Patient / Survivor
In March 2007, I rushed to the ER with what I thought was appendicitis, then to find out I was missing 2/3 of my blood volume. After five blood transfusions over a 24-hour time period, I was wheeled into the operating room where they found a cancerous tumor in my ascending colon.
When it was all over, gone were my ascending colon, my right fallopian tube and ovary, and 15 lymph nodes – 8 of which turned out to be positive.
My diagnosis? At the age of 39, I had stage IIIC colon cancer.
I was on Folfox4 and had a 5FU pump as my chemo regime. My chemo treatments took eight months of me going for three days in a row every other week.
I worked the entire time I was on treatment, and decided I needed to find a reason for my diagnosis, which turned out to be advocacy. (Two years after my colon cancer diagnosis, I ended up being diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a double mastectomy.)
In 2009, I was featured with 11 other survivors in the Colondar, a calendar that is done by The Colon Club. That led me to being a volunteer for the organization and I am now the executive vice president.
My advocacy work does NOT stop there. Through The Colon Club, I learned about Call-On Congress and began to attend them each year. I am also serving on the Grassroots Action Committee (GAC) for Fight CRC. Working for this organization is a passion of mine and has enabled me to broaden the audience that I am able to reach as a survivor.