I have never done this but I am really struggling emotionally. I am 48 years old. I was diagnosed and treated for stage 3 anal cancer three years ago. I have a husband and a 14 year old just entering high school. My life would be stressful in an ideal world.
Here are my issues. I live in constant pain. I have all my organs but I have skin damage, fissures and recurring bleeding. I really cannot go to oncology since they are no help at all with my current issues. I have been to an anal PT, been through the oxygen chambers, do MANY health related things including constant applications of salves, close management of my diet, etc... I worry that things are going to go downhill and that I might lose function. I am waiting to see a skin specialist at Dartmouth but these appts always take forever. And...I am not sure she will have any ideas for me.
So, the other reality is that I do not know any young cancer survivors or even that many women in menopause. That has been a bit of hell. It also has required finding so much medical support. I feel isolated, depressed and like I will never have a semi-normal life. I am driving my family crazy. Even my friends keep their distance these days. That is hard as I am a very social person.
I do have a monthly support group here in Manchester, NH but not one person is close to my age or an anal cancer survivor. I was also surprised to learn recently that no one else in the group is in pain. I know my situation could be so much worse but somehow that does not help me to deal with my own emotional trauma or to deal well with the pain.
Today is my 14th wedding anniversary and I am SOOOO depressed. My god. Does it ever get any easier? I thought that the treatment was hell. It is hard to stay positive in the face of all of my symptoms.
At any rate, I would love to find a real lie friend in the Southern NH area. Seems impossible? There have to be other young survivors here.View Thread
Thanks for responding. I went back and re-read my post and thought, no one will respond to that! Must have been a really bad day. I actually have been working with my depression ie low levels of serotonin et al for some time. Been trying to treat it with a neuro-chemical regime that is prescribed and monitored by the neuroscience institute, kind of alternative. I actually broke down and got a prescription for Celexa last week but am really concerned about some of the side effects. As a result I have not taken it. In my opinion, even one of the relatively common side effects could be disastrous for me. Are you female? A huge percentage of my issues are due to induced menopause. However, the things that are most pressing at this point are related to anal and rectal function. I know that sounds bad since you lost yours. I have mine but they are malfunctioning! Alas...Have you found a good support group? I did find one here in NH for survivors of female cancers and anal cancers but it is ending due to lack of interest. Why were we not told we would live in pain after the treatment? Too many questions, I guess. Thanks for responding. I sincerely appreciate it. It is comforting to know I am not alone.View Thread
I had an almost impossible time eating during chemo. I found that I could tolerate Reeds ginger beer. It helped with the nausea and it is sweetened w/ pineapple juice, I also ate ground slippery elm bark in oatmeal daily for months following the treatment. My stomach lining felt ulcerated and this helped to heal my stomach. I suggest researching foods that reduce inflammation. Fish is particularly helpful. Also juicing is really helpful but hard to manage. I try to stay away from processed anything and only eat whole foods. I eat a lot of brown rice, vegis and good chicken (no hormones). I also take fish oil, probiotics and try to balance my emotional state (this is the more challenging part). Yoga helps tremendously. If you want more specific advice I could look back through my files for food ideas. Please let me know and good luck!View Thread
I know your message was very recent. I just want you to know that I am a 48 year old survivor of anal cancer (although I often feel I am a survivor of the treatment). because I am female the treatment had some pretty devastating affects on my internal organs, not to mention my virility.
Although my prognosis was not as hard to take, I was stage 3, certainly what your family is going through is very similar to what mine went through. I have been cancer free for a few years now. I also want to see my son complete high school, go to college, get married...it is a challenging thing to have to combat this disease so young.
Keep in mind that squameous cell cancers grow very slowly. Don't buy into their "5 year" BS. Pardon my french but your husband is young and strong. Feed him well. Pray. Eat right. My blessings are with you...View Thread