Sheryls CC Adventure

Colon Cancer 101 - What I've learned in 2 weeks
9/13/2013 | Sheryl McGlochlin

Article image: Colon Cancer 101 - What I've learned in 2 weeks

I know I've learned more about Colon Cancer in just the last 2 weeks than ever before.  You aren't that interested in something until it hits you personally.

Here's what I know about my Colon Cancer

  • Colon cancer is a very slow moving cancer
  • My cancer has probably been growing in me for 2 years
  • My cancer was about 2 inches long along my colon wall - which created a partial blockage
  • My cancer didn't spread to ANY other place in my body which I am extremely grateful for.
  • I am considered clean and don't need any further treatment i.e. chemo, etc.!!!! (I just found this news out about 12 noon on Friday the 13th!) 
  • Because colon cancer grows so slow, it can be and IS a silent killer for many people
  • Believe me, I am counting my blessings!  This whole ordeal could have been so much worse.
  • I DID HAVE signs that led me to believe that "all was not well" in my body - months in advance.
  • Appointments take time.  You don't just call and get in tomorrow.  Get scheduled for a colonoscopy, which is a simple way to avoid a very costly medical expense.
  • I learned I had colon cancer when I went in for my colonoscopy.
  • I don't think a colonoscopy is a big deal at all and people shouldn't be afraid to have one.  I was afraid that it would be hard or painful.  Neither was the case. If I can influence anyone from my whole experience to get in and have a colonoscopy then you will have done something really nice for me and especially for you!!  If you don't know who to call, contact my good friend, Dr. Randy Ryser, who did mine.  I truly love this man.  He has been there every step of the way for me on this journey.
  • Family history TRUMPS all diet and exercise habits HOWEVER I think my clean, healthy body definitely helped me pull through this ordeal much better.  I learned this lesson the hard way.  I have been so proud of myself for eating a good wholesome diet and have been very active but I put one important piece of information on the back burner which was a big mistake. Apparently our family (my mom's mom side of the family mostly) is rich in colon cancer disease which includes several relatives, many of whom are dead now. They didn't die from colon cancer but they had it or have been effected by it.  That factor alone means I should have had a colonoscopy when I was probably 40, rather than 57.  Don't beat me up with this piece of info since I have already felt bad enough about what I should have done.
  • A friend reminded me today that once you are attached to cancer in some way, you are changed for life.  She said you never see the world the same ever again.  I believe that.  This has changed me for sure and how I look at life and people.  Cancer has killed so many people and effected so many people's lives that it can't help make an impact on you.  
  • I know I've mentioned this before but I have to say that I truly love Dr. Kim and the whole staff at LDS Hospital.  I can't imagine being in a better place with more kind, loving people taking care of me.  They should all get a raise!