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Back from Dana Farber

goldfinch's picture
Posts: 737
Joined: Oct 2003

Hi All,
Actually i got back on sunday in time to watch the SuperBowl. I'm from New England area, but would have been happy with either team winning. At least it was a close game.
Well, the oncologist at DF confirmed that i am on the right course. Just a reminder-i was treated for rectal cancer...now has spread to lungs. He said that surgery or radiation would not be appropriate unless we could get the lesions down to one or two. He told me to expect to stay on chemo for at least a full year even if i show complete response in a short time. At least i know there's the possibility for complete response. So i guess i got the best possible answer from him.
Totally different subject. Anyone on the board ever experience an anal fissure. I have one and it put a total damper on my weekend in Newport. I saw my surgeon who prescribed a nifedipine gel and pain medicine. Not helping yet. He said if this doesn't work he would do Botox injection early next week. I have vacation to St John, Virgin Islands planned in less than 2 weeks, so he wants to get me comfortable as soon as possible. This is a vacation that we planned a long time ago as a celebration for the end of cancer. Now we know it's not the end, but just the beginning, but still really need to get down there to get away from this rat race for a while.
Any ideas about other treatments would be appreciated.

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Dear Mary,

I'm praying for a complete response for you. I know it must be so reassuring to hear that another oncologist confers with the regimen prescribed for you.

I hope that your fissure issue is resolved quickly so that you can enjoy your well deserved vacation.

Best wishes,


Posts: 758
Joined: Jul 2004

hi mary,
glad you are back and looking forward to vacation. yes you need a break from your fight. hopefully treatment will get results you are looking for. as for anal fissure my cousin had a bad one and had same day surgery to relieve the pain and is doing fine now.
all the best

Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2003

Hi Mary,

I'm glad that you got the answers you were looking for. I think a second opinion is always appropriate and hopefully it put your mind and heart at ease. May you completely respond to your regime with minimal side effects. The drugs they have today are awesome so let them work their magic! I'm sorry about the anal fissure. I don't know much about them but I can't imagine it's very pleasant. I hope they fix you up soon so you can be comfortable for your well-deserved vacation!

You sound well and strong (except for the nasty fissure that they had better fix!), and it's nice to hear!


Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2004

Hi Mary,

Glad to hear that you've got a plan AND that you're taking a well-deserved vacation. I had an anal fissure that began last winter and lingered for about a year, but in part that was because I didn't really treat it that energetically. (I was scared of getting the headaches that sometimes accompany the ointment, which was petroleum, nitrol and lanolin, in my case.) Anyway, once I got to work on a serious three times a day plan with the nitrol ointment, things moved along and I'm fine now.

Bon voyage!

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I am glad that your second opinion confirmed your treatment. I hope that you tolerate the chemo ok. I think of you often and will keep you in my prayers.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi Mary,

Sounds like you got a good confirmation report from DF. I had a very painful fissure last year and had the out patient surgery. It was very easy and I do remember regretting that I had waited so long.

Lisa P.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2019

I have been dealing with anal fissures - my two cents:
- rags, don't use toilet paper. I bought a bag of rags from the painting department of any big box, or good hardware store. I moisten them with cool water to clean up. I also put a very thin layer of the personal creame (aloe based) I mention below. To keep the skin from chaffing from the cold water. 

- There is a wonderful Natureopathic Pharmacy on Main street in Waltham (Johnson's compounding). They have a website shop too. Find the Puremedy - Original Healing Ointment. I mix it with the nitroglycerin gel the docs gave me - very soothing, and has worked like a charm healing the wound. 

- I use cool (not iced) rags to calm the area after a BM and some warm rags on surrounding skin during chemo weeks to avoid the cold sensitivity from Tx

- I purchased a pillow for hemmoroids that has a hole cut out. At times, I would pack the hole with ice bag to sit on when pain was very intense

- I don't use conventional pain meds as they constipate. I use weed to manage pain when needed (and keep my appetite up during chemo). 

- Stool softeners!!!!! Every day. I eat lots of fresh fruit (no citris) and raw leafy greens to encourage well formed stools, but keep them soft!!!!!

- I also use a personal vaginal cream along with a calendula cream to keep the tissue healty. Once this heals, I will continue using these creams to keep the tissue healthy and prevent this from happening to me again. 

I can feel your pain. I went out on disability because of this. I can't pass a stool in public (way to painful) and am just able to sit comfortably for the first time in weeks. This has been hell. Chemo was easy, but this knocked me for a loop. Best Wishes. 

Butt's picture
Posts: 355
Joined: May 2018

The post is from 2005.....

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