The Web site of the National Cancer Institute
April 25, 2003 was a normal Friday. I was working on a new project up in Cincinnati on the Ohio River. Although I did have pains in my side I assumed it was the consumption of hot peppers of mexican food the night before.
Monday April 28 at 8:30 a.m. I decided the pain had gone to far and it must be my appendix inflamed. I went to the local urgent treatment center. They promptly examined and X-rayed me. They came to the conclusion that
I either was constipated to beat almighty hell and or needed a C-scan. So a few hours later (noon or so), I was cat scanned. After the scan I was supposed to sit around the waiting room at the clinic for my results.
After more than an hour I decided I had waited enough and demanded an answer from someone. As it turned out, they got my doctor on the phone and she told me that I was a 100% GO for surgery at approximately 6:30 that evening
due to an inflamed appendix and some abcess area just North of the the Appendix. I said Okay, let's just get the show on the road and get my life back to normal SOON!
Right before surgery the surgeon tells me "It will probalby only take 30 minutes to remove the appendix and clean you up". I woke up nearly 6 hrs. later to something different.
Tumors.....multiple...burkitt's lymphoma. One tumor had been in the appendix which they removed and the other tumor was on the colon of which they removed 5 ft.
I'm so grateful for the medical treatment I recieved by that surgical team. For that was the only day in my life I knew I had CANCER.
After the tumors were removed, I still had to go thru aggresive chemo followed by an
autologous bone marrow transplant which totally sucked! I was finished with the transplant and treatment around the middle of October, 2003.
I still have some side affects. # 1 is my bowel movement. It's just BAD and that's all I'll say about that (Not Normal!). I have chest pain near my heart on occasions. Sometimes the pain is tremendous.
I've seen my doctor and surgeon about it and they think it's muscle related (OKAY). On rare occasions I will have pains from the surgery. This is quite frightening as it feels similar to the original tumors I had.
All in all....I'm grateful for the treatment I recieved and the 2nd chance at life.
I now attend a bi-weekly cancer group I've grown very fond of. I've met a few people I will never forget that will probably change my life.
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