Thriver Stories

Thriver Stories

These are the stories of anal cancer thrivers. We prefer to use the word thriver because surviving isn’t enough — we believe that every person with cancer should be empowered with the resources to thrive. We welcome you to read the experiences of others who have had anal cancer and encourage you to send your own stories to Please note that these individuals speak about their treatment plans. Speak to your doctor about what is right for you. 


Crissy N

Crissy’s Story: My story began in November 2009 when I thought I had a hemorrhoid. I remember driving to my sister’s house over Thanksgiving and trying to sit on one side because it felt like something was there.



Clare’s StoryHi, my name is Clare and I am from the UK. I was diagnosed with Anal Cancer in March 2011 aged 43. I was having some bowel trouble and thought I was constipated and had piles.


Sue ThriverSue’s Story: My name is Sue Dobbs, I am a 46 year old married mum with 2 children aged 19 & 21. I am from the UK. I first noticed that I was bleeding from my rectum in December 2010.


Jan PhotoJan’s Story: My name is Jan and I live on the outskirts of London, in the United Kingdom. In February 2011, I was diagnosed at stage 3B anal squamous cell carcinoma.




Calvin’s Story: My name is Calvin, I am 53, and I was diagnosed with anal cancer on July 27, 2009. I had so much was going on at that time. Everything happened so fast. ____________________________________________________________________________

Florence’s Story: On October 28, 2010 I received a diagnosis of Stage IIIB anal cancer.  This diagnosis was the farthest thing from what I expected, especially at this point in my life. I am a recently divorced 45-year-old female who regularly exercises, eats well, has never had a major illness and goes to the doctor regularly. (Contains Video). ___________________________________________________________________________

Karen’s Story: My name is Karen. My journey started in the early autumn of 2009, even though I had no idea I had begun a new chapter in my life. The small things, in hindsight (pun intended), are the telltale signs that life will never be the same.     ___________________________________________________________________________

Marshall’s Story: I am a retired diplomat and university professor. In the spring of 2010 I was 65, and had never felt better! I took up exercise seriously several years earlier in preparation for a trip to Antarctica, and kept it up on discovering that I had gained 15 pounds in three years while working at a sedentary third career job.   ___________________________________________________________________________

Martha’s Story: I am a 57 year-old female who, in May 2008 at the age of 54,  began experiencing rectal bleeding with bowel movements while on vacation. Upon returning home, I saw my internist who diagnosed me with a bleeding hemorrhoid after performing a digital rectal exam. ____________________________________________________________________________

Michele’s Story: My name is Michele and I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Anal Cancer in February 2010. My current goal is to raise awareness for not only anal cancer but all cancers that exist “below the belt”. People need to be educated. Doctors need to be screening patients. My hope is that no one ever suffers from anal cancer and if they do they get early diagnosis and treatment. (Contains Video). ____________________________________________________________________________

Richard’s StoryMy story is not that different, I suspect, from many others in this country during the past 20 years or so.  I grew up in suburban New York, and I realized that I was gay in my teens, though the 1950’s and 1960’s were not easy decades to be comfortable living openly as a gay young person.