I'm sorry you about your dx.. Radiation and chemo is how they treat/cure this rare form of cancer. I myself do not have anal cancer, There is a anal cancer survivor who comes on this board often, her cancer was pretty advanced she is now cancer free after treatment She will tell her story and give you advice I'm sure. Also the Cancer Survivors network has an anal cancer board that is really good. Good Luck. God Bless.
You are in the right place. I am the only anal cancer survivor in MH, and remember the day I heard the same words in the office of a colo/rectal surgeon's office.
He referred me to physicians @ M.D. Anderson here in Orlando, Fl.
My suggestions are based on how I handled the diagnosis. You may handle the situation differently. No right or wrong here.
As my sister drove me home, she started to tear up....it was then, altho' I probably was in shock, that I said this: 'Cancer is just a word. We won't let it control us.'
What you will learn is that your health allies will keep you on track with treatment, and frankly your days are going to be structured with a series of radiation and possibly chemo treatments.
My sister accompanied me for all visits to hospital, and here at my apt when nurses changed chemo (2 bags for me).....
She kept notes of everything specialists said from start to finish: my job..as yours will be ....is simply to submit to treatment and get better.
You don't say what stage the cancer is...you may not know yet. I was stage IIIb...and given a 60 percent chance of survival.
Please post again if you feel it will help. The greatest difficulty I had...and the reason I joined this forum was that after treatment was over....I felt quite alone and without support.
Best wishes....post, pm me...I usually check in every other day...we are here for you.
Just saw your postings and sillygirls excellent replies and I thought I’d add a little to the conversation.
As I'm sure you know, anal squamous cell cancer is extreamly rare, squamous cell is most commonly considered a skin cancer. My wife also was diagnosed with stage 3 squamous cell anal cancer back in June of 2001. At that time, it was only the second such seen according to her Dr.
The tumor was judged too large and involved to be operable and the prognosis of survival was deemed 25-30%. She was treated by a team of doctors under the supervision of the head oncologist at Locks Cancer Center, St. Mary’s Hosp. in Grand Rapids, Mi..Starting in August 2001, my wife had 3 chemotherapy treatments, each lasting 3 weeks, accompanied by the expected hair loss and ordeal of severe nausea. That was followed by daily radiation treatments lasting some weeks. All of this was with a view of shrinking the cancer to an operable size followed by a colostomy and the resulting bag. Two days before Thanksgiving, 2001, she had a colonoscopy to assess the success or failure of the treatments. The outcome was the cancer was completely gone, no scarring or evidence of ever existing. Like sillygirl, she had follow up tests, colonoscopies and the like, first every 3 months then 6 months, 1 year, and now regular checkups once a year and colonoscopies every 3 years. She is now nearing 10 years of total remission, just celebrated her 74th birthday and is in robust health, even her hair grew back darker and curlier than before!
I’ve taken it upon myself to relate my wife’s story as she equates computers with devil worship and never uses them. Just wanted you and sillygirl too, to know that there are others out here who have been where you are. Keep your chin up, this thing can scare the hell of you and the ones close to you, but it can, and has been decisively beaten. In addition to sillygirl’s advice I’d add try to keep a positive attitude, My wife said when 1st diagnosed, “ I’m going to whip this thing. I WILL NOT let it defeat me!”
Hang in there, we’re pulling for you.
Anytime you want to pm me...feel free. Believe I have experienced every possible physical and mental backlash from this cancer. So..understand. Well meaning ppl will do and say things that will probably annoy you...or seem totally irrelevant.
Try to stay in contact with doc...and if a therapist is attached to facility where you were treated....talk to him/her.
I'm really sorry to hear that u have this cancer I didn't even know u could get it in that area but please keep ur head up and pray god is the true healer.
So glad to hear from you. Almost done. Good. Next phase is to begin healing from treatment. Hope you have support for meals and even laundry for awhile.
Take hope from my recovery. Have just passed 4th year since end of treatment.
You will be monitored fairly closely the first year or two. But it is my belief that once the cancer cells have been destroyed by the aggressive treatment you and I had...the chances of recurrance are slim.
Day at a time....
Thank you so much for sharing. I am also at stage IIIb. I have one week left of radiation, then I guess it will be "wait and see".
Rich...thanks for sharing. Treatments vary a bit...but the good news is that this cancer can be beat!
Wow. A really great outcome for your wife.
I deal with scarring. And of course having no sphinxer ...which is no big deal.
Had a minor surgery which removed scar tissue over vagina...so really almost as good as new.
New diagnosis awaiting pet scan for staging. Set up with local dr's for chemo and radiation. Not sure if I need a 2nd opinion to verify its right mix
Just want to let you know that I read your post and detect a bit of fear in your words, I can only imagine how you felt when you were given the prognoses. I just wanted to let you know that my heart goes out to anyone going through a medical issue, but I will tell you that God is way bigger than the diagnosis, there is no sickness, disease, diagnosis, injury, or pain that God cannot heal. Never give up praying for healing because Jesus is way bigger than the news you got. sometimes a miracle and a healing is just one prayer away. sometimes he allows things to happen to get our attention. I have had medical issues and I am proof Jesus does hear your prayers because I was healed.