Jeanne Angalet is a 57 year old San Francisco Bay Area survivor.
Jeanne's journey began seven years ago with a seemingly routine appointment with her Primary Care Physician for slight anemia. A Fecal Occult Blood test was ordered in January 2005, but it came back negative. Later, a sigmoidoscopy in February couldn't be completed because the colon wasn't sufficiently cleaned out. These innocuous results were misleading, and both doctor and patient alike were startled eight months later, when a colonoscopy revealed a nearly obstructing tumor in the sigmoid area of the colon, and the resulting stage IV colon cancer diagnosis.
The very next month, Jeanne had her first surgery: the removal of the tumor via a colon section. A subsequent PET/CT scan revealed metastases in the omentum, and since there were fast-growing cysts on her ovaries, Jeanne had a second surgery the next year in January 2006, which included removal of part of the omentum, a radical hysterectomy, and an appendectomy.
Chemotherapy started in March 2006: FolFox (5fu/Leucovorin/Oxaliplatin) plus Avastin to remove possible microscopic cells that were in the blood stream. 12 treatments were completed – seven with Oxaliplatin, five without due to immuno-suppression issues.
Since then, she has had three recurrences, and the doctor has used FolFiri (5fu/Leucovorin/Irinotecan) in each case.
Jeanne's scariest episode came in August 2010, when she was hospitalized three times that month due to bowel obstructions. She was put on TPN (total parenteral nutrition) for eight months, but since the size of her bowel obstruction decreased due to an effective chemo regimen, she is now able to eat by following a low fiber/low fat diet.
In addition to standard medical practices, Jeanne practices healing on a holistic level as well. She regularly uses complementary treatments to support her body through chemo treatments: acupuncture, healing energy, and some herbal supplements all help to decrease many of the standard ongoing nuisances such as digestive challenges, stress, and depression.
Despite her desire to work and help in the community, both her illness and treatment have forced Jeanne to cease full-time employment for disability reasons. With what energy she has available, Jeanne finds happiness and fulfillment in helping others diagnosed with colon cancer “because sharing knowledge and compassionate support with each other keeps everyone as strong as possible!" This is why she loves being a CCA Buddy for newly diagnosed patients as well as a community moderator on My CCA Support - our online community. Her story gives hope to many.
Visit Jeanne’s page on My CCA Support.