Having a Procedure Under Anesthesia Tomorrow

Hi All:

I am now 10 weeks post radiation treatments.  I am still having pain most all of the time, sometimtes more than other times.  It feels like I have a stick up my butt and a lot of times there is throbbing pain... especially after a BM, which are very painful.  Plus I have blood in my BM.  The doctor is not wanting to refill my pain meds and seems to think I should be all better by now.  I have returned to doing most everything I was doing pre-treatment, just a little more carefully.  When I sit, I sit over to my hip.  When I drive, I have a small pillow that I put under my butt cheek and I lean on the center console.  I'm back to walking 3 to 4 miles a day, but... it feels like I have a painfulstick up my butt.

I saw the surgeon once prior to TX when she told me I had anal cancer, not rectal cancer and didn't need surgery.  I then saw her a 2nd time on May 1st whereshe wanted to get touchy feely with my anal area in her office.  Due to my pain level, I told her I wasn't comfortable with an exam like that at this time.  So, she rescheduled me to come back and see her in August.  Then, when I called my radiation oncologist to refill my pain meds he was concerned with my pain level and said he wants the surgeon (who never peformed any surgery on me) to examine me under anesthesia.

I had my 3rd appointment with the surgeon last Friday, May 10th, and she scheduled me to be seen at the hospital tomorrow, Monday, May 13th.  She thinks that possibly the reason I'm still having pain is because there might be a hemorrhoid or a fissure or something else in there.  I asked her what was involved in the procedure, but she didn't want to tell me. My guess is it's going to be like an OB-Gyn procedure on my butt.  None of this sounds good.

I am 10 weeks post radiation.  I understood this could take 2 to 6 months to recover completely.  Was everybody pain free at this time?  Has anybody else had a procedure like this?  I'm a little nervous.

 

Helen Marshall threw a punch at your cancer.
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I don’t think that 10 weeks is too long to have continued pain. I had painful BMs for months. However, you should have an exam, and I think anesthesia for such an exam is definitely good. They need to make sure you are healing properly.
Keep us posted! Good luck!
Helen Marshall likes this comment
Thanks Michele.
It took me many months to not feel pain, and my symptoms were similar to yours. I had anal spasms after bowel movements which were the most painful thing I've ever experienced. I used a numbing creme and took half a valium that helped relax the muscles. I also took half a hydrocodone after movements for about 2-3 months. The radiation also damaged my sciatic nerve, and I felt like I was sitting on something hard too. Gabapentin helped with those symptoms also. You can expect to get back to your "normal" life, but it might not be pain free for quite a while - don't hesitate to ask for the proper medications. Have you seen a pelvic floor physical therapist? They could also help pinpoint why you are having so much pain. I had a scope under anesthesia 4 months after treatment to make sure the cancer was gone - my CR surgeon wanted to do it sooner, but I canceled the first appt bc I was scared it would cause more pain. Good luck to you!
Carol likes this comment
Everything you just said happened to me too.
I'm afraid it's going to cause me more pain also. Thanks to this group I have some questions to ask the surgeon when I go in today.
Wendy, each case is different I’m afraid. My pain subsided after a couple of weeks, but I was at a different stage (2) so you may have to be a little more patient. It is important however to stay on your medical team to address your problems and questions. That’s key! Stay vigilant about what’s happening with your body, and keep us here posted about progress or problems. We so care about you and can help with so much of the stuff that comes with this disease.
You definitely need to be checked out and if they can do it under anesthesia, all the better. I just don't understand the doctor not telling you what is involved. I find that a little strange. I was Stage 2 and it did take months for the pain to go away. Saying a prayer that all will be well for you.
Carol likes this comment
I thought it was quite odd that she wouldn't tell me what she's going to do. I think it's my right to know. I will ask her to be straight with me before she does anything today.
Christine likes this comment
I didn't understand why she wouldn't tell me either. She will definitely tell me today BEFORE she does anything to me.
Christine likes this comment
Hoping for the best for you.
Wendy - OMG, you sound just like me post treatment. I had to have the same thing as they could not find the source of my pain. You can go back through my posts and read them if it helps. The bottom line is the pain was caused by an anal fissure. I'm assuming the pain starts after your morning BM and lasts for hours? If so, that's a fissure. It takes weeks to heal and they had put me on some major pain killers. One was gabapentin for nerve pain. In addition, I had to take valium in the morning to relax the sphincter muscle. They also prescribed an ointment to use before a BM - nifedipine, which has lidocaine in it so it numbs the area. I'm glad you're doing the exam under anesthesia. It is like an OB/gyn appointment in that they do get your butt up in the air and open it up with some device. I was sore for a couple days afterward but my docs were good about prescribing the right painkillers. Turns out that my episiotomy scar was where the fissure occurred. The scar became super-inflamed during radiation but we didn't figure it out until months afterward. About 5 months post-treatment I found a doc at UCSF that does HRA (high resolution anoscopy) and they confirmed the presence of the anal fissure. At that point, I started using Benefiber fiber supplement and prunes to keep things soft, versus stool softeners. It worked way better. And you'll have to watch your diet. Make sure you getting the right amount SOLUBLE fiber, not non-soluble fiber. There's a big difference. Soluble fiber keeps your stool soft which is what you want. Non-soluble fiber is bulky so that it can push things through. You can find lists online. And for now, avoid raw veggies and be careful of nuts, seeds, and popcorn. In addition you can maybe talk to a nutritionist. I took L glutamine powder (30 grams per day) for intestinal healing. You are basically having to retrain your body to eliminate so you need to be gentle with it. Good luck with the procedure and hopefully the anesthesiologist will take away some of your pain and it will last a couple days. I feel your pain - I was there and did eventually get through it. Feel free to contact me via private message if you have any other concerns. Been there....

Daisy
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Thank you so much for this information Daisy. I have printed a lot of these comments and will take them to my appointment today.
I don't know where you got the 2 to 6 months to recover completely, but whoever told you that should be given this treatment (even without a anal tumor) and just see
That is ridiculous!
Some things take a long time to permanent.
I'm 4 years out, and even if my summer wind breaker gets folds in it,as I sit; can feel like its back.
I hope you screen the surgeon and or docs for being experts on this cancer.
I would rather have a gentle doc (like the one I am going to on Tuesday) do a gentle exam.
The doc that discovered the AC was horrible, torture, like rape. I got rid of him, and got a lovely female doctor that does the exam, in every way differently
However, you have to find out what is going on; so the anesthesia, will be helpful.
Also, with AC, they general always do only biopsy, and not removal (surgery) these days. It does takes about 6 months for the treatment to deactivate; in the meantime, it is still producing the "kill cancer" aspects.
I hope you can find a remedy for your pain soon.
Hugs
Carol likes this comment
Thank you so much Carol. I appreciate your comments! The surgeon is a female, but I really haven't had much contact with her throughout this ordeal. It's mostly been the radiation oncologist that I have seen.
I had a different cancer but it almost sounds like nerve pain.
Wendy likes this comment
I had pain with BM's for quite a few months after treatment ended, sometimes so much so that I dreaded going to the bathroom. I do think it's a good idea that you are getting checked out and having that done under anesthesia, given your pain level, is a good idea. I hope you'll be told that your pain is due to the effects of radiation and nothing else. Please keep us posted. Best wishes to you for all to go well!
I just saw this, if you havent started yet, consent to exam under anesthesia and no surgery. I bet it is a fissure which will take time to heal. She should not be cutting on this freshly radiated tissue. If she can take photos, that would be beneficial for later. Bless.
3 people like this comment
My thoughts exactly!
Wendy likes this comment
Noted & printed! I will be having a good talk with her before they put me under. I want to know what she's going to do and I'll make sure she doesn't do ANY surgery.
I’m 20 months out from treatment today. I still sit funny sometimes and can’t sit for a real long period. Getting thru the new Avengers movie was painful! BMs still are painful here and there. When I was 6 months out I started feeling just okay. I quit the pain meds at 3 months out. My doctors (surgeon and radiologist) never gave me a choice on if I wanted them sticking their finger or that metal thing in my butt to examine me. I cried for the first year of that. And now it still hurts VERY badly. I go every three months.
Wendy likes this comment
Alli, I like your new photo, you're so pretty.
Thank you! That’s a nice start to today!!! Same to you Marcia!!!!
Marcia likes this comment
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Vital Info

Posts

March 21, 2019

Everett, Washington 98203

May 28, 1960

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Anal Cancer Stage 3A - Squamous Cell Carcinoma

December 2

Stage 3A

4.1 - 5.0 cm

Yes

Just the fact I have it!

It sucks!

Providence Regional Cancer Center

March 1

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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