Nov 18, 2012 - 10:13 am
Wow - So so grateful to have found this discussion board! The posts show incredible strength, wisdom and generosity of spirit.
Before having had a biopsy Wed. under general anesthesia, I was told, should it be positive, this is a very treatable cancer and the treatment of choice is chemo and radiation. The surgeon thought I'd be comforted and that this news would be welcome. And...I've been down this road before for a different cancer. I know how difficult it is to keep up with work during radiation treatments and during the months following recovering from radiation treatment and surgery. I know how depressing and lonely it can be to be a cancer patient -the stigma that comes from other people being reminded of their own mortality and wanting to push that reminder away. All that to say, it's been 7 years since my last course of treatment for a different cancer and I worked hard to get my life back -- my energy as well as social and work life. I was really, really, really hoping for a negative result not only because I want to live but also because I really, really, really do not want to go through treatment again.
You know where this is going....
I did not get that negative result. Luckily I was alone at home and could pace back and forth stomping my feet, swearing, and crying. Wait...what if they are wrong? I called the office back, trying to mask the tears in my throat, saying that sometimes results got mixed up or misinterpreted. No, in this case the results were clear and definitive. Could I get the pathology report? Yes, I could drive by and pick it up. I read it and yes, the results are unambiguous.
Have told just two people in my personal life and the fewest number of people who need to know at work. I had to begin the work conversations immediately as I am leading several projects and I expect the treatment to be intense and to begin as soon as possible.
I did not tell more people in my personal life because the cancer hasn't been staged so I don't know the severity and prognosis. If it is in fact caught early, I want to be able to say that.
What's next? An appointment with an oncologist. A PET scan. A CAT scan.
If you are reading this and feel like answering questions, I have a number...
What's a PET scan like?
I also don't have any experience with chemo therapy and no idea what that will be like. I can't impagine what its like to have that at the same time as radiation.
I also don't have experience with radiation therapy applied to the perianal area and worry that it might damage the surrounding tissue.
Also, it sometimes hurts for me to sit at all and often hurts for me to sit for long stretches, yet I'm a reseacher and all my work is at a desk. Anyone in a similar situation? What have you done to cope?
Finally, at least two people on the anal cancer discussion board seem to be in the research triangle park area of NC... I am too. Any advice on treatment and services locally?
And finally, finally, I'm scared and don't want to hurt family and friends or push them away with my fear and anxiety. Any advice on how to handle this fear?
My thanks to anyone who has had the patience to read this far. I feel as if I know you and want to send you my love and surround you with healing thoughts.