Diagnosed at 55
I was diagnosed with stage 2 colorectal cancer on February 15, 2011 during my base colonoscopy at age 55. At the time I should have done my base at age 50, I was diagnosed with and fighting breast cancer.
With the colon cancer diagnosis there was a flurry of activity — although I already had my oncologist and radiation oncologist in place after the first diagnosis. I met with my surgeon in Fremont and he sent me to a group that specialized in colon & rectal surgery. There I met medical assistant Nickole and Dr. Jennifer Beaty. Dr. Beaty spelled out the whole process — first off I would need a port put in, then I would have to do chemo & radiation to shrink the tumor, and then a resection surgery in June 2011. I would come home with an ileostomy bag (had no idea what that meant at the time!) and about the time I would get it all figured out, we could go in and reverse the ileostomy surgery (that happened in October 2011). During this time the original port had to be taken out because it had “gone bad” and I had to have another port put in. My oncologist gave me the bad news that I would have to do six months of chemo — as an insurance policy! In December 2012 I had to have another resection surgery. Early on I figured out I was just along for the ride.