I’m a married mother of 2 grown adult children and I’m a nurse in the cardiac department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. When I had turned 50 in July of 2014, I had gone in for a routine checkup with my physician. I knew that they would have me to a colonoscopy at that time but I was hoping that I would be able to skip it as I didn’t have any family history and I had no symptoms (or I thought I had no symptoms) at the time. Mayo Clinic was working on the ColoGaurd test and I had hoped that I
would be able to do that. My physician encouraged me not to wait and to do my colonoscopy. In the meantime, as I look back, I had had bouts of diarrhea over the last 2-3 months but I also had started a different diet to lose some weight. And I also had some leakage and urgency that I had never experienced before but again, having cancer was the furthest from my mind. So in August I did my colonoscopy and got the scariest news ever, “we have found a mass that we think is suspicious for cancer”. I went home and waited for 2 days before I got a phone call from my physician telling me that I had colorectal cancer and they would be scheduling me to see oncology/radiology/surgery to plan what was going to be my best care in getting rid of this cancer.
Of course, it was a horrible shock and a terrible ordeal to have to call my kids to tell them that I had colon cancer. But after my family and friends knew, there was an outpouring of love, friendship, and kindness that I have ever known. Everyone rallied behind me in some way- phone calls, emails, texts, cards, food, blankets, prayer chains! The level of support was absolutely amazing!
I did 5 1/2 weeks of chemo/radiation; a colon resection in December 2014; then another round of chemo after my surgery. I finished my chemo in April of 2015. All of my checkups since chemo has been clear and I just had another colonoscopy in January that showed no masses. I had 2 polyps removed but they showed no malignancy. I get to extend my checkups to every 6 months now. Whatever you do, don’t give up EVER!! If you aren’t getting the answers you want, get a second opinion. Never settle for mediocre care! Rely on family and friends. You don’t always have to be strong, let others take care of you!Return to Faces of Blue