My name is Jason, I
have …had colon cancer.
On November 31st I was diagnosed with colon cancer and had to be taken in for emergency exploratory surgery to find out if It was actually cancer or perhaps diverticulitis. After a few hours in surgery I awoke to some serious pain, a tube down my throat, oxygen in my nose, a 14″ slice down my midsection and a colostomy bag. Oh and all of the Dilaudid I could handle. These were heady days.
Now I have a sweet gut scar down my stomach that I just can’t WAIT to show off this summer at the pool! I’d say my favorite part of this whole ordeal is the awesome poop bag I lovingly refer to as Carl that sits just to the right of my scar. Yeah, Carl is a great guy and always reminds me to keep moving forward, or the shit will get in front of you. This is what we call, “Cancer humor”. If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry because of the pain. I’m not a big fan of crying, so we do what we can.
I was taking standard FOLFOX Chemo treatments bi-weekly to shrink the tumor that kept my Thanksgiving Dinner from …”giving thanks”, to my bodily functions. I was told by my 2nd opinion docs at the Mayo Clinic to stop this treatment as they found I was potentially suffering from something called “Lynch Syndrome”. This is a genetic marker that targets colon cells in males, making them more likely to create cancer in the colon. This is what happened to me. The chances of my getting colon cancer again is very high, so they’ve decided to take the whole beast out and study the hell out of it! Glad I could contribute to science in a positive way. Hopefully they will find a cure for this whole cancer thing and bring some smiles to that happy, happy, place in the back where they have rows of half empty recliners and shove a nice tube into your veins to give you that sweet chicken soup for the cancer cells soul. Mmmmm, it’s warm in there. Sometimes. Sometimes you puke and feel like your insides are on fire and you wish for death instead of the treatment that’s meant to keep you living just a little longer.
I’m being cynical, but really it’s not completely horrible. At least not for me. I’ve got the base model cancer with the base model treatment and I have a great prognosis. The surgeries are scary, the drugs are still horrible, but I’m 33 soon to be 34 and I’ve got a really great chance at beating this thing. Doesn’t mean I don’t identify with all of those that share the seats beside me in the Cancer Ward or the Chemo Treatment Center. I feel for these people more than I’ve felt for anyone else in my life. It’s a horrible thing walking in a strapping young man with this disease, prancing around with my hair and positive outlook on my treatment plan because I’m younger and able to heal better, faster and handle the drugs better. All the while 40-90 year old men and women droop and sleep in the same chairs beside me, with a look of, “I might not make it to the next round.”. I want to help them. I also want to help anyone with this disease.
My goal here was to spread awareness, allow some information to be passed to those going through this tragic part of life and give myself something to do to keep my mind occupied since I have no real means of communication outside my apartment and my technology. My girlfriend and a handful of loyal friends give me rides to appointments and out for groceries and what have you, but that’s still not a lot of interaction with the outside world that doesn’t involve a computer screen. When I tried looking up this thing called “colon cancer”, I noticed there wasn’t a lot of people on youtube or anywhere for that matter. At least not of the male persuasion, let alone one that was my age. So here I am, Offering what I can to the cause. Hope it helps.
Stay Strong, Get checked and live your life!
Jason G. – Cancer Survivor