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Shannon Ryan Nicosia
Jul 20, 2017 Latest post:
Sep 18, 2018
Hi, Thank you for checking in. This is not really something you want to put online...ever.
Around July 19, with very few symptoms, I went to see my OB for what I appeared to be hemorrhoidal in nature. She located a mass that has formed behind my uterus and is large. We since have come to find out it is a 6cm x 5cm mass in my lower rectum. This triggered a flurry of activity. In one week, I had three doctor appointments, a CT Scan, and MRI and a Colonoscopy where the doctor took 15 biopsies. The biopsy information came back as stage 3B squamous cell cancer in my rectum area. Yup... there.
The good news: I feel good, no symptoms other than the understandable one. I do not feel ill at all. My CEA marker is normal (cancer marker) which is good. It does not mean I don't have cancer but it MAY mean it has not spread. My colonoscopy was clear except for the tumor. My bloodwork is normal.
Recently, I had a PET scan to make sure the cancer is only in this location and it was confirmed that it has not spread, thank God. The good news is that the cancer is treatable and has a high cure rate with the chemo and radiation treatment. After two months of daily radiation and chemo for five days at a time, twice, they will be able to better assess the staging and any need for surgery. It is highly unlikely that I will need a colostomy bag, again, thank God.
I have no family history, had no direct causes that lead to this and no warnings. At 47, this is a huge surprise and pretty rare. (However, we are the family of small percentages as some of you know!)
Thank you very much for the calls and texts. I feel all of your love and strength and thank you SO much for making me feel special and not alone. It is very hard to go thru this without your Mom.
This has all unfolded very quickly and I am finding it is not an exact science at first. I am so appreciative of my family, friends and doctors and am in good hands. My kids are aware and managing their way through a difficult word, cancer. Jon is aware and helping me through this with the kids as well.
That is it for now. Keep on keeping on. As things develop, we will post here. I will do my best to respond and answer texts/calls, so please know I am getting them and appreciate every one.
Feel free to pass along to anyone you think I left out or should know. I am open to sharing with whomever.