I am a 55-year-old woman who always took great care of herself. Never smoked or drank, stayed out of the sun and always looked much younger than my age.
A few years ago, I started getting symptoms of what I thought were hemorrhoids. I’d never had a colonoscopy, always saying I was "too busy." Like a lot of people, I was just afraid. But given my symptoms, I mustered up the courage, found the time and had it done.
I’d never had a colonoscopy, always saying I was "too busy." Like a lot of people, I was just afraid.
The results were shocking; I had stage-3 rectal cancer. The tumor on my sphincter muscle had to be reduced with radiation and chemo before they could operate. While enduring six rough weeks of both, I never missed a day of work. In hindsight, my job probably kept my mind off the reality of what was happening.
Unfortunately, the treatment didn’t work and the tumor didn't shrink. So surgery was scheduled, and I was left with a permanent colostomy.
That was more than a year ago, and thanks to the support of my family and friends—plus all the positive inspirational stories I hear and information I’ve been able to find—I’ve come out on the other side! It’s been a scary transition, but in order to survive, I decided to forge ahead. There was no other choice.
Today, nothing holds me back. I've traveled the country with my husband, finding marvelous adventures. I opened up my own Compounding Pharmacy with a colleague, and I couldn't be happier! My goal is to reach out to people going through this experience to share any support in any way I can.
My goal is to reach out to people going through this experience to share any support in any way I can.