Oct 28, 2012 - 10:29 pm
Hello, October 28, 2012
My name is Genevia but affectionally known as GiGi. This is my story of anal cancer diagnosis. For me, finding this site has been a blessing and I want others to know my experience and that they are not alone. I'll update this post as the future unfolds. I appreciate your prayers.
How This All Started:
So, sometime late 2011, I had started noticing some red streaks in my poo but it was bright red so I wasn't too concerned, knowing a prior colonoscopy showed an internal hemorrhoid. My poo also had what I call a divot in it..as it if was passing by something solid on it's way out. My doctor agreed and basically said to eat more fiber. In early 2012, I started having some discomfort when stool would move into my rectum. Upon telling him about it, he referred me to a gastro doctor who did nothing other than hear my story and again, advised me to eat more fiber. I continued through the summer with increasing red streaks and pain. On August 27, 2012 after hurting all weekend with what felt like bad constipation (through I was going regularly) and bloating, I had a BM where it was totally covered in red, some dark red blood. I knew something had to be done and was honestly quite frightened at what I saw. I went immediately to a walk in clinic and that doctor scheduled me for another colonoscopy. That was Sept 19, 2012. The surgeon told us that it was not a hemmy but instead was likely cancer. I was devastated. That's all he would say other than he had done a biopsy on a tumor of 3cms and it was early and very treatable. On Sept 21, 2012 (two days later) he called me to confirm it was cancer, Squamous Cell Carcinoma Anal. I had a CT that same day which showed nothing else unusual and the multiple doctor scheduling and visits began. Another surgeon on Sept 28 2012. That visit consisted of a digital rectal exam, the intelligent finger exam and conversation about treatment. Likely, chemo and radiation only. Surgery is typically not done unless chemo and rad fail because of the risk of removing the splinter which would result in a coloscopy bag for the rest of my life. Oncologist on Oct 2, 2012. He explained everything..what is squamous cell, the treatment plan, side effects, survial rate (mine is 90% after 5 years). What he didn't explain, I asked from a list on my phone that I'd compiled over the last month. More appointments were scheduled. PET (that's the scan which requires a radioactive IV injection which makes any cancer glow), the radiologist and more oncologist appointments. I was scheduled to start chemo on Oct 22, 2012 but it was delayed because the radiologist wasn't ready yet. They want to start the treatments on the same day. The chemo extensifies the radiation while done at the same time. If it helps, I'm in.
Things to know:
I hope this helps someone searching for information and relieves some stress surrounding anal cancer.
I can't say enough how important my faith is for me during this. The Lord is my Saviour, my provider and my defender. He is or can be the same for you if you believe.
God Bless and I appreciate your prayers.