My name is Joseph, I am 41 years old and I have Colorectal Cancer. In November 2010 I noticed some blood on my stool. I went home and got on the internet and typed in my symptoms and decided that I have diverticulitis, so I stopped eating nuts. The symptoms went away after about a week, and then came back in a few days so I went back to the internet and decided that it was hemorrhoids so I went and bought medicine and that didn’t work. By now I am worried so I decided to have a colonoscopy. On January 14, 2011, I was told that I have colorectal cancer. That was the last thing I expected to hear. There is no history of cancer on my mom’s or dad’s side of the family. The GI doctor acted fast and I had an appointment to meet with a surgeon in three days. I met the surgeon and he wanted me to meet with an Oncologist. He said the cure rate for the type of cancer was a lot higher if you do the chemotherapy and radiation first. I met Dr. Frame at UTAH Cancer Specialists and he put together a plan for me and explained my chemotherapy options. The best option for me was to have an implantable port with an open-ended catheter put in, this would allow me to get my chemotherapy treatment through a pump.
The next week I had my port put in and had a bunch of tests done. The first was a PET scan. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance (called a tracer) to look for disease in the body. The second was a sigmoidoscopy. Sigmoidoscopy is an internal examination of the lower large bowel (colon) and rectum. The third was to meet with a radiation oncologist and my radiation was set at 25 visits. I met with Dr. Frame and my radiation doctor once a week to track my progress. When I first heard the word cancer I was scared, not only for me but for my family as well. I am done with chemo and radiation and I am not so scared. The team of doctors I had did a fantastic job explaining things to me in a way that I could understand and they answered every question that my family asked. They took the time to make me feel important. The last 3 months have been rough. The sickness from the chemo and being tired from radiation. Without the love and support from my family and friends and the great team of doctors, I don’t think I would have made it this far. My surgery is set for April 7, 2011, and I am ready for it. I am ready to beat cancer and move forward with my life.
The last thing I want to say is to thank my Doctors and their staff members who worked as a team in taking such good care of me.