I'm a 24-year-old mother of two, and I am also a cancer survivor. In May of 2000, I was diagnosed with stage II Familial Adenomatous Polypsis (hereditary colon cancer). I lost my mother to colon cancer in 1982, so I had known since then that I might also have to deal with colon cancer.
In the six months before my diagnosis, two doctors had told me that I didn't need to have a colonoscopy until I was 30 or 35. In April, I began seeing a new psychiatrist, who is in remission from colon cancer. As we went over my family history and she heard about my mother's cancer, she asked if I had had a colonoscopy. When I told her no, she handed me her gastroenterologist's phone number and insisted I call him. Thanks to her, I am hopeful that I will be around to see my children grow up.
During the colonoscopy, the doctor found thousands and thousands of polyps. Within a month of my diagnosis, I had a total colectomy with a temporary ileostomy. On All Hallow's Eve, I had the ileosotmy taken out. The doctors say the chance for recurrence is slim and that right now there is no need for any chemotherapy. Had I not been diagnosed, I would not have even made it to 30 to have my first colonoscopy. The doctors told me that when I was diagnosed I had at best two years left on my life. Thank God for guardian angels!