Patient / Survivor
At 39, I began to have the typical symptoms of colon cancer. However, because of my age, and because I thought I was very healthy, it never crossed my mind that I could have cancer of any type. I sought medical attention for three months, until finally having a colonoscopy. Screening confirmed a tumor in my sigmoid colon. Three weeks later, I had 8 inches of my colon removed. Six of 27 lymph nodes were positive for cancer, I was stage III.
A month later I had my first of 12 FOLFOX treatments. Six months later, in August of 2016, I had my last treatment. Four months after that my port was removed. Today I like to consider myself healthy as a horse!
Chemo was tough, but I was tougher. I was able to continue working, caring for my family, and attending my daughter’s softball games. I try to live each day with exuberance and with a grateful heart. You don’t realize how great it is to feel good when suddenly you don’t anymore. Today, I feel great!
Talk, share your story, it helps to get it all out. I was only half way in to my treatments when the local Relay for Life committee asked me to speak at their annual event. I did not say yes immediately, but in time all the right words came to me and I was able to put them on paper. It was very cathartic to be able to share my story. I also posted an update every two weeks on Facebook.
On treatment day I would let everyone know how I was doing and what I was thinking. That also helped me to work through all the feelings that a cancer diagnosis can bring. Just today I went on a local radio show to talk about my experience just to help raise awareness.