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Survivor Story: Roger Rojas

Roger Rojas Kingsville, TX

Roger Rojas
Kingsville, TX

My name is Roger Rojas, I live in Kingsville, Texas with my family.  I am an Inspection Consultant for a company called Base Line Data, Inc.. I graduated from Texas A&M-Kingsville with a Major in Industrial Technology and Minor in Business Administration.

There has been a history of cancer in my family. My grandmother passed from Lymphoma that spread to her bones. My aunt passed from colon cancer that spread to her liver. My dad had a tumor removed from his colon, but no cancer.

I was diagnosed with Stage II Adenocarcinoma of the rectum. This has drastically changed my life for good and bad. I had a colonoscopy on October 1, 2008, followed by CT scans and PET scans and various bloodwork.  I was given radiation treatments from October to December, five days a week. Along with radiation treatments I received Chemo(flourouracil), via an infusion pump seven days a week. In January I went through lower rectal recession to remove the tumor. After surgery I went through the fulfox regiment of chemo from Febuary to August. I have bloodwork taken every three months along with a flex sigmoidoscopy.

I am now cancer free. I suffer from my bowel movement problems everyday, I just watch what I eat and try to control it with medicine. If I have an accident I just clean up and move on. I suffer from neuropathy, but hopefully with time that will heal itself. I started exercising and feel like that helps a bit. But I am cancer free and I’ll take that any day. Prior to my diagnosis my only symptom was slight constipation.

Cancer has had many effects on my life, mostly on my children. It’s hard to explain colon cancer to kids. I have a strong support network behind me.

Currently I try to avoid fried foods, but no major changes to my diet. I just eat smaller portions to avoid constant trips to the restroom. I control my constipation or constant trips to the restroom with lomotil and stool softeners. I have a constant urge to have a bowel movement, this is an effect from the radiation treatment. I can no longer hold it for too long. Along with this, I do have pain. I suffer from neuropathy in my hands and feet. I also suffered muscle loss due to the chemotherapy.

My words of advice are, never give up or lose hope, no matter how bad the diagnosis. Anything can happen. Be prepared to ask the doctors everything and anything. I wish I would have asked more questions.

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