I went in for a colonoscopy in November 2012 at age 52. Colon cancer doesn’t run in my family and I had no symptoms, so I wasn’t really worried about the procedure. To be honest, the only reason I went in was that I had to use up the money in my “flex care account”. The last thing I expected to hear was – you have cancer.
I was devastated. I was now a cancer patient and had no idea what that really meant. I had a tumor the size of a golf ball so now it was time to find a surgeon to have it removed. We interviewed a few and the one I eventually picked came on a very good recommendation and he was awesome. In January 2013, I had the tumor removed. Three out of 24 lymph nodes came out positive so chemo would be required – another devastating blow.
I found an oncologist who I absolutely loved. I think that one of the most important things you can do is to make sure you have a good rapport with your doctor and that you trust in his or her ability. After having surgery to remove the tumor, six months of chemo, numerous lab work visits, CT scans and months of shots for a blood clot, I am happy to say that July 25th will be my three year anniversary of being cancer-free. I will always see my oncologist for routine lab work and that’s okay by me.
My husband was my biggest cheerleader through my whole ordeal as were my parents and my family. I also knew my girlfriends would be there for me but they went above and beyond with meals, gifts, cards, visits…you name it. I also was very fortunate to work with a great group of people and they were all so supportive while I was on short-term disability from work.
My friends and family have also supported me the three years I’ve walked the Get Your Rear in Gear. Every year I’ve walked I’ve won the award for most money collected by an individual. This year, I raised $2,826 and my goal is to raise more money every year I walk. I was fortunate enough to beat this terrible disease and this is my way of giving back.
Being a cancer patient is very surreal. After the crying and the realization had set in, I decided that cancer was not going to win. I was going to beat it! There were times I didn’t want to go to the next chemo session because of the side effects but with my family, friends and lots of prayers, I made it and won. Never give up and never give up hope.Return to Faces of Blue