The Fifth Year Anniversary of Survivor Andie P.
After being diagnosed with Stage 1 Colon Cancer in 2014, Andie P. has reached her Fifth Anniversary as a Colon Cancer Survivor.
Andie's story began in October of 2013 when her OB recommended that she see a Gastroenterologist. She was not having any typical symptoms, just felt fatigued and occasionally felt sick after eating (mostly carbohydrates).
However, on January 16, 2014, she received the phone call and was diagnosed with Colon Cancer, adenocarcinoma, requiring surgery to remove part of her colon and lymph nodes to determine the stage.
This test determined that Andie had Stage 1 Colon Cancer. Since finding out Andie has had ongoing blood work and follow up colonoscopies, which she had to do until five years pass. As of January 2019, Andie reached the five-year mark.
Andie describes her experience as, "Surgery and a brief stay in the hospital. They were able to remove all cancer, and my lymph nodes were clear, so I did not undergo Radiation or chemotherapy." Andie is considered NED or No Evidence of Disease five years out from Diagnosis.
She caught it in time and had been fortunate enough to be a proud survivor. "Listen to your body. No two people are alike, you know your body best, so if something is off, continue pressing for answers," says Andie, "I am more cautious about what I eat and how active I am. I don't want another scare and feel I have been given a second chance at life."
This diagnosis was not Andie's first encounter with a life-altering illness. Andie's Aunt Karen passed from Pancreatic Cancer in 2007, which inspired her to do an early screening. Yes, an early screening. Andie was 34 when diagnosed. Keep in mind that the recommended age for getting checked is 45.
"We are fortunate to have a preventative screening available for Colon Cancer. Not all cancers do. If you are uncertain of symptoms, it is a day off work and about $2500, best money I have ever spent. It saved my life getting that early colonoscopy. I would also encourage young adults to keep track of the ACS guidelines on screening," Andie recommends.
Andie is a survivor, but most importantly she is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend, niece, granddaughter, cousin, and aunt. Rather than put off or cancel her colonoscopy, which she thought to do several times, Andie listened to her body.
Since doing so, Andie says, she lives more freely, never wasting a moment, which she can do because she has had no symptoms since ending her treatment.