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5 years

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

It's been 5 years since I was diagnosed with rectal cancer (stage III). I wish I could say I am 5 years NED and "cured". That is not the case. I have had two recurrences (both solitary mets in the lung -- treated with surgery followed by chemo). However, I am NED TODAY -- and have been since my last surgery a year ago. I'm writing because I just want to say how thrilled I am to have survived these 5 years. I feel I have already "beat the odds", to some degree. At the time of my diagnosis, my two boys were 10 and 12. Now, they are 15 and 17 -- young men, almost fully-grown, their personalities essentially shaped. I'm so grateful I have been able to be around for them for these 5 years! I also want to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge this wonderful board and 'family'. It -- and you -- have been such an important source of knowledge and support to me over the last 5 years. Who knows what the future holds. But, for now I am feeling GREAT. I'm training for a 50 km hike -- and just joyous to be alive! I hope that my 'story' may serve as some support, perhaps for someone newly diagnosed or facing the fear of a recurrence.

jenalynet's picture
jenalynet
Posts: 363
Joined: Nov 2005

Hi,
Thank you for posting, it is so healing to read about survivors. I wish you many more years with your family. I was diagnosed Stage 4 rectal cancer and my 2 year mark was Oct. 12th, 2007. I will have a new cat scan scheduled tomorrow because there were 2 suspicious spots in my left lung in Oct. so we are going to check for changes etc. Here it is 2008 and I am blessed to be here too. Hugs, Audrey.

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Best of luck with your scan tomorrow. Will be thinking of you, and sending best wishes your way. Please let us know results.

haarberg
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2007

Tara, Your post is upbeat and inspirational especially to recent survivors.Congratulations on your sucesses and best wishes for many more.haar

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Yay, Tara! It is so inspiring to everyone to hear such a great survival story. Many more healthy NED years to you!!!

rmap59
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

Oh My Gosh,
I love hearing stories like yours. I know it hasnt been a picnic but to be 5 years out is wonderful. God is Good!! Thanks for sharing.
Robin

rmap59
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

Hey, Hey, Hey,
I have always believed that prayer can change things and for anyone who does not I have absolute proof. Last week I had a mammogram, 2 lumps found, went back in this week for an ultrasound, the dr said we need to do a needle biopsy on both lumps and possibly surgery. I was freaked, I just recovered from rectal surgery, chemo, radiation. I ask for you all to pray and today the nurse called me back and said the dr that looked at my mammogram was unfamiliar with my last mammogram one year ago. Turns out nothing had changed just a few fibroid cysts which I have had for many years(my Mom has fibroid cysts too). Talk about Happy Naked Dance, I am right behind you Tara.
Thanks again for your prayers and dont ever doubt the power of God.
Love, Robin

RunnerZ
Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2004

Tara, Congratulations on your anniversary! I was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer almost exactly 9 years ago when my children were 1, 3 and 6. My children are now 9, 12 and 15 and well on their way in life. I prayed for five years with them and already have 9 in the bank. While considered cured, I still consider every year a complete bonus! I have seen my children through school, basketball, skating, musicals, and event the New York State cross-country (running) championship (my daughter finished 34th in the state for the smallest schools division). I have put murderers and sexual abuseres behind bars (I am a prosecutor), run races as fast as pre-cancer and even saved some money for my kids college. I revel in those victories and refuse to dwell on the "unfairness" of being diagnosed with such a humbling disease at the age of 36. You have the right attitude. Every day is worth living and every day, for each of us, is a bonus. Best wishes!

changing
Posts: 135
Joined: Oct 2006

Great news! One question, did you have chemo again after surgery and if so, are you still taking it? I may have surgery the end of the month and am wondering. Thanks in advance and again, so happy for you...hope you celebrated!

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I did have chemo after surgery. As you are probably aware, this is a controversial topic, and there is not much scientific evidence available to support either way. My doctors and I decided to go ahead with chemo -- "mop up" chemo. Since I am young (sort of!) and healthy. I was happy to take this more aggressive/conserative approach. I had 6 mos of chemo after surgery. Feel free to email me about this if you wish. Good luck with your decision-making.

sladich's picture
sladich
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

Congratulations! I love to hear stories like your's.

Debbie

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

You are now considered an "oldie" of the sight and CONGRATS on the NED. Have you done the HAPPY NAKED DANCE?

It brings a smile to my face to hear stories like yours :)

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Yay! That is such awesome news. I was just wondering where and when you are doing your hike??
Congratulations,
Susan H.

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I live in Hong Kong so the hike will be here. I've given myself 12 months (ie next Dec). But I also have a Big Birthday coming up in May (50!) so I may shoot for that.....it's a beautiful trail -- through real countryside -- lots of hills!

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Tara,

I am so happy for you. I can't believe the guys are 15 and 17 now!!!!!! You were one of the first I "met" when I joined the board 4 years ago. I think of you everytime I rubbed my finger over my "lance bracelet" since we all got ours about the same time!!!!!!

Hugs and have a wonderful 2008!!!!

Lisa P.

pink05
Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006

That is great news!!!

Congratulations, and thank you for sharing. You are such an inspiration to all of us!!!

God bless,

-Lee-

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Awesome, Tara. Five years is great! NED now - NED 5 years from now. So nice to hear.

Betsy

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Congrats! and thanks for sharing. Terrific news and keep the faith! God Bless
Diane

Moesimo's picture
Moesimo
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

Tara,

What great news. WOOOHOOO!!! Congratulations!!

I am right behind you. In March it will be 5 years since my diagnosis. You were so helpful to me during those early days. Thanks again for all your help.

Maureen

hicarm
Posts: 57
Joined: Nov 2005

Yea! Congratulations. Those hills in HK will be good workouts. So happy for you. Thought of you when we were in HK (and Oberlin).

Carm

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

CONGRATS TARA!!

Isn't life awesome?

that is very cool about your 50km hike! YOU GO GIRL!

It will be great when you post in another 5 years!

peace, emily the juice chick

crazylady
Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Congratulations Tara! I'm so happy for you! Your story is inspirational and very helpful to me. Thanks for posting this.
Take care and enjoy 2008!
Jamie

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Joy1216
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

That's fantastic news. Your story is really inspirational.
Joy

impactzone's picture
impactzone
Posts: 538
Joined: Aug 2006

Awesome! I have followed your posts since I started in 9/06 and you are an inspiration
Impactzone

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Tara,
It was great to read your post; you have been so strong in this fight. Enjoy every step of your hike and every day of your life! Judy

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

You'll be ready for that hike in May! Besides, December is too cold (burr). I wish I could go with you!
Take care and keep on keepin on,
Susan

HowardJ
Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005

Congratulations!! Excellent...thank you for sharing.

Good luck on the hike!

Howard

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lfondots63
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

CONGRATS on the 5 yr mark and many more to come I'm sure!

Lisa F.

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BusterBrown
Posts: 221
Joined: Mar 2005

Tara,
It's people like you that give hope to me and other posters on this board. Truely inspirational...Keep up the good work.
Buster

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