July 14, 2017 Way back near the end of 1991, I developed a bad pneumonia. They kept giving me various antibiotics which didn't help. By the time a doctor recognized I might have AIDS, it had progressed to a critical level. I was placed in the hospital where they determined I had Pneumocystis pneumonia. While they were trying to flush out some of the buildup, I came within a few seconds of dying.
Anyway, after spending 2 weeks in intensive care, and another 2 weeks in a private room, I was ready to go home, but was still very weak. The last few days in the hospital, I was having extreme difficulty achieving a bowel movement. What I didn't realize at the time was because the only thing I had been able to eat the previous 3 weeks was hard boiled eggs and milk, there wasn't anything to excrete. The resulting straining was what caused the beginning of my hemorrhoids. Because of my HIV status, the doctors advice was to leave them alone unless they became a serious problem.
Fast forward 25 years to late 2016, and I began to notice an unusual growth at my rectum.
On May 17, 2017, I had a colonoscopy and was referred to a Colorectal Surgeon to have the hemorrhoids removed and the growth biopsied.
The procedure was done on June 23 and the biopsy results came back on July 11 when I found out the result was positive.
I am now scheduled for my initial chemotherapy and radiation treatment consultation on July 26.
At this point (July 14) the prognosis is very good. The surgery went well, which I am told is the worst of the procedure, and I am healing nicely with no apparent complications.
July 22, 2017 Anatomical Pathology Report (June 23, 2017)
Received in formalin labeled "Harrell, Alfred" and "right anterolateral hemorrhoid" is a 2.5 x 1.5 x 0.8 cm tan-purple wrinkled rubbery excision of skin and mucosa which is inked at the surgical margin, serially sectioned and submitted entirely in OA17 -1000 Al.
Microscopic examination is performed.
Right Anterolateral Hemorrhoid, Hemorrhoidectomy
July 26, 2017 Just returned from my consultation and there is good news and bad news. The bad news is my latest PSA test is high. This means I could have some prostate cancer. So I am now being scheduled for quite a few different procedures, including a biopsy to determine whether I do indeed have prostate cancer too.
If prostate cancer is present, then we need to treat both the anal and prostate cancers simultaneously. If it is not present, then we will simply treat the anal cancer.
My first appointment is next Monday, July 31, to have a PET scan to determine the distribution, if any, of the anal cancer so treatment can be specific to the areas needing work.
The next day, August 1, I go in to get a chemotherapy port placed in my chest. This will facilitate easy injection for chemotherapy treatments.
Then on August 9, I go to a urologist for biopsy to determine whether I do or do not have prostate cancer.
July 31, 2017 The PET scan went well. I almost fell asleep in the machine but was awakened just before I was out. Will get the results on Wednesday. Tomorrow is my Port Placement at 7:00 am. That's too early for me. We will have to get up at 6:00 am. I don't normally get up until 9:00 or 10:00.
August 1, 2017 Had my Port-a-cath placed today. A port makes the chemo treatments easer. Here's a 17 minute YouTube video of a port placement. Caution: This video is not for the squeamish Port Placement
August 2, 2017 Results of the PET scan are very positive. There is no visible sign of cancer, however, we will still go through the Chemo and Radiation treatments just to make sure there are no lingering cancer cells in the area.
To the right is one of some 900 images produced by the PET scan, pointing out the major organs. In a PET scan, the radioisotope settles in organs and cancerous cells which show up as dark areas. In this scan only the main organs showed up which is very good. The radioisotope has a half life of about 90 minutes so within a few days it will be totally gone.
The next update to this page should be posted the evening of August 9 after I have my appointment with the Urologist. After he has a chance to take any biopsies and have them analysed, we will determine which forms of treatment are needed. If I have any other cancers, we will treat them both at the same time.
August 11, 2017 My apologies for the delay in posting. We were preparing for a road trip to Santa Fe for a rodeo and I just didn't have the time I thought I was going to have.
The appointment with the Urologist went well. He did his finger thing, and didn't find anything of concern. He did indicate I had to cut back on my testosterone, which I am in the process of doing, as that can effect PSA test results. I should be down to 1/2 ml every two weeks by my next injection.
My next currently scheduled follow up appointment is on August 22. So for the moment everything is on hold. I will be seeing the Colorectal Surgeon for a follow-up on the 25th and my HIV doctor on the 23rd. Probably the next update to this page will occur about August 26. If anything happens before that I will do another posting.
August 22, 2017 Had a follow-up appointment with my Urologist today. PSA is going down and he doesn't see any issues. His thoughts are that my PSA was elevated due to high testosterone levels. Tomorrow I have a follow-up appointment with my HIV specialist where I will give her my status and get any recommendations from her on treatments.