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New here-my story

horsepad's picture
Posts: 131
Joined: Apr 2012

Hi everyone,

I found this website through Relay for Life - I started a team in our community. I am 51 years old and was diagnosed with Stage Four Anal Cancer on August 10, 2011. I was devasted. I had just retired July 1st. How could I get cancer and it reach stage 4 without even knowing it? Of course, a few months earlier I knew something was wrong but never thought this. I had a UTI, I thought it was related to that. I had scheduled an Alaskan vacation for my husband and I for his 50th birthday. We cancelled that and I began chemo and radiation immediately. In September, towards the end of radiation, I was hospitalized from severe burns, low potasium, blood counts etc. I checked myself out of one hospital (they said they had never seen such severe burns and weren't sure how to help me) and went to a larger hospital. Stronger pain medication got me through the burns. From radiation, I couldn't urinate and had a cathetor for a month which caused a severe UTI. In October, my mother died. In November, my husband died. He was my rock. He did everything for me & granddaughters when I was too sick to do it. I wasn't sure how I would make it without him beside me. In December, another pet scan which showed "hot spots" in my lympth nodes & liver were gone. Thank you God! In January, an MRI to look for more cancer-there was none. In February, surgery to resect a portion of my liver where cancer was located.

Today I am cancer free!!!!! Thank you God. I feel good. I have raised two of my grandchildren for 4 years. They do not know Grandma has cancer but know I have been sick. They lost their "Papa" in November. They have no parents involved in their life. What happens when I am gone? How will they handle losing the only "parents" they know has been my greatest fear.

I have a "team" of 4 oncologists who monitor me. Although stage 4 statistics are not good, I am hopeful. My oncologists (all of them) feel my chances are better than most stage 4. One of my radiation oncologists said to me last week, he thinks I am curable. Curable, me?, what sweet words to me ears!

I am glad I found a site specifically for anal cancer. Since anal cancer is such a small group of people, I was glad I found it.

Good luck and God Bless to everyone here.

Posts: 38
Joined: Mar 2012

You have been through quite a journey! I thank God too that you are cancer free today, but so sorry at the loss of your husband. I can sympathize with your radiation burns - I was in the hospital two weeks with radiation burns, diarrhea and dehydration at the end of my first round of treatment. I was diagnosed 04-07-11 and then after my first round of treatment they found it had spread in my abdomen in September of 2011. So I had more treatment, chemo and radiation. Today, I too am cancer free and several of my doctors feel I am curable also. I am waiting to have tests again in June and trying to get some normalcy back in my life until then.
I have a 16 year old son so I can relate a little to how you must feel about your grandchildren. I just have faith that everything is going to work out. The hardest part for me was putting my family through the worry and pain of seeing me sick. But today I feel like a survivor and you are - and will continue to be a survivor too. I pray for those I have seen on this discussion board and will add you to my prayer list. God Bless you.

Posts: 1255
Joined: Oct 2011

I think it is so important to post some successful stories. This site is a Godsend for myself and others and has a wealth of helpful information, but most of the time it is in relation to some problem one of us is having, so it is refreshing to read both of your stories. I also feel blessed, I had too much on my plate with being a caregiver for my husband also sick with cancer (Multiple Myeloma), taking care of a grandchild whos mom (daughter) was in hospital on bedrest with another baby and dad (son-in-law) in Afganistan, they are both military, along with general help for 3 other grandbabies, and being the only one working and holding insurance because of my husband,....when I was diagnosed. I had earlier symptoms that I ignored because "no time"!!! I was Stage3 and quite large tumor, I needed a colostomy and usual chemo/rad. I became very anemiac and malnurished and was admitted to a local nursing home for 3mo towards the end of treatment. This was about 1yr ago and I am home and as far as that goes last Pet was NED...tho unfortunately I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Last month I had a double mastectomy and margins and the 2 lymph nodes checked are clear. I will be on an estrogen blocker and have some things to deal with for quite a while but truely feel great!! Its funny to say I feel blessed, but both cancers were succesfully treated, and now I am checked on a regular basis so anything else will be caught early. Many positive things have come out of this journey and I pray that is how it continues for all of us. As always, all in my prayers.

sephie's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: Apr 2009

I hate that you have had sooooo much sorrow , pain and suffering. so glad that you are cancer free. your grandchildren are blessed to have you. you already made it thru the hardest parts. but still get some help from Church, if can. you will be here for those precious grands. sephie

mp327's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry to hear of everything you've been through, but you sound amazing to me and strong enough to beat this! I'm happy that you have found this site where you can get support from others who have been through some of the things you have experienced. It's a great group of people. Please keep us posted on how you are doing and I wish you all the very best!

sandysp's picture
Posts: 862
Joined: May 2011

Thank you for coming here and sharing your story. I am so sorry about your husband. I think every night how grateful I have mine one more day. It makes things like "toilet seats" and "shabby furniture" seems so trite when I think of how much it means I ever met him. I lost a daughter 20 years ago and do not want to out live anyone else but God didn't chose to take me either yet. So I just keep asking God what I am supposed to be doing next. Mostly he seems to say "rest", it seems, but hopefully I am gearing up for a good period of service to our almighty one. You are blessed to have those grandchildren although I know it must be an amazing amount of work for you. God bless you! I am so glad to make your acquaintance, even if it did have to be from having this nasty disease. I believe in my heart your doctor is right and you will be fine. Fondly,

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