IT'S BEEN 9 MONTHS TODAY SINCE CHEMO/RADIATION ENDED

  • hebrewman

    Posts: 1367

    Jun 11, 2013 9:59 AM GMT
    hey guys, i updated my profile this morning, but i wanted to share my latest update with those of you who have been so very supportive in the past. so, here is a cut and paste of what i added today. again, thank you all for your support and encouragement. much appreciated.
    aaron.............


    UPDATE UPDATE.... 11 JUNE 2013. A MILE STONE SO TO SPEAK, 9 MONTHS OUT OF CHEMO/RADIATION
    today i mark the 9 month mark out of cancer treatment for anorectal cancer. the battle just to feel 'normal' has been anything but easy. having my pelvic floor obliterated by radiation and muscle tissue in and around the buttocks, the thighs, and 'inside' the rectal area has made life nearly impossible at times. the tissue must be remodeled into 'normal' tissue and that involves a great deal of physio therapy. guys, do a google search for a cutaway of the 'male pelvic floor' and see for yourselves just how much plumbing runs through it. i've been pissing razor blades for nearly 10 months as the area constricted due to radiation. for me, to this very day, the feeling of the radiation burns is still in my mind. the smells of the chemo room and the sounds of the machines are forever part of my memory. and yet, throughout it all, i did it all by myself. no one went with me, no one was home to hold me when i was in pain and no one was there to comfort me when i saw the physical changes mutate my body. had it not been for my ever faithful boston terrier, maccabee and my neighbor erica and her husband and her two adorable children, i never would have made it. my dog was one of the most comforting beings in my life. ever protective of me prior to my cancer diagnosis, he's even more protective of me as are the dogs at my marina in which i belong. somehow, they know that 'the dog whisperer of parkside marina' was feeling poorly, they circle around me like a pack member in danger. i'm not making this up. they all gravitate towards me whenever i'm around, and even the 'shy ones' venture close to me. i love animals and i think they know something was not quite right. if only humans could develop that kind of sensitivity.
    so, there you have it. nine months of fighting, struggles, crying, ups and downs. i continue to move forward. i'm not exactly sure how much longer i have on this planet, but, for now, i'm trying to make the most of it. and i thank my fellow rj brothers for reaching out and giving me words of hope and encouragement. i greatly appreciate it.
    AAron....
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    Jun 11, 2013 12:15 PM GMT
    Aaron, Congratulations on the milestone in your recovery.

    You've got a strong spirit and IF DOGS LOVE YOU---THEN YOU ARE A FINE HUMAN BEING.

    Keep finding your strength in the creatures and people you can love.

    And remember that some strangers are on your side too.
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    Jun 11, 2013 12:22 PM GMT
    Aaron you rock, man! Keep on keeping on!
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    Jun 11, 2013 1:21 PM GMT
    That's very inspiring to me,
    I hope others might inspire from your struggle as well.
    Keep fighting, never give up.
    With all my heart, I wish you complete recovery.
  • hebrewman

    Posts: 1367

    Jun 11, 2013 1:25 PM GMT
    you guys rock. i cannot thank you all enough. having to fight this battle has given me new insight onto things. having the dogs always surround me at the marina though, is quite humbling. the more i'm around dogs, the less i want to be around people. and maccabee has been such a good dog during all of this. actually curls up under the covers next to me, pushing against where the tumor broke through. he's protecting the area. again, thanks man. and i'm always available to chat about this. it's very cathartic.
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    Jun 11, 2013 1:27 PM GMT
    Congratulations. I wish you all the best. I also am saddened that you were all alone through this. I honestly wish I could have been there to help you through it.
  • hebrewman

    Posts: 1367

    Jun 11, 2013 1:30 PM GMT
    TheQuest saidCongratulations. I wish you all the best. I also am saddened that you were all alone through this. I honestly wish I could have been there to help you through it.


    thanks man. appreciate it. i think i'm stronger for facing it alone, although i do bawl from time to time just thinking about some of the things i've seen and the procedures i've been through. again, thank you for your support.
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    Jun 11, 2013 1:36 PM GMT
    You really are a fighter. Stay strong hebrewman! We are rooting for you, even if we can't be there in person. Your determination is inspiring.

    I also agree - dogs have an ability to detect a need for comfort that we will probably never possess.
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    Jun 11, 2013 1:54 PM GMT
    Congrats Aaron on getting through your course of treatment. I agree that pets are a huge part of a recovery. Also - this kind of thing makes us appreciate each other more than ever. Hopefully - you'll be free of cancer from here on out!
  • madsexy

    Posts: 4843

    Jun 11, 2013 1:56 PM GMT
    WOW congrats on that life achievement! HUGS!!!
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    Jun 11, 2013 2:12 PM GMT
    I had no idea what you were going through. Congrats on hanging tough, and give that sweet dog a hug for me.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Jun 11, 2013 2:49 PM GMT
    You make us all stronger with your courage. Keep up the good work!
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    Jun 11, 2013 3:05 PM GMT
    hebrewman said
    TheQuest saidCongratulations. I wish you all the best. I also am saddened that you were all alone through this. I honestly wish I could have been there to help you through it.


    thanks man. appreciate it. i think i'm stronger for facing it alone, although i do bawl from time to time just thinking about some of the things i've seen and the procedures i've been through. again, thank you for your support.

    Doing it alone must have been tough indeed. You have my greatest admiration.

    My own cancer radiation treatment, which wasn't as difficult as yours, began 2 years ago this August, and formally ended 8 months later, now merely being monitored. It didn't involve chemo, just 6 weeks of daily radiation therapy, surgical implant of radioactive "seeds" and hormone injections.

    Best of all I had my husband with me, who'd had the same cancer, treated successfully by the same doctor 7 years earlier, so that gave me the most confidence. Offsetting a little the great distrust I have of doctors and their truthfulness.

    I also didn't have to go alone for the daily radiation treatments or the periodic tests (the invasive tests were tougher), about 20 miles away. Not that I was really weakened, or being sedated, it was just damn 6:15 AM when I had to leave the house in total darkness every morning, still half asleep! YUCK!

    But when my husband couldn't drive me, like when he had an office schedule conflict, our friends volunteered, actually INSISTED on driving me themselves, refusing to let me take the wheel. Gay friends, straight friends, it was very humbling to have that kind of love shown to you. And to my husband, because sometimes they drove me just to give him a break, to let him sleep in an extra couple of hours for once, and not have to race to get down to his office on time after my treatment to begin his own full day.

    Don't friends really amaze you at times like those? And unlike taking something like a loan of money from a friend, which can be divisive, accepting this kind of help is actually bonding, I've found, and strengthens friendships. It certainly has for us, and it apparently did with your straight neighbors.

    As for the marina dogs, you may be aware that work has been done on developing cancer detection dogs. It had been observed that some dogs seem to know when a human has an active cancer, and research done to discover the method, perhaps by smell, and the reliability, to see if it can become an early detection tool.

    Some dogs also anticipate epileptic seizures before they happen, again the method unclear, perhaps a subtle change in the person's behavior, known to happen during the "aura" or prelude to the main seizure event. So some epileptics have medical service dogs, who can also guide & guard the incapacitated person during the seizure episode. A seizure doesn't kill you, but a fall down a flight of stairs or off a balcony can, or striking your head against a coffee table, or if it happens in public and people think you're drunk or on drugs and mistreat you.

    I looked into it myself, being epileptic, but I'm fairly well controlled on meds. And I don't have the grand mal variety (as formerly termed) with the violent muscle convulsions, therefore a dog not as critical for me. I also always wear a medic alert bracelet, so hopefully if I'm found alone I'll receive proper care.

    So perhaps those marina dogs really did know something was wrong with you. Other than a possibly slower responsiveness, or strength in your voice.
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    Jun 11, 2013 4:11 PM GMT
    OP let me give you a hug *HUGGS* I watched a loved one go through chemo, and everyday I would watch them, I cried for them in the inside, the hair loss, the unwanted appetite, and a diminishing persona that was slowly eroding.

    I want to say to you to keep going, keep fighting.

    Much love.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jun 11, 2013 4:45 PM GMT
    Thank you for the touching post. There is nothing like the love of a dog to warm your heart. Good luck in your battle. We are here for you. Stay strong!!icon_smile.gif
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    Jun 11, 2013 7:41 PM GMT
    Congratulations. Your positive thoughts and strength during this are inspiring. Keep us posted.
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    Jun 11, 2013 7:44 PM GMT

    Right ON, Aaron!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 11, 2013 7:45 PM GMT
    yeah!
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    Jun 11, 2013 7:47 PM GMT
    fist bump brother! big hugs!
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    Jun 11, 2013 7:50 PM GMT
    WUV you A
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    Jun 11, 2013 9:40 PM GMT
    First and foremost , congratulations on that milestone , no worries mate , with your will , they will be a lot more of those .
    I had radiations 5 years ago , needed those to shrink a benign tumor before it could be removed safely , and after all this time , i can still remember the smell ..Aarrghhhh....
    You WILL NEVER , find a more loyal companion/roomate and a great healer than a 4 legged mate !! They are never tired to comfort you , and are always here for you , look at those eyes they are full of love ..
  • BlackBeltGuy

    Posts: 2609

    Jun 11, 2013 9:58 PM GMT
    GOOD LUCK AND RIGHT ON AARON!!!
    VERY TOUCHING AND HEROIC

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    Jun 11, 2013 11:08 PM GMT
    AAron, you already know you have my sympathy for your struggle. Congratulations on nine months, and thank you for sharing the update.

    It is just horrifying to see so many people my age and younger -- some who are friends and family, others I know just a little -- being attacked by cancer. So many of them don't make it. You (and MuchMoreThanMuscle, and Art_Deco, and no doubt many others here we haven't heard from) have gone through so much pain. I dearly hope it gets better. Perhaps all the well wishes here will help.

    I have noticed that not only dogs but also cats can sense a person's suffering. It's hard to tell, because animals are always drawn to me, but I do think you are right that they become more protective when you are in pain.

    (Oh, and such a dedicated employee, AAron, although most people won't get the reference. icon_wink.gif )
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    Jun 11, 2013 11:17 PM GMT
    I always tell people that there some amazing men on this site. I know I'm right....stay well brother.
  • hebrewman

    Posts: 1367

    Jun 11, 2013 11:36 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidWow! Congratulations are in order for your making it this far. I'm not clear since you didn't expressly say so but I'm hoping you're in remission and that you're in the clear.

    I had a similar experience with anal cancer but my treatment was only six weeks long. I received radiation everyday and by week five I was in so much pain and was suicidal. More like angry suicidal as every time I went to defecate I wanted to blow my brains out with a gun just to say "FUCK YOU!" to the extreme pain I felt. The radiation disperses and I had to rip my urethra open every time I wanted to take a piss. That's how far from my anus the radiation traveled. It was like shitting broken shards of glass and the "pissing razor blades" comment you made was something I went through as well. Especially in the beginning when I didn't remember to rip my urethra back open from being burned shut.

    My prostate will more than likely "implode" instead of enlarge since that area has been irradiated as well. I'm concerned about that area of my body and hope to address it with a progressive medical doctor.

    You've been in pain for such a long time. I hope there is a way to alleviate the pain or that it will swiftly improve sooner rather than later.


    And I agree, animals are amazing and dogs, especially, are very healing and empathic creatures.

    Thanks for sharing your story.


    like you, my radiation and chemo (pill form-- xeloda 5 pills mon-fri)along w/ the radiation mon-fri. the treatment was for 6.5 weeks. and like you, i experienced the mind blowing want to blow my brains out pain pissing and crapping. i still feel like i'm passing a school bus through a garden hose and even now it's never consistent. did you read my response to thread about 'the worst pain you've ever experienced'. yeah, the sheets of skin falling off. the pain so intense you really did want to blow your brains out. nine months out, i can still 'feel' it. but, i am slowly, ever so slowly working my way out of the cancer hole. i should ask my oncologists about the prostate. i HATE how radiation scatters... you can only imagine how my PA created an uproar in the treatment room. in retrospect, it was sort of funny. i still miss certain 'easy' functions. hopefully those too will come back online.
    you my friend, have given me some hope for the future.