May 23, 2013 - 3:40 pm
I've been following this board since 2009 when I was first diagonsed with anal cancer. There was no forum for anal cancer at that time. Although the cancers differ, the fear and emotion was similar. I found comfort from this forum. I have also checked in from time to time to see how everyone was doing. I didn't post, but I read and got to know everyone's stories from their posts. I was truly inspired by the preserveance and will to fight this beast that so many past and present displayed. It gave me hope and it also helped me looked beyond my own situation. I have prayed for many past and present. Over the past couple of years it has been so heartbreaking to see so many of your dear friends pass. On the anal forum we have sadly lost a few, including our incredible founder Joanne. That hurt terrbly and I can't imagine what it has been like for this forum to have to endure the losses you have.
My intent is not make anyone feel bad, I apologize if I have. I just wanted to express my admiration, appreciation and compassion for all of you. Through your posts I have learned so much about colon cancer and I take that knowledge and share it with people. I encourage them to get colonoscopies, to ask questions and to not ignore what their bodies are trying to tell them. Since anal cancer is rare and people somewhat cringe when it is brought up, there are few opportunities to spread knowledge to a receptive audience beyond our forum. Sadly, colon cancer is not as rare and I try my best to encourage awareness about it. I was asked to speak at my church one year about my cancer experience. It was a little awkward getting up there talking about anal cancer. So I took the opportunity to talk about colon cancer, colonoscopies, etc. I had several people tell me that they were encouraged to finally get a colonoscopy after hearing me speak. Please know that I was speaking for all of you.
I wish you all strength and healing.