Hi all T4 N2

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Hi all my names angie I'm 57 married 3 girls and a grandson. I'm just looking for anyone on a similar journey. I was diagnosed about 2 weeks ago with anal cancer I haven't got my head around it yet. All I know is my bottom is killing me more since I had 5he biopsy and its T4 N2 an on Tuesday I go for a pet scan an Thursday I get a stoma bag. Everything is happening so fast I don't know if I'm making the right decisions cause I hardly know anything about cancer stoma bag chemo etc I would love to hear off anyone on this journey or who's on the other side of it please 

  • Hi Angie , 

    Welcome to the forum … I have just finished my treatment for anal cancer and there is always someone to help you through the journey .. I know very little about a stoma but others will .,

    Take care 

    Chrissie xx

  • Hi Angie,

    I’m just starting my journey, like you I’ve had lots of pain since my biopsy, I haven’t gone for a stoma bag and with the pain I’m in I think it would probably have been the better option. 
    You’ll get plenty of help and advice on this forum, wishing you all the very best. 

    Take care, Adele. Xx

  • Hi Angie, 

    Sorry that you have found yourself here, however it’s a great place to get support and advice.

    I was diagnosed with Advanced T4 N1  in Oct 21 by Dec 21 I’d was given a stoma, which I didn’t want I was petrified of even the thought of having one, I had it done I’m not going to lie I found it difficult to except I didn’t want to look at it or touch it at first,  was frightened of it after being told I couldn’t go home until I was able to clean and change bag, so I just got on with it after the 3rd day, by the 5th I told them I was going home and I’ll learn to do it in my own home which is what I did, within 2 weeks I was getting on with it as the months went on it was just part of my life I have had no problems at all and it’s given me a better quality of life, as I always suffered with chronic constipation.

    I was planned for Chemo and radiotherapy, I had the the intravenous chemo the first day and radiotherapy then chemo tablets twice a day plus the radiotherapy everyday weekends off, however 4th day in I started feeling unwell chest pains being sick so was rushed to hospital for suspected heart attack it turned out to be the chemo so chemo stopped and just had the radiotherapy everyday, which I was worried about as i felt I was only having half the treatment, however my oncologist explained that the radiotherapy is my main treatment and chemo was just to mop up. 

    The only effects from the radiotherapy was having to go to hospital everyday was tiring and the radiotherapy makes you tired, I became quite itchy down below  felt a bit like thrush and so took antihistamines which stopped the itching, the skin around my groin area became brown and peeled but wasn’t sore at all, I bathed in Epsom salts every morning from the day I started my treatment until a couple of weeks after my treatment finished, I had one sore on my bum due to the radiotherapy which I was given medical padding I used my stoma powder and it cleared it up really quickly I also took antihistamines again as it was really itchy. when having a wee I wiped myself with E45 cream and used a barrier cream that I was given. After the first 3 month MRI they couldn’t believe that my tumour had shrunk considerably then my 6 month they said there didn’t seem to be any signs of it and been in remission since. 

    I spoke to my colorectal surgeon about a reversal as wasn’t sure whether to have it or not, I had a sigmoidscope under general, and was told I had 2 lump up my bum they took biopsies luckily they came back clear of cancer the 2 lumps was scar tissue but it has coarse a stricture so will stop me form going to the toilet so have my stoma for life which is fine by me like I said it’s given me a better quality of life. 

    Hope this hasn’t been to much to take in lol, if you want any more info please ask if I can help in anyway I’m here 

    Hope all gos well hun

    Laura  x x 

  • Hi I had a stoma bag last year and although I'd rather not have one I cope well it's getting into a new routine .I couldn't get my head round it at first .your told you have cancer then need a stoma bag .At least when I had treatment the pain wasn't as bad .once you get your head round it you'll cope and like I said it's a new routine .Hope all goes well if you need any more advice just ask xx

  • Hi there Angie ( ),

    I’d like to add to the warm welcome you’ve already received from some of our lovely members here although I’m really sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis. 

    We've had many members through our forum over the years I’ve been here that have had stomas, some reversible others permanent & I can’t recall anyone saying they regretted it. 

    Things do happen quickly once you’ve received your diagnosis, it’s a whirlwind of appointments with little time to get your head around things before the next appointment comes along & more information to try & take on board. Rest assured once your treatment starts you’ll begin to feel a bit more in control again. 

    First line treatment for anal cancer is generally chemoradiotherapy, my chemo was delivered as an infusion on day 1 of treatment then tablets twice a day each day of radiotherapy thereafter, I had little to no side effects from the chemo. The radiotherapy is generally delivered Monday to Friday with weekends off all treatment, the radiotherapy itself takes no longer than 10-15 minutes per session & is painless although as time moves on the skin does become irritated & can get quite sore towards the end. 

    Hopefully more of our lovely members that have had stoma's will be along soon to reassure you a little. 

    There’s many of us here that have all been diagnosed with different stages of anal cancer, I’m now a little over 6 years post treatment & cancer free to the best of my knowledge, I was discharged in June last year. We’re here to help support you however we can so please just ask if you’ve any questions you think we might be able to help with. 

    Nicola 

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to reply you are all amazing people Heart️ 

  • Hi  

    In addition to all the replies you’ve had here, you might find it useful to have a look at the stoma support group here-

    Stoma Support Group

    Not everyone with anal or bowel cancer has a stoma, but those of us in that group, even with different cancers, all have experience of living with a stoma. We can give lots of useful advice and tips of living with a stoma and you can ask any questions which we will be happy to try and answer on the basis of our experiences, 

    I don’t think any of us knew much about stomas before we had ours formed, so it can be very useful to connect there with others who’ve been through this. I’ve had 2 stomas for more than 4 years now and have no issues with them. 

    Sarah xx


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  • Thank you so much Sarah this is the first time since I got diagnosed that I don't feel alone thanks a million xxx angie 

  • Now that you’ve found this group, you will never need to feel alone going through your cancer treatment and everyone here will do their best to help and support you. 

    Here in the anal cancer group, you’ll find the most amazing people who will have so much advice and kindness for you and you can post whatever you want, whenever you want. I’ve replied to your post in the stoma support group, where you’ll also find that people are lovely and full of advice which has helped them. 

    Having cancer can be a really lonely place, but we understand what this is like, and I hope you’ll take encouragement from everyone who has come through this and is on the other side.

    Sarah xx 


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    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm