Posts tagged ‘CT scan’

Oh Yeah… My Blog!

Wait – I have a blog? Oh yeah…

Sorry guys, in the midst of working for the church, growing my small business and um, getting the hang of this mom thing – good ole’ Semicolon Stories has gotten the shaft. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Our dogs feel the same way too.

But, I’m just checking in to say hello to the blog world, and that life here is good, busy, changing, yet good. Let’s see here… for a few updates…

  • My hubby is about ready to change careers and bring his teaching gig to an end in about a week. He’ll be joining me in the website arena and working on CSS for a website company.
  • Mae’s doing great. She’s doing this awesome rock-n-roll, I’m about to crawl thing now. She’s really great at getting on all fours and then lunging. I love it – it’s not pretty but she doesn’t care. She can get anywhere she wants these days – except out of her bed and onto my plate.
  • I’m doing well! Health-wise, I got the “all clear” again this week after another CT scan. Docs wanted to make sure that the pelvic activity showing up on the scans is still just scar tissue. The CT last week didn’t show any concerns. Hallelujah.
  • I’m working like a beast – that is my imagination of how a beast would work. I’m also in the midst of approaching a healthy balance between my full-time job and side business, so in the meantime I’m keeping rather… active. But don’t worry – it will be changing soon. Promise.
  • And my last bit of WAY exciting news for now-
    (no we don’t have another kid stashed away or anything like that…)
    But – I am headed to NEW YORK again in a few weeks for the 2012 COLONDAR SHOOT!
    Oh my friends, I am so excited, honored and in awe that I get to return to the magical place of all-things Colondar. I’ve been asked to write the bios for the new 12 calendar models. I can’t wait to meet them, to write their heroic stories, to make more friends who’ve also experienced colon cancer at a young age, and to return to see good friends at the shoot.

So, that’s a short and quick update! I’ll make it a goal to post more soon but in the meantime, we’ll just be chilling in a laundry basket.

May 20, 2011 at 11:47 pm Leave a comment

Cancer Scares

One part of survivorhood I never really prepared for was the cancer scares. Sure, I knew that I would need to keep a healthy lifestyle and make sure I went to routine scans, but for some reason the element of the constant scares had never crossed my mind. That is, until about a month ago.

It’s never fun when your doctor calls to personally to deliver the CT scan results. He was concerned, sent me for a follow-up PET Scan, and about a week-and-a-half of anxiety ridden days and nights, I finally got the news that all was clear once again. Apparently, being operated and radiated on as a 17-year-old can have some residual effects like scaring in the pelvis that looks questionable.

While I’m thankful that in this instance, all was clear, it opened my eyes to the long journey that I, as well as all of my fellow cancer survivors, are on. Especially for those of us who’ve been hit with the disease twice or more; it’s an eye-opening and sobering experience to realize that you’ll be fighting a disease for the rest of your life. When I first realized this after my second diagnosis, I was angry. My anger has subsided these days, but it’s still shocking to me sometimes when I realize the risks associated with just living life. I realized as I waited for my PET scan results to come in, that even if all was clear, this wouldn’t be the last time I’d have a scare like this. Unfortunately, this is a lifelong journey.

As I went about church and life group yesterday; however, I began to see a comforting  parallel between living with Christ, and my life as a cancer survivor. Both require a “wartime” mentality, as we must always stay on guard for the next attack. We mustn’t be surprised by it, but rather, anticipate that the enemy will work to get us down… whether it’s sickness, debt, rough relationships, sinful temptations, etc. We won’t have these “scares” subside until we reach heaven. So until we’re there, we must anticipate them.We must stay in the fight, and remember that we’re at war.

I found encouragement yesterday in remembering that I serve a God that is here to help. Christ didn’t come down to earth to leave us hanging. He sent the Holy Spirit to get us through tough times, give us unity among one another, and bring about a perfect peace that gets us through any trial. While we can’t always change our thoughts or make ourselves feel differently, we can plug into the source who will “guard our minds and our hearts” with only the peace He can bring. Whether it’s a cancer scare, or any other life problem that gets us down, we must keep pressing on and hold the line in this war.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

April 4, 2011 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Personal Health Update

I often get asked how I’m doing these days health-wise, so I thought I’d take today to give an update.

I pretty much am fully recovered and back to speed after my surgeries and hospital stays last June. It took a little longer than I expected to gain all of my strength back, but it’s rejoined me nonetheless. I’m back to boxing and doing Jillian Michaels’ workouts, which I’m convinced that if cancer won’t kill me – those surely will! Holy cow they are hard!

I was put back into the circuit of receiving checkups from my oncologist every 3-4 months after my diagnosis last summer, but so far everything has come back clear. My lab work is showing that my levels are normal, and my PET scan came back clean. I also had a CT scan that looked good. They did see a few spots around the liver that seem to be fatty deposits. They will keep an eye on them to make sure they’re nothing to be concerned about. I’ll have a follow-up CT scan sometime this summer, as well as an upper & lower GI scope.

I had an interesting time as I added another doctor to my “A Team” of physicians and began meeting with a geneticist. Because I’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer twice now and I’m not even 30, it’s highly suspicious that I have a genetic disorder. I was tested for “FAP,” but it came back negative. Back in the day when I was 17, M.D. Anderson suspected that I might have a disorder called “Lynch Syndrome” but testing couldn’t prove it. This past summer’s diagnosis raised suspicions again, as colon cancer appeared once more. My family and I were reevaluated and retested. While we would have loved to have concrete answers, we didn’t quite receive the certainty we were hoping for. But, reports were still clear and leaning toward there being a genetic problem, science just hasn’t caught up with us yet. I believe that my case has been left open to make us still have faith and hope. We can’t totally explain the two cancer occurrences, but we do know enough to try and stop them from happening again. The doctors have recommended that I be treated as someone with Lynch Syndrome so we can stay on top of the cancer risks and prevent it from returning the best we can!

Other than the frequent scans and more doctors appointments, life is pretty much back to normal. I still go poop (I’m asked that often!) – although because I have less than a foot of colon left, it’s much more often than others. I was very nervous about the foods I would have to avoid for the rest of my life, but it’s really not been that bad. Oils and heavily fried foods seem to be the worst, but I can eat almost anything in moderation – depending on the day, what else I’ve had to eat and my stress level. I’ve not had any more “IBS-like” attacks since my surgery (I was having several the month leading up to the big day) and generally feel pretty good if I watch my diet. As my blog shows, I have been eating more locally grown, organic foods to help me give me the best fuel and energy my body needs.

Of course, I still have my days now and then where I need to stay home, get extra rest, or stay close to the potty – but those are becoming fewer and fewer. I have a clearer understanding now than ever that each day is a gift, and feel so fortunate to be granted another second chance at a healthy life.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement through all of this! As you continue to pray for me and my health, I also ask that you keep fellow cancer soldiers in mind who are undergoing chemo, radiation and other treatments to kill, or hold back their cancers. It’s a rough gig, and they need all of the support we can give. I pray that many others who are currently fighting will also have their health restored and positive health updates to give!

February 11, 2010 at 5:18 am 3 comments


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