Shannon's Cancer Blog


Any stage 3 survivors out there please give a shout out. My anxiety is really increased. My friend who was also stage three went to have a Digital exam and she had previously been clear. Dr. told her he found three areas. She is having to have a biopsy. I so want to beat this cancer! And live my life! I am so happy that I can be there for her and I have to be strong for her. But inside I am scared to death

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Hi Shannon!
Itotally get it! Especially when someone you know is going thru a possible recurrence. I am Stage 3 and am 6 years NED! Please try and reassure your friend that more times than not, those "areas" are scar tissue. Better safe than sorry to be sure-but as they say-let's not go there until we have to go there.As far as your anxiety-it's totally normal. A little blood on the tissue can make me anxious. I will say that as the months and years pass, I think less and less about it. Many days go by that this nightmare never crosses my mind. I think when you hit that all important 5 year mark that really helps but time does alot of that healing as well. We all are living with our new normal and some anxiety is a part of it. Rest assured, it does and will get better. Hugs!
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Thank you so much Sara! I so needed your words this morning. Yes, blood and even different smells freak me out. I have been feeling good but when I read her message yesterday I could feel it in my chest. Thank you again!
Sara likes this comment
Breathe, meditate, pray, go for a walk...
These all help me when anything is causing anxiety. Sending hugs,love, and prayers
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thank you Lori
2 years post treatment-I just got an all clear this week from colonoscopy and CT scan
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I was stage 3, seven years ago. We never know what’s going to happen so I work on enjoying the day. That’s all any of us have. Take care of yourself love
4 people like this comment
thank you! So true!
I'm was stage 2. You didn't say how far out she was, but many times scar tissue is misinterpreted as dysplasia or early cancer.
I hope it's not cancer.
Shannon likes this comment
Me too Easterly! She is 16 months post treatment.
I was stage 2, completed treatment 10 years ago...but still occasionally have blood in the anal area and there is definitely scar tissue. Second Sara's comment that those "areas" are probably scar tissue. The strange times that we are living in increase our stress...hope you can reassure your friend. HUGS
Shannon, Cheryl like this comment
Hi Shay, What you are feeling is very real. It's always at the back of my mind but I try not to let it take up too much space. I focus on the present and look to the future without fear; and what I do today matters most. I'm almost at the 3-year mark, so I don't feel that I'm out of the woods yet..and at 5-10-20,etc... it will always be on my mind- I just don't let it rule me anymore. Doing things that make me happy really help. :)
Shannon likes this comment
Thank you Maggie!
Hi Shannon, I was stage 2 and 2 years out and still very nervous about every symptom that's out of ordinary. I loss vision to my right ear and right away the first thought was a tumor. As it turned out just clogged with nasty wax so I hear you. As Sara mentioned, probably scar tissues but nevertheless until your friend gets the all clear, u both will be on pins and needles. She is blessed to have your support.
Shannon likes this comment
God for sure gave us each other!
Hi Shannon,
I am 10 years cancer free. almost 11. I was staged 3B.
Four years ago I had “something” show up on a scan.
To be sure all was well I had a biopsy. It was scar tissue.
The biopsy was the only sure way to rule out anything BAD.
I am praying that is the case for your friend as well.
Remember you are stronger than you think. Try to stay positive.
Shannon likes this comment
Thank you Linda! Stay strong! Congratulations on your NED:)
I am now stage four after 4 years out with no lymph node involvement. It came back to my liver. They were successful at radiation last year. My oncologist is hopeful and feels it is easy to treat with pinpointed radiation if it pops it’s head up again. I just try to plan my days as everyone else. I have had family pass from COVID and try to keep the moments in prespective. Do not let fear hold you back.
Shannon likes this comment
Love this Laura! Thank you
My friend was told it was skin tags! Praise God🙏🏻
Cheryl likes this comment
Hi Shannon,
I am 5.5 years out. Stage 3B.
Shannon likes this comment
Hi Shannon - I am stage 3 also and just had my 5 year NED in July. I have learned over the years that the anxiety of the cancer returning was something I just had to cope with. It was a little thought that was always in the back of my mind. Sometimes more in the front of my mind. Keep going to you check ups as you are and know that as time passes you will feel less anxious about it. I think scans are the worst. The stress I would feel after scans was upsetting. I think it stems from the shock of being diagnosed with anal cancer in the first place. None of us saw this coming or even inagined such a diagnosis. If we had the first shocking diagnosis - well- we think it happen again. Of course we need to remember that reaccurance is very rare and we must move on with our lives. We all understand and have been there. Sometimes we need to take it one day at a time. One scan at a time.

Cheryl, Shannon like this comment
Hi Shannon, Once about two years after treatment, a new doctor did the DRE. I saw from the look on her face things were bad and she went to get my regular doctor. Long story short...I have a ridge of scar tissue that feels like something bad and the new doctor was just not familiar with this. I also have had profuse bleeding and skinny stools...all the things that were signs of cancer before I got diagnosed. Unfortunately, the treatment leaves us with the same issues we had before and makes us panic.

The further out you are, the calmer you'll get.

Shannon likes this comment
I am stage 3 survivor, 8+ years out (July 2012 is my anniversary month). I still have a lot of anxiety which I keep inside and don't share with anyone. When I feel that way, I hop on BFAC and read the posts which encourage and inform me. I think anxiety is part of surviving this and life in general these days. Once I hit the 5 year mark, it lessened for me a little. That milestone helped make me feel better.
Shannon likes this comment
Hope you friend is ok.
Happy birthday week!
Shannon likes this comment
Thank you! She is good!! It was skin tags!
Lori likes this comment
Happy birthday Shannon!
Shannon likes this comment
Shannon, please send us some news...hope you got some good news for your birthday!
Shannon likes this comment
My friend and I are doing good. It was skin tags that my friend had. I had a digital exam on the 1st of December. Results were good. I had quite the bowel movement that morning. Needless to say I about came up offf that table when I they did the exam. I tried so hard to relax.
Helen Marshall likes this comment
I have been exercising more and I love feeling stronger and more flexible.
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I was talking to another AC survivor. We were discussing how before we had treatment of distinct smell with our bowel movement and passing gas. We are over a year out from treatment and we feel like we smell that smell again. Anyone else out there experienced this?

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Beans seem to have an immediate extreme effect.
Jeanie likes this comment
I believe I smell differently now
Sorry Shannon I can't say that I experienced that. My smell all depends on my diet. At times I don't have a smell at all and other times, it smells pungent. I did remember post treatment i did have a chemical smell but chalked it up to chemo.
When I have passed gas it unfortunately is with stool 😳
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Vital Info


July 7, 2019

Missouri 65542

December 4, 1972

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous cell carcinoma

March 31, 2019

Stage 3A

over 6.1


How it scares me

How important life and family are

Keep me positive. Keep me going.


Soft blanket, cards

Siteman St Louis MO

Drink lots of water and Gatorade

Rest, pray and exercise

June 17, 2019


Changes in bowels, narrowing of stools and maroon blood in stool.


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