Hello: In “Tanklets” is this discussion on how to remove anodes. http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/WHRpages/English/Troubleshooting/Tanklets/removing-stubborn-anodes.html
As for getting the rod out, it can always be bent or cut in segments. This does raise the question of how you’re going to get a new anode in place. There are flexible, segmented rods and a powered rod, but you still need some clearance. How much room overhead do you have?