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Tumor is gone!

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 846
Joined: May 2011

I had my anal rectal exam yesterday and the radiologist said the tumor is gone. There is a little scar tissue and that's it. I still have to have the Pet Scan and Ultra Sound by the cola-rectal surgeon but this doctor seems confident the treatment did the job. It was a much better outcome than I could have imagined. I still think about Farrah though and how they said she was cancer free four months before she died. Does anyone know what happened with her? That's all the story I really know. Did she have the treatment we had? Can I relax?

z's picture
z
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 2009

Great News with your exam!

Farrah had liver mets. There was a movie about what happened. Now in the movie she didn't lose her hair, so I don't know if she did the standard Nigro treatment or not and they didn't specify. Her tumor I think was 8 cms if I am not mistaken. When she finally tried the chemo that would make her lose her hair it was two late. She also went to Germany for liver tumor tx that didn't work. It makes me upset that more than likely that if she had the standard tx or a colostomy since it was so large, she might still be here. So sad.

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 522
Joined: Jul 2009

Wonderful news! So happy for you.

As for Farrah, my doctors told me that her case was mismanaged. They said that she managed her doctors versus the doctors managing her. She went off to Germany even though she could have had the standard procedure in the states. But I suspect vanity came into play...hair loss and colostomy and maybe she was trying to avoid that. Whatever it was, it is sad.

Liz

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3017
Joined: Jan 2010

Congratulations on your great news and know that I celebrate with you! I feel certain that your tumor is gone and nothing but more good news will come your way with the PET and US.

As for Farrah, I doubt that we will ever know all the facts in her case, so all we can do is speculate. I have heard various reports that she declined to do one of the chemos usually done with the Nigro protocol because she didn't want to lose any of her hair. Also, her tumor was quite large and like has already been said, she may have been a candidate for APR with colostomy from the get-go, but decided not to go that route. I also heard that she begged her doctors to do the surgery on her after it was way too late. Whatever her circumstances and choices were, it is truly sad that she is gone.

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 505
Joined: Jun 2011

SO glad for you! And good luck on the Pet Scan and Ultra Sound!

I heard various things about Farrah too, and the treatment she had - much the same things that have already been said. Look to us here instead.

CONGRATULATIONS ON A JOB WELL DONE!!!!!!!

duckyann
Posts: 162
Joined: Jun 2009

I am so happy to hear your good news!!!! I hope that you are going to celebrate....

As far as Farah, I have heard a lot of what the others have said too. My oncologist actually told me also that there is a lot more to the story that was not told and that I should not worry about myself turning out like her. I am sure that your PET will turn out great.

Take care
Nancy

cap630
Posts: 150
Joined: Jul 2011

I am so happy for you. ~Carol

Phoebesnow
Posts: 450
Joined: Apr 2011

Congratulations, it is a wonderful outcome.

Phoebesnow
Posts: 450
Joined: Apr 2011

Congratulations, it is a wonderful outcome.

z810840b's picture
z810840b
Posts: 212
Joined: Jan 2010

I am so happy for you Sandy.Anal cancer is very CURABLE.I still can't figure out what happened to Farrah.I remember thinking about her often .I actually got scoped the day she died.I think she had surgery which leads me to believe she was in bad shape to begin with.We will never know the whole story. Remember the odds are in our favor..You will be fine.I am over 3 years NED.Hugs ..alyse

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 846
Joined: May 2011

Hope I look as good as you three years from now:-)

Nan-Peg11
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2011

Sandy - this is wonderful news! CELEBRATE!!!!

Angela_K
Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

You did it! I am so happy for you Sandy. It seems like just yesterday you joined this board!

On Farrah: I have scanned over a multitude of different accounts of what happened with her. There is a documentary out there somewhere but I have chosen not to watch it because I've heard she slams 'American' medicine, but that could be wrong. And of course, she ends up dying and I suppose I just don't need to see that.

I understand that she chose not to reveal what type of cancer she had until the recurrance and only because the media was about to leak it. That's disappointing to me. But that may not be true. I think she fought her battle for about three years. 2006-09.

Her foundation, headed by her bff, Alana Stewart, is currently under investigation for fraud.

Yes, RELAX! Celebrate the moment. Just follow-up with your docs as scheduled! Love, Angela

7243
Posts: 223
Joined: Feb 2011

Sandy ... such good news! Ok ... as for Farrah, I understand that she elected to do radiation only when originally diagnosed vs. combined chemoradiation. She was treated at a renowned cancer center in southern California ... with a great reputation. Some people elect to do radiation only after "informed consent" ... at one point, radiation alone was thought to cure early disease and you'll see early clinical trials of this, however research shows combined chemo-radiation has the best local control and best overall prognosis related to decreasing distant metastasis. I hear she did ok until the 2 year point when liver metastasis was identified. And the rest of the story is known ... I think your oncologist can run through prognosis with you based on your stage. Now, take good care of your lovely self, eat well, meditate or relax in the way that works for you, live and love your life right now and rejoice! You are beautiful ... take good, good care!! xoxoxo sending love and strength right now, in this moment.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 846
Joined: May 2011

My neighbor went to Sloan Kettering for Squamous cell cancer of the esophagus.The protocol is radiation, surgery then chemo. But she insisted on no radiation or chemo. So Sloan did the surgery as instructed without first shrinking the tumor with the radiation and her recovery was horrific. Unimaginable. Then the cancer returned she did not go back to Sloan but agreed to take chemo at a local hospital. She was a tough lady and did not believe she could die and could call the shots almost right on up until the last couple of weeks. I still wonder if they had done what the doctors advised her to do, if she would still be with us. It's the same as Farrah, I believe.

pjs62
Posts: 95
Joined: Sep 2011

That's great news Sandy!! I am very happy for you...& am sure your PET will be fine as well. Celebrate this great 'milestone' in your journey....you earned it!!
I know when I was 1st diagnosed alot of people said 'oh you have Farrah's cancer'! No I have my own cancer!! We are individuals & cannot compare ours to others. Yes it maybe 'anal' & we may have similar treatment but the outcome is different & all our own. I read more about Farrah after my diagnose but just for 'ideas'. (but I'm not going to Germany for treatment! heehee)It was a sad time for her & she will be remembered...for her hair, her run on the beach.....
Sandy please relax & enjoy this time.....you've been thru alot & 'worked hard'. I know you've read some of my 'blogs' & know I have 'recurrent' but as I said we're all individuals, our drs may have different treatments, etc. So although I may say 'why me' I still feel very happy for those, like you, who beat this monster!!
Blessings & hugs...celebrate you!!!!

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 846
Joined: May 2011

Your profile picture really suits you. You have a very generous spirit. I am praying for a good outcome for you and for us all.
Fondly,
Sandy

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

Hey Sandy....been waiting to hear this news and am so happy that there is no more tumor!!! Yeah!!! Do not worry. Take this information of no more tumor and relax. I too worried about the Farrah thing but watched the movie and read up on it and from what I gather it is the same as everyone else is saying. She either was not treated aggressively enough or did not want aggressive treatment when liver mets showed up. Keep us posted...and relax. :-) Hugs, Marilyne

shirlann54
Posts: 161
Joined: Aug 2011

So happy for you .It's over you did it.You will start feeling better.Take care of yourself.You have been thru alot dont push your self too hard.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 846
Joined: May 2011

I kind of had a nervous meltdown this week. Couldn't sleep had horrible back ache and then an outbreak of Herpes for the first time in a very long time, which explained a lot. I am going to talk to the doc about all this on Tuesday. But so much of it just came from an elation that was in itself stressful. Now all of a sudden I am interested in doing all kinds of things I haven't wanted to do in a very long time. But I was symptomatic for a long time. My Onc. said the reason you feel better now is because you had CANCER before treatment. Duh!

nancy4's picture
nancy4
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi Sandy
congrates !!! you did it!!! I am following you and hope I get the same outcome!

I am finfishing up my 6 week anal cancer treatment~ 2 rounds chemo with port and 6 weeks radiation 5 x a week...got very sick and the butt vaginal burns are rough but with creams and pain killers seem to take edge off.

I too saw the farrah story , so heroric..I thought she made it look almost easy. i was shocked she died and am too concerned of my outcome. I think she had the same treatment we did but hers mastized into her liver and I think it was a matter of time????

I am now reading on this board ( new member today) about the after effects....yikes.....fused vagina/butt???
Have you experienced any of this? uncontrolable gas urine leaks abdomonal upsets?
looking forward to hearing from you!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3017
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry that you've had a rough time lately on the emotional side. However, it WILL get better. I still have my ups and downs 3 years out, but it's so much easier now than say 2 years ago. I felt like absolute crap before I was diagnosed, but was too afraid to admit that anything could possibly be wrong with me! It took some time after treatment ended to really feel good again, but I do! You will too! We just have to ride this wave--thank goodness we all have each other to hang on to!

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 846
Joined: May 2011

No diarrhea in the last several weeks. My last tx was August 15th and the hardest part of the recovery was in the three weeks following that treatment. I think we can have waves of side effects for a while so I am not counting my chickens yet. But I feel better than I did before having had cancer treatment now. As far as urine leaks - I am better - much better than before. But I had ovarian cysts the size of grapefruits that were discovered after the diagnosis. You are young. You will recover quickly. Be sure and use a dilator. That is really important.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3017
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry that your diagnosis has led you here, but you have found a great group of people who are here to support you! We've all been there, done that and are here to help you. I'm glad you are tolerating the burns as best you can--that was the roughest part for me too. Hang in there, because once you are done with treatment, things will improve quickly and you'll be feeling better real soon!

As for Farrah, we'll never know why she did not survive. But please know that this cancer IS very treatable, with a high percentage of survival. You have received the standard protocol, just as I did, and I am now a 3-year survivor. You are going to lick this!

About all the possible side effects, there are many. But I will tell you from my own personal experience that after awhile, most of them resolve themselves. In the beginning of my post-treatment phase, I struggled with diet issues (what and what not to eat), urgency, leakage, etc. That has all gone away. Now I eat whatever I want and very seldom pay the price for it! As for the fusing of the vagina, make sure you talk to your doctor (rad onc or gynecologist) about getting a vaginal dilator and begin using it as soon as you are healed enough. This will keep things open.

May you have a swift and complete recovery.

AZANNIE
Posts: 390
Joined: Mar 2011

The toughest for me were the radiation burns, but it does get better - you might not think so at the time. I'm 3 months post treatment and feel better than I did a few months ago. I try to stay away from spicy foods. Congrats on finishing your cancer treatment! Hopefully, one of these days, they will find a less brutal way to destroy cancer cells.
The radiation does a number on our system and it takes awhile to heal.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 2009

Hello Nancy, Welcome, sorry you had to find us. Is this your last treatment day, if I read correctly it is. I got a certificate and a balloon, and that was 6-30-09, and I am doing great. Just wanted to say yes there will be abdominal upsets, gas, and bowel issues, in which your drs can tell you what the best way to handle this is. The healing takes time, but one day at a time you will get better. How can any cancer live through this treatment. The cure rate for anal cancer is one of the best. Doesn't that sound odd, but what I'm trying to say is that we have a great chance for a cure. I pray that you will be healing everyday from now on. Lori

AZANNIE
Posts: 390
Joined: Mar 2011

Congrats! Great news! Celebrate!

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