Hi friends! Thank you so much for visiting my new page. This page is the start (more to come) of my work with the Colon Cancer Alliance to bring awareness and funding to this disease. My focus in particular is on young adults as the incidence of colon cancer in this population is on the rise and is often not detected until the cancer is at a late stage. My goal here is to share my testimony as a colon cancer survivor and be uplifted and supported by hearing the testimonies of others. My fundraising goal is $1000 donated fully to the Colon Cancer Alliance to further research developments, screening education, and also to provide support and resources to victims of this disease. Now, I'll tell you my story-
It was mid June of 2012 when I was diagnosed. I was 18 years old, had just graduated high school and was preparing to start my first year of nursing school at the University of Maine. My symptoms began with extreme and unrelieved abdominal pain followed by vomiting and later, weight loss. I was scanned and found to have appendicitis. I had an uncomplicated resection and was sent home. It was a week or so later when I was called back into my physicians office and told I had a carcinoid tumor in my appendix with unclear margins pushing into my colon. At 18 years old, I couldn't wrap my head around what this meant. I learned that these tumors are rare, slow growing, particularly in someone my age, and that the only way the doctors would feel comfortable they removed the whole tumor was if they went in and removed half my colon. I learned that once these carcinoids become 2mm, they grow rapidly and spread rapidly (metastasis). I learned that my carcinoid was 1.8mm. So, one hemi-colectomy, multiple lymph node biopsies, and multiple follow-up scans later- I was declared tumor free!
My appendicitis was a blessing. I praise Jesus for inflaming my appendix so the doctors could go in and find my tumor before it grew just 0.2mm more. I am called to use this experience to bring hope and support to young adults struggling with a new or preexisting diagnosis of colon cancer. Whether you have experienced a cancer diagnosis or are fighting a different battle, we are all fighters. Now together let's KNOCK OUT colon cancer!