Patient / Survivor
I had a son a few months prior to having symptoms, via c-section, and was having stomach cramps when I woke up. Every day I would have the stomach cramps, but just for a few minutes. When my son was four months old, I emailed my doctor my symptoms, and she referred me to a GI doctor. He scheduled me for a colonoscopy and endoscopy.
When I came out from the procedures, he told me he had found a tumor. The next day I had a CT scan, the following day a surgery consult, and the next week I was having a sigmoid resection. I had stage IIIC (9 out of 27 lymph nodes infected). Three weeks later I had a port put in and a week after that, on Apr. 1 2015, I started chemo. I was on Folfox for six months.
I am a teacher so I wasn’t able to go back to work once I had surgery and I love teaching. I finished chemo Sep. 2015. I basically missed out on the first year of my son’s life. My son is now two, and I have been in remission since 2015.
Take it day-by-day. I treated myself and gave myself something to look forward to every day. I would treat myself with macaroni and cheese on chemo days, and lots of DVR’ed shows. I had a calendar of when my beloved Seahawks would play and would mark off the days until the next game.
I also tell people to stay positive. Keep things light and find laughter in everything. My husband was always making me laugh during chemo treatments. It made everything so much easier!
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Gina is a stage III survivor who’s found healing through telling her story. Fight with courage, share your story.