Wondering About Side Effects

I finished my radiation and chemo treatments at the end of November.    Aside from the two weeks after treatment ended (not a pleasant experience), I have experienced only a few side effects.   One of the side effects seems to be dehydration.    Another seems to be an urgency to make it to bathroom for bowel movements (periodically - not every time).   Just wondering if anyone else has experienced these side effects and if they get better with time?  

Maggie sent you a hug.
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Hello John! you will probably get a ton of comments here...but the short form is YESSS! Even now, 9 years out, there are days when I only get a very short notice time...if I HAVE to be out first thing in the morning for a meeting, I take an Immodium tab when I go to bed, just to be sure. Dehydration not a serious problem - but some side effects are very variable by the individual. Keep a little journal so if you have to consult with your medical team you can give them details...and hang in there!
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Hi John. It seems like urgency, frequency, and some time incontinence are common side effects. It will be better after a while.
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Hi, John! Yes, the side effects you mention are common ones. Like Helen, I sometimes have to stay near the loo in the morning. But her advice about Immodium is sound too. As far as dehydration goes, be sure to drink water all day long, even when you’re not thirsty. Stay hydrated!
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I am over 11 years out of treatment and still have urgency sometimes. It somewhat depends on what I eat. Mornings are the worst.
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I’m almost 2.5 years out from end of treatment. I still run to the bathroom almost everyday. I have underwear and wipes with me at all times. I have a lot of hip aching from radiation damage. I’m a lot better than I was right after treatment. You will get better. Good luck to you.
Hi John! Just echoing whatothers have said pretty much...over 5 years out and I have urgency (mostly mornings) and yes immodium works wonders. Hip and low back pain and stiffness, fatigue, anal area skin is very "fried" and bleeds and becomes irritated easily. Even after listing these I have to say they are all very doable and life is good! Different...but GOOD! :)
He well what everyone else said, it's different for everybody to some extent but what you mentioned is an absolute yes for me too. I'm in my 5th month post treatment and I can tell you I'm I'd say 80% better as far as urgency and control. I still have some days but it's noticeably better! It's kinda funny but I get all excited when I have a perfect BM now lol. It does get better!
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Also, the chemo stayed with me for a long time. My blood counts were real low for months so be careful about that. I wound up in the hospital fighting an infection 3 months after treatment. The fatigue is lasting longer than expected too. The treatment is still working on you for months! Stay positive and listen to your body and be good to yourself.
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Mine white count was good, until about 9 months after. I was told that was normal, and sure enough; I'm almost normal 4 years out.

Thanks for the insights and words of encouragement! I feel better this week just having a group to reach out to with questions. Some of the anxiety for me throughout this journey has been the unknown of what to expect.
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Hi John, Welcome!

In answer to your question; you're young! you should plan on years of improvement. (For some, slow)

I think it's wise to plan, accommodations for older years.

I'm selling my home and plan to incorporate all the things that make life more pleasurable, and a necessity, after that hideous treatment.

Like: one level entrance, bidet, floor entry tub/shower (with whirlpool) hopefully, a outdoor hot tub too. Oh, and a wise new vehicle, that accommodates effected hips.

It sounds like you are right on track, with your healing.

I hope you treat yourself with good care!


oh yes; hydration continues to be essential! Also, rest, rest, rest, and daily walks good nutrition. The antidote to depression, for me.
(A little coffee too, couple glasses of wine a week)
John likes this comment
Yes. Hang in there. It gets better.
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Vital Info


January 9, 2020

Houston, Texas 77006

March 9, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Anal Cancer

October 7

Stage 1

1.1 - 2.0 cm

Grade 1



MD Anderson

November 27

Weekly infusion of Cisplatin and 5 days a week of 5FU

Radiation Dates: 10-24-19 through 11-27-19


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