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Cancer: Rectal & Anal Message Board

Hi. Newby here

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Old 01-18-2017, 12:46 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 3
obabystar HB User
Smile Hi. Newby here

I 'm not sure where to start but Monday (Jan 16, 2017) I learned a rectal mass taken out of my bum was Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anus. I have a familial history of cancer (Mom died of Colon/rectal) Dad died of Lung, Aunt (Mom's younger sister died from Ovarian) and My Mom's father had Non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
I had no symptoms Except for small, recent bleeding. Had a colonoscopy done in March 2016 (totally clean No polyps or anything). Then had very slight bleeding, (August 2016) went back -- stupid Doctor slapped on a glove shoved it up there and said I was "irritated" gave me Proctofoam and sent me home. Called the office back twice more.(Oct 2016) When they didn't respond I Then started search for new Doctor-- Got sidetracked by the holidays and working on a new house.
Had a Pap Smear (December 2016) (came out clean-No HPV) told that Doctor about the bleeding--who refered me to my present Doctor. He looked up my bum and scheduled surgery 2 weeks later (Jan 10, 2017) (he took out a rectal mass, that by now was sometimes poking out of my rear when pooping) I was just told (Jan 16, 2017 ) that it was Cancer (actually said it was a form of skin cancer) and I meet with my Oncologist tomorrow.
Everything is going so fast. Thank goodness I live in a major city (Philadelphia) where they seem to know what the heck they are doing.. I have no information on Staging yet...but chemo and radiation have both been mentioned to me by the liaison who promptly called me Wednesday.
Have had considerable pain -- manageable with pain killers, sitz baths and rest. But have tried to get back to normal as much as possible. Doctor seemed positive and said "this kind of stuff is extremely curable".
All the information I see anywhere doesn't look promising at all and I can't help but think I won't be around in 5 years. I am 57, never married, extremely active and fit. I feel like I was doing 'everything right:" and my body (genetics) has let me down.
Anyway Thanks for letting me vent and I'll update when I know more

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Old 02-03-2017, 06:16 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 3
obabystar HB User
Smile Re: Hi. Newby here (Update)

Well I got my CAT scan results(Jan 31) NO LYMPH NODE Involvement !! so even after my tumor was around 5cm (partially taken out with the previous surgery) the doctor said he would stage me T2N0M0
The best news possible!. He said it wouldn't change my treatment( if I had been staged T3N0M0)
I'm getting 29 days of Radiation (M-F) plus taking Xeloda (capecitabine) 2x a day (pill form) with Mitomycin given on day 1 and day 29.
My anal surgery has healed nicely. It's a good day when I don't have to think of my rear end..LOL.
"Normal" (i.e. not too soft- what they looked like before surgery) BM's started when I stepped up my regular diet. I have eased off of the stool softener but still take fiber capsules with each meal...
Have scowered websites for folks who have had recent chemo/rad and have found tons of older (2009) posts on another website. But nothing recent so i'll keep posting as to help others.

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Old 03-14-2017, 10:35 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 3
obabystar HB User
Re: Hi. Newby here (Update March 14,2017)

Started the radiation and the Xeloda and as of right now only very mild side effects (hands sensitive to cold, minor mouth sores , extreme fatigue,lots of loose stools) I thrive on routine so I get up at 7am eat breakfest, then take my Xeloda (after 30minutes-I set a timer to remind myself) then off to radiation. Today we're getting socked in by Snowstorm Stella so I had to miss my treatment (I'm Done by March 28!!!) Tomorrow (if roads are passable) then I get another infusion of Mitomycin.
I honestly was so scared of everything, ( the unknown is so scary) but I have come out on the other side (relatively) whole. I actually went to a Sting concert by myself Saturday night (Got nice and close) but because of hip and upper back pain had to pack it in after 2 hours. Not sure what the pain was , Doctor thinks I'm just out of shape. When I think about it, I haven't been *Seriously* active since before my surgery Jan 10, 2017. So, that may have been true.
I hope everyone who reads this finds some comfort. Remember everyone's journey is VERY different. Just try to be prepared as much as possible (I read everything I could get my hands on). I live by myself and have no family around, so I made it clear I would probably need a helping hand if I needed it.
Tell your Oncologist Doctor and radiologist everything (whether you thing it's something or not) they have so many tools available to them to help. My Doctors recognized my anxiety and gave me prescription Imodium, and anti-nausea med BEFORE I started treating so I could be prepared. (Who wants to be flooded with diarrhea at midnight and not be able to have someone get the meds or have to wait till Doctor phones in it?)
If you are having financial difficulty, CALL your credit card people, utilities and anyone else and TELL them about what you are going thru. I found almost all of them have programs for people undergoing medical problems and can help you! In my case I got on programs that waived late fee's and other fees for 6months and allowed me to make less than the monthly payments without incurring penalties. ... If your hospital has a social worker then use them ! I was able to receive funds, meals sent to my home,and transportation support that made going through this easier.

Feel free to ask me any questions. I can answer any thing. Don't hold back fearing it's too *nasty*

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anal cancer, newly diagnosed, rectal cancer

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