My name is Frankie Melendez. I am 46 years old and I am a colon cancer survivor. I was diagnosed on Sept 18, 2015 with an apple size tumor in my colon after my doctor had me do a CT scan the day before. I originally went in thinking it was IBS because I had gone to the emergency room with really bad stomach cramps, pain, and vomiting, which were symptoms I had been having for two months. The ER doctor said it was my gallbladder. Well, when I went in to see my doctor and told him about my cramps, pain and losing over 20 pounds in a month; he knew it wasn’t my gallbladder. That’s when he ordered a CT scan for me to be done the very next day. On Friday, September18, he showed my wife and I the scan and tumor; my wife asked if it was cancer and he said yes, most likely. My wife started to cry and my doctor and I comforted her and reassured her I would be okay. I had a sense of relief knowing that we finally knew why I was hurting so bad and that we were going to do something about it. It did not hit me that the tumor was cancer until days after my surgery.
I had successful surgery two days later on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. My doctor/surgeon removed the tumor and two days later, he told us it was cancer and that I had Stage II colon cancer. He tested 22 lymph nodes and all 22 of them came back negative and showed no signs of it spreading. Had I not had the surgery, he told us that he would have given me another week to live, because my colon was almost 100% clogged and my kidneys were starting to shut down and my bowels were next.
I was in the hospital for five days and I was up and walking two days after surgery. Two weeks after being released from the hospital, I was back at work and beginning to exercise. I met my oncologist two weeks later and had lab work done. My tumor marker score was a 3, which is perfect. We also got results back from tests done on my tumor and my reoccurrence score of it coming back without chemo was 12%. Now, my oncologist is very confident that chemo is not needed but wants to continue to see me every three months for the next two years and wants me to have a colonoscopy every year for the rest of my life, which I do not mind a bit. I had my first colonoscopy on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016 and the results were; no polyps and the section where my tumor was removed looked good.
I am cancer free today! YEA GOD!!! I am very thankful and blessed to have God, my wife (Mandy), and my family and friends here for support and thank them for being there for me as I start this journey. I am ready for the fight and I am looking forward to whatever plan The Good Lord has in store for my family and me.
Frankie Melendez, Jr.
Survivor 2015Return to Faces of Blue