It started back in July of 2008 when I had a little bit of blood on my toliet paper. I thought it was just hemrrhoids. Being a mother of 3 kids this would not be unusual. So I used the creams and it seemed to work. Then in October it happened again and I still thought it was hemrrhoids so I used the usual creams and it seemed to work again. In December it was back and I started not to feel like myself.
January 9, 2009 I took a bad fall down my steps and hurt my tailbone pretty bad. Within a couple of days I had pretty bad rectal bleeding, which scared the hell out of me. When it happened again a couple days after that I called and made an appt. with my family doctor. I didn't get an appt. until the beginning of February. Both myself and my doctor still thought it could be hemorrhoids but he referred me to a colorectal surgeon to have them checked and he said they would band them and that should take care of it. He also said he wanted the colorectal surgeon to do a colonoscopy.
My appt. with the colorectal surgeon was on February 19, 2009. This was the beginning of the real journey. The colorectal surgeon did a rectal exam and also put a small scope in to take a look (how humilating this was). He spotted what he thought was a polyp in my anal canal up against my sphincter muscle. From there he told me that I would have a colonoscopy 4 days later. All of this started going so fast I didn't know what to think.
On February 23, 2009 I went to the hospital to have my colonoscopy. He spotted the lump and took a piece to biopsy. It took a week to get the results. I went in to see him for my results and received bad news; it came back "Inconclusive". So, he took another biopsy right in his office, without putting me out. I just want to say that it was one of the most painful things I have ever endured. I had to wait another 5 days for these results. Again, I went back to the surgeon, who did another biopsy, another lab and another "Inconclusive" result. At this point, I can tell you I cried so bad. This was on a Friday and my doctor was so mad that he cancelled all his appointments for Monday. He told me that we were going back to the hospital and he was putting me 'out', and keeping me out, until he got a conclusive result. So that's what we did! The result was "Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anus".
After I finally received my conclusive diagnosis, the rest of the testing began. The surgeon referred me to an oncologist (whom I just love). He is older and has been dealing with cancer for 45 years and with this kind of cancer for 40 years. I feel much safer in the hands of a doctor that has more experience in this rare cancer.
My treatments started April 20, 2009 with Chemo 5-FU & Mitomycin and radiation. What a day to say the least it was really scarey! My second round of Chemo was on May 18 - May 22 and boy did I get really sick! I lost 7 lbs over a 4 day period and became dehydrated. They had me take a break from radiation for a week. I am now at the end of my treatments and have only 4 days left of radiation. I have to say the break did me good. I feel better than I have through the whole thing.
My story has a lot more to it but, in summary, this is how it went and still goes. I am a bit scared of this "monster" ever coming back and I hope to God it is gone!!!! I think it is. I don't have pain like I used to and no rectal bleeding. So I pray very hard and Thank God everyday for giving me another day.
It is extremely hard to find information on this type of cancer and also hard to find people going through the same kind of cancer. I wished I would of known about this site early on. I could have, and still need to, converse with people going through the same thing.