My name is Evelyn. I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer at the age of 31.
In April of 2003, on a Friday, I told everyone at work that I would be getting a colonoscopy that Monday and I would be off that day. I expected to come back to work that Tuesday. I had been having stomach cramps that would come and go; usually after eating. I had noticed the cramps around Thanksgiving the prior year and had even gone to my primary care physician several times after that Thanksgiving to tell her about the mild cramps. I was given diagnoses of acid reflux and gastritis; but because of my age; not colon cancer.
The cramps became more frequent and would sometimes stop me in my tracks. All along, I never noticed any blood in my stool; but I did have infrequent bowel movements. I would go for days without a bowel movement.
I finally met with a GI doctor. He told me that he saw some scarring on my intestines and wanted to set me up for a colonoscopy. So after the colonoscopy that Monday, the doctor told me I had a tumor in my colon the size of a golf ball and that it had to be removed. He said call on Tuesday and set up the surgery.
When I arrived home from the colonoscopy that Monday night, I still had some bowel movement left from the bowel prep kit. Tuesday morning I went to the bathroom again and the bowl was filled with blood. I called my doctor and I was told to go to the ER by ambulance immediately. After tests, an emergency operation had to be done to remove the tumor.
It was all happening so fast. I had 3 kids and a full time job. I had not prepared for this. It seemed as if my whole life stopped, turned and flashed before my eyes. But, not even the doctors wanted to say, initially, that it was colon cancer. I ended up staying in the hospital for six days. I tried to be tough in the hospital as I waited for the news from the biopsy. The results finally came: it was stage III colon cancer. I broke-down and cried like a baby.
My grandmother, who was there at the hospital with me at the time, said, "Don't you cry. No-No. You better look towards My God." Of course, I didn't hear that at the time because I was only thinking the worse like; “What will my kids do if they lose me?”
I was discharged from the hospital on a Sunday night. I went through chemotherapy and prayed a lot. I have a strong relationship with Jesus and I leaned on Him for strength. I drove myself to chemotherapy and was treated by a great staff. After chemo, I would go to the mall or treat myself to a nice lunch before I started feeling tired or nauseated from the chemo. I encouraged myself to beat the cancer because I knew that I wanted to stay here for my three beautiful kids. I finished my chemo, went back to work, and as of today (2011) I still live cancer free.
By the way, after the chemo treatments, I had genetic testing done (no family history) and all three of my kids have been tested (their ages at testing were 10, 11, and 21). Three weeks ago I had a full-hysterectomy, as recommended by my oncologist. It was told to me that colon cancer can sometimes return and attack women in the uterus. Well, I said; I will not give that "Cancer Monster" a chance to return back and scare me or rob me of my joy, life and freedom.
I want to inspire and encourage others to never give up fighting to be healed.