Friday, December 4, 2020

What’s more lame than having one type of cancer? Having two.

I had two colon polyps that popped positive for cancer. The thing is, they were in such different places they are considered two different cancers. Colon stage 3a and Rectal stage 3b . What’s more sexy than that? 

My 5 weeks of radiation and oral chemo was to kill off any remaining cancer cells in the rectal area because even though my surgeon (while tactless) actually did an amazing job by literally remaking that whole area internally and avoiding any sort of colostomy bag- you can’t guarantee you got it all. So standard practice is always pelvic radiation for that area. 

The chemotherapy infusions are to make sure every last naughty cell in my body is gone. Because I had it in one of the lymph nodes they removed, it showed this cancer was able to travel which is how cancer spreads to your other body parts. If it wasn’t in the lymph nodes yet chemo wouldn’t have been necessary. So glad we caught this when we did and that I actually had symptoms to warrant a colonoscopy. Often times this type of cancer doesn’t show until it’s spread elsewhere. 

Thankfully mine was caught before it traveled to any other body parts and we hope it stays that way. 
My doctor did genetic testing on me because 1) My Mom had breast cancer with no real family history and 2) Colon polyps in our family and 3) I’m young and to have my body pop out two cancers is something to look at. So it was either a genetic mutation or I’m just unlucky. 

I’m just unlucky. This was a relief as far as my own kids go but also a bummer as a generic mutation would have allowed for a more targeted approach and less chemo. No real winning side there. 

So there’s that. Something I hadn’t yet shared publicly, but as I walk this journey I’m finding the more open I am, the more others are seeking out medical advice for issues they’ve been neglecting. So take this as a PSA to listen to your body, advocate for your health and keep at it until you get answers.