I am a 53 year old mother of 3. My beautiful kids are aged 27, 23, and 21.
I had blood tests on 29th January 2019, which came back as normal. Due to my symptoms and my age I was sent for a colonoscopy.
My colonoscopy was done on the 5th February, and a malignant looking mass was found in the rectosigmoid junction of my colon.
On the 11th February, my colorectal nurse confirmed that my biopsy results had come back positive for cancer - T3N1V1. And so the journey begins...
I had four rounds of Oxaliplatin intravenous chemotherapy and capecitabine tablets, which I found very hard, experiencing a number of side effects, along with a reaction to metoclopramide, the anti-sickness drug. However, my consultant pharmacist did a marvellous job of juggling and replacing my medication to get me through.
During my chemo, and whilst really struggling to pop pills all day long, I had a chat to my colorectal nurse. She told me that the capecitabine tablets were the main thing that worked against my cancer and it changed my view of them. From then on I swallowed them with a completely different frame of mind. It seems that maybe a more determined and positive outlook paid off!
Amazingly, after my next scan, they struggled to find any sign of cancer!
After a CT scan, MRI, and a flexible sigmoidoscopy, it was confirmed that all they could find was scar tissue! I was incredibly lucky!
After many discussions with my oncologist, colorectal nurse and a number of discussions in MDT meetings I was told that after only 4 rounds of chemo, there was too much of a chance of reoccurrence. I would need to decide to either have radiotherapy and watch and wait or have lower anterior resection surgery and a temporary ileostomy. After much deliberation and research online, and on here (thank you people!) I decided on surgery.
On 27th August 2019 I had my surgery. I slowly became accustomed to my new friend, my stoma, which I named Donald (Trump). With a few issues along the way, sore skin and a prolapse, I found life was quite settled, and using Salts bags gave me confidence, as I didn’t have one leak in 5 months.
Having had my ovaries removed along with part of my colon and most of my rectum, it was worth it. They found no cancer.
On January 21st, my daughter drove me to hospital for my ileostomy reversal. On her birthday, bless her. It went smoothly and I was home in a couple of days. I was left with an open wound to repair from the inside out which got infected, but was quickly sorted with antibiotics.
Now six weeks post reversal, the wound has healed. Although my tummy is weak from two ops, I am getting on okay.
My ‘new’ bowel is proving unpredictable and can get me down, as expected. Going about life is very different but it’s still early days. Although I have bad days when I feel it bit low, for the majority of the time I am really positive, and extremely grateful to have such a rock of a husband, a beautiful supportive family and fantastic friends. I have an amazing team of medical specialists to put me on the right path and you guys on here to gain information from, and support. AND NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE 😀
Never underestimate the power of positivity!