A couple of new friends encouraged me to start writing. I have still my doubts. One of the things I am learning is everyone’s journey is different. Genetic testing found me. True cancer runs in my family. My dad passed away from colon cancer at 42. The other side of the family has health issues too. Thyroid problems are like wearing glasses, both have been around for a long time. I got pointers from my sister on what to expect about the mammogram. My Breast cancer at 42 surprised everyone. My first mammogram was a baseline mammogram, it wasn’t suppose to find an early stage breast cancer.
Early 2008 I was in Cleveland Clinic, J came in my room from genetics. She explained about PTEN gene and Cowden’s Syndrome. Yes that sounded like me, but I was having heart failure problems. I just wanted my medicine adjusted to feel better and get back to work. J came back with Dr. Charis Eng MD. PhD. of the Genomic Medical Institute at Cleveland Clinic. J talked more about Dr. Eng, her research and I think she did a family tree. I finally agreed to get tested. They took a whole lot of blood. I forgot to asked how long the results would take, how much does genetic testing cost or who was paying for the testing. I felt better and went back to work.
Fast forward to January 2009. The day before my colon cancer surgery, I was at the main campus of Cleveland Clinic meeting with my colon surgeon. There are lots of forms to sign. Different nurses approach me about helping with colon cancer research, being on there registry. In the middle of all this J comes in the room and says yes I have Cowden. J talked about my many new options about my breast. I was hot, tired, scared. Waiting for me at home was the colon cleaning prep. Tomorrow was my colon cancer and liver biopsy, J is tell us I can get my breast removed, right colon removed tomorrow. They would only have to put me to sleep once.
Everyone is different. I learn that every day. Cancer is hard and it doesn’t matter what kind of cancer or how anyone deals with it. All cancers are different, not better or worse just different. Last year a female family friend passed from cancer. She had ovarian cancer since 2007. The same stage has my colon cancer. My sister knew her since brownies. We rode to high school together. She was in the Navy just like me. Ya I understand!