Newbie to forum

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Just wanted to say hi to everyone. I was diagnosed with  stage 4 anal cancer last June which had already spread to liver by then and now to to a couple of lymph nodes. I've had 6months of chemo and start on radiotherapy  tomorrow,  feeling apprehensive as don't know what to expect,  the radiotherapy is to try and kill the lymph nodes cancer . Live on my own so nice to find a group with same type of cancer as I'm sick of using Google to try and find out what I want to know and giving me so many different answers. X

  • Hello Nightangel, welcome to the group that nobody wants to be a member of but so glad you have as you will find lots of support and tips on here. We do have a few regular members on here who had the chemotherapy first and then the radiotherapy afterwards. I was stage 2 with no spread so my treatment was chemoradiotherapy. The actual radiotherapy treatment sessions for me lasted around 15 minutes and painless. The effects of this treatment does cause some skin reactions which vary from person to person. There are various creams and gels that you will be given to help but I personally bought StrataXRT online which helped my skin hold together pretty well. Many on here managed with the prescribed medication just fine. Invest in a sitz bath that are cheap and easy to clean after bathing the area whilst healing. Please don’t use Google as it’s said on here that much is outdated and can be very frightening. I hope you have family or friends that can support you during this time. You can contact MacMillan online here if you need to speak to someone. Keep us posted how you are doing

  • Hi , 

    im about to start treatment for anal cancer and 2 cancerous retrorectal cysts .. very scared and in constant pain .. but this forum is so helpful and makes you feel like you never on your own .. 

    take care 

    Chrissie xx

  • Hello Chrissie and also to Nightangel.

    You will find lots of support and advice here, I know I did when I was diagnosed and during treatment when my head was just full of questions and anxiety. Chrissie, I'm not sure what treatment you are starting but if you tell us a bit more, someone else will be sure to have had the same and will be able to reassure you.

    Nightangel, I also did the Google thing - it's so hard not to - but found such a lot of contradictory and old stuff. If you are going to look, I would say stay with the sites you have heard of, like MacMillan, NHS and Cancer Research, and the hospitals around UK which treat cancer.

    All the best to you both.

  • Hello Nightangel

    A warm welcome to the forum, although I am really sorry to hear of your diagnosis.  A cancer diagnosis is always terrifying and even more so when you are stage 4.  I was too, I had a secondary in my lung and also local lymph node involvement.  My path followed much the same as yours only I had two lung ablations first prior to the chemo/radiotherapy.

    I have no evidence of disease in the lymph nodes and rectum now, and the treatment is tough but doable, and is over very quickly.  I used to count off the days of my treatment and when it ended it was wonderful to just stay at home, rest and heal.  You have already had some really good advice in all aspects.  I would just add that it would be wise to stock up on quick easy to prepare meals, when you start to feel tender you won't feel much like standing for some time preparing food.  And eat what you fancy too, my taste buds were really affected by the chemo and I lived on cheese on toast with mustard and chopped onions, it was the only thing that hit the spot!  I hope that you can take the time to recover fully, symptoms tend to peak about two weeks after treatment ends and then things improve.

    Best of luck today and we are always here to offer support should you need it.

    Irene xx

  • Hi Irene thank you for your reply sorry your going through it as well. I filled my freezer with ready meals in advance as have been really lapse a daisy in being bothered to cook food. My go to food is cheese and mustard sandwiches and macaroni cheese, soft and easy to go down! Thank you for advice x

  • Hi Nightangel,

    Dr Google is really confusing and scary, isn't it? I guess it's better than having nothing but your doctor and the library, like back in the day, but too much information can for sure be a bad thing.

    Glad you've found this group. It's been a life saver for me.



  • Hi ridebred , So much better to speak to people who are going through similar things rather than getting your mind bombarded with different answers to same question! 

  • Hi chrissie49 , Sorry about your diagnosis and I totally  agree about not feeling alone when you can speak to people on here in same situation as yourself. Hope your treatment goes well x

  • Thanks for your kind reply .. hoping to start treatment May 13 .. 1 IV chemo then tablets alongside radiotherapy for 5 1/2 weeks .. 

    best wishes 

    Chrissie xx