Diagnosis

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered I have something in common with Farah Fawcett and Marcia Cross (red head from Desperate Housewives) – anal cancer.
Marcia Cross has become a spokesperson for this becoming more common cancer. It stems from the HPV virus which 80% of us are walking around with. She speaks openly, encouraging others to do the same after learning that many hide their true diagnosis due to embarrassment.
I knew something wasn’t right for a few months. Thought it was hemorrhoids but the pain kept getting worse. My primary care doctor sent me to a surgeon after attempting to do an exam but I almost flew off the table. She did feel a little something. I almost flew off the surgeon’s table too. He scheduled to put me under in order to do the exam.
After the procedure, the person who phoned my friend, who was picking me up, told her the doctor would be talking to me saying, “he did a biopsy and it could be cancer.” Whoever he was needs to read up on his HIPAA – yes I will let the doctor know this happened. The doctor did not speak to me before I left. My friend felt terrible after telling me this. The results I received via email one evening confirmed it. Dr. Acher, the surgeon, phoned the next morning. In his compassionate doctor voice he let me know the treatment is a combo of radiation and chemo. No surgery since it sits right on the sphincter. “The oncologist will be calling to set up your appointment. I will see you for your follow up mid September.”
I’ve met with the chemo doctor, I had her for my iron infusions a year ago. Love her. Later the same day met with my radiation doctor. Love her too. In her southern accent, we discussed dogs, the complexities of the South and photography as much as we talked of treatment.
This Wednesday I have a pet scan with results on Thursday to assure the cancer is contained.
Radiation begins the next Monday, every weekday for about 25 treatments. A port for chemo will be implanted in my chest receiving continuous chemo. (not sure for how long)
There is great success with this combination. Since learning my diagnosis I am learning of others who had this and came out the other side. Though, they all say the process is brutal: digestive issues, fatigue, maybe mouth sores and loss of hair.
I’m getting my ducks in a row in order to rest when needed.

Before my diagnosis, I had registered to hear Mark Nepo speak on his new book, Surviving Storms this past Sunday online. Almost everything he said I needed to hear.
Conversation with Mark Nepo, Surviving Storms

Mind as a Keyhole by Mark Nepo

Beneath the cloud,
everything is grey.

Above the cloud,
everything is light.

Calling the cloud unfair
is being a victim.

Trying to conquer the cloud
is being a hero.

Calling the cloud a cloud
is the beginning of peace.

May we all love each other forward as Mark suggest.
Thanks for reading, Frances

7 thoughts on “Diagnosis”

  1. Do not despair! You will drift over this dark cloud with the strength and soft beauty inherent in your being. We know of your unrelenting ability to master storms from your previous blog entries. I could not admire you more.

    Frances: I was given a dire prognosis in 2008 — even my medically educated son (with an RN in addition to his PhD) started visiting me more often. Now, almost 15 years later, I’ve been told by a well-known oncologist that I’m cured! Of lung cancer no less! Who could have guessed?! I see this happening to you.
    I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!
    So much love and healing wishes being blown your way with the white clouds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, damn it. I am so sorry to hear this my sweet friend. Keep your positive attitude and following up with us. I love and support you with all that I have. You may need to head south of the border soon. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear wonderful Frances, how I wish I could be the wind that blows this storm far from your being. Take as good of care of yourself as you can, extra vitamins, extra hugs from all those available. Our love and wishes for resilience and healing are with you every minute. Love and hugs, Ruth

    Liked by 1 person

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