I Have Stage Three Colon Cancer
Went to see My Doctor for Check Up
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 my asthma medication. My husband was teasing me in front of my primary doctor that I need to have a colonoscopy. My doctor immediately reminded me to schedule for colonoscopy because I was due to have one. 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 it because they were able to catch the cancer in its early stage. I told her that no one in our family have history of colon cancer. I was confident I will not have even a smallest polyps in my intestine. Besides, we eat healthy food.
I told her that I did not want colonoscopy due to the fact that the prep is hard to swallow and taste horrible. I heard a lot of scary stories about drinking the colonoscopy prep. She 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 ordered a colonoscopy because they found blood in my stool. I was still confident it might just a hemorrhoid bleeding. Even my Gastroenterologist thought it's nothing to be worried about.
Colonoscopy was easy, but drinking of the prep was not fun. I hate the taste of it. I was gagging every time I drink it. Trying to finish that drink was a chore! It's a lot of liquid! 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's small. He recommended a surgeon for me to have the cancer be removed.
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 to see her through video call. I was able to say goodbye and thanked her for all she'd done for us.
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.
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 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 am about ready to eat my lunch when my surgeon came and told me that I need 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. Now it's time to take action and decide what to do. Regret always comes last and it won't help a bit with my situation.
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 a nurse wheeled me outside waiting 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.
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.
I will be writing in my next article about what path we took in this situation. I did not want to have chemo. We spent hours of praying, asking God for wisdom on what to decide with regards to the treatment.
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 were trying to eat healthy and do our daily exercise. I was juicing carrots, apples and celery. We don't eat red meat that much. Every week our dishes, includes; baked fish, baked chicken, wild rice, brown rice, baked sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables and salad. We hardly eat pork and stake like once in a blue moon.
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.
But These are the Kind of Foods we Ate Before I was DiagnosedClick thumbnail to view full-size
I Used to Juice Fruits and Vegetables
I used to make juice from carrots, celery and fruits long before my diagnosis. I watch my diet too. The only junk that I ate a lot was ice cream! I love my ice cream. No soda pop and chips, only on picnics and parties.
© 2020 Lorna