Cindy's Cancer Blog

Follow up to did you have tests

so as you read I had to take tons of meds to go. Went well over 12 hrs sat and next morning which was yesterday.  Now today I’ve gone three times. All tiny strings and lots!    Sorry for details. 

Lower stomach cramps   Back hurts   Now my mind is going crazy.  Cancer?   I did have the strings before I was severely constipated. Back to strings.  I want a colonoscopy. I’m due in March but because the colorectal dr wants to do HRA end of March he doesn’t want the colonoscopy done in March.  I feel that I need colonoscopy now.  I called today my dr not on call. I will be calling in AM. I know IBS can cause string like stools too but it’s been going on for awhile. Between going 12 hrs Friday yesterday and now again today I’m drained! 

I don’t meant to be negative but every HRA I have its high grade precancer.  Last colonoscopy a year ago I had a adenoma that he removed but he said that’s a polyp that can return and have tendency to turn to cancer.  Worried 

DeAnna threw a punch at your cancer.
Mary, Kim sent you a prayer.
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I think your stress is adding to the bowel issues. Relax, or at least try to, I know your anxiety about having the cancer return is high but the polyps that can turn to cancer usually take a long time. You had something done a year ago so I doubt anything is going to move that fast. You probably have strings since that is what we get after radiation with anal cancer. Make your appointment for the colonoscopy and try to do something to get your mind off the issue, at least for now. I wish you peace and no cancer!
I hear ya :)
I just never had strings before and this backache I had before anal cancer but can be from anything Just an odd feeling in lower stomach and anal area feels stiff. If that’s possible to feel. Thank you. I’ll be busy today! Lol.
A lot to do in house :) xoxo
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I agree with Donna; either way you look at it, with diarrhea; stress just makes it worse.
You should talk with your medical team, but, again either way, you might need some counseling, meditating, general calming in your life-time for just you.
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Best to check it out and catch it early. I waited six months and my reoccurrence grew quickly to a 5 cm tumor. I found an excellent surgeon out of town and my pathology report came back with clear margins and negative lymph nodes. And thanks to my plastic surgeon everything is healing nicely. I know how scary this is for you, Cindy but it best to know what you are dealing with. You are in my prayers every day.
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Thank you. If every single HRA didn’t come back high grade cancer I wouldn’t worry as much.
Glad you’re doing good! Xo
I didn't realize you had a colostomy. Did they do that because of recurrence? Did that take a long time to recover?
I had a reoccurrence and it came back with a vengeance. I had the APR surgery on December 20. The plastic surgeon did reconstruction of the radiated area so it would heal. 8 hour surgery and 8 days in the hospital. I am grateful I had an experienced surgeon and my pathology report came back with clear margins and all lymph nodes were negative. I am still at home recovering.
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wow! Well you take care of yourself! that is a lot.
I didn’t have colostomy. I had a high resolution anal scope
Omg I’m so sorry. Huge surgery!!! Prayers glad he got it all and didn’t involve nodes! Xoxo
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APR Surgery ?
What was the recurrence of?
Sorry for all the questions, just looked like something I'd want to know.
Looks like you had the right MDs and great care also.
Hi Cheryl, Hope your doing ok.
Carols answer about recurrence, is 5 comments above yours.
Hi Cheryl,. APR is basically a colostomy. It's pretty much the treatment for a reoccurrence of anal cancer. I received chemo and radiation February-March 2017 for stage 3 anal cancer. I am glad you went to Moffitt. You will get excellent care there. Everyone in the cancer blog are in my prayers every night. Be strong.
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Cindy, just read this as I went on your site to Wish you a Happy Birthdau!
So, after reading that your HRS is what has given you your best results in past, I'd stick with that test.
I’m sorry Cindy, I would be worried too...because I’m a worrier by nature. But I love Donna’s advice to do some things to keep your mind off of it and try to decrease your anxiety. I’m glad you put the call in, I think your symptoms warrant another colonoscopy and hopefully digging deeper will give you more info. IBS makes a lot of sense with your symptoms, and radiation damage gives us many issues off and on I’ve found. I’m sending you good vibes and prayers!
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Thank you. Yes it’s odd. Just not me to go like string/ribbons. Hoping it’s IBS XO
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Can they do the simple "poop in a box" and mail it in to check to see if there needs to be any cause for concern? I would not assume the worst, find something pleasant to keep your mind off of everything. MGBY, John
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I’m busy today but not good day. Gone five times already. Not good after Friday
Poop in box can't be used by us with cancer diagnosis. It's a good test for those with no problems, just a rule out any problem kind of test.
I agree that stress is not good for you but how can you not be stressed? Try deep breathing, make sure your exhalation is longer than your inhalation. Listen to music, watch a movie, distracting can be helpful unless your anxiety is so high that you can’t concentrate. Do whatever you can to reduce your stress, even just a little. The little change can fear empowering and spontaneously reduce your stress even further. We’re rooting for you.
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Nerve racking to say the least! I hope u can get some answers soon. I'm going to pray for good results and nothing less.
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I hope you can get answers soon! Not knowing is the worst!! Hugs
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Try not to worry. I hope you can get in touch with your doctor soon.
By strings, do you mean thin, narrow stools? The good news is that stuff is moving! I think the SHAPE is the result of the radiation narrowing of the GI tract.

I also have a problem with constipation and I take Miralax 2x day; my stools are soft and thin and ribbon-like. At least something is moving!
Take a look at something called the Bristol Stool Test (it shows different images of stools.
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I started back on the Miralax. Fingers crossed. And started magnesium as suggested xo
Yes thin... small
Happy birthday week!
Wishing you a happy birthday Cindy
Happy Birthday!!
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Did You have these tests?

Hi all.  I check in read and catch up.  I am sorry haven’t posted.  Having heart issues.  Back and forth to drs in Boston. Mil has alzehemiers   Lots of appointments.  But everyone  is in my prayers every night! 

Another issue is constipatuon which most of us have. Mine has gotten so bad I take to many laxatives. Pass few weeks can’t go.  And no urge.  This pass week I took days of sennakott stool softeners and finally four ducolax   Finally went. But I have to bowel control so it’s a nasty day.  The dr wants me to go for testing. 

Test they put barium in you and the X-ray takes pics as you go

a test you swallow capsule and go back three times for X-rays to see where markers are 

a test they put a probe in anal area to check msucle and then like an electrical zap to check nerves. Omg none of it sounds good!   But I get they are checking pelvic floor muscles.  End result if muscles are gone the solution is to try PT. Has anyone. What else can be offered?  

Thank you for some input.  Very appreciated. 

Love hugs and prayers to all. Xoxo 

Helen Marshall threw a punch at your cancer.
4 people sent you a hug.
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Hi cindy, the barium swallow test is reasonable but I don't know about the second one right now. Maybe later. Not having BMs for more than a week is indeed worrisome. I was pretty constipated but now seems better after eating plant based 15% meat cutting processed sugars and carbs like in processed foods. I also make sure to drink additional 4 1/2 liter bottles water daily in addition to coffee, teas what have u and I take magnesium supplement. Now I go 2-3 times a day. I hope this problem resolve soon.
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You take a 500 mg magnesium pill.
So total you drink is 4.5 liters
I take a chelated magnesium pill 100mg twice a day
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Is it a barium enema or a barium swallow that is being recommended?
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It’s not barium enemy but a barium substance is inserted into you then as you go the Take xrays to see have things move and how pelvic floor is moving
Just to clarify...the 1/2 liter bottle water, I drink 4 of those.
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I am in PT for bowel control right now. I also went to see a GI specialist. He has been most helpful, but basically gave me coping mechanisms to make me more “predictable” with my bowels. I am on daily fiber now and we are using it to get me in a more reliable pattern. The PT is helping some. It’s frustrating for sure though. Prayers for you!
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What fiber do u use.
Metamucil, the powder. My GI doctor said you can pay a lot more for tablets etc but the powdered Metamucil is, as far as he is concerned, the best thing available. He also said it’s the easiest thing to adjust the amount of as well. He started me off taking a dose in the morning and one at night and I am still adjusting my dosage right now. I have changed it up a few times. Trying to make myself predictable lol
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Cindy and Michele, I'd be careful with metamucil (it's been known to Cause bowel blockages). It's fine for persons that are pretty regular, no real bowel issues. For Us, Miralax much safer, won't bulk up and cause blockage.
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I am taking the Metamucil under the supervision and direction of my GI specialist. He has warned me to drink plenty of water so that doesn’t happen. He has me using it to create a consistency to my stool that I can hold for longer than 2 seconds, which is my problem. I can’t hold firm stool or really soft stool for any time at all. Sigh. Thanks for caring though. The last thing I need is a bowel obstruction. I’m off all non-digestible food. Food with a peel. If I can remove it I can eat it. It basically it’s corn, peas, celery, lettuce, broccoli..etc. Those things are very likely to obstruct me said. I’m at high risk. I will keep you all updated. For now I am having a little luck with the Metamucil
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Wow. Good luck to you. Praying. I can hold firm stool. Can’t hold an enema or like the prep Colon prep at all. And sometimes fir no reason I just go no warning Back to nit going again. Ugh did you go for any testing?
Hugs to you xo
It is a vicious cycle. Too many laxatives, and the bowel stop doing the work. But you can't go without them, what to do?
Constipation is not good for the heart, have you discussed this with your heart Drs? I hate to see tons of tests without analyzing the problem. Do you keep a diet journal? That might be key. Are other meds causing it possibly? The large intestine removes water as its job, maybe you need more than most people. Fiber intake per day? Were you ok before treatment, or always had a problem? Anyone else in your family with it? Do you allow yourself time to go, or wait until convenient? (It never is, lol). I throw all these questions at you for a reason, bc drs should be exploring this FIRST, before ordering invasive tests.
Otherwise, I'm no help, because my problem has always been the opposite!
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I had problems all my life with constipaton. So does my mom I agree I don’t drink enough. Maybe do more decaf tea I like that. My fiber count prob isn’t enough. Every time I add benifiber I have such gas I can’t leave the house. And there are days I have that awful awful gas and I didn’t even take fiber. Bad! Keeps me in I do Allow time to go I just can’t go.
Today is so bad it’s liike a Colon prep day.
Awful raw and bleeding I need changes and I don’t want the test.
It’s been 13 hrs I’m still goin This is awful. I’m so raw and bleeding and sore. It was stopping now worse!
I want to take half Imodium but I know that’s not good but I don’t know how much more I can take.
I take (Calm plus calcium) which is magnesium plus calcium at night. Drink a ton of water and typically am very regular. Too much cheese, dairy, processed food or too little water and there are problems. Lots of veggies are key. If I have a chicken or tuna wrap, I’ll add a big handful of kale leave to it. I also add 2 heaping tbl of golden flaxseed meal to my oatmeal in the morning. When I’m good I have an apple at night for dessert with almonds.
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When I’m traveling it’s much more difficult which sounds that it may be an issue for you at the moment.
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Ground flaxseed has been a miracle for me. It’s kind of gross but I mix a tablespoon with water and drink it at night. I also use Miralax when I need some extra help.
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Flaxseed is good in cereal.
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They have Flaxseed Oil, Barleans a good brand. Hold nose, take tbsp., no problem.
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I put it in cereal smoothies I tried in liquid but couldn’t do it
I have always had a mild problem with constipation, but since radiation it has become a major problem. I have an extra long colon(redundant or tortuous colon) and colonic inertia (takes a long time for stool to move...have never had an excellent colonoscopy prep because of this)

I had a mild underlying problem that got worse after radiation. The rad onc said the treatment field was nowhere near the upper colon. The GI docs said there probably was some influence!

I ended up in the hospital twice related to these issues. There is an area of narrowing or stricture in my colon and things get stuck high up (not in the rectum) this is probably not your problem.

I know I need to drink more water and eat more fiber. Currently, I take Miralax twice a day and that keeps things moving. If I miss a day or two I take a colace or a senna tablet. I have also found that a cup of senna tea at bedtime works well. If things seem to be getting really backed up, I increase the dosages and may take a Dulcolax to increase peristalsis.

I would be glad to talk to you about the tests. When I had the barium test they used gastrografin(?) not barium. For me, at that time, it worked like a powerful enema.

The second test is a sitz marker swallow a little capsule with markers At the end of a few days, there is an abdominal x-ray to see where the markets are. Kind of like following a bread crumb trail to see how slow your colon is.

I last test, anal manometry, tests the muscles. I have been putting it off because I already know that the anal muscles are weak and flaccid although I haven't had any accidents(as yet). I may give in and have it in case a PT therapist needed accurate information.

I did have some pelvic floor PT after treatment, but that was for dilator training (which has totally lapsed)

I would be glad to give you my phone number and give you any info. I'm so sorry that in addition to all you went through with your cancers, you are now dealing with cardiology issues --possibly the result of the gifts that keep giving!
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Here is a great soup; not necessarily for breakfast, but very good for digestion because of the Miso (fermentation)
very mild tasting. Lots of veggies, like I mentioned.
if that doesn't work, just pull up and enter "Vegetable-Miso Soup with Chickpeas - Eat Clean With Shira Bocar"
in the search.
I just made it= delish!
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Omg sounds so good! Thank you! I’m trying to get eating as clean as I can. This will help. Things slowing down I hope. Going 13 hrs. Ugh
This maybe time for the white diet, til the flow stops. It's got to run out soon; get lots of water.
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I’m drinking Powerade. I feel very crappy
I'll bet; it's been a rough day for you. Good night, sleep well.
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I'm sorry you are having all of these issues, Cindy. I probably cannot be of much help. My bowels go from one extreme to the other, dependent upon what I have eaten and how much water I've had. I guess I have just learned to deal with it. However, I would be very concerned after a few days of not having a BM. You've gotten some good suggestions here and I certainly would not agree to any invasive testing until I had tried other things first. I hope you find something that can give you some relief.
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Cindy sorry you are going through all this. I'm afraid I don't have anything to add. Just know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
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Vital Info


August 8, 2012

Rhode Island

November 8, 1961

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Anal cancer squamous cell

June 23, 2012

Stage 3B

0.1 - 1.0 cm

Grade 3


Fluorouracil (5-FU)

Everything....and having it again..had hodgkins lymphoma 1989

You have to enjoy life

Two groin nodes and two iliac nodes

Rhode Island Hospital

October 11, 2013

Anal skin tag...burning..itching...cramps....constipation ....tired

Starting Aug 27th 5FU and Mito C

Pelvic radiation starting aug 27th


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