Andie Petersen

Age 34


Andie with her children

Andie with her children

At the age of 34, I am a wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend, niece, granddaughter, cousin, and aunt. I am also a colon cancer survivor. I hope my story inspires at least one person to get a colonoscopy and to be an advocate for yourself and your healthcare.

After a routine annual check up with my OB in October of 2013, it was recommended that I see a Gastroenterologist. At this time, I was not having any typical symptoms, just felt fatigued and occasionally felt sick after I ate (mostly carbohydrates). Doc and I were both concerned about some possible food sensitivities. My gastroenterologist ordered a CT scan, some blood work and we scheduled a colonoscopy for about a month later. My CT scan was clean, and the blood test showed no sign of Celiac Disease. There were numerous times I thought of cancelling the Colonoscopy. "I'm only 34... My deductible starts over January 1st... the CT scan didn't show anything... I have no family history of any GI related issues…" 

I thought a lot about my Aunt Karen during this time. She was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in August of 2007. She passed Christmas morning of that same year. I had the opportunity to do an "early screening", and I wanted to take it. 

MY TIMELINE:

  • January 10, 2014 I had a colonoscopy. I had a 2cm polyp removed. 
  • January 16, 2014 Phone Call. I have Colon Cancer, adenocarcenoma. I will have surgery to remove part of my colon and lymph nodes to determine the stage. 
  • January 23, 2014 Meeting with Surgeon. The margins of the biopsy were not enough to conclude they got it all. 
  • February 3, 2014 Surgery to remove my Sigmoid Colon and surrounding lymphnodes. 
  • February 5, 2014 Pathology on Colon came back - No residual Cancer
  • February 7, 2014 Pathology on Lymphnodes - No Evidence of Cancer
  • March 23, 2014 Scan of lungs - No Evidence of disease.
  • Ongoing blood work and follow up colonoscopies until 5 years passes. 

I was diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer. The uncertainty, anxiety, and fear were overwhelming. I have many people who are continuing to support me as I go through my journey and I am so grateful for the friendship and love I have received. I'm thankful for my doctors who paid close attention and listened to my concerns. They saved my life and I can never thank them enough.  

My husband, Timmon, and I are moving forward without cancer and are enjoying watching our 5 year old son, and 18 month old daughter grow up. 

Today I have no evidence of disease and look forward to my 5 year cancer free celebration!