I Have Stage Three Colon Cancer
A Doctor's Visit that Leads to the Discovery of the Cancer
I went to see my primary doctor for a check up, because I was not feeling well. I was coughing and having an asthma attack. After my check up, my doctor prescribed an asthma medication. My husband teased and told my primary doctor that I needed a colonoscopy. My doctor immediately reminded me to schedule for colonoscopy because I was already over 50. She told me that she got her colonoscopy when she was 45 years old because her mom had colon cancer. She said she was happy she did. They were able to catch the cancer in its early stage. I told her that no one in our family had history of colon cancer. I was confident I would not have even a smallest polyps in my intestine. We also watched our diet.
I told my doctor that I did not want to have colonoscopy. I heard a lot of scary stories about drinking the colonoscopy prep. That it's hard to swallow and tasted horrible. My doctor then told me to have a stool test instead, which I agreed to do.
I did the stool test at home and sent the specimen to the laboratory. After few days, I received a call from my doctor's office. They told me that my doctor sent an order for me for a colonoscopy because they found blood in my stool. I was still confident it might just my hemorrhoid bleeding. Even my Gastroenterologist thought it's nothing to be worried about.
Colonoscopy was easy, but drinking of the prep was horrible. I hated the taste of it. I gagged every time I drink it. Trying to finish that prep was a chore! I never thought I could forced a gallon of fluid into my stomach! It also made me nauseated. But I survived and was able to have the procedure the next day.
After my colonoscopy, while I was still in the recovery room with my husband. My GI doctor came to talk to my husband. My husband can see the concern in his face. They did not know that I was already awake but too groggy to open my eyes. I heard my Gastroenterologist told my husband that they found cancer in my colon. My doctor said it seems contained in one area and it was small. He recommended a surgeon for me to have the cancer be removed.
The Hardest Time of my Life
It was December 29, 2017 that I was diagnosed with colon cancer and at the same time my mom was in her death bed in the Philippines. She died January 1, 2018. It was the hardest time of my life to loss my mom and at the same time facing the threat of cancer. I was not able to come home to see her for the last time. It's a blessing that technology made it possible for me to see her through video call. I was able to say goodbye and thanked her for such a loving mother.
The time of my surgery came. It was February 5, 2018. I was so relaxed and just trusting God for my surgery. God gave me peace while they were preparing me for the procedure.
After surgery, the surgeon told my husband that they took the cancer and it seems contained. He only cut a small part of my colon. He also took 25 lymph nodes near the cancer cell to be examined by the pathologist. We were happy and called our family and friends that the surgery was over with and that the cancer was taken out.
My surgeon did not come until I was ready to be released from the hospital. I was so excited to go home after three days and I ordered my lunch. I was about ready to eat when my surgeon came and told me that I needed to have chemo because my cancer was already in my lymph nodes. My husband and I were shocked! I felt numbed. After telling our family and friends that I'm okay, then the sad news came that I have stage three colon cancer. Stage 3? Why? I did not feel anything wrong with my stomach! No symptoms at all. I should have colonoscopy when I turned 50, why I waited few more years to have it done. Regret always comes last and it won't help a bit with my situation.
I was not worried about my cancer. I thought it might be in its early stage. I was confident the cancer was contained and the surgeon will just take it out and I will be fine. It was a shocked when the surgeon told us it's already stage 3.
I had a Sigmoid colon, robotic laprosscopic resection. The diagnosis was an Invasive colonic adenocarcinoma grade 2, measuring 2 x 1.5 x 0.8 cm. It was very small but it already went into my lymph nodes. Out of 25 lymph nodes taken, five had the cancer.
The excitement of going home faded away. I did not feel like eating my last lunch at the hospital anymore. While my nurse wheeled me outside to wait for my husband to bring the car at the entrance of the hospital--my mind was full of wondering. Now what? What will happen to us? What will happen to my family? A lot of questions that only God can answer.
I was released at the third day of my hospital stay. My surgeon's associate doctor checked me the second day and he could not believe I was already using the washroom by myself. He then decided to release me the next day. I thought I would be free of cancer since my recovery from the surgery was so fast.
We told our daughter and family about the diagnosis. Our daughter did not show it but she was very disturbed about the news. She could not concentrate at school because she was worried about me. I reminded myself that God is in control. He knows what is going on in my body and He owns my life.
Well Meaning Friends told me to Start Eating Healthy
People thought because I got colon cancer that my diet was so bad. That was not the issue. My husband and I ate healthy food. We also exercise almost every day. I was juicing carrots, apples and celery. We did not eat red meat that much. Out diet includes; baked fish, baked chicken, wild rice, brown rice, baked sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables and salad. We hardly eat pork and stake, only once in a blue moon. The only junk that I ate a lot was ice cream! I love my ice cream.
Some of my friends told me - "try to eat healthy!" "Don't eat junk." Most people thought that colon cancer is the consequence of eating unhealthy foods. In my case, that was not true. I know they meant well and they care.
These were the Kinds of Foods we Ate Before I was DiagnosedClick thumbnail to view full-size
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Lorna