BENEFITING: 3 LITTLE BIRDS 4 LIFE
I got a job as a preschool about a month before graduation. In July as we were preparing for the up coming school year it was noted that I needed a physical. Though uninsured, but anticipating better income, opted to get a head to toe physical. For the last couple years or so I had been having issues with what I thought was hemorrhoids that just wouldn't go away. I had felt a mass down there but wasn't to alarmed thinking all the blood and mass was a hemorrhoid. At the physical, I mustered up the courage to have the 'hemorrhoid' checked out. I was immediately referred to a local general surgeon for further evaluation. The surgeon thought upon initial evaluation that it was an anal fissure but none the less did a Colonoscopy to be sure. What he found was no a fissure but a tumor. Initial biopsies did not show cancer, as they were pencil tip samples. Surgery was scheduled to remove the tumor.
It was discovered there was much more to the tumor and did an immediate biopsy, only bigger and deeper into the tumor. Surgery was still scheduled for Tuesday the next week, but said he would call with the results of the biopsy Monday. The results were positive for cancer. A whirlwind of meeting with an oncologist and countless blood work and scans folllowed. By the end of the week I was scheduled for two surgeries and a stage 4 colorectal cancer diagnosis.
The first surgery was to place a stint in my right ureter, as the tumor had grown to block it, and my right kidney was dangerously close to exploding it was so huge. I would eventually end up with four more surgeries as the stints wouldn't work for long. I now have a neferostomy to drain my right kidney from the back.
The other surgery a few days later was to have a power port placed and a colostomy bag, the tumor was almost 100% blocking my rectum. I started chemo 4 days later. I have been on chemo since, and it began early October.
The first round of chemo seemed to be working great at the mid point. At the end new growth was found in my liver and lungs and my tumor had grown. During all this chaos I was referred to a surgeon at the University of Michigan. They deemed me inoperable, as the tumor is invading my pelvis and even if they were successful with the tumor I still have multiple mets in both lungs that there is no treatment.
To sun it all up I have stage 4 terminal, inoperable, rectal cancer with mets to my lungs ,liver and lymph node in my sternum. I am a happily married 34 year old with 4 children (3 biological 1 step)ranging in ages 17 to 7 years.