Apr 15, 2013 - 4:48 am
Hello to all of you on the site-I just found the site 2 days ago, and have been reading all weekend, and I am so grateful for this site being here.
I am a 55 year old physician, and I just found out 2 days ago I will be starting radiation and chemotherapy for stage III anal cancer on April 29th. I went to see my doctor December 2011 for something near my anus that I was worried about and knew wasn’t right. He said it was a hemorrhoid, and gave me some suppositories for it and since I hadn’t had my screening colonoscopy yet (I know better), he referred me to get that done. The doc doing my colonoscopy said I had a hemorrhoid too, and he didn’t do hemorrhoids. I figured I was just over reacting to the thing on my butt, and since I couldn’t get as close as they could, I was ok with what they told me. Over the next year the thing just got bigger, itched, bled, and was driving me nuts, and nothing was making it better, so I went back to my primary doc, and he decided to take it off in his office in January this year. The 2nd morning after he removed it I woke up to what looked like a crime scene in my bed, and the area had bled during the night. A week later I went in for follow up and he told me then that it was squamous cell cancer, but it was well differentiated, and no cancer at the base, so it looked like he got all of it. He also said there were a couple small bumps in the area, and he wanted me to see a surgeon. The surgeon took a quick look, and I thought he was going to say he could buzz those other ones off and call it good—he said he wanted to talk to the Oncologists, and see if maybe radiation would be the best way to go. I was confused then—I thought that would be over kill. I admit I didn’t know what I was dealing with. He said he would call me after he talked to the oncologists. Next thing I know someone else calls to tell me that I have a PET/CT scan scheduled for last Thursday (today is Sunday), and that I was going to see the radiation oncologist, and the hem/onc after that on Friday. I was wondering what all the fuss was about.
The rad-onc met with me and said I had stage III cancer, as the PET scan showed nodes lighting up in my pelvis, but they weren’t enlarged, and that I would need to start radiation 5 days a week for 5-6 weeks, and maybe chemotherapy depending on what the heme/onc recommended. I got tattooed while a slurry of appointments were being made for me, and I was handed a few packets of info. I have to get a PIC line put in, have ANOTHER colonoscopy, have a radiation planning appointment, and start chemo and rad April 29th. I am working Monday night, and have the colonoscopy scheduled Tuesday afternoon, so I am trying to figure out when to drink the two bottles of colon blast and not be soiling my scrubs at work, or having to pull off the highway on the trip home and have a BM.
Friday afternoon I headed down the road 200 miles to work feeling very surreal, and kind of in a fog. Before I went to the hospital I searched on the internet anything I could find about anal cancer, and then I started to realize what all the fuss was about. I haven’t had a chance to talk to my family, kids and I don’t want to talk to co-workers about this yet. My girlfriend is the only one who knows so far. I am a little freaked out---wondering if I am going to be able to work through all this, if my girlfriend is up for this, if my insurance is up for this…I never thought this would happen. I never thought I would be posting to a support website. It kind of feels like a bad dream at times
I appreciate this website, and any advice. bill