La historia de Shaye Dunn

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La historia de Shaye se compartió originalmente en su página de CaringBridge.


My story began in April, 2004 ago when I was diagnosed with Stage IIIB colon cancer at age 36! After surgery and chemotherapy I had a recurrence just 17 months later when the cancer spread to my left lung. That diagnosis, like the first, was followed by more surgery and chemotherapy. Remarkably, my loyal pup Sophie was able to detect the cancer both times, ahead of any medical testing I had done. I never understood why she was sniffing and whining at my tummy and upper left side, but now I know! Dogs are able to detect a certain scent that cancer cells emit. Who knew?!

I entered SRMC on April 16, 2004 for my colon resection and one month later, I had my first chemo treatment. I had to receive treatments every two weeks and it consisted of 5FU, Leucovorin and Oxaliplatin. As the therapy went along, I developed terrible neuropathy, and by the time I was near my last few sessions of chemo, I could barely stand up or keep from falling because my feet would go completely numb. I also missed an entire month of chemo because I was on a clinical trial, and my counts were too low to continue at one point. I suffered from unbearable fatigue that sleeping did nothing to relieve. After my last treatment in November of 2004 I thought I’d beaten the cancer and was on my way to resuming my normal life. However, a routine PET scan in Sept. of 2005 revealed my worst fear.

I was referred to a cardiothoracic surgeon because my scan unveiled the cancer had metastasized to my left lung. I would now have to undergo a thoracotomy. The surgery took place at Emory-Crawford Long Hospital in downtown Atlanta, GA on October 14, 2005.

Again, one month after the procedure, it was back to the oncologist for another round of chemotherapy. This time CPT-11 (Camptosar) was given in place of the Oxaliplatin, and Avastin was also added. Amazingly, during my first round of chemo, my hair actually GREW, not so the second time around. Not only did I lose my hair, but I’d never been so sick in my life. Even the new anti-nausea drug Emend wasn’t much help. Determined to make the best of the situation, I began coloring pictures for all the other patients at the office who were getting chemo, and soon there was an “Artwork by Shaye” wall there. It was therapeutic for me to do something to help the other patients get through their treatments. I’d also bring “Chemo Puppy” along to help cheer up others as well. He is a stuffed animal with a huge bandage on his stomach that the staff at my colon surgeon’s office gave me.

The second round of chemo was so hard. I grieved the loss of my hair, my weight ballooned because I retained fluid, I looked like I’d been baked in an oven, and oh yeah, did I mention I was sick as a dog? I developed all sorts of other health issues as well, that were caused by the strong chemo - dental issues, kidney stones, and a shot gallbladder, which had to be removed, just to name a few.

I was thrilled to be selected as one of the models for the 2009 Colondar, an award-winning calendar featuring young colon cancer survivors. I was Miss June, 2009.

I was diagnosed w/Crohn's Disease in Aug, 2010. One more bump in the road, but I'm hanging on!

ECHA UN VISTAZO A SU LIBRO "Flushed: El lado divertido del cáncer de colon y la enfermedad de Crohn"

If you want to learn more about some of my struggles with Colon cancer and Crohn’s Disease while having a good laugh, I recommend you get a copy of my book. It's a short read, however, I hope you'll learn to look at the brighter side of life and realize that there is always hope no matter what we are going through. Place an order today! Also available on Amazon!

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