Wendy's Cancer Blog

Anal Exam Under Anesthesia

Hi All:  Just an update on my exam under anesthesia yesterday.  It was like a Pap exam, only on my bum.  I was at the hospital from 1:00 in the afternoon until 6:00 last night.  Dr. Worden said there weren't any fissures or  hemorrhoids and she said..... MY TUMOR IS GONE!  She said that the area is still really raw from the radiation and gave me some Botox injections to hopefully help with the spams and pain.  The good news is the tumor is gone!  Yeeeee Hawww!

I'm hoping this pain goes away sometime soon. I'm back to walking every day, but this feeling of having a painful stick up my butt all the time is really getting old. 

My son is getting married in New Hampshire in July and at this point I can't even imagine sitting for hours on a plane from Seattle to Boston and then driving another hour or so to his place in New Hampshire. Right now I either sit to the side on one cheek or with my leg underneath me or I use a pillow to prop me up on one side so I'm not sitting directly on my bum. He knows what I'm going through and understands that there's a chance I won't be able to make it.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed these Botox injections help me get back to some kind of normal.  But... THE TUMOR IS GONE!


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For sitting, I used a cushion with the center strip cut out, which was helpful. And my UCSF doc recommended heat for the pain since most of it is nerve pain. Apparently this type of pain responds well. I used to take really hot epsom salt baths to help with the all day pain. In addition I loved my seat warmers in my car - didn't matter how warm it was outside. It really helped to calm the nerve pain down there. You can also try a heating pad, or a really hot wet compress. You will be better by July.
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Congrats - that’s wonderful news! I’ll be curious to know how the Botox helps - my doc had said that was an option, but I didn’t do it. But I know exactly how you are feeling - have you asked your doc about It really helped me with the nerve pain.
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WooHoo!!!!! Awesome News!!!
I am so glad you don’t have fissures or hemorrhoids to deal with on top of the burns. size and location of our tumors can really make a difference in the size of wound left after treatment. Hopefully the Botox will help and your radiation Dr. will be more sympathetic to your pain.
❤️❤️❤️❤️great news Wendy❤️❤️❤️❤️
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Fantastic news, a huge congratulations!!!!
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Great news! I am so happy for you! I had my first anoscopy under general anesthesia too because of unbearable pain. Last month I had the third one, and it was fine with one pill of Norco only. Your pain should be better and better. Give yourself some time to heal. Hugs!
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That is great news! So it means the healing will take some time, but all else is negative! The best thing for healing is to improve the blood supply, which can be done with heat. Daisy had a suggestion about that, and I always recommend tub baths, nice and warm, at least two per day. It really helps bring the healing oxygenated blood to the area. If your WBC count is low, they can help that too, which improves healing, but you have not mentioned that. Are you using stool softeners and lots of water? A painful poop makes us all cry, even thinking about it.
I think some more pain medication is in order, now that you have documented evidence of why you HURT! Ask for some! But, you must take stool softener with narcotics, always. I hope you turn that corner soon, keep the faith, it seems like post treatment is sometimes worse that during. I'm picturing you at the wedding!
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I do drink lots of water and try to take a stool softener every day. I actually just bought a new bottle at Costco today! I'm going to try using a heating pad when I sit down in the evening. I stand all day until it's time to relax in the evening. Most of my work is on the computer, which is on my counter high enough to stand and work ergonomically. I just got a nice floor pad to stand on.
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Such great news and so happy for you! Yes, it will take time and hopefully it will be way less or gone by July. I take a cushion with me everywhere. I cannot sit on hard surfaces or for a long time without some padding. It helps. xo
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Congratulations!!!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 Great news!!! Maybe try a pillow with no filling in the middle so you take the pressure off that spot. I have a hard time with long sitting. I hope you can make it to the wedding and celebrate two awesome things!!
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Wendy, there are “doughnut” cusions that are in a circle that let your behind be in an open space. I would hate to have you miss your son’s wedding! Hang in there, and a lot can heal in a month! Keep us posted.
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Such great news! I hope the botox injections will ease your pain and that by the time of the wedding your pain is gone. Take care!
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GREAT post and news, thanks! You can get pillows made to spare the end of your spine from pressure...I have one on my desk chair now. You will be fine by July !!!
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Great News! I hope that you find some ease in your healing process so that you can attend your son's wedding. Sending prayers and hugs your way!
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I am glad this is answered and I hope these problems conclude soon!
I do remember the pains, and obviously depending on each persons pain level, tumor location, etc; the pain varies for each patient.
hugs, e
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I am glad you heard that the tumor is gone. Hopefully, the Botox will help with healing things quickly. Best wishes on finding a way to manage pain, so you can attend your son's wedding.
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Fantastic news that the cancer is gone! And as for botox for the bum (UK English...), who would have ever thought?? July is going to be fine, you'll be telling us all how the wedding went. Take care
Yay good news Wendy. July is still far away si u have time to see how the healing progresses.
Happy Birthday!!!! 🥳 🎉
Happy birthday week !
Happy birthday Wendy! I hope you continue to heal and are looking forward to your son’s wedding in July!
Happy Birthday!
HAPPY DAY WENDY, hope you are still celebrating!!!
Happy birthday week!
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Happy upcoming birthday Wendy! Hope you’ve continued to heal and are happy and well!
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Hope you are finding some way to celebrate your day in these strange times!
Thank you all for the Birthday wishes! I had a great day! My sister & friend, nephew & fiance, me and my husband had BBQ'd pizza. My body is finally back to "almost" normal. No more rear-end pain, which is awesome.

Still have issues of having to run when it's time to go, going a lot and an occasional accident. But, all in all I feel GREAT! We've been working for the past few months on a remodel of our home turning the 2nd story into an AirBnB or apartment. It's been a long process, but it's kept me super busy and has been my workout program as I go up and down 14 stairs about 30-40 times a day, back and forth to the garage in the backyard, framing walls, tiling, painting, floors and non-stop trips to the hardware stores running around for supplies. I think my Fitbit is getting worn out with all the steps I'm getting. I'm going to miss the exercise when it's done, but will enjoy the extra income, once the line of credit is paid back. We'll be using the extra income to travel & medical insurance until we qualify for SS after we retire one day!! LIFE IS GOOD!
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Swollen Ankles

I just talked with Carole, one of the gals on this site, and she suggested I write about a different incident I had last week 5/3/19 with swollen ankles.  I usually have very prominent ankle bones, but all of a sudden I couldn't see them at all and I had Cancles! My first thought was that it probably had something to do with the radiation as I've never had this problem before.

I called my radiation oncologist office explained that my ankles & legs were swollen & painful. The nurse took my info and talked to the doctor and called me back and said they didn't think it had anything to do with radiation, but I should call my general physician and tell him what's going on. 

I called my GP's office and talked to the nurse in charge. She told me I should get to the walk-in clinic immediately as it could be something related to my heart. 

My husband and I went to the walk-in clinic, saw Dr. Poirier who ordered an EKG, which was normal, and 4 different blood tests.  The test results were slow to come out so he told us to go home and he would call us.  As soon as we walked in the door, Dr. Poirier called and said the D-Dimer blood test came back ABNORMAL and we were to get up to the hospital so they could do an ultrasound on my legs to see if there was a blockage.  After a 2 hour ultrasound at the hospital, they determined there was no blockage. Dr, Poirier called me as soon as we got home and said there was one more test he was waiting on and he would call me first thing in the morning when he got to the clinic, but to sleep with my legs elevated for the night.  

I woke up in the morning after elevating my legs to my legs throbbing in pain. Dr. Poirier called me and said the last blood test came back normal, so he's going to prescribe a diuretic, which should relieve the swelling and it was his thoughts that this was probably caused by the radiation.

Little did I know... (until I talked to Carol today) there are apparently blogs all over this site about watching for "LYMPHADEMA" because it is common after radiation treatments!

5 people sent you a hug.
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Wow, hope you get an answer to this soon! I didn’t experience any swelling during or after my treatment. Just shows that every individual can react differently to therapy! Good luck Wendy, and keep us posted.
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Make sure to eat a banana and some OJ, to counteract the potassium depletion that happens with diuretics. (If you have kidney disease, stop now, and call your doctor before doing this.) BTW, make sure you always have your blood tested for any kidney problems before you have a scan with contrast, and drink lots of water afterwards to flush it out.
If I take Lasix and don't supplement with potassium, I get horrible leg cramps. My feet and ankles swell horribly sometimes, and I normally have tiny little ankles. It happened before treatment too, and it was due to my anemia and standing for hours.
Our groin nodes are radiated, not sure why radiation oncologist did not make the connection! Do him a favor and let him know! I educate doctors all the time! Welcome to the club where we all teach each other, X
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Wow great info. I haven’t been on. My fil passed my two aunts got sick at the same time have my mil at her house with 24/7 CNAs. I just saw swollen ankles pop up in email. I get them after salty food standing all day and sometimes don’t know why.

It was so bad last Thursday took lasix. I did Urinate a lot after pill but after that’ one pill my legs feet toes were cramping so so bad. I can’t believe one pill this this. So you’re saying it can. Wow makes sense now. I’ve felt so tired since. Dehydrated too? So if you take even just one push the potassium and drink a lot?

Thanks for this info !!! Wendy I’m praying you’re feeling better xo
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Here Cindy, is a link. I actually got a Rx for Aldactone, which is a potassium sparing diuretic, so it does not cause cramps. I try everything else before resorting to pills, like elevating my legs. When I recently got home from my annual OR nursing conference, my ankles and feet were huge, because of salty food, and walking for hours. It took 6 days for them to return to normal. I do so much better when I do not eat commercially prepared food, never have this swelling at home.
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I have been going through research and it seems that lymphedema can be a side effect of pelvic radiation (lymph nodes). It can be very mild or more severe. Massage (redistribution of fluids ) elevating your feet and warm /cool compresses can help. The articles I have read so far just say to watch for a “flare” up and take the above measures to help it.
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.Some physical therapists specialize in lymphedema therapy
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Hope you get some relief and answers soon
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Lymphedema is common post pelvic radiation. I’ve had mild symptoms off and in for the last 9 years. Gee whiz you have just been through it, haven’t you?!
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Hi Wendy! I am 5 years out and suffer from mild to moderate lymphedema in my ankles and lower legs. It gets pretty bad when I travel or go to a humid area . I was hospitalized for 6 days in the month following treatment due to clots in my legs and lungs. I don't think I have very good circulation/drainage due to damage from the clots and radiation to lymph nodes. Definitely bothersome.
Hope you get some answers soon.
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Yes, lymphedema has been a side effect of this treatment for many people. I hope you don't experience any further complications.
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That happens with breast cancer patients; when they remove the lymph nodes, and many have treatment; massage pressure sleeves, etc.
They have similar treatments for legs.
On one hand, sounds like the cancer in your lymph; is gone; but, I wonder if the lymph collapses.
It looks like our BFAC peers are covering all the bases, with suggestions. And Tyndall being a nurse; very familiar.
My sister has complications with Lymphodema; and at one point they used these leg simulators, they automatically turn on and off.
Did you also get your exam?
That’s crazy. My radiologist always checked my ankles every time I saw him.
I too had swelling of the ankles and legs and it appeared to be lymphadema. There was a conflict between what the radiation oncologist said and the lymph clinic. Oncologist said I don't have lympadema and lymph clinic said yes I do. So be aware that there are clinics that specialize in working with patients with that type of swelling. You could get a consultation from them for another opinion. The clinic did lymph massage and taught me techniques to manage the condition. Lucky me, the major swelling resolved over a month or so. However, to this day (a year later), by the time I am ready for bed and have been on my feet a long time (dinner, dishes or out dancing, etc.) I seem to have fluid around my pelvic area and lower legs - looks like water retention. After I sleep and then wake up, no water retention. My theory is I'm not playing with a full deck of lymph nodes; however, there are enough undamaged ones to do the job most of the time. I hope this input helps! Big hug!
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Thank you very much.
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Vital Info


March 21, 2019

Everett, Washington 98203

May 28, 1960

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Anal Cancer Stage 3A - Squamous Cell Carcinoma

December 2, 2018

Stage 3A

4.1 - 5.0 cm


Just the fact I have it!

It sucks!

Providence Regional Cancer Center

March 1, 2019

Blood in poo for a couple of years. Assumed it was hemorrhoids. Didn't want to deal with it as I had surgery for that years ago and spent a week in the hospital. Very painful recovery. When the blood started squirting out before pee or poo... I figured there was a problem.


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