In 2010, I noticed blood in my stool. I suspected it was probably due to a hemorrhoid and didn’t think much more about it. I continued to keep an eye on my bowel movements, and one day, suddenly noticed that not only was there blood in my stool, but also an indentation (which I later found out was called a ribboning effect).
At this point, I became concerned. I made an appointment with a gastroenterologist who decided I needed a colonoscopy. During the procedure, they found a tumor. The day before my 49th birthday, I was officially diagnosed with cancer.
I visited an oncologist and surgeon, neither of which could tell whether I had colon or rectal cancer. Fortunately, I had made an appointment with a renowned cancer hospital in a city nearby. During my first visit to the city, the oncological surgeon ran the necessary tests and verified that I had colon cancer. Luckily it was at an early stage and the surgeon was confident that after an operation, no further treatment would be necessary.
A few weeks later I had the surgery. Recovery, however, was long. My incision was taking months to heal. Four months later, I had my first post-surgical sygmoidoscopy, with the feeling that all would be well. Unfortunately, a new tumor was found directly above the connection point in my colon.
One week later, I found myself back in the hospital having a second surgery. Recovery, once again, was difficult, and included an infection at the incision. Four weeks later, while on a wound vac, I began chemotherapy.
The first few treatments were difficult, especially while trying to deal with a wound vac and a major allergic reaction to the chemotherapy drugs. However, with lots of support from my loving husband, family and friends who made sure we kept our sense of humor, I was able to get through the long months of chemotherapy.
It took almost eight months for my incision to fully close and recovery was tedious. At this point, laughter was the best medicine and truly helped me get through all of it! I'm now passing all my post treatment tests and loving life! During the last year and a half, I have learned that life is incredibly precious, and even while I am mourning a friend who had succumbed to colon cancer, I am so grateful for all that I have and am thankful for having a wonderful, loving husband who was by my side through all of it!