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Hello everyone, I have started three groups so far but none of them are as important to me as this one. I am a Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor of ten years now. I was diagnosed RIGHT before I graduated High School back in 1996 and was graced with a quick session of chemotherapy and survival. I didn't want to make this group specific to survivors, as I feel all cancer fighters at all levels can benefit from everyones experience regardless of their current status.

Although it has been ten years since my battle it is still very raw for me to talk about. Even now as I type I am getting all teary!

Now as a mother I fear the repercussions of my choice of giving birth to my beautiful little lady. I had to battle with the idea of not being able to have kids (as I was told by doctors in the past) due to chemo. So when my body was host to a little spirit I was astonished and troubled. Obviously I made my decision. One that to this day I still have mixed feelings about.

Anyway! I don't want to blow my proverbial "wad" here so with that, welcome, I love you although I don't know you and I hope this group can help alleviate your anxiety and elevate your spirit.

-Selene
by on Feb. 9, 2007 at 7:25 PM
Replies (471-471):
AuntieM
by New Member on Dec. 27, 2014 at 5:55 PM
My name is Monica. In 2012 I was diagnosed with Anal cancer. My oncology team were very upbeat and said they had an 85% cure rate with this kind of cancer. Usually one full round of treatment takes care of it. My case was complicated because I also had Crohn's disease.

I began chemo and radiation immediately. I had to stop taking the oral chemo after about a month because it just made me too sick. And my radiation therapy lasted longer because I had to cancel several times due to being so ill.

I finished treatment right after Labor Day in 2012. Unfortunately, the treatment destroyed my colon and it got removed that November. When I was first diagnosed I weighed 165 lbs. The day of my surgery I weighed 134 lbs. When they removed my colon they also removed my rectum and anus and left me with a large open wound to heal from the inside out. Wound care and hyperbaric therapy helped quite a bit but it got to a certain point and wouldn't heal any further.


Earlier this year I had a follow up CT scan and my cancer had returned. Which is why my wound wouldn't heal. They had me do an MRI and found the cancer had moved into my pelvic bone a little. My team determined the only way to get rid of it would be to amputate my leg. They said that was the only option.

I fell apart for the first time since being disgnosed. Completely lost it. Luckily I have five brothers, one sister, two sons, a husband, and numerous extended family who are very stubborn. They wouldn't let me give up.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America declined my plea for help due to my open wound. Guess they only deal with certain complex cancers. My brother called Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Within two days they had all my records from Swedish Cancer Institute (where my first team was), and I had an appointment by the end of the week. We told them what the other team said about cutting off my leg and they scoffed at that and called it an extreme measure.

So I have been through chemo and radiation again and am topped out on the radiation. My last CT showed the tumor in the bone is still there and is inoperable as they would have to pretty much remove my pelvis. The soft tissue tumor is still too large for surgery so we are in wait snd see mode. Both tumors are showing necrosis in the center so they are dying.

I go back for more scans in February and I'm hoping at least the soft tissue tumor is small enough for surgery and we can get this wound closed.

My greatest fear is that they decide there is nothing more to be done. I have two 4 year old grandchildren I want to watch grow up. My son's, while full grown, still need me close. And if I die I'm afraid my husband will drown himself in a bottle and I won't be here to drag him back out. I don't want to die but I'm not afraid of it. I worry who will take care of my family.
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