I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer on May 23, 2008 (my mom's birthday). I had gone into the doctor's office with one symptom -- blood in my stool. I assumed that I had hemorrhoids. However, my doctor referred me to a gastroenterologist to be sure. She suggested a colonoscopy, and I balked. I was only 31. I thought I didn't need to have one of those until I was 50. Thank goodness I chose to have one. During the procedure, she found a tumor. Cancer. After a colon resection on May 28th (they removed a foot of my colon), I found out that I had stage three cancer, meaning that it had started to spread to my lymph nodes. And, that also meant that I was going to have chemo. I endured 13 rounds of folfox chemo and am currently NED and in remission.
I have no family history of colon cancer, and the genetic testing we had done indicates that there is no genetic predisposition to cancer. Therefore, I have to assume, based on this information, that I am here and going through this to raise awareness about colon cancer.
I am currently working full-time, raising our two beautiful children, and advocating for the Colon Cancer Alliance. I am the Public Relations Focal for the Central Arizona Chapter of the Colon Cancer Alliance. I work hard to help all of those that are fighting, have won the battle, or that have lost the battle with this disease. Their stories are my story, and we are in this together.
I am also a buddy for the Colon Cancer Alliance. Being a buddy allows me to provide someone recently diagnosed with a sense of hope. I hope that I can be a person that they can talk with about their concerns, worries, fears, celebrations, and joys openly and honestly, and to know that I can truly, really understand what they are talking about. I heard a statement on television that I think sums up my thoughts on why I do what I do: "it feeds my soul." Nothing makes me feel more at peace with my own journey than helping someone else through theirs.
Colorectal cancer sucks. It's preventable. It's beatable, and, it's treatable. All you have to do is get your colonoscopy.