Ten years ago, I called this place home. Ten years ago, a GI doc told me I had cancer and that very night, I found this place. I spent hours lurking and scouring threads and information here from my hospital bed that night, looking for information and stories. And found them I did. Weeks went by before I gained the courage to actually join and begin engaging in the conversations here. Shortly thereafter, learning the true extent of my diagnosis of Stage IV with peritoneal metastasis I read another story by an old member named ScottG. He too had nearly my same diagnosis and he had survived for 10 years since hearing those fateful words. I made a promise to myself right then and there, a promise I return today to fulfill. I told myself that if I ever survived cancer that long, I would make sure to share that here.
You see, ScottG's simple words gave me hope. His were proof that someone could in fact survive. They helped prevent me from slipping into despair learning just how dire things were. Liberated from that despair, I focused on the moment and learning and helping others. For a couple years I went through the ringer of treatments many of you know. Surgery, port, chemo, complications (cause it's never smooth sailing), and finally HIPEC. Along the way members here who had gone through the same thing helped me learn and gave me strength that I could do these things too, much that they truly did plain suck. I paid it forward for a long while, helping other new members and trying to answer their fears through common experience.
Years went by and I was blessed with success every step of the way. With each milestone passed, the memories did indeed fade. The pain and struggle of treatment gave way to the distraught of survivors' guilt. Why me? Why do I get to live when so many do not? Months and years passed and the mundane of life starts to even overwhelm the survivors' guilt. It never completely goes away but morphs from guilt into wonder. Years went by and my very NEED to participate here waned as well.
I'm beyond blessed to say that I've been able to leave Colon Cancer behind and forge ahead in life. Words can't describe how special it is to still be here, 10 years later, still cancer free. And today, I remember everyone whom didn't make it, many of them good friends. Too many of them lost. Yet, here I stand and remain. A proof that ScottG wasn't the only one whom could beat it. Longterm cancer-free survival is indeed possible. And if you need a bit of a reassurance today, in the midst of treatment or despair, I'm here to provide it.
11/13/09 5cm Stage IV 9/25 lymph nodes w/2cm peritoneal met at 29 YoA
12/15/09 LA right hemi-colectomy
6/16/10 Folfox FINISHED
8/10/10 Prophylactic HIPEC
10/9/10 got Married
Still NED and living life to the fullest
"Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life."