Sunday June 9, 2013
I had not realized there could be “good” news when it came to cancer. Now I know there is. I had not expected to hear from the colorectal surgeon until, Tuesday at the earliest. What a shock when I answered my phone and it was he! On a SUNDAY!
Doctor told me that it is “ANAL” NOT Rectal. That is the first piece of good news. The biopsy pathology confirms Squamous Cell Carcinoma. This is the better of the kinds of carcinoma’s than he had warned me of. He then went on to say that statistically this type of cancer, “Can be CURED with chemoradiation.” He would go on and explain that, “Statistically, there is an excellent expectation that this should not require surgery. And, we can preserve your bottom.” The statistics are approximately 80% cure vs. 20% recurrence rates. I sure hope I am in that 80%.
That is the best part, NO Ostomy or Colostomy. I should continue to be able to poop just like most of the rest of the World!!!!
He was clear that this did arise, “On the dentate line.” That is the line that differentiates the anus from the rectum. The skin changes at that point. It is called the dentate line because, it sort of looks like teeth. Imagine a graph showing multiple bell curves smooshed closely together. It looks or must have to somebody exploring that area of the human body looked to them like teeth. Apparently, back in the 1500’s folks were probing and ‘splorin’ down there. People certainly have different interests from one another.
Anyway, the doctor said we caught this early. He described it as a T2 (2 centimeters in length & plaque stage covering 10% or more of the body surface (T2)) and an N zero or N1. This means that it is not very deep and the nearby lymph nodes are not substantially swollen. If they were considerably enlarged the treatment might include surgery. But, as such he feels confident that chemoradiation should do the trick.
He did say it will be “pretty rough. Your bottom will become very sore.” The skin there is so thin to start with. The Radiation doc already warned me that my “groins will become somewhat raw.” Groins? I did not realize that we actually have two “groins.” We only hear people talk in the singular, “I pulled my groin muscle.” or “My groin is killing me.” But, I guess it makes sense really. There is, after all, a joint between each of the upper legs and the pelvises of the main body.
So, GOOD NEWS ITS ANAL CANCER NOT RECTAL OR ADENOCARCINOMA!
I am SHOCKED that any Doctor would be working on Sunday. He said that the oncologists will call me. He will install the implanted central venous port or “port” as I have now become comfortable with calling it. Though, the colorectal doctor said it might be uncomfortable. A few friends have confirmed that the port will be uncomfortable or more so.
The treatment I receive will be Mitomycin + 5-Flourouracil (5-FU) + Radiation Therapy (RT). Some types of chemoradiation causes infertility among a dozen or so other negative side-effects. Already been there done that. Fortunately, fertility is no longer a desire or a possibility. Of course, one must also be having sex for any chance of a fertile issue could arise. Drat. Not the fertility part. The sex part. Not to thrilled about the skin rashes and burns and nausea parts or heart attack, etc. But, the trade-off is unacceptable. ChemoRadiation it is!
Oh! I get TWO new tattoos! One “dot” on each hip. For anchor marks to assure proper placement of the irradiation machine (x-rays).
WOW WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW what a fucking relief. I have a diagnosis, stage, and treatment plan.
I am SO GRATEFUL to my SON, my Friends, and Family. For all of your love, care, worry, checking in on me, and one friend who is also, fixing my old PC that hasn’t worked for nearly two YEARS!!!
This. Is. A. GOOD. Day! 🙂