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I'm fighting colorectal cancer. Are you or did you?

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2007 at 5:51 PM
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Hi! My name is Sarah Dees and I am 46 years old with an eleven year old daughter. For the past five months, I've been going through hell on earth fighting cancer and the doctors trying to save my body from a tumor that was in my anal canal, way down low. I don't know anybody else that has gone through my kind of cancer. I've met a number of colon cancer people and many breast cancer friends, and even made one friend who had colon cancer which had already spread to her liver, which was really bad. I was lucky, in a way, because the tumor had not spread to the lymph nodes, or any other organs, but the doctors treated those areas with radiation anyway to keep it from spreading there. From the start, the surgeon wanted to do a major colostomy on me, totally mutilating my body. I fought hard to avoid that, finally having to leave him after he put in my port, and I've taken the route of aggressive chemo and radiation, five days a week. I was severely burned from radiation treatments, twice, all the skin was destroyed on my underside. It took a month each time to heal from the "treatments." The doctors told me it would be painful and I thought I could handle it, but I had no concept of what pain really was, I fell into a black hole of misery and suffering. Now the good news is the tumor has shrunken down to nothing and I go for a biopsy on May 1 to see if there are still live cancer cells. I have been feeling better because they haven't been torturing me since early March and I have gradually been getting my life back, getting out of bed and living again, but I am afraid if they find cancer they will want me to go back for more chemo and radiation and I DON"T WANT TO. My daughter has been the motivating factor in keeping alive, because she is the reason I kept fighting to live. I would have given up without her. The pain was so bad I did try to overdose once on morphine, but I am so opiate saturated that it didn't even faze me. I was throwing up the pills from chemo sickness and just couldn't get enough pain relief. Now I'm on the fentanyl patch and Actiq lollipops. I know so much more now than I knew when all of this started. I was just green, willing to do anything the doctors told me, except of course, balking when they wanted to cut me up and mutilate me. Good thing I said no! They didn't have to; I was right to refuse, but I was under tremendous pressure by the surgeon and frequently threatened by the radiation doctor who I eventually had to leave as well by going to another hospital. I'm almost through the dark tunnel and I can see the light. My personality had gotten twisted, depressed, enraged, all normal reactions to a cruel and torturous situation. So are you going through this wretched cancer? Can I help you, or can you help me? I know a lot now, if you are just starting, about diet and radiation, and chemo, and sex, and other topics that could help you. If you are a veteran and well past where I am in the game, and you want to give me any advice, I am listening. Five, now six months of being a cancer patient full time has left me financially destroyed, and I need help. I got one grant from a local foundation that paid my mortgage and vehicle insurance for three months. I am searching out more sources for help, or hoping I won't be forced into more treatment so I can get back to work for real so I can start making money again and we won't be destitute. I am an artist; I have a web site at www.sarahdees.com, my cafemom site is http://www.cafemom.com/home/FLArtist and I also have a myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/sarahdees. Please look me up if you are dealing with this; I would love to communicate with you, and know of your experience. Sarah
by on Apr. 25, 2007 at 5:51 PM
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cancerfightnmom
by Member on May. 4, 2007 at 2:01 PM
Hi, I do not have the same kind of cancer as you but I recently met someone who has been through the same kind.  They were able to remove the main tumor & then she went through chemo as well and is in remission now.  It is a long, scary road though as is any kind of cancer.

  You will be in my prayers & someday I  know that you & i will be able to say we are cancer survivors Not Fighters Anymore!!!

 Take care & if you ever want to talk send me a message.
                              ~Melissa A.K.A. CancerFightNMOM~
 
FLArtist
by on Nov. 23, 2007 at 2:24 PM
Thank you for your reply. That was very sweet of you to say. Just wanted to let you know that after a year of fighting this illness, I am now 100% cancer free. My body is whole; I did not let them cut me up or mutilate me, although I had to fight like hell to save myself. It took months of healing, even after they determined the cancer cells were all gone, to overcome the symptoms of all the chemo and radiation. I am doing better every day. I am starting my business (artist, working out of my home) Sarah Dees Art, again, and rebuilding my life. I even have a new boyfriend now! (Very recent, two great dates so far!) Life is getting better. I have become a member of the Long Term Cancer Survivors email list, which I found out about from the Cancer Tool Box, at the web site of Cancer Survivors. I have a lot of resources now to help, and I am applying for some grants to help me recover financially. It took a while to be able to type, and read, and focus again. "Chemo brain", radiation side effects, and fatigue, plagued me long after the cancer itself was cured. I am positive, joyful, and back to my real personality again, no longer the cancer zombie I had become. I am always happy to share, and will share the information I have learned, and my resources, with anyone who has need of it. Thank you very much, Sarah Dees sarahdeesart@mac.com
janiecem
by New Member on Aug. 14, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Hi Sarah   fighting for my life as we speak  was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer in april 2012  radiation left me with an ulcer in my rectum resulting in an ostomy   i am now dealing with radiation vaginitus as the radiation burned my insides as well    starting a new dose of chemo for 6 months  infusion and pills losing my hair scared to death  i am in the black hole you speak of    wanting to live  wanting hope   so scared

boom_maker
by Member on Aug. 28, 2012 at 12:55 PM

 my aunt was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer 1/12. she had her 6mo of chemo/radiation first, had surgery 5/25 to remove the tumor(s) and is now doing her next 6mo worth of chemo. hopefully she will be done by christmas.

i can only imagine what you are going through. i hope the best for you and that you can beat this.

Quoting janiecem:

Hi Sarah   fighting for my life as we speak  was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer in april 2012  radiation left me with an ulcer in my rectum resulting in an ostomy   i am now dealing with radiation vaginitus as the radiation burned my insides as well    starting a new dose of chemo for 6 months  infusion and pills losing my hair scared to death  i am in the black hole you speak of    wanting to live  wanting hope   so scared

 

VickiB
by Member on Aug. 29, 2012 at 10:27 AM
I have been battling Stage IV Colon Cancer for over three years now. I'm fighting for my life too. I consider myself lucky because the treatments I have had recently have allowed me to live a fairly "normal" life.
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