i am so looking forward to 2017. This year has been very difficult and i am hopeful that next year is better.
2016 started like all New Year’s celebrations begin for me. i always have a bit of sadness and feelings of loss for all my friends who died of AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s. And, i experience joy and excitement for all the possibilities that may unfold for us. I have hopes for improved health. Hopes for a continued stable income that meets my needs. Hopes for love and happiness for my family. And, Hopes for greater balance in my life.
And, i hope to find a Dom this year!
Every time i say that this was a hard year, i am reminded that i survived and remain upright as opposed to six feet under. That’s true, but it doesn’t negate the fact that i had a roller coaster of a year.
You see this year in February i was diagnosed with of all things anal cancer. i didn’t have to go through surgery but i did have two rounds of chemotherapy and 28 days of radiation treatments. My last treatment was on April 20, 2016. i won’t belabor the point of how hard it was but will just say radiation burns are excruciating in the anal area. It took about 4-5 months for the burns to heal and the GI disturbances to become manageable. Then, on October 20th, exactly 6 months after radiation treatment ended i found myself in an ICU with fever, horrible GI problems and a critically low blood pressure. i was in ICU for 5 days. It wasn’t until i got home that i was told i nearly died. Having no other explanation for the sudden onset of a critical illness, most of my doctors blamed the radiation complications.
You may be wondering how i reacted when i got the initial diagnosis in February. i had been diagnosed with anal dysplasia (abnormal cells) about 18 years earlier. So i was expecting to get the cancer diagnosis any time…it was always lurking in the background. i wasn’t upset. I didn’t get angry or cry. i just said, “ok, so what do we need to do?”
i have about 5 other major health problems as well, so i just looked at this cancer problem as just one more diagnosis. i tell people that i am a collector of diagnoses. They don’t believe me till i list them all.
i am not telling you all this to scare you or have you feel sorry for me. As i wrote in an earlier post, i keep rising from the ashes like a Phoenix. I continue to live, thrive, & enjoy my life in spite of my challenges.
One note though- men: please request an anal PAP test annually. You do not have to have anal sex to get anal area HPV. Women get your annual PAP smear, and ask to be tested for HPV.
Early detection and treatment saves lives!