I would never be the same again (Diagnosis – Colon Rectal Cancer).
Maybe you (or someone you know) are struggling with the news … you’ve just been diagnosed with colorectal cancer or some other life altering medical condition?
This post was difficult for me to write and probably difficult to read. But please stay with me because my story is one of hope and joy. It is a painful thing to go through cancer and surgery but I know that God was with me and will be with you all the way. Don’t ever lose hope or give up or give in. You must choose to be strong in faith and in your mind and fight for your life and your loved ones. God will not leave you during your trials “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deut. 31:6)
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, at this point I was too scared not to go to the doctor. So when I was bleeding excessively I decided to schedule an appointment with my gynecologist. I had experienced loss of two loved ones that year, my mother and my infant son, and I was in a very vulnerable state of mind.
My gynecologist said to me the blood was too excessive and was going on for far too long and was certain it was not related to my nerves. He gave me the name of a proctologist to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.
I remember thinking to myself, I’m 39 years old and I had never heard of the word ‘proctologist’ or ‘colonoscopy’. What in the world? Lord have mercy!
I was driving to the doctor’s office for a colonoscopy. We all know what the prep involves ….need I say more? I was scared but still I really didn’t think it was anything serious let alone cancer. Never did that thought come into to my mind.
The colonoscopy test was performed in the hospital. And I recall lying in the bed after the test waiting for the results. My mind was racing I was thinking of my children, my spouse … I was scared what if the diagnosis wasn’t good. How would my family handle it? My husband would be alone raising three children and my baby wouldn’t remember me. I would only be a mommy that she heard about from stories that were told to her. I was scared.
The doctor came into my room and stood at the foot of my bed with his head drooped down. I knew the news was not what I wanted to hear so I wanted to make it easier on him. The doctor and I had hit it off from the first moment I met him. Those who know me can tell you that I love people and make friends very easily. So no … it wasn’t strange that I would make a friend in my proctologist believe it or not. I said doctor I have cancer don’t I? He was still looking down and shook his head yes. I immediately cried, no I sobbed uncontrollably. He continued to talk but I don’t remember one word he said. Just about everything was racing through my mind at the time. I thought I would die. My children… how would they handle the news? Finally, I thought I heard a voice saying wait listen to what I’m saying … it was the doctor saying it’s not over its operable. I finally stopped sobbing and started to listen.
The doctor explained he would remove the rectum and give me a colostomy. I remember thinking I’m so young for this. He said who do you know who has a colostomy? My Italian grandmother had a colostomy. She also had rectal cancer… still I was surprised when I got the news. The doctor said to me it is so different today than from when your grandmother had a colostomy 39 years ago. They use disposable supplies now. It’s not the rubber pouches that you have to wash and reuse. Still I said to him I’m way too young for this it’s an old person’s disease.
I remember him asking me bluntly DO YOU WANT TO LIVE OR DO YOU WANT TO DIE? This is a life saving surgery. He explained what would happen if I didn’t have the surgery. The cancer would ultimately spread up my spine and it would be a horrible painful death.
My decision was easy. I wanted to live! I have a family I didn’t want to die leave them behind. I understood in my mind and heart and felt God speaking to my spirit. I knew at that moment… it is what it is and I have to go through this.
I made a choice that day to fight and live. I had peace.
If you are feeling or experiencing something similar, I’d love to hear from you. I didn’t have anyone who could relate to me at the time and I don’t want that for you. Please send me an email or reach out to me via Facebook or Twitter.
TAKE ACTION, ask your primary care doctor for a Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)[i] which can detect or prevent cancer long before the symptoms occur. Make your health a number one priority. You’re worth it and your family and friends are worth it!
Until next time. Luv you all!
PS: I tried to incorporate an audio file but didn’t want to hold off on posting this message so maybe my next post will include audio/video.