US, Diagnosed in 2009

My name is Calvin, I am 53, and I was diagnosed with anal cancer on July 27, 2009. I had so much going on at that time. Everything happened so fast. I was told I had anal cancer and I had to go home on the bus by myself. It was a very emotional ride; I felt confused and lost.

I remember it being so overwhelming and it all started with me thinking I just had a hemorrhoid problem. However, I noticed the growth getting larger. I was bleeding and itching too. I knew something was not right.

I had a biopsy performed and it confirmed anal cancer. I was subsequently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I underwent the course of chemoradiation therapy recommended by the oncologist that treated both diseases. Treatment lasted about six weeks but seemed a lot longer. My recovery seemed to take twice as long as the treatment.

I had the best care in Fairfax, Virginia. I appreciate the respectful and kind care I received from key people.

Surviving cancer has given me a new perspective. I now take better care of myself; I quit smoking and exercise by walking. I seriously advocate for all cancer awareness, especially anal cancer. This past summer I was part of Relay for Life and carried a poster of Farrah Fawcett.

Cancer can happen to anyone. It is something you never expect. But I survived and I want to share my story to help raise awareness regarding anal cancer.