Sunday, November 28, 2010

Colon Cancer, 8 Years of Survival

On November 29th, 2002, I awoke with the anticipation of doing some "Black Friday" Christmas shopping.  However the day turned quickly south as deep, sharp pain in my abdomen affecting my ability to function.  With the Mount Carmel-Northwestern Lehigh game later that Friday night, I decided to go home and lie down.

Making a long story short, I made my way to a doctor on the following Tuesday.  On Friday, December 6th, I had a plum-sized tumor removed along with a few feet of colon.  From pain to the operating table was 7 days.  I was only 36 years old.  There was no family history, no prior symptoms.

In my little neck of Penn's Woods, I had great medical care from nurses, doctors, to surgeon's expertise.  I didn't have to the insurance battle like so many other cancer patients who are "out of the norm."  I was one of the 10% diagnosed with colon cancer under 50.  You can say I hit the lottery in reverse.

The disease did have it's blessings, though.  I did get to meet and work with many people to realize colon cancer screening being covered by insurance in Pennsylvania.  I also got to meet fellow survivors that were on the same boat as me, young and scared.

If you are approaching age 50, please talk to your doctor about screening.  If you have a family history of colon cancer and other digestive tract conditions, please talk to your doctor.

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