“I Love You Nana”
Hello my name is Lorraine and I am from Rocky Ford, CO. I was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer in March of 2014. The day I was diagnosed with cancer changed my life immensely. It started by having a colonoscopy screening in Pueblo, Co., which showed a mass. As my doctor discussed my results he stated, “The mass appears to be cancerous,” hearing the word “CANCER” left me in disbelief. The ride home from my appointment was like living in a dream shocked this could happen to someone like me. I have no family history of Colon Cancer. I’m married and have two daughter’s Michelle and Stephanie, and two grandchildren Isabella and Gracie. At the time I was diagnosed my daughter Michelle was pregnant with Gracie which made me stronger. The first month of being diagnosed I went through intensive testing which I have never had to go through testing like that before, it was very frightening. I had the best care from my Primary Care Provider, Oncologist, Radiation Dr. and Surgeon. After going through test after test the team of doctor’s discussed my case, and I would have 6 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. I traveled to the Dorcy Cancer Center in Pueblo which is forty five minutes from my home town of Rocky Ford five days a week back and forth from Rocky Ford to Pueblo. My husband would take off work to make sure I was at all appointments, some days I would meet with all the doctor’s. The first two weeks of treatment I worked in the morning and had my treatment in the afternoon, on the third week I took medical leave from work. The pain was getting worse, around the fourth week they had to stop radiation for a week and start treatment again. The chemotherapy made me very nauseous, we had several trips to treatment that my husband Robert had to pull over so I could get sick. Robert would always encourage me never to give up. My daughter Michelle would take off work early to get my granddaughter Bella to treatments. Every day of treatment my granddaughter Isabella would run into the building and give me a hug and kiss and tell me “I Love You Nana”. That unconditional love helped through the toughest time of my life. My daughter Stephanie took three months off her college education, took leave from work to help me. Both my daughter’s and husband were my inspiration, they needed their mom and my husband needed his wife, I was “NOT” going to give up. I remember one night when I couldn’t sleep, I cried because I thought “am I going to die” very emotional. I was so sick I wished my mom was here to comfort me. I was thankful for my sister’s love and support, I wouldn’t have gone through this without my Faith, Family and Friends. Their prayers uplifted me and gave me strength to get through this difficult time. On the last day of treatment Isabella was standing by the entrance of the Cancer Center with a sign “Last Day 6/19/14”, she told me, “Nana We Love You”. I am now an advocate for Colorectal Screenings, as it saved my life.
“My fear of colonoscopies was nothing compared to my fear of dying from colorectal cancer!”
I want to share my story of how a screening colonoscopy saved my life.
For two years my doctor kept reminding me that I needed to have a screening colonoscopy. I was perfectly healthy and had no family history of colon cancer. I had many reasons to procrastinate, but basically, out of fear of the test, the prep, and a few dozen lame excuses, I chose to ignore my doctor. It wasn’t until my husband dared me in front of my doctor that I agreed to the test.
To make a long story short, at the age of 52, I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. My fear of colonoscopies was nothing compared to my fear of dying from colorectal cancer!
I was fortunate. My cancer was in the early stages, and surgery offered me a cure.
The prep for the colonoscopy was honestly not that bad. The colonoscopy was accompanied by sedation that made me wonder, “Is that all there is to it?”
The moral of my story is if I had waited until I had symptoms, it would have been too late.