I want to share a story about how preventative care helped save my life! Near the end of 2020,
I was lucky enough to have a hospital that was still offering colonoscopies during the pandemic.
It was the week before Thanksgiving and I had my appointment, as I was in recovery after the
procedure, my doctor leaned over the bed and told me that she thinks I have colon cancer. I
assured her that I did not, nobody in my family had cancer. She asked if I had any symptoms
and I asked her what are the symptoms? She briefly went through the most common and I told
her that I had none.
Next comes a bunch of additional tests to verify my diagnosis, none showed the cancer; blood
work, CT scan, MRI, and finally a mini procedure confirmed the diagnosis, most likely Stage 1.
More appointments followed, and I was scheduled for surgery to remove the cancer. On
December 27th I went in for surgery, saying goodbye to my daughter, husband and two dogs, all
who drove me to the hospital at 5am. Remember, this is still the pandemic, so no visitors! I was
on my own. Surgery went well and the day after the surgery, my team of doctors came in the
hospital room and told me that they removed all of the cancer, and it had tested as Stage 1 and
no chemotherapy was needed. RELIEF! All I had to do was get better! Five weeks later, I was
better and so grateful to the doctors, my husband and daughter, family and friends for helping
me get through this.
My story has a happy ending, so far. As all cancer patients know, we wait for the next test and
hope for good results. I believe it is called Scanxiety, should be in the dictionary. For anyone
who is delaying a test of any kind, DON’T! If you will not do it for yourself, do it for the people
who you love and count on you. Be BRAVE!
Reference – Ashleigh for the term Scanxiety, who is bravely fighting Stage 4.