On March 11, 2011, I was rushed into emergency surgery where they removed a grapefruit sized tumor from my colon. The symptoms that I had up to that point were textbook according to WebMD. However, I blew off the advice that informed me to visit a doctor immediately. For one, I did not want anyone poking around my rear exit…how embarrassing!…secondly, not wanting to believe anything serious could happen to me, I chalked it up to another colitis flare up; a really long lasting flare up.
Nothing humbles you more than finding out you have stage 4 colon cancer with a 3 centimeter metastisis on your liver. The embarrassment of having my rear exit poked and prodded? Out the door. I now laugh and call my appointments my alien abduction seeing as there will be an anal probe! Ha!
I was prescribed 12 rounds of chemo, which I tolerated very well. If you didn’t know I had cancer, you would never have guessed that I was on chemo every other week and had a pooh pouch; my colostomy.
After nine rounds of chemo, I flew to Houston where I had a liver resection at MD Anderson. They removed the last of the cancer that, thanks to chemo, had shrunk down to 1 centimeter. I was on the road to recovery. I had my colostomy reversed, but not before I had to wear a wound vac on my abdomen due to my incision from my liver resection reopening. That was the most horrific pain I have ever endured in all my life and would never wish it upon anyone. After the 6 painful weeks of healing with the wound vac, I was able to get my colostomy reversed. Unfortunately, the wound site became infected and I found myself in the hospital again for a week. I was able to come home on Christmas Eve and receive antibiotics daily for a month from home health care through my porta cath.
Through it all, I remained happy and positive. At no time did I think I was going to die. But just in case I did, I did not want to spend my final days depressed and in a funk. Well, one year later, I am still cancer free and back to work in the classroom. It seems like another lifetime and I can’t believe it was me.
One thing is for sure, I thank God he gave me my sarcastic and humorous ways. It was the laughter that got me through my darkest days. In the hospital after my first surgery, I joked with people saying that the cancer didn’t scare me…it was having to move back in with my parents that made me scream in horror!
A year being cancer free is such an amazing feeling, especially being stage 4, that now I wonder what God has planned for me. It is now that I question His reason…. His reason for keeping me here when so many have passed. I am still waiting for a sign but until I stumble upon it, I remain happy and believe it or not, I feel blessed having been through the ordeal I have been through. I have become more patient not letting little things bother me. I have learned to enjoy life and appreciate what I have. My mind is clearer and not clouded up by petty circumstances and stress. I continue to share my story letting everyone know anything is possible.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
I know, hands down, that you are the strongest person I know. I’ve learned not to take things to serious and to live life to the fullest. You are a true inspiration to many and your story needs to be heard. Therefore, I am truly blessed to have met you when I did. You’ve become part of my family and I want to make sure my kids and grandson learn from your experience. Don’t give up, have faith, and believe in God, He will always be there. Love you Lisa and continue on your journey.
I think you sound very courageous and strong. My daughter recently became cancer free as well from Hodgkins Lymphoma. The reason for responding to you though is to introduce you to another woman that I know who started http://WWW.wunderglo.com blog. This is about another young woman who has been very courageous as well through who fight against cancer. I think you might be a good support to eachother. Congratulations on being cancer free. I hope you have time to connect with this young lady.
. Praise God for your daughters health! Thank you for your comment. I will look up the link you sent. I want everyone to know that there is life after cancer. God bless you and your family.