arrow copy Created with Sketch. FightCRC Logo fcc-logo-light

Sally Wojcik

Patients & Survivors Stage IV Colon Cancer South Carolina
Back to Champion Stories

Story: "March 14th, 2016, is a day I will never be able to forget because it changed the course of my life forever. That was the day I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer with metastasis to my liver. My life before that day was very ordinary, I was 49 years old, working hard as a school nurse and taking care of my home, my husband, and my three children. I lived a very active life, exercised, ate well, and was fit, trim, and healthy. Or so I thought anyway!

"One morning I noticed a small amount of blood on the toilet tissue. Definitely nothing major and from what people speak of with hemorrhoids this seemed like nothing. It occurred on and off for several months. I eventually had an appointment for a blood pressure check with my primary care doctor and in passing mentioned this symptom to her. Thank God she took me seriously! She referred me to a GI doctor for a colonoscopy. The GI doctor said all my blood work was normal, and there was nothing to worry about. I woke up from that colonoscopy with my husband and doctor by my side, and a photo of a 4cm tumor in my sigmoid colon. The CT scan that was done the same day revealed four small tumors in my liver.

"Still to this day, I type this and it is truly unbelievable to me. I met my husband when we were sixteen. The year that I was diagnosed I had never seen him cry so much. Telling our children was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

"The early days that followed are a blur. I had nine procedures, saw five doctors in fifteen days. On March 30th, the day before my 50th birthday, I started chemotherapy. I had six rounds before surgery to remove 68 percent of my liver and the diseased part of my colon. There were two positive lymph nodes and eight more rounds of chemo. I now have a loop ileostomy. Now I am preparing for my second surgery to have it reversed next week."

Advice: "I have learned what is really important in life. Most of the things I hurried to do every day are meaningless. I savor every day. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. We all need to make each day count. I no longer sweat the small stuff. Cancer has actually brought me closer to my husband, my children, family, friends, and God. I feel that it is important to trust your doctors and be an active participant in your care. Don't be afraid to ask questions and educate yourself. Surround yourself with positive loving people. I have received hundreds of cards in the past eleven months. I have all of them hung up on the wall. When I need a pick me up I re-read them."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Stories

Patient/Survivor Stage IV Rectal Cancer

Kristie Reimann

Side Effects, Fatigue, Rectal bleeding or blood in stool, Ongoing change in bowel habits, Narrow stools, Unable to have a bowel movement (bowel obstruction) or constipation, Stomach cramps/bloating/fullness
Patient/Survivor Stage III Colon Cancer

David Coulter

Treatments, Chemotherapy, Surgery
Patient/Survivor Stage III Rectal Cancer

Ashlyn Carter

Side Effects, Fatigue, Rectal bleeding or blood in stool, Other (please explain)