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It's Been Six Years
Old 08-09-2011, 06:56 AM
 
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Today is my 6th anniversary of being cancer free!!

After a horrendous stomachache that lasted 5 days (and a trip to the doctor too) I ended up in the ER late one evening. They ran tests on me all night long, and in the morning, the surgeon came in and said that I either had diverticulosis or a tumor. I said, "Pff, well it certainly isn't a tumor!"

He said I didn't fit the criteria for colon cancer. I was under 50, had virtually no symptoms except a stomachache, and had no family history.

Several hours later we were looking at "Lucifer" (the tumor) on the monitor. Later that day, my wonderful surgeon took out the tumor and 15" of my colon, and left me with a colostomy. He told me I would not be starting the school year.

I went through chemo and a variety of other issues...my skin rejected the adhesive used for my colostomy appliance, so I constantly had a "mess" to deal with; I'd fallen and cracked a couple of ribs; I'd run out of sick days, so I was no longer getting paid, and therefore had to pay for ALL of my insurance (about $950 a month!); I was in the middle of planning a surprise 50th wedding anniversary party for my parents; AND...

we were in the midst of building a new home.

In late February I had surgery to reverse my colostomy (ten times worse than the original cancer surgery), and we moved into our new home a week later.

I finally "started" my school year in early May so that the district would start paying my insurance again.

It was a wild ride, but I am still cancer free! I have CT scans annually and a colonoscopy every three years. The inconvenience is worth the peace of mind knowing that cancer has not reared its ugly head again.

I urge ALL of you who have not had a colonoscopy to have one! My surgeon said that it takes about 8 years for a polyp to turn into a tumor, so it's a slow growing cancer. Don't go through what I went through...it wasn't fun.


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That is definitely...
Old 08-09-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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cause for celebration!!!!!!! Yipppeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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That was all in caps!
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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Wow! What an ordeal! I bet you didn't know you were so strong! Congratulations on reaching this milestone! I pray that you will continue to be cancer free and live a very long, very healthy life. Also thanks for the advice. I'm not quite old enough for a colonoscopy yet but plan on having one as soon as I turn 50...not too far down the road! Do something wonderful for yourself today!!!
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Good for you!
Old 08-09-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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Go out and enjoy your "anniversary!"


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Old 08-09-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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What a story! Congrats on being cancer-free. Colon cancer runs in my family...you have given me a great reminder to schedule my colonoscopy.

Enjoy your life!
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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Congratulations on your 6 year cancer free! That is fabulous news for you! I agree that you should go out and celebrate.
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Congratulations!
Old 08-09-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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What a great anniversary to celebrate! I celebrated 4 years of being cancer-free (uterine cancer) this last May, and it feels so good. My oncologist says that every check-up should be a celebration, so I hope you went out and did something special.
So many people are afraid of colonoscopies, but they really aren't bad at all. I like that you reminded people to get theirs, because colon cancer is one of the easiest to treat when caught early. It's easy to detect with a colonoscopy, long before there are symptoms.
Congratulations again on your anniversary!
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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Congratulations to you!

I have been cancer free for ten years, my DH for six years. So, from one cancer survivor to another,

YIPPEEEEEEEEE!
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:49 AM
 
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Congratulations! You are a strong person and it sounds like this experience has made you even more grateful for what you have. Glad things worked out. And wow, 50 years for your parents. That is awesome. My parents were married for 54 years and we threw them a huge 50th party too.


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Congratulations!
Old 08-09-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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It is difficult to understand how precious good health is until you have a really serious problem to deal with. I am very happy for you! Happy, healthy days to you!
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Congratulations!
Old 08-09-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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Best wishes for continued good health! And, I agree with you about the need for people to get screened with a colonoscopy. I lost my beloved cousin to colon cancer a couple of years ago. She was under the age for getting a colonoscopy as you were, but she wasn't as lucky. Her only early symptom was constipation. I don't understand (although I know the prep is no fun) why more people don't get this test done as a diagnostic tool. Like you said, polyps, even pre-cancerous ones, can be removed at an early stage and cause no trouble Why run the risk of full-blown, life-threatening cancer? I'd rather ingest that evil prep once every 5 years or so than face that. Stay well and celebrate today in a fun way!
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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so happy for you! celebrate life!
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Yippee!!!
Old 08-09-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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My heartfelt congratulations go out to you and yours!

A 44 year-old beloved colleague and friend lost her struggle to stage 4 colon cancer 2 years ago November. Colon cancer wasn't even in the radar until a (yet another) specialist indicated a connection between colon cancer and Addison's disease, of which she had been diagnosed a number of years before.

So yes, please, GET A COLONOSCOPY if you've not had one! (And as with pregnancies, DON'T believe all the horror stories so-called friends tell you about the procedure!)
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:48 AM
 
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Your story is inspiring to all of us...congratulations!
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:54 AM
 
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congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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Congratulations! Also, thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:18 AM
 
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What wonderful news! Congrats!!!!
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awesome
Old 08-09-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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What a great inspiration you are!
Congratulations and live it up today!!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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Congrats on such great news!
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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That is WONDERFUL! So happy for you!!!!!
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Awesome
Old 08-09-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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Congratulations AnnaMarie..You went thru so much.
I had my colonscopy for the first time yesterday and it was truly no big deal, even the prep was no big deal. I'm so glad I did it after cancelling last week due to fear of the procedure. You are an inspiration
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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What a wonderful cause for celebration!
Congratulations!!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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Wow! What a stressful time in your life. I probably would have wanted to just hide under my bed or something.

Congrats on being cancer free. Wonderful to hear.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story. I'm going to encourage my family members to get on down there and a colonoscopy!
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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Congratulations!! I am so happy for you!!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:26 AM
 
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Congratulations!

As soon as I get back from vacation I'm going to schedule my colonoscopy. I was supposed to have had it done last summer!
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Great news!
Old 08-09-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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Go celebrate!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing your story and the happy ending! Glad to hear you're still going strong!
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Celebrate
Old 08-09-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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You are a survivor. You deserve to celebrate every day! My dad died from colon cancer at 49. He will be gone 21 years on the 30th of this month. I find the whole month of August very sad.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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Six years! I'm so proud for you! March will be my third year of being cancer free.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:48 PM
 
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Congratulations on your anniversary! Your story is certainly inspirational and a reminder to us all!
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Cancer Free
Old 08-09-2011, 03:01 PM
 
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CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!
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Congratulation!
Old 08-09-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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So happy to CeLeBRaTe with you!
Have a great year this year!
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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CONGRATULATIONS!

Nancy
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:03 AM
 
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Congratulations on beating this AWFUL disease. I know how much cancer sucks. I'm glad you kicked it to the curb and are able to enjoy your life!
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:)
Old 08-10-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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So glad you beat it...here is to many more cancer free years ahead of you
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