgery and 6 months of chemo 10 years ago. I'm heartsick facing this new diagnosis and treatment. I'm a serious hiker, and kayaker and still sometimes camp at 64 I worked so hard to recover last time. It took me about two years. I still have mild neuropathy in my feet, and developed multi-joint arthritis I've learned to manage.

Any tips are welcome. The colon cancer patients helped me so much last time! 🤗❤️

I'm especially worried about pelvic pain and trying to juggle skin care and urgency/anal leakage during treatment, and during the first few months after treatment ends.


  • po18guy
    po18guy Member Posts: 1,404 Member

    You are a fighter and a survivor! Sorry to hear of this new challenge, but we are advised to cross the bridge only when we come to it. Right now, the bridge is one of anticipation, of imagination. Looking at it from another angle, is there a bridge? It seems so real. Yet, flash back to the day of your diagnosis: did you even expect to be here today? What was your anxiety level then? Did you make it through? Yes! And the methods you used can still work, and there are many other methods as well.

    Sometimes, the mind is just a terrible thing. As to anxiety, in the US, you have 64 million fellow anxiety sufferers. Anxiety is the true pandemic of our age and the constant media barrage/death toll has only made it worse. What to do? Anxiety is 100% treatable and the gold standard therapy is drug free. Certainly mention your concerns to doctor - writing them on a list, since our memory goes out the window the minute doctor walks in the room.

  • candylynn
    candylynn Member Posts: 1 *

    Did you do anything to help your neuropathy? I am 7 months post surgery and about 3 months post chemo/rad with bad neuropathy and fatigue. I want to DO SOMETHING to make it better.

  • po18guy
    po18guy Member Posts: 1,404 Member

    Very sorry to hear of your difficulties. I have participated in fatigue studies - none of which bore immediate results, but did add a bit to the database in the fight to determine the causes and treatment of fatigue. You could certainly ask about treatment facility or university fatigue studies, as all need more participants.

    My personal experience and impressions: I love coffee - that certainly helps to a degree and is somewhat of an indulgence. Energy drinks, B vitamins and finally the force of the human will can be employed in the fight It is not easy to push through the wall of fatigue, but setting goals - making them requirements, pushing yourself to achieve can help to deal with this most troubling problem. But first, one may need to exercise the will so that it will then will command the body. As to energy, we all "wear out" at some point, but I try to focus on completeing some task while the energy tide is in.

    Fatigue could be thought of as a demon on your shoulder encouraging you to just give in and take a rest. At times, demon or not, we do need a little R&R. However, you might also imagine an angel on your other shoulder - one who knows what is best for your mind and body, and who encourages you to accomplish a few tasks and thus enjoy that feeling of accomplishment and the degree of improvement it will bring.

    In the setting and accomplishing of tasks, one is exercising both the nerves and the will. I have associated the use of my hands with recovery of nerve function. Typing on a keyboard is one such task, but manual labor, using tools, waxing, polishing, bicycling - anything which places demands on your hands and feet - can and does help. If there is any recovery of nerve function to be had, time and exercise seems to be the best therapy.

    It all takes patience. The very word works against itself: patience comes from "to suffer without complaint" Ha! Best of luck there! Yet, patience does not come without some level of suffering. But, suffering produces endurance and endurance leads to hope. We learn to look for small improvements along the way.

    Others around you can assist by simply being there and offering encouraging words - even offering gentle reminders when the weight of fatigue is leading us to quit. In my case, I have found that focused use (exercise) of the areas of neuropathy will bring improvement. It may be slow and it may only be partial, but is nevertheless improvement. Manual tasks using the fingers seem to force improvement through the demands we place on function. Exercising the nerves if you will. Forcing them to work and thus relying on our body's ability to heal.

    We can do no great things, but small things with great determination.

  • MesquitePoet
    MesquitePoet Member Posts: 10 Member
    edited July 2022 #5

    I wrote this post seeking tips for self-care during chemoradiation for anal cancer.

    I'm not sure what kind of cancer or treatment you’ve received for anal cancer that may have caused your neuropathy. Did you receive cisplatin? Some do. I will be receiving mitomycin C with my capecitabine. I have residual neuropathy from cancer treatment for colon cancer in 2012. The main thing I did was stop oxaliplatin after the 4th infusion. I am an active person and I'm sure that helped but I think a lot of it was tincture of time. I would mention it to your team, but hopefully it will continue to improve.

  • KevinD31
    KevinD31 Member Posts: 2 Member
    edited September 2022 #6

    Hey folk, I'm not a doctor, but I had a cancerous tumor on my neck that was removed almost ten years ago. I was able to fight the disease with cannabis (edited by CSN Support Team). First, I tried it for nausea, but it turned out that THC was actually killing cancer cells. I had to take it for a long time, but it worked. It improved my appetite, my mood, and my general health. I think that cannabis can help you in your fight against cancer, but the entire treatment should be managed by a doctor who will understand what you're doing.

  • MesquitePoet
    MesquitePoet Member Posts: 10 Member

    I completed treatment so all of these tips will be to help the next nervous, newly diagnosed anal cancer patient.