"I experienced cancer of the colon duct C at 42 years of age (1988). The doctors knew there was infection but were not sure from where at time of surgery. They did hysterectomy and found a grapefruit size tumor in my colon. They took it out and put in a colostomy. This was all a huge surprise to me and my family. I was in the hospital a month. I did radiation (all the radiation I could have).
In l989 Dr. Anthony George prepared to turn my colostomy but I was burnt from the radiation. In November 1989 another pea-size tumor was found that had not been spotted by all the cat scans. A piece of an apple got lodged which caused tremendous pain. I had surgery and the diagnosis was possibly terminal.
In 1990 I did a full year of chemo which was most difficult. I worked the entire year and wore a heplock. I asked God to allow me to see my youngest daughter 18 years old. I was a single parent.
My youngest turned 18 in 1999…a very tearful event for me. Every day was a gift to me..and still is.
After all three daughters married in one year (Nov. 2002 to July 2003) I discovered in August that I had a grape-size tumor on my rectum. This was found in an every three year colonoscopy by Dr. George’s staff. I had two options: to get a permanent colostomy by closing my rectum or try a j-pouch. I have a j-pouch. Dr. Susan Galanduik, an awesome colo-rectal surgeon, did two surgeries on me in 2003. I had to do 6 months of chemo that caused a lot of pain and tears. Yet, I worked through the entire treatment…always with God’s help.
This is my story. I am 65 and very healthy and very active. I have so much to be thankful for. I want to give back in some small way.
I retired from being a Licensed Clinical social worker in Dec. 2010 to care for my grandson who was born with gastroschisis.
He is the one turning a year very soon."