I hope that someone who feels hopeless will see the second line of this story right away. I am a 7 year survivor of rectal cancer.
I was diagnosed after my 47th birthday. There was no history of colorectal cancer in my family. My gynecologist did a wellness exam and found positive blood through a digital rectal exam. I had a colonoscopy within three weeks and was shocked to learn of the tumor. Other than this positive exam, I can only remember feeling very tired. I had weight loss, but I was a daily walker. My wonderful doctors at Mass. General Hospital started treating me for T3,N0,M0 rectal cancer. I had a total mesorectal excision with LAR after chemo-radiation. I then had adjuvant chemotherapy for six months afterwards.
Yes, I had lots of complications related to anastomotic leak and recurrent presacral abscesses and fluid collections. I still live with pain secondary to all of this. I am the mother of three and all of them will have colonoscopy 10 years prior to age 47.
I am alive and I am grateful. God bless.