Editor’s Note: We thank Dana Cannon shares this story of vigilance and persistence in the face of multiple pre-cancer and cancer diagnoses in her and her immediate family. Showing there is hope when you listen to your body and advocate with your physicians for your health and the health of your family.
My story starts when I was 27 years old. I woke up not feeling very well. I got my kids off to school and thought I had to throw up. When I did, there was nothing but bright red blood. I knew I was going to pass out and I told my three year old to give mommy the phone. I went to the hospital. The initial thought was that I had a bleeding ulcer. What I did have was stomach cancer, from a polyp the size of a grapefruit. They thought I was going to die.
I had surgery that removed half of my stomach. Then four years later, the cancer returned. This time surgeons removed countless polyps and the rest of my stomach and some of my colon. Just in time, as I was getting scoped often in the stomach and the colon. The love of Jesus got me though it. I did not have to have any additional treatment.
Prior to this, no one in my family had ever had health problems like this. Then one day my middle girl, Amie, was looking pale and she fainted. She was 16 years old. I knew needed to get her scoped. She was in there a very long time. Finally the doctor came out, he said she had over 75 colon polyps. Wow! He tried to remove a lot of them during the procedure. She went back every few months to remove some more. Eventually, she had 80% of her colon removed. A few years after her colon surgery she also had some of her stomach removed as well. She is 29 now and is healthy and happy, and just had a beautiful baby boy. She will continue regular scopes in the future.
When my oldest daughter was 18, she too was always anemic and had bright red blood in her stool. We made an appointment to have her scoped, and discovered she too had stomach polyps that were removed during the procedure. Later she got pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful healthy girl. Following the birth of her daughter she had many large polyps removed from her stomach. The doctors tried not to remove her stomach, and succeeded. Then not expecting her to have another baby she was pregnant once again. Her daughter was almost three at the time. She was vomiting so much blood all the time. We thought we would lose her and the baby, but once again the Lord blessed us. She was so sick they had to take the baby early. He was such a little fighter, now a big handsome four year old. Two months after he was born my daughter was so sick they removed her stomach. Luckily she did not have to have chemo either. She is doing great, we are so blessed. Yet, we know there will come a time our grandchildren will have to be scoped too.
I am so blessed I love being able to volunteer in the chemo room today. My third daughter is doing fine, no polyps. She is now 28. No one in my family or their father’s family ever had any of this. It is so very important to get scoped upper and lower! Yes, Get Your Rear in Gear is simply amazing. My girls and I love being a part of it. God Bless You All!