I got rectal cancer! It reached stage 3 yes! Stage 3!!!! I went through a very rough battle and this cancer has affected me! All of this could have been prevented if I knew the signs and symptoms & was listened to by my doctor & screened way sooner! We need more awareness!!! Colorectal cancer isn’t just an old mans disease! Everyone needs to know what’s up their butt! Bringing awareness to colorectal cancer can save lives!!!
These were my symptoms that I suffered with:
- Not being able to completely empty the bowel
- Change in the size or shape of stools (narrower than usual)
- Bloody stool (either bright red or very dark)
- Pain in the rectum
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- More frequent gas pains or stomach cramps
- Feeling bloated or full
Fatigue or tiredness. I complained to my doctor for about 5 years and wasn’t listened to and became frustrated to say the least I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome but all my symptoms got worse over time and I was bleeding so bad when having bowel movements. In and out of the ER in so much pain I went straight back to my PC and demanded her to send me out to a GI specialist she finally listened to me and I saw a GI specialist. At first he didn’t think a colonoscopy was needed but was willing to do it. I begged him to give me a colonoscopy saying that nobody bleeds this much and doesn’t have something wrong with them! I really want answers please do a colonoscopy.
On Nov 19, 2013 I had my very first colonoscopy at 25 years old! A 4cm cancerous mass was found in my rectum! I’m so thankful that the cancer was exposed just in time before reaching stage 4 & spreading to my organs. Nobody can ever prepare you for the moment you are told you have cancer! When I was told this horrible news I froze in a complete state of shock. Theirs no way this can be happening to me! Did the doctor grab the wrong medical chart and reading me off the wrong report!? I’m way to young to have cancer especially colorectal cancer! I have future dreams that I desire to live out! I’m still waiting to meet the man of my dreams and marry! I want to travel the world and have kids!! I want to live! What is my future going to look like! These were my thoughts when I found out I had cancer! After the shock of the news gained a strength from God deep within me to fight through this. I had the chance of being able to have my eggs frozen right before starting chemo which is something I’m so happy I did!! Then the six months of chemotherapy started! I had two types of chemo one I had infused at the cancer center and then a 48 hour pump that I had to go home with it was hooked up and being infused through my medi port. I had to wear a fanny pack around my waist it was super annoying and uncomfortable! I went through 11 rounds in total of the chemo. I had severe hair loss and went through all the horrible side effects from chemo I had to stop working it was very difficult for me! My oncologist said I didn’t need to have radiation after the chemo I was so thankful that radiation wasn’t needed!
On July 24th 2014 I had a robotic low anterior resection with a loop ileostomy! Everything went great I had the ileostomy pouch which was a very hard and emotional adjustment for me to go through but I gained a level of comfort with it after a while it became my new normal. My doctor told that the ileostomy pouch was reversible for me and he said Jan 2015 that we would start a plan for the reversal surgery… well things happened sooner for me when on Nov 6th I developed a full blockage and was in severe pain I had to have emergency surgery I didn’t know what the outcome would be if I would wake up having the pouch for life or what!? I placed my life in God’s hands and knew whatever the outcome was that He was going to help me through all of this! I woke up from the surgery and immediately felt around where my ileostomy pouch was and it was gone I cried in such relief! This reversal surgery recovery time takes a while for a new normal to develop between having frequent bowel movements and accidents not having much control this has been challenging for me.
Today I have no evidence of the disease. I am still finding a new normal with the loss of my rectum but things have been getting a lot better for me over time! I’m so very thankful to be here and to share my story!