Shannon's Cancer Blog

Damn Dilators

Hopefully this will improve. There I was having to choose small, medium or large. It is hard to be consistent in using them when it is so uncomfortable. 

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Annabelle, Laura sent you a hug.
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Shannon likes this comment
Start with small & lots & lots of lubrication - gently,gently. Only move onto next size when very comfortable with the one you are using.
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Hi Shannon, you may try the Milli dilator. It expands or becomes smaller to the size you need. Plus it has a vibration function. You may find them on millimedical. com. I use mine for almost one year and like it a lot.
Oh la la............:D
sounds advanced to me :D
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The Milli helped me as well. But that device PLUS the manual work by a physical therapist that knows how to treat vaginal stenosis, has been the best combo. With those two methods, things are WAY more comfortable in there now!
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I live in a smaller town. Not sure how close by a physical therapist for that would be. But definitely worth looking into!
Olga likes this comment
I agree without Olga. Have heard great things about the Milli dilator! The vibration feature is a huge plus as that will help massage the tissues. Wish it was available when I was in need. Consistency is key. Hot epsom salt bath beforehand can help as well.
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Well, now; I like this endorsement.
Trust Daisy! We love you Daisy🌼
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Will this also help strengthen bladder control? I really need to work on that. Cannot seem to be disciplined doing kegals.
A pelvic PT can really help with this. It’s a big part of their job! And perhaps a dilator can be of use with proper instruction from a PT.
Mary likes this comment
Hi Mary,
an additional kegel is to stop peeing at intervals while peeing. It tells you, right away, how much of a kegel your doing:D
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So glad you posted this! Millimedical here I come!
Shannon likes this comment
Thanks for asking the question. I just ordered my Milli. It’s got to be better than those hard plastic things I’ve been struggling with for two years!
Olga, Shannon like this comment
Every time I try to use one, I damage my urethra. Just got a smaller one. I get your frustration and pain.
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I am really considering getting that Milli if it was a little more reasonable as far as price I would have got it already. I think I will try to turn it in on my flex plan. It is just hard, I feel like I can’t make a lot of progress.
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Hair color

How long do you need to wait before coloring hair after treatment?

Laura, Donna sent you a hug.
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Are you talking about bleach, bleach type highlighting, color over perm or bleached hair, or multiple products?
It gets pretty complicated, if there is high lightning or multiple products on the old hair, being that it is brittle and maybe still falling out. If you do, maybe just do a simpler exposure.
There are so many products, and so many hair types.
I didn't. My hair started coming back for real, about 9 months after. But up til the 6 months after treatment it was still falling out. Once it started coming in, I used a products called "Living proof. Perfect hair Day* 5 in 1 styling treatment"
It thickens the hair, but doesn't make it starchy or hard to comb through. I swear by it now. I do mix it with "Loma Maximum Volumizing Solution" now that my hair has come back.
Shannon likes this comment
I waited a full year before highlights. I had a friend who colored hers right away and became allergic to all hair products after that. So tread lightly on this. It's nasty old "chemo hair" anyway, so let it grow out fully and get back to health before using chemical processes. You will be glad you waited. I know it is tempting, but I wouldn't chance it.
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I colored and highlighted mine as soon as it was long enough to do it. I went to one of those salons that use all natural products the first two times and then went back to my normal lady after that. I was really nervous about doing it but I had no issues.
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I waited about 9 months. I lost some hair, so waited until it filled back in.
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About 3 months after treatment my hair started really coming back in, but I hated the color / texture and I saw more grays popping in than ever before (no surprise the treatment aged me!) hairdresser was a friend and she had helped others with cancer before so she did some research, we used a "natural" product, not sure what that meant exactly but we did one color, a neutral warm brown on my pixie cut and honestly it made me feel so much better, like my old self! I didn't have any problems with it and we did the same thing for the first year. Now I have highlights and lately I've been getting compliments on my hair by strangers in my new literally brings a massive smile to my face because I want to tell them that 2 1/2 years ago I was nearly bald. It's amazing how far we can come on this journey. Good luck xo
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That’s how I feel. Today I went to see my 76-year-old father at the nursing home and he could see the gray. I am so thankful that I did not lose all of my hair and that it’s just thinner. But it does not look as healthy and then there are the grays..
Kim likes this comment
I totally get it! Have you tried any of those dry shampoos that gave a tint of color that you can spray on your roots? It helps a bit so maybe give it a try! Don’t put on a white shirt after you spray it though....big mistake on my part 🤦🏻‍♀️!
Shannon likes this comment
I tried some today it did help some. Thank you for the suggestion I even had some that is like a brown powder. I am gonna get a gentle color in a few weeks but no highlights. Supposedly it helps with making it shiny and smooth. Fingers crossed. I just want to not see grays😊
Kim likes this comment
I am about 2 1/2 months post treatment! I am hoping it will make me feel better. It is already thinner Just going to have to be patient with that. But hopefully I can do something about the grays.
Yes I think it will help make it shinier too! Good luck 🍀🤗
Shannon likes this comment
I think I got my hair colored about 4-5 months post treatment and it was fine :)
Shannon likes this comment
Shannon, I lost all of my hair during treatment. It took a full eight months to grow back to about 2 inches before I could stop wearing the wig and get my hair colored again. Mine came in all weird patterns of grey and black...but I hadn’t seen my real hair color for about 40 years! Anyway, it grew back a little weird, a little curlier, and thinner. But after a year and a half it kind of renewed itself to what it was before (fine, but not too thin). I had it colored at the 8 month mark when it was about 2 inches. Good luck!
Shannon likes this comment
I only just got highlights again after 3 years! I thought I'd see how the natural look was, but it took me this long to decide that I looked old... But I kept my hair, although had an infestation of head lice during treatment! Absolutely horrible! Anyway, use something gentle until your hair gets thicker again is what I would do.
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Hair appointment went well! It looks much healthier!
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Vital Info


July 7, 2019

Licking, Missouri 65542

December 4, 1972

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous cell carcinoma

March 31

Stage 3

over 6.1


How it scares me

How important life and family are

Keep me positive. Keep me going.


Soft blanket, cards

Siteman St Louis MO

Drink lots of water and Gatorade

Rest and pray

June 17


Changes in bowels, narrowing of stools and maroon blood in stool.


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