Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Check check check. Check check check. Check your Booty!

I came across this site the other night. There were stories on there from survivors of colon cancer. This story sounded pretty familiar and I thought I would post it. I feel like right now it is VERY important for everyone to stay positive. Steph has had, and will continue to have some pretty rotten days. Days when she can't help but be a little down. But as her friends and family, we have to make sure to keep our attitudes as positive as they can be. So when I read this story I knew it had to be posted! May this post also serve as a reminder that a colonoscopy could save your life. You don't have to wait until you are a certian age. If you have colon cancer in your family, if you have had problems with your digestion and/or bowels OR if you just have a feeling.....DEMAND a colonoscopy. Just the procedure can prevent colon cancer. Come on, all the cool kids are doing it.

Survivor: Colleen Jorgensen

It was labor day 2005 and my 29th wedding anniversary. Little did I suspect that I would eat something that caused a previously symptom-less tumor in my colon to bleed profusely.

The week that followed was like falling off a cliff into a raging river. My doctor saw me within hours of my phone call. During my visit he said it was probably nothing serious but scheduled a colonoscopy for the next day. As I was coming out from under the anesthetic, the gastroenterologist told my husband and I that he had found a tumor, had taken a biopsy, and that I most likely had colon cancer. We knew for sure when the biopsy came back positive.

We were in shock. I was in perfect health. I had never had digestive problems; in fact I can’t remember when I last even had a cold. My diet had been mostly vegetarian for the past 15 years. This could not possibly be true. But inside I knew it was true. During my colonoscopy I was semi awake and I could see what was happening on a TV monitor. I saw my tumor and will never forget what it looked like.

My husband became my advocate and my subject matter expert. Within days he knew what treatment options were available and what were considered best practices. This proved invaluable as I approached surgery for the first tine in my life. The right half of my colon would be removed along with all connecting lymph nodes. While we awaited the after surgery pathology report, my husband researched the staging of colon cancer and follow-up treatment options.

The second shock hit. The cancer was completely though the intestinal wall and had spread to 3 lymph nodes. Chemotherapy was strongly recommended. I decided to enroll in a clinical trial which added the experimental drug Avastin to the traditional treatment regime. For 6 months I had chemotherapy every two weeks with 4 drugs followed by an additional 6 months of Avastin only.

Today, I am reclaiming my life and my health as I recover from the cancer and its treatment. I am wonderfully blessed to have had so much support during this ordeal from my workplace, friends, family and most of all, my husband.

So there you have it. This is pretty much Steph's story except the vegetarian thing! It can and WILL be beat! Steph is feeling better today. She was able to get some rest since her Mom kept Levi last night and Drew stayed with my parents. She slept in and I hope is feeling refreshed today. Keep the prayers coming for Steph and everyone who is battling cancer right now. God Bless!

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Hey Steph, Just thinking about you. I've got you at the top of my prayer list (as Chrissy says!) and have asked for the angels to stay with you right now. God bless you, you are an amazing woman!