5 more days to go! Update on side effects

Over the past week the pain has really increased but mostly just after going to the bathroom. Baths and pain meds are helping. The doctor told me the pain will gradually get worse even after radiation is over. I am loosing my hair rather than just a little thinning. I wonder when the thinning hair ends? I have not washed or really brushed my hair since last Wednesday. My blood work shows low WBC, RBC, platelets. Doctor said to stay away from crowds and wear a mask if I go into a store. I am staying at home most of the time except to go to treatment or to pick up prescriptions. 

I just started reading the book Cancer Up the Wazoo. I like it!

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend! Mine has been nice just hanging out with my husband and pups. 


Smurf, Shannon like this post.
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Absolutely wear a mask, COVID cases are on the increase, you don't need that beast as well! Glad you found Cancer Up the Wazoo..it was fun helping with that. We have to be supportive...and find ways to laugh! Meantime, you WILL get better...stroke those dogs!
Easterly, Maggie like this comment
That is great that you helped with that book! Thanks for all the support! The dogs make me happy!
That all sounds very familiar! I was shocked and frightened at how much hair I lost. Everyone said it would just thin, but I lost about 70% of my hair. Just when I went out and bought an expensive wig, that’s when the thinning stopped. So I never actually wore the wig. (My hair grew back, thicker than ever, within a year after treatment ended).

I’m six years post treatment, and here’s what my 4th of July weekend includes… Yesterday I rode 113 miles on my bicycle, today I’m running 15 miles, and tomorrow swimming for two hours (3 miles). Needless to say, I’ve made a full recovery. If you’re looking for another good book to read, I recommend Chris Beat Cancer (or anything by Chris Wark). I put his guidelines into practice after treatment, and credit him for helping keep me healthy and fueling my super active lifestyle.

Happy 4th, and good luck with the rest of your treatment!
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Happy independence day Terri. Can u give me URL for your website. I'm on vacation and will have time to peruse. So happy u fully recovered. Thinking and praying for u often
Terri likes this comment
WOW! You have made a great recovery! I will check out that book. Thank you for sharing about your experience with loosing hair and I am happy yours came back!
Terri likes this comment
Thanks, Ann 😊 I just remembered that when I was going through treatment, my biggest hope and prayer was to stay alive long enough to see my kids graduate from high school (they were 12 and 14 at the time). My youngest graduated last week, so mission accomplished!

If you want to check out my story, it’s at www.PlantBasedComeback (all one word) dot com. Just be warned you might want a box of Kleenex on hand to watch the short videos from Ironman last year. I’ve been told they’re tearjerkers.

Have a great vacation!

Leanne, Maggie like this comment
You’re in the homestretch now - rest and recuperate as much as possible. By August you’ll feel so much better❤️
Leanne likes this comment
Thank you! My hope is to be back working and possibly playing tennis by August/Sept.
Things will get tougher but will get better. Terri is right. Chris Wark have oodles of info out there..everything from books to videos imparting knowledge and inspiration on how to deal with the Cancer Beast. Stay strong Leanne
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Thank you for the encouraging words! I will check out Chris Wark's information.
Mask, yes, by all means. Hang in there, you'll soon be done with treatment!
Leanne, Maggie like this comment
Thank you! 😊
Smurf likes this comment
Sorry the pain is increasing. It will get better soon. I have not heard of this book. Is it about anal cancer? I will have to look it up. Glad you have your support team to help you through to the end of treatment. 💙😊🐶
Leanne, Maggie like this comment
All of you on this blog have been helpful and I am thankful for your support. Yes the book is about different people's experiences going through treatment for anal cancer. At least the few chapters I have read so far are about their experience.
Nicole likes this comment
Hi Leanne. I’m glad to see your experience is relatively typical and that no truly adverse or deleterious impact of treatment is seen. This isn’t said to minimize anything but said to give you some comfort in knowing you’re not alone in these reactions. My hair fell out mostly from the top of the head and greatly thinned all around the sides about 3 weeks after the chemo. As a result I had my head shaved and reverted to scarves (and some great YouTube videos on how to tie or wear them). In turn. I don’t know when it stopped, but since you’re not getting the second 5FU with Mighty Myocin boost, it will stabilize sooner than my hair loss did. Also, if your wbc count drops enough, you may want a booster (which may result in a bit of body ache afterwards). It’s super important to stay hydrated as dehydration can be a significant consequence of treatment. When I couldn’t drink enough to stay hydrated, a little dose of IV fluids in the cancer center made all the difference in the world for my energy. I share this in case you find yourself at some point very weak. You may want to get a burn cream for the anal radiation burn(e.g. silver sulfadiazene or a homeopathic cream) to replace pain meds and their potential for constipation. And a spray bottle with water really helped me during urination to help with with urination burn.

Lastly, I love your pups! My 2 dogs were with me during all of my recovery (except (as a precaution) when my lymphocytes and WBC tanked ahead of the neutropenia booster). I'm sure your snuggle time with Major and Lyka is a key part of ❤️‍🩹 healing.

Take care and keep us posted.
Leanne, Maggie like this comment
Hi Linda. Your comment is very helpful! I am so thankful for the advice! It is nice to hear from people who have had the same side effects and offer suggestions. If my hair continues to fall out this week, I will need to decide on what to do about my hair loss. Right now it is not falling out in clumps or patches so it is not showing as much. I started out with very thick hair so I am definitely noticing that it is thin but others are not noticing until I tell hem. I have not washed it or brushed it since last Wednesday, but I plan to finally wash it tomorrow morning.
I will ask my doctor about getting the silver sulfadiazine. I have been taking stool softeners/laxative pills every morning and night and drinking a cup of miralax every night. This helps with the constipation. I have only taken the Hydrocodone a few times. It does not seem to help that much. I'm not having burning with urination (yet), but it is good to know about the spray bottle idea. What really helps me is a bath right after going to the bathroom. Hoping the blood work this week shows improvement with my WBC, RBC, and platelets. I am not feeling any symptoms from the low counts though. Thanks for the reminder about staying hydrated. I have been really good about drinking lots of water during the week, but this weekend I did not drink the usual amount.
Glad you had your two dogs with you during your recovery! They are my therapy.
I greatly appreciate your comment and everyone else's! Happy I found this website. I think I found out about blogforacure by reading a thrivers story on the MD Anderson website.
As I read this, I'm so happy for you- you are days away and recovery begins! :D
Leanne likes this comment
Thank you! 3 more treatment days! I appreciate all of the encouraging and kind comments!
I hope you are done by now! And in about a week, you'll be surprised how each day you will get a bit better. I remember at this point (although I had 30 days of radiation) I didn't think I'd be able to make it back to work, like I planned (a week after radiation) but I was shocked to wake up a week later and feel like I could do it.
Take good care of yourself!
Leanne likes this comment
Thank you for checking in! I’m doing good! My side effects are about the same, mostly pain after going to the bathroom & uncomfortableness when sitting awhile. Today My hair stylist cut my hair shorter with layers since most of my hair has fallen out. I had really thick hair so it’s taking a while for it to shed. My blood work looks much better! Red & white blood cells are in the normal range. I’m planning to try to start working in August. I’ll see how I’m doing.
I really appreciate your support & that you share about your experience!
Easterly likes this comment
Also, at 72 now, I have more hair than ever!
Leanne likes this comment
That’s great!
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Vital Info


June 19, 2022

college station, tx, United States

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

squamous cell cancer T1NOMO

May 19

Stage 1

0.1 - 1.0 cm



side effects during treatment and not knowing what the long term side effects might be

There are many helpful and caring people who support me.


I am in a clinical trial: De-Intensified ChemoRadiation for Early Stage Anal Squamous Cell (decrease)

MD Anderson Houston

In January of 2020 I noticed a little bump on the perianal area. My doctor examined it and treated it as a hemorrhoid. With COVID19 happening that Spring, my next doctor's appointment had to be rescheduled to May. My doctor examined it again and noticed it was not getting better so she referred me to a surgeon who removes hemorrhoids and skin tags. The surgeon thought it looked like a skin tag. He gave me the option to surgically remove it or leave it. Since it was a little painful and annoying I chose surgery. After he removed it, the pathology results came back as a T1N0 invasive anal squamous cell carcinoma. After this I was seen by doctors at MD Anderson for the next two years. No concerns were reported the rest of 2020 or in 2021. In May of 2022 I was scheduled for a colonoscopy at MD Anderson. The doctor was concerned with some abnormal looking tissue in the anal canal. Biopsies confirmed 1 mm squamous cell cancer and I was diagnosed with T1NOMO. I started a clinical trial with chemo radiation on June 13.


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