My Cancer

On December 28, 2011 I was told that I had cancer. Scans, tests and biopsies over the next several weeks gave it a full name - Stage IV Rectal Cancer.

What it means: There was a big tumor in my ass and it had spread into my lungs, and has more recently moved into my brain.

What it doesn't mean: Kid gloves or pity. My chin is staying high and I have the MOST AMAZING support network ever.

How I found it: I noticed blood in my poop a couple months beforehand and eventually started having discomfort when going to the bathroom. A couple 'digital exams' later and they sent me for a colonoscopy. That's when they found it.
How it was initially treated: A month of radiation and light chemo to shrink the primary tumor. Surgery to remove the primary tumor and affected rectal lymph nodes. An aggressive chemotherapy treatment to slow, stop, and clear the progression in my lungs. Two surgeries to remove the tumors and affected lymph nodes in my lungs. Three more months of adjuvant chemotherapy to work a "scorched earth" policy on any remaining cancer cells.

Then a "Clean" period: For two years we were at No Evidence of Disease (NED). There was some activity in my lungs that was closely monitored and biopsied, but remained benign until September 29, 2015. PET scan revealed a metastatic tumor in the lung again. The next day an MRI revealed metastatic tumors in my brain.

Recent treatment: I had stereotactic brain radiation on one large and three very small tumors on the right lobe. I am now on systematic chemotherapy again to control the metastasis.

The next steps: I will have MRI scans every three months to monitor brain metastases. If there are more then we will do more stereotactic radiation. I will continue chemotherapy in three-month courses (give or take medical snafus) to control the lung tumor. PET scans will follow each chemo course and a re-evaluation at that time. There is the possibility of using radiation on the lung to have some extended breaks (a few months) from systematic chemotherapy.

How you can help: Smiles everyone, smiles! I'm the same fun-loving, high energy, irreverent, sarcastic gal I've always been. New ass jokes are always appreciated. If you want to know anything, just ask me.