Meet Gina

Patient / Survivor

Petaluma, California

Gina’s Story

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.

Gina’s Advice

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!

Share your Story or Donate

Gina is a stage III survivor who’s found healing through telling her story. Fight with courage, share your story.

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4 comments on “Meet the One Million Strong- Gina Benedetti from California”

  1. 1
    Valarie S on February 1, 2018

    Your Strength and story inspire us all. Thanks Gina for sharing and for being a woman of encouragement.

  2. 2
    Sharalie See on February 1, 2018

    Thanks so much for telling your story. I am an advocate too. Keep up the good fight!

  3. 3
    alyce leibowitz on May 12, 2017

    I started my first colonoscopy, I was 48. I go when I am due. I notice some blood on a tissue and mentioned it to one of my doctors. I went back to to the gastro. I have a polyp and he did not remove it. Could be location. I will get the results on Tuesday. I was not due till 2018, so I guess the polyp was not there.

  4. 4
    Niurka Cristobal on May 2, 2017

    I was also diagnosed with stage three b (2 out of 30) lymph nodes were affected). It was three months after my daughters birth. I also missed almost the entire first year, but am grateful she was always with family. It was quite a journey and I pray to God everyday that this horrible disease does not come back. I am also so thankful for the success of my surgery. Everyday we have here on earth with our children and family is a blessing. God bless everyone going through this difficult journey. There is light behind the tunnel. Stay strong and positive.

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