In hindsight, my cancer of the colon diagnosis appears so apparent. My gastroenterologist requested me to repeat a regular bloodstream test in December 2006. He requested basically was tired. I responded, “Of course, I’m – I simply tiled your bathroom, and my spouse is pregnant with this third child.”
That’s once the not so good news began in the future. My physician stated that I’d lost 1 / 2 of my red bloodstream cells, likely associated with the ulcerative colitis I’d been identified as having 13 years earlier. Not just did I not realize I had been passing bloodstream I really thought I had been doing better with my ulcerative colitis medication. The truth is, however, I’d developed colorectal cancer since my last annual colonoscopy.
My stage IV cancer of the colon diagnosis
In The month of january 2006, I’d a complete colectomy. After getting out of bed, I found that cancer had spread to my peritoneal cavity and lymph nodes. Foolishly, I looked online for stage IV cancer of the colon survival rates and requested my surgeon whether I ought to put my matters so as.
He stated, “If you’ve always aspired to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, you want to do it.” Obviously, I freaked out. My surgeon then assured me, “Don’t worry – I tell my nearby neighbor exactly the same factor.”
A couple of days after my colectomy surgery, my spouse delivered our daughter. The infant would be a welcome distraction and solved the problem keep fighting.
Visiting MD Anderson
With what appeared just like a no-brainer, I made the decision to visit MD Anderson at that time. In Feb 2006, I started a hostile chemotherapy regimen referred to as XELIRI, a mix of capecitabine and irinotecan. Following the 20-week span of XELIRI, I’d two more major abdominal surgeries to produce an intestinal diversion referred to as a J-pouch.
The J-pouch is an alternative choice to getting an ostomy bag. I’m able to securely state that I really feel good now with no colon than Used to do after i endured from ulcerative colitis.
Following a initial span of XELIRI, my disease made an appearance to become stable. But after 11 several weeks off chemotherapy, my doctors discovered recurrence within my lymph nodes. Then i continued lengthy-term chemotherapy with three different combination treatments. The treatments were aggressive, also it would be a rough period. At some point, I had been lower to 146 pounds, and i’m 6’ 6” tall!
In May 2010, I had been given a 2-month break from lengthy-term chemotherapy. Two several weeks switched into six several weeks, a year, and also the break continues today, six years later! My cancer remains in remission.
I’m convinced I’m alive today due to the aggressive surgery and chemotherapy — as well as an awesome support of family and buddies. My spouse, Michelle, is really quite the hero. She required proper care of our newborn and our two teenagers while helping me cope with treatment.
Training from stage IV cancer of the colon
Although I survived stage IV cancer of the colon, I lost my mother and three good buddies towards the disease. Now i realize that catching cancer of the colon early is vital. When I was diagnosed at the end of stages, treatment was much tougher, however i learned some essential things:
Be gracious and accept the aid of others whenever you can.
Initially, I nicely declined help and meals from buddies and neighbors, believing that we’re able to handle it. Only later, once i helped others with cancer of the colon, did I recognize how important support and help are.
Accepting help graciously is an excellent gift to another person. Whenever you decline, you lose out on an excellent meal and fellowship, and deny others from the pleasure of supporting you.
Never be afraid to speak to others concerning the disease.
Cancer of the colon isn’t easy to speak about. Within my newbie of treatment, I had been reticent to go over my condition with other people. But after my recurrence in 2007, I grew to become a lot more open concerning the disease. By doing this, I’ve found many new buddies I’ve had the opportunity support, and that i now understand that this is among the most significant stuff that are going to.
We have to increase understanding of colon and rectal cancer. Only by speaking about this are we able to help others catch the condition earlier to allow them to get treatment as quickly as possible.
That is why I’m taking part in 2010 Sprint for Colorectal Oncology Prevention and Education (SCOPE) 5K run at MD Anderson. The big event supports awareness, treatment and prevention with this awful disease.
Additionally, it provides me with an opportunity to enjoy camaraderie with other people coping with cancer of the colon. In the end, as I’ve learned, we’re not fighting this ailment alone.
Douglas Shoemaker is going to be honored in the 11th annual SCOPE 5K operate on Saturday, March 12, 2016. Find out more.