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Is there anyone out there?
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korzyniowski posted:
Hi Everyone

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.
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forJesus responded:
Hello there,
This is the first time I've come to anything like this, either. I was diagnosed with rectal cancer last spring, and have gone thru all the treatments (inc. chemo/radiation, surgery, and now chemo again). I also am 48. This is my 2nd, independent, bout with cancer - I had breast CA 10 years ago,( this is not related to that). I completely understand the depression and efforts needed to stay positive. My son was 19 when I had breast ca, so I don't have the teen at home right now, which I know that puts a large added stress on you. I am single, so live alone - in some ways this is a blessing, in other ways quite difficult.
Here's the thing, we need to find our hope, our reason for pressing on thru the pain, the fatigue, the depression. My body is not my friend right now, it is unpredictable, embarassing, it leaks and has little control. I often don't want to leave the house, because I don't know where I might get stuck in a bathroom. I say this just to say I understand the horrors of this situation. My personal strength comes from the Lord, I don't know how I would get thru this time without Him. I don't live anywhere near you, I live in Washington state, but I can offer a listening ear, prayer, and empathy.

It will get better, this will one day be a part of our past. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, seems like a terrible way to get stronger to me! But I think there is some truth in it. Sorry for your suffering. It is heartbreaking, but you have to believe that it is survivable. Constant pain & fatigue will get you down, I wish I had something to suggest, I hope that something is found to treat the pain soon, perhaps even has been by now.
 
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Viveahora responded:
Hi, I read your story & wanted to share mine with you, in hope it will not only help you, but me as well. I am 42 & diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer back in 2005 at age 35. I completely understand your fears, your anxiety, anger and your feelings of hopelessness. It is very normal, to go through all these emotions, while undergoing this type of struggle in ones life. It is difficult to relate or really have people understand, how very difficult fighting cancer could be, unless they have Cancer themselves. I guess, that's why they like to refer to people as survivors, because of all the battles we face on a daily basis just to get through the day & the sheer hope to someday be normal again. I do not like to use that phrase for myself, because it does not seem fair to say, that those that passed lost their fight, which to me, you cannot lose your fight to Cancer, unless you stopped living your life at all, before your passing & not after.I have never reached out to a cancer group. I don't normally share my story, but tend to naturally feel more comfortable with those who are recently diagnosed or undergoing treatment. I have undergone 3 surgeries, radiofrequencies, infusions & oral medication throughout the past 6 yrs and expect more. I hate the smell of the drugs, dread the side effects & detest feeling horrible during the treatments, but face my fears for the sake of my children & because they need me. I hope you know, that no one is alone in their struggles, despite many medical differences, we are all just trying to cope and survive the side effects in order to reach a goal of remission. God bless & believe in the power of prayer & believe you can be cured.


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