Hello to the facing cancer community!
My names Charlene, first time blogger…. not a past reader, but getting into it now. I am trying to get informed and such by reading others experience and journey’s since my diagnosis. It has now been about pfft…now its been nearly 6 weeks ago but not quite that my life and future changed.
I found this community on a search for a place to create a profile in a cancer discussing community with blogs, forums information ect. I found this lil gem and started a profile right away. I made a post on my Facebook account a few days ago publicly stating to my network my recent diagnosis and that I would be starting this.
My reason for doing this and as I shared with my friends and family is because I am 26years old… live a considerably healthy lifestyle and am daily conscious about what I put into my body and I have a T3 tumor on the higher end of my rectum... not exactly normal for the everyday 20 something right.
**recently, like as in yesterday got really good news that it is high enough up in there that they do not suggest trying to reduce it before surgery with radiation or afterwards!! This is huge! and was a great moment***
Anyway, before I digress… this blog, my documentation of how my life is around this tumor/cancer I want to do this in hopes that maybe my experience may inspire my age group and even more specifically gender to get checked! earlier on in life, don’t wait till your 30’s to start caring and paying attention to your health and make it your own passion and purpose to live a preventative lifestyle because why should we have to choose between quality and quantity when it comes to our time on this earth.
It was one symptom that led me to a specialist that ended up booking the first endoscopy that found my tumor. I have been told repeatedly that I am one of the lucky ones. Not everyone gets a symptom. It could have been in me for the last 10 months to 10 years. Even as I sit and write this, I feel healthy and can reasonably still do everything I have been able and have enjoyed doing with my life.
I am in no pain. I’d very much like to impress this.
Finding this was a fluke. I remember the conversations I had with people before the endoscopy, not one person even the doctors predicted cancer, I was more than reassured that it would not could not be that.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.... I read this recently and it has just stuck in my head. All of my major growth moments in my life have been when I've been at or felt like what was the end of my rope BUT you know what?
I've always found more rope
After telling friends I planned on starting this blog I've been asked about this symptom I've referred to that I keep saying I am lucky to have had because it led to me to going to get checked out.
Oh I'd like to say that I was ubber smart and proactive about everything but that was not the case....I am my fathers daughter. I will let something bug me and attempt to handle/manage on my own until it becomes unmanageable and finally ask for help or tell someone. How I even got to the point of seeing a specialist was from a walk in I did when I was having abdomen pain and dizziness one afternoon at work and mentioned to the doctor that saw me over that stuff and said "while I'm here...I've also been having this going on..."
SO, everyone....with this being colon/rectal cancer and everything what do you think my symptom could have been?
The reason I keep just eluding to it? yeah.... I poo blood. Gross. I know.
When my now mother-in-law was driving me to my endoscopy appointment we had been discussing the management of colitis and the slim possibility of chrons and such. I had a later in the day appointment at the hospital and they offered me sedation for it and I took it not because of just the uncomfortable test being performed but I don't know about anyone else but I didn't want to remember a camera being up my butt with just the three of us in that room staring at a screen with my insides on it...
They didn't get my Dr.Who joke right away when I said "it's bigger on the inside!" when it first came on the screen... then things got cloudy and I woke up in the hospital bed in the waiting area around the other patients there for the same thing that day. I had a lovely nurse who had placed my IV in for me before the test, bubbly personable woman, had kids my age I learned from chatting her up beforehand.
When she noticed I had woken I remember noticing her eyes being glossy as if about to cry. Her and who is now my surgeon I'll call him Dr.D, they came to my beside she sat on the side and rubbed my legs as I was sitting up now. Dr.D's face, I don't think i have ever seen a more shocked expression. He has since in follow up appointments admitted that he and the attendant when they saw it both had looked at each other and made the "oh no" face because it had seemed like such a routine day for them up until me... his last one of the day and me being 26 he hadn't expected to have to give me that news that day.
I didn't cry until I had to tell Jodi my mother-in-law. They asked if I wanted to tell anyone and asked who I had with me, I nearly went alone that day and had planned on not taking the sedation because I had been told prior to the appointment that it was just an option if I wanted it. Things happened very quickly after that, I had my appointment with who is now my oncologist Dr.T and went over some of my test results that I had done before the meeting with him. Jodi came with Cody and I to be able to ask the questions that we knew we were not going to be able or remember to ask after getting the results from the biopsy. The result was cancer, and that we needed to know more but the fact was with the size of it, it needed to come out and soon and be treated.
Basically everything will go down mid September. I am pretty sure I had just finished sending our "Save the dates" to about 100 people for September 13th 2014. Dr.T was honest in that I would inevitably be too sick by the originally planned wedding date. My fiance and I talked about it and had a very real conversation about what the future could potentially hold, what our marriage would/could look like after during this...just everything. I wont go into details as it was a very personal time for us but the end result was we decided it was best to rush things if possible....and it was.
His mother has a history of event planning and took the reins with it full on and then my mother, aunt, my fiance's auntie and an incredible amount of friends and friends of friends got in touch with us and offered their time, services, supplies and it was the most beautiful day of our lives.
We got married Aug 9th 2014 in Vernon, B.C it was a very hot and sunny day. The newly found reception site was even better we felt than what we had originally planned for September!
Its been just about 3 weeks now since the wedding and now looking forward to moving this weekend and am grateful our new home is closer to the hospital. Currently the thing that is holding up the booking of my surgery date is the fact that since I am 26 and we had planned on having children someday that I am getting eggs harvested and thats obviously a time sensitive thing and have recently...as in two days ago learned for the first time how to give myself an injection.
The clinic has given me the medicine I need to enduce my ovulation so that we can do this harvesting as quickly as possible so we can schedule surgery. I can not explain our gratitude to the PCRM and the service and support they have provided. It's literally a gift of life and theres no words. I have another 10 days of injections to go which takes me into almost mid September. I admit... I am probably still in shock of everything and am still comming down from it all. I feel like once we get into our new house I will finally be able to get my feet back under myself and run forward with everything I need to do to get better.
My poor belly looks like a pin cushion today from the last three needles I had to do. To muster up the push behind my hand to actually do the shot I mentally repeat quickly "doitdoitdoitdoitdoit" with a bit of quick breathing and remind myself of the family we want someday and just get er done. Its really not that bad though.
So tomorrow is one of the bloood work apppintments I have to do before I start the next round of shots and such and then everything will go from there I guess. If I have left anyone with reading this the thought of maybe you should get checked yourself, then I feel like writing this was time well used I don't really know how one signes off of a blog... so...
My name is Charlene,
If this is a bio about who I am and how my cancer happened…. well I know who I am, but who the hell really knows how or why I got Cancer…. or why any of us really got it.
Well some of us smoke, eat horribly and don’t move our bodies *you don’t use it you lose it* but that’s neither here nor there, no one deserves this murdeous bitch we named Cancer.
I’m going to be doing blog posts and stuff along this journey so I am sure along the way anyone who reads this will get a better sense of me than any words I could place here, so what follows is a bit about my situation and a touch on my past and interests
BIO! the basics***
26yr old female; Libra
Colon Cancer; T3 Tumor
20 some odd centimeters up my butt..
Diagnosed; July 17th 2014…..57 days before my Wedding day…
Symptom before diagnosis:
Pooing blood, it had been showing up since mid January and I thought it was because of something else….so I decided to try and let it heal up and ride out on its own. Mid June I got some bad abdomen pain and a bit of vertigo while I was at work so I decided to go to the ER…. I am my fathers daughter because we both never go to get checked until something hurts…and hurts badly.
None of the doctors I saw between that time at the ER till my endoscopy on the 17th predicted Cancer.
My mother-in-law had taken me to my appt that day, and her and I had been discussing how to manage colitis….or IBS….but not Cancer….I had been assured by everyone that I was too young, I’m female…. I live a healthy lifestyle it WOULD not COULD not be Cancer.
The look on my surgeons face when I woke up from the sedation and he came to tell me what he had seen…. even he could not hide the visable shock on his face at the size and sensitivity of the Tumor he found.
It has been 41 days.
From the meetings, tests and people I have spoken with…. they are why I am joining online forums and will share my next year of this crap for the world to see because from what I understand…. what I have happens to a small group of people in my age group. When I first got diagnosed my dear friend Lindsay said something that scared me at first and my immidiate thought was HELL NO! She said I could use my story and attitude to help support others and raise awareness and whatever.
I just thought to myself
“All I want to do is get this out of my body and finish my life as a good wife, mother….daughter and friend….I don’t want to be a beacon of hope for anyone when that’s all I need right now too myself”.
I’ve had time to digest everything, and after being on the receiving end of the best parts of humanity over the last few weeks I’ve decided to do it.
As I have learned over the last bit that my age group and gender regarding this type of Cancer is not really respresented anywhere…. I am hoping that we can find more stats and even better ways of fighting this bitch! together.
“If nothing we do really matters…. then matter is all we do”