It's All About You

February 4th is World Cancer Day. This year February 4th is my five year "cancerversaary". On this day in 2010 I was told I had stage IV anal cancer and an uncertain, and perhaps short, future. My husband and I reminisced about that morning over dinner last night. We had fried chicken and as we were enjoying the less than healthy extra crispy skin on our bird we chatted. Our light words became more somber as we remembered every detail of being told. I shuddered just thinking about it. Our words seem to hang in the air and finally we took a moment of silence and let them dissipate like vapor. A painful memory released. We turned the conversation to the here and now and how much things have changed. They certainly didn't turn out as we expected and my personal motivation has changed. At first my goals were short term. The items that made the "short list" (which is all I thought I was getting at the time), first, stay alive. Second, be sure everyone I love knows it. Third, stay alive. As you can tell, it was all about me in those first moments of my diagnosis. I accomplished the short list. It wasn't until three years later, when I realized that all was not lost and I was living on beyond predictions, that I started deeper self examination. I knew my cancer needed a voice. I knew I had a voice and what I had to say wasn't about me. I had been focusing on me, my health and my life but the longer I survived I came to understand that it's really not about me but about fulfilling my purpose. Raising awareness to save lives to ensure that nobody had to "be me". It was time for new goals. Since that epiphany I have become passionate about awareness. It is the driving force behind everything I do for lower GI cancers. 

So when one of our local stations, KSN Channel 3, contacted me about being on the morning show on World Cancer Day it just seemed natural to say yes. I live a pretty unscripted life and it's how I approach telling my story to the public. So, as I typically do, I took a little scratch paper and jotted down what points I wanted to get across during my minute in the spotlight. At the top I write "I have been asked to tell my story". Underneath I indicate the coincidence of WCD and my cancer milestone. I write, "5 years ago - fear, angst, doubt, shame" I skip a couple lines then write "Last 5 years - grown". Then it dawns on me, how the "Story of Me" has changed over that time. I write "It has become more and more about others and less and less about me." Telling my story for me is not relaying the harrowing, odds defying journey I have been on. It's raising awareness so others can know when to seek treatment and offering support and hope to others along the way. You see, it's really not about my story of survival at all, it's about yours!

Annabelle threw a punch at your cancer.
3 people sent you a hug.
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You nailed it! What a great message of hope and healing, thanks so much for sharing. Is it possible for us to view the segment online, I wonder?
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I am sure there will be a link. When the post it up, I will let you know.
What a great message! I am 3 months shy of my 3 year cancerversary for stage 4 ac. I am prayerful that I can make 5 year like you. Although I am still focused on me, I agree the stories need to be told to help support others and prevent. You go girl!
Michele likes this comment
Can say nothing more than "LIKE" this post and the story it tells. Have another bite of that crispy stuff!

Michele likes this comment
Your posts always give me goose bumps and make me cry.. you are really very spiritual in your writings without mentioning God at times.. it is by your actions you shall be known and your amazing Michelle.. I remember watching you on you doing the spotlighted Cancer Day.. very brave .. a survival teacher:)..Happy the day you were born .. we are all blessed..and Yea!!!! on your anniversary!!! huge!! Amen!! God is so good.. those tiny hands that give so much... love you girlfriend! big hugs lots of love and always prayers Sabina..
Michele likes this comment
Congrats on your five years!😀😀. Love thiswe to!! Can wait to see the link! Hugs love prayers xo😘😘😘
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Very inspiring message to all of us! Can't wait to see it when you post it. Enjoy the spotlight! You deserve it.
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I am so glad you are here and continuing to inform and encourage not only the people that find the way here but all you come into contact with. Thank you Michele!
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Well put as always, Michelle. I'm so happy for your having beaten the odds and so eloquently relating your story. It is and should be about you! You are one amazing lady! Love, Lucky
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You are definitely our advocate and activist, just one more reason to love you so dearly. Butt, dear, it is about your story of survival...It's a story I will never, ever tire of hearing so keep telling me chapter after chapter after chapter...
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Michele likes this comment
Thank you Michele for being our voice. I think you looked beautiful and full of hope and light.
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Congratulations on your five year "cancerversaary" Michelle and for continuing to tell your story. 'I Have Butt What' was the first blog I found when looking for online information while waiting for results of testing and to learn of my own diagnosis. As I said to my doctor just this week, who would have thought 2 years ago when I tentatively asked her to check my 'bleeding hemorroids', that I would end up where I am today!
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January 31, 1963 - June 10, 2020

Vital Info


October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

June 10

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3


As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation.


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