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Survivor Story: Patty Smith

Patty Smith Spring Lake Park, MN

Patty Smith
Spring Lake Park, MN

At age 50 I was diagnosed at stage 3B colon cancer in May 2008. This, after years of colon issues (that my MD dismissed for 10 years straight!)- I wish I had known then what I know now and I do wish I had understood that a colonoscopy is the ONLY way to rule out colon cancer. Oh how different life would be if we all had those chances to go back and take different paths…..

The last year was my year from h*ll. Horrificiness took on new meaning as I was pumped full of morphine and raced to Mayo Clinic with an obstructed bowel. I came home a week later with a colostomy and a long path of fear and unknowns ahead of me. Six months of chemo, three hospitalizations for chemo related issue,  and a follow-up surgery in February to reconnect my colon and ditch the colostomy bag. Next week the port is being removed. I got my follow-up directions from the oncologist last week. CAT scans and colonoscopy yearly and so forth.

I am not sure what lays ahead, but have every faith that the battle has been won and is behind me. My oncologist, bless his heart, says he is convinced I have beaten this. I was so sick from chemo that there is no way any cancer cells survived that!

Currently, I know I need to share my story to turn this journey into one of proactive-activism.  I want to encourage people to listen to their bodies, become informed of the signs and symptoms, and to break through the human denial surrounding us all and that prevents us all from meeting this challenge before it becomes our worse nightmare.

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