Jun 13, 2010 - 12:20 am
I was diagnosed with Stage II, no lymph nodes, anal cancer in December 2009. It was hard news to deliver in a variety of ways with kids ages 21 to 4. I had the "garden variety" of treatment, chemo at the start sandwiched with chemo at the end and radiation inbetween. I remember my oncolgist asking me if I'd had frequent anal sex and how awkward that was. "Um, no." Started treatment first week of January 2010, 33 days of radiation (took a break once due to fatigue/skin breakdown). I missed 7 days of work total, intermittently. Towards the end it was the most difficult as your body is worn down and you have to weather the evil chemo for another week. I didn't lose my hair. Everyone kept saying "you look great" even though I felt like crap. I guess it was losing the 15 pounds. I had one extreme bout with constipation probably from the pain meds - a constant pain in my gut that I let go for 4 days because I wasn't thinking straight (chemo) and was afraid it was another tumor (my mind played a lot of dark tricks during that time). I finished treatment at the end of February and slowly gained energy back. I had a CT Scan a week ago that looked good, and am awaiting biopsy results. I notice a change for the worse in my eyesight, and my 'chemo brain' continues as I have difficulty remembering things still. I am a legal assistant and my work was awesome and I do notice I can rise to the occasion at work moreso than at home as far as memory is concerned. I had a lot of friends praying for me and am Christian so do believe that makes a ton of difference. But I do note I tend to be down more often which is weird because as far as the cancer goes, I'm very encouraged and my doctors told me early on it was okay to tell my kids their professional opinion was they could cure me (with all the disclaimers and yadda). I had friends that bought me Lush bath products (I would take up to 3 baths a day to soothe the burning) so if you have access to those, I swear by them. At first sex was painful with bleeding but I persevere because my husband and I had a great sex life and I don't want to give that up. I have a very deep appreciation for life and breath that is hard to explain to anyone who hasn't looked over the precipe of darkness and death, so be encouraged that these things can bring a new clarity to life. Overall, I am deeply thankful for so much, albeit admittedly nervous about the results. Its a weird time post treatment. Hope this encourages someone out there - I know its scary.