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new diagnosis

tbj
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2003

I am a 48 yr old woman who was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal. I had never heard of this cancer before. I finished 6-7 weeks of daily radiation and two rounds of chemo both 4 days in length. I am now at 6 weeks post treatment and will see the surgeon this week for a scope. I am praying that the tumor is gone. My main concern is that the cancer will be gone from my body. I have a great supportive family and friends but I still have anxiety over this whole ordeal and the future. I am hoping that as time goes by I will be able to let it go a little. Some of it may be from being thrown into complete menopause in 6 weeks. There are a lot of us out there and we need to support each other. I don't hear much about support groups for this type of cancer. Any encouraging words are appreciated. Lots of positive thoughts for this week. Did anyone have sore hips and groin after their radiation? I am also very tired in the afternoon and evening. I am not working again until November, hopefully I will be able to get back to it. Thanks and Bless you all.

greta's picture
greta
Posts: 241
Joined: Jun 2000

Hi tbj,
There are a number of CSN members with anal cancer. Some have completed a member profile and created a personal web page so you can find them by entering keywords such as "anal cancer" in the text box next to SEARCH near the top of each page." There are also a lot of members who have dealt with acute and chronic fatigue as a side effect of treatment. You might want to hook up with some of them also. Try using key words like fatigue, side effects of radiation, etc. Don't forget, you have to be logged in to access CSN member web pages. Wishing you well and a speedy recovery!
Greta

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, tbj -

Sorry I didn't drop you a note earlier, but I don't usually get too far beyond my regular discussion group due to time constraints. I'm over at the colon cancer discussion. We refer to ourselves as the "semi-colons" (;s)

Anyway, there are a few regular participants there who have/had SCC at the anus or in the rectum. You might come over and post there. We're a pretty fun bunch who tell it like it is and have a good time doing it. I have personally gotten a lot of encouragement and positive energy from my experiences.

Hope to see you!

Be well.

- SpongeBob ; )

Lisa Rose's picture
Lisa Rose
Posts: 589
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi tbj,

My name is Lisa and I am also from the colorectal group.I am 42 years old as of tomorrow .
Due to the 6 weeks of radiation for my rectal cancer, I am also in menopause and I have to say IT SUCKS....I had every symptom a women could have after 6 month's of no sleep ,hot flashes cold sweats, vaginal dryness, I had enough . So my Dr put me on HRT for 1 year . It's not what I wanted to do with all the talk about hrt but it's given me great relief.
Since starting hrt it's given me time to accept my cancer without being so exhausted from my menopause symptons.

Stop by the crc.
Lisa

michel
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2003

Hi. I'm a 47 yr old woman with squamous cell anal cancer and I didn't know it existed until I got it. I got on the net trying to find information and discovered that the information available was based on patients who were male, gay and HIV positive. Well that's not me. I finished my radiation (6 1/2 wks) and chemo (4 4 day session 28 days apart) in April this year and am still recovering from the side effects of the radiation. Sore hip joints and groin muscle stiffness, I'm going to ask my doc about possible physical therapy to treat the problem. Immediate memopause is just plain awful. I'm seeing "the boys" as I refer to my 4 doctors in October, 3 months since my last checkup. I haven't had any surgery, the tumor "seems" to be gone, but we keep checking. Good Luck.

SharonEL's picture
SharonEL
Posts: 21
Joined: Jun 2003

Hi I finished radiation treatments for vaginal cancer the end of June and I do have very stiff hips. I even have trouble crossing my legs. Its like the muscles won't stretch. My groin is also sore to the touch a lot. I was starting to feel like I was a little crazy. I am glad that I stumbled upon your posts.
Thanks,
Sharon

acmorgan's picture
acmorgan
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2002

Hi. I was 48 and newly married 2months to the day, that I got my diagnosis. I had surgery on 9/11/01 and then chemo & radiation. I am now NED (No Evidence of Disease) and so very Happy to be alive and enjoying every minute. Yes, there are after effects and late effects that may trouble you later - but still, much better than having cancer! My radiation fibrosis is in my abdomin and hips - the stiffness and pain you may feel there is helped by Physical Therapy and anti-inflammatory and keep moving. Crossing your legs is good therapy and probably will be one of the exercises they suggest. I sometimes lie in a warm bath and do my exercizes. The best support group I've found is in yahoo groups - check them out as we have a very supportive, loving family there. We are living longer after cancer and have way too few studies (I have researched this question for 2 years) about late effects after treatments for adult cancer. They just finished a big study on childhood cancer and found they have a lot of problems in adulthood, unknown before. So Medical research is making advances in leaps and bounds, but we still have a long way to go. I have found I now have a lot of new allergies to medications and latex that I never had before. So take each medication carefully and watch for odd reactions to report to your doctor immediately. The radiation and chemo has changed your body and some changes are unpleasant - but still much better than losing a life to cancer. Find things you can do and enjoy again, take up a new craft or hobby, or volunteer at your old cancer treatment facility - it feels so good!
Good Luck with your recovery, its a long climb, but well worth the view once you arrive! Enjoy your New Life! I just celebrated turning 50 and I'm so glad I made it! My fatigue is still with me, but less than it was. I learned to prioritize and take frequent rests after chores, some days all I can do is 1 load of laundry and dishes - but thats ok if that's the best I can do. Be good to your Self.
acmorgan

IowaGirlie
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2003

I'm a 45 year old woman who was diagnosed with the same disease 9 years ago. I went through chemo and radiation and have been fine since. I now go for yearly check-ups instead of every six months and have a colonoscopy every two years. Your energy level will slowly increase but don't push it - listen to your body. The fear of the disease coming back will always be in the back of your mind but leave it there - in the back. Good Luck!!

bclou
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi! Like you I was diagnosed with this cancer, Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anal Canal this past April and finished all treatments as of end of Sept. I participated in a clinical trial and my treatment was different. I have had no surgery.
I had my first visit since completing treatment and as the doc says "complete response to treatment", ie: remission. I go again in Feb and like you, want to be able to move on and not worry but it will always be there.
Re: hip pain and menopause. I have the hip pain too and my docs say it will go away..I guess we havd to be patient..The menopause, I seem to be handling it pretty good without meds.
The down side for me on top of all this was that I was laid off my job just prior to the end of treatment and was released to work full time as of this month, so, know I am trying to find a job.
I was treated at Dana Farber in Boston and thru them I have a "new" friend who is also in our situation and she has been truly a blessing for me as we share something in common.
Sometimes, I think it is harder for us who have the different cancer -
Be positive and look forward...I do believe if we try and stay very positive - it will help us..
Good luck and feel free to chat back.

andig
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2004

My husband was diagnosed with a rare adenocarcinoma of the anal canal which was secreting a gelatinous material. He also has peri-anal Crohns. His colorectal surgeon suggested surgery - he refused and just completed 6 weeks of radiation and chemo infusion PIC line 24/7. The radiation was horrible for him. Have your doctors given you any prognosis? We, too, are in Boston - Lahey Clinic.

hopefulcure
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi, I just started going online to this CSN and I have been amazed! I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal on 10/18/01. I went thru chemo and radiation. Unfortunately, in April of 02, biopsies showed it had returned (or never got it all). I had A/P resection in 8/02. I have a permanent colostomy. I am 54 years old now and do not have any problems with my colostomy. I do however have lymphedma from the radiation. That's what slows me down most. But, like others, I am thankful to be alive! I have wonderful physicians and we talk freely. Good luck to you, God Bless!

michelediane
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2004

I am a 46 year old woman that was diagnosed with squamous cell anal cancer Dec. 02. I would like to correspond with anybody that has this type of cancer. I have been thru chemo and radiation.

Andy5
Posts: 18
Joined: Oct 2004

I wonder if you are the Diane I correspond to from Chicago? I have same cancer.

scissorsmith
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2005

I am a 45 year old female also diagnosed with anal cancer in 06/04. Went thru the chemo and radiation and suffering with horrible side effects. If you want to share war stories you can email me at scissorsmith@bellsouth.net hope you are doing well and your dr visits are all positive

mickeyfla
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2005

I know that your message is old - but when I read it, it was EVERYTHING I am going through! would love to chat with you if you are still accessing this site.

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