Patient / Survivor
Little Canada, Minnesota
I have always been healthy. I had never contracted the flu or common cold, or even the stomach issues that some of my friends complained about. Once I realized my symptoms, it was too late.
Nov. 2016, I started having blood in my stool and was always feeling constipated, fatigued, run down. I also started having intermittent fevers. I had two very young children at home, a 3-year-old and a baby less than a year old. I thought hormones were to blame, I thought my kids were bringing bugs home from daycare, I thought I was just really tired!
Finally I made some appointments, and ultimately ended in the hospital Jan. 2017. They found innumerable tumors on my liver but it took several days to locate the source of the cancer. I was numb, even as they told me it was stage IV colon cancer.
Colon cancer is so common, of course I’ll survive! My Uncle Joe survived colon cancer at age 84, so at age 31, I will be just fine.
My port was placed and I started chemo one week from diagnosis. It was then that I learned that oncologists don’t believe I will survive past two years since the cancer is so advanced. I went home, tried to get used to my normal, continued to work and raise my kids. But I basically lived in a complete fog for those first two months.
Now, I am ready to fight for my health, to advocate for others. I have seen significant reduction in my tumor burden, and am handling side effects well. I don’t believe that I will “expire” in two years, but I am doing my best to live the fullest life every single day until I can’t.
Find a community of other patient/survivors. They know what you are going through! And don’t be afraid to accept help. When someone asks if they can bring you a meal, do your laundry, let you nap, just say YES!