It’s been three and a half years since my last entry and, I couldn’t help but wonder how life has turned out. Three years before I was diagnosed, I was working out five times a week and was in great shape. Suddenly one day, my friends noticed that I had lost a lot of weight, but I just thought it was due to my active lifestyle. During this time, I was constantly having stomach problems and passing motion has been from pain to really excruciating. During my workout, I was stretching out on a yoga mat I knew something was not right. I had also been very tired, having a hard time eating, and in general, not feeling good.
I went to my usual general practitioner and he recommended over-the-counter drugs. For well over three months, I also had constant diarrhea. The doctor suspected unhealthy eating habits and misdiagnosed me with hemorrhoid. By the third month, I knew something was really off and I had a second opinion. I underwent a series of MRI, CT scans, stools samples, and bloodwork. Dr Young finally diagnosed me with an unfortunate, colorectal cancer. I was diagnosed with cancer and at that time, my world came tumbling down.
It was on my birthday I got admitted to the hospital and got started on my treatment options. That day, I met with my nurse, who explained how things would go for my evaluation and consultation. I first met with my intake physician, then I started all the testing and all sorts of scans to confirm the diagnosis and determine whether the cancer had spread anywhere else. Next, I met with all the people who would provide me with supportive care services. Then I met my social worker and pharmacist, along with a few medical staff. They were indeed wonderful.
We discussed my treatment options. Everything was coming together with the way I needed it to. Together, we chose a treatment plan, and I was ready for the battle.
I started an aggressive chemotherapy regimen, which included intravenous chemotherapy for 2 to 3 sessions followed by radiotherapy which is radiation therapy often abbreviated RT, RTx, or XRT, is therapy using ionizing radiation, generally as part of cancer treatment to control or kill malignant cells and normally delivered by a linear accelerator. Each time I attended my session, it cost around a thousand dollars including medications. I was so fortunate to have made a wise decision a few years prior to making my health insurance premiums upfront. I was unemployed for almost 2 years. My partner had left me and I lost interest in everything that once holds joy to me. This was the lowest point of my life. I stayed in a private hospital for over a month. The total cost of my treatments, medications, consultations and hospital stay is equivalent to a Hérmes 35cm Birkin Ostrich in exotic leather.
The intra-arterial chemotherapy, in particular, was very intense. After each treatment, I slept the whole day because my immune system was so low and weak. But it knocked my tumor markers down dramatically. I experienced a few side effects, including nausea, low blood cell, and platelet counts, luckily my hair loss was not huge. Progressively, I started getting better and feeling stronger. It’s been exactly one year since I have survived cancer. This experience has made me stronger, more resilience and more in tune with my faith which I have may lose in it several years ago.
I am back in the workforce doing the things that I really love. I am very dedicated with my work and very passionate about it. I thank God for giving me this second chance to live and for that I think it’s a great blessing to found Him again.
#cancersurvivor #survivingcancer #resilience #faith #love #blessed