Nov 16, 2012 - 12:00 pm
8 years ago today, I was undergoing tests, scopes, etc for rectal bleeding and severe low back pain.
Sadly, the day after Thanksgiving that year 2004, I heard those 3 life-changing words for the first time "You have cancer". And then, to my amazement, my very self controlled GI gal hugged me with tears in her eyes (traditionally, Asian women do not show emotion in public) and told me she loved me (I figured it MUST be VERY bad for her to act this way). Then said the second crusher: "We don't see many cases like yours living very long".
Things blurred in time...my first chemo/rad session came the day after my beau left for his dad's funeral. Christmas eve my 5FU was dc'ed by a nurse who opened the office just for me so I didn't need to wear that pump for Christmas day. New Year came and went, and then all treatment ended with surgery in May to remove my rectum, sig colon, and make a 'new' rectum out of descending colon.
July started the second battle with cancer, unrelated primary site breast cancer found on a PET scan for the rectal. Lumpectomy with an overnight hospital stay (strong reaction to the anesthesia). Home to recover before starting chemo/rads...2 weeks later back in the hospital with a total bowel obstruction. Another resection to remove strangled small intestine.
After recovery, chemo/rads for the breast cancer started and ended the following year on July 4. My MAJOR independence day!
I am thankful each and every year at Thanksgiving that I had so many, many loving people helping me along my journey. I am thankful that I am one of the few cases that beat the odds that my GI gal gave me so long ago. Most of all, I am thankful for all of you, my friends! Without all the support I had from so many, I would not be here today, writing this story....
BIG hugs, Kathi