Anal cancer

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ive been diagnosed with anal cancer - stage 3/4, also have 3 lesions on my liver and am having a MRI on Thursday. It’s been suggested I have a defunctioning stoma before I start treatment. Has anyone else got similar? Thank you 

  • Hello Oakwood 51. I was diagnosed back in 2020. I didn’t have a stoma although it was suggested due to potential problems during  radiotherapy with toilet issues. I got through without a stoma although at times emptying bowels was eye watering. I should state that I didn’t have chemo treatment addition as my Oncologist didn’t think I would cope and the radiotherapy was in my case more important. Best wishes Sue

  • Thank you, I’ve seen my oncologist today and they’ve decided against the stoma. I’m due to start chemo soon for 6 months and then possibly radiotherapy after. Hope you are well

  • Hello Oakwood51

    A warm welcome to the forum, although I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis.  If you check my profile you will see that I also had a diagnosis of stage IV and went through the same treatment that you are about to start, my secondary was in my lung.

    I am guessing that you are having the carboplatin/paclitaxol chemo as I did.  I tolerated this very well apart from the first session my liver levels were too high afterwards and I had 75% of the dose thereafter.  I did lose my hair but found a wonderful seller on Etsy that made me really comfortable caps in colours to match my summer clothes, I am happy to give you details should you decide on these.  This chemo regimen was very effective at controlling spread and shrinking the existing tumours and I went on to have the chemo/radiotherapy afterwards, plus two lung ablations.

    In these early days it is all such a lot to take in, but in spite of being terrified and refusing to visit the chemo unit I grew to love my visits there, the staff were absolutely wonderful and it was a happy place with lots of chatting and laughter - I wouldn't have believed it until I experienced it.  I took my Sudoku book and a newspaper and although I was there for three hours the time flew past.  Just a warning - you will be given steroids to control nausea and on the evening after the chemo, the steroids kept me awake until the wee small hours, it wasn't unusual to find me cleaning or ironing at 2 am in the morning!

    Will be thinking of you and hoping it all goes well.  If I can help with anything at all, please just shout out.

    Irene xx

  • Hi Oakwood,

    I'm so dang sorry that you've received this world-rocking news that you have to wrap your head around. I'm so glad you found this forum before your treatment starts. You'll find it an excellent source of coping strategies and support. Also glad that Irene has weighed in.

    It's a tough row to hoe, but a better life is on the far side, and we'll be with you all the way through.