I had a stage one anal SCC, Dx Sept 1 2011. I had 5 and a half weeks of radiation treatment & 5FU (+ something else) via PICC line. As I live in the country I stayed at the Jean Colvin Cancer Centre in Sydney during the 5 1/2 weeks (for which I will be eternally grateful).
They tell you that the effects of radiation are cumulative, but for me that didn't really sink in. When I got home I seemed fine, until the second week in - POW!! massive burns of the skin around my anus & vulva, ulcerated anus (which won't effect you with a stoma, I guess) and tiredness, nausea, all the horror stories. Its taken months to get over it all, and I'm struggling to find a "new normal" as they say.
I'm not suggesting it will happen to you, I'm just saying, don't be surprised if it does. And if it does, be patient with yourself, gather your support networks. I suppose having experienced cancer before, you are somewhat forearmed, you know what you're in for...
BUT "in our day" cancer was a death sentence. Anal cancer, if caught in time, can be cured. Mine was.
regards, Tracy 🙂
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After treatment for anal cancer I had Xylocaine for topical application esp @ bowel movements (ouch), I also had the usual parade of painkillers: panadeine forte, endep, Actiq, etc blah blah.
BUT nothing really worked because it was NERVE PAIN - what finally did work was LYRICA (an anti-convulsant) 75 mg 2 x p/d.
I read about it in a book called "Manage your Pain: Practical and positive ways of adapting to chronic pain" by Dr Michael Nicholas, Dr Allan Molloy, et al. (c)2000 ABC Books. I highly recommend this book for behavioural strategies, thinking strategies, plain English medical information.
Hope that's helpful, I wish you all the best for your recovery 🙂
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Yep, that would be me. I was working as a fitness officer with disabled clients before diagnosis & treatment. I used to work out on & off for 7 hours a day! I finished treatment in November, took leave until July 1st, and WHAM! I can't do the job anymore!
exhaustion, injury, and a cell deep tiredness that just comes on so fast - without warning. On top of that I LOVED my job & now I am dealing with the anxiety/depression that goes with not being able to do what I used to do... and not having any income
I'm going to suggest, for both of us Survivorsays, GO SLOW - BE GENTLE!
Water exercise sounds like a REALLY good idea - resistance without impact - walking in water (not ON it :-O) will help build muscle & aerobic fitness.
I'm doing some gentle yoga stretches, nothing pretzelly, and I find it's a nice way to listen to & "make friends" with my body again. I'm walking as often as I can (the dogs insist) and on some days it's very, very slow and I have to take rests. So be it. Better than nothing.
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.