Patient / Survivor
Clovis, New Mexico
I was humiliated to tell my doctor that I have been noticing blood in my stool. I was embarrassed when I left his office with a prescription that could solve my problems.
Six months down the road I was still bleeding, and I went back to the doctor to get it checked out. I had done a lot of research and knew I needed a colonoscopy. He refused at first because of my age (28) but after I told him that I was not leaving without a referral, he finally caved.
As soon as I woke up from my scope, he explained that they found a tumor and I needed to see a surgeon right away.
Two weeks later I met with my amazing surgeon, and two weeks after that I was cut wide open. They removed my sigmoid colon and half of my rectum. I was diagnosed with stage IIIB rectal cancer.
In the first six weeks of daily radiation and 5FU chemo, there were no issues. After treatment I was in constant, excruciating pain for two months. My radiation oncologist just kept telling me to go home and take more laxatives and drink more water. We finally ended up in an ER in a larger town and they finally helped me! They found severe proctitis and ulcers in thirty centimeters of my colon.
I currently have six months of chemo left.
Be your own advocate! I have had to fight my doctors almost every step of the way. If something sounds off to you, follow your gut and make them help you!