No one looks forward to turning 50 so they can finally go get that colonoscopy. Even after my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011 and her doctor suggested my sister and I have a colonoscopy, I still put it off for nearly a year. Before I go further, let me say...if you are at risk for colon cancer or are over 50 and have not had a colonoscopy...quit being a big baby and get it done. It's no.big.deal.
So, to tell the truth, there were signs. Signs that I was quick to brush off and explain away. But I scheduled my colonoscopy for December 2012...almost a year to the day my mom was diagnosed. Afterwards, as Dr. Edge showed me the glossy photos of my colon, he told me that he was fairly sure that what we were seeing would be confirmed as cancer. In January 2013 the pathology results confirmed his suspicions and I was scheduled for a colon resection.
The colon resection at Piedmont Atlanta with Dr. Hum was pretty uneventful. Twelve inches of my colon was removed and I was on my way. I then was scheduled to meet oncologist, Dr. Sidhu, to discuss chemotherapy options. Since my medical history included a kidney transplant in 2008, Dr. Sidhu was nervous to begin chemo without a second opinion. She referred me to Emory for a second opinion and also scheduled a PET scan.
The Emory doctor confirmed that chemotherapy would be advisable...even moreso because of the kidney transplant and the immunosuppressants I take. However, the PET scan uncovered 3 other spots on my liver. I was then introduced to Dr. Ken Cardona, Surgical Oncologist at Emory for advisement.
Dr. Cardona became the quarterback for my care and he explained to me that we would come to be close friends because this type of cancer loves to come back....especially within the first 2 years. He worked closely with Dr. Sidhu in administering chemotherapy prior to addressing the liver spots surgically. Once it was confirmed that the chemo was affecting the liver mets, surgery was scheduled for a liver resection in June 2013.
That liver resection, the removal of 40% of my liver, was one of the hardest things I've been through. It was a tough recovery. But God is good and faithful and I was able to get back to work when school started in August.
Unfortunately, Dr. Cardona was right about the recurrence factor...liver mets continued to pop up over the next year. I was introduced to Dr. Noir who is one of the only surgeons