Posts tagged colon cancer

Five Years

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Five years ago today.

Five Years

 

Hard to believe that it’s been FIVE years since Scott had colon cancer surgery to remove half his colon and we started to live a life beyond cancer. Looking back, so much has happened during the past five years but yet it was all just life. A different life than we had planned – with a different perspective than we would have thought possible at our age. Cancer changed us – for the good, for the bad. The Cancer was gone five years ago, but the the thing with cancer is, it never goes away.  It forever colors your world – makes you feel things, see things, gain perspective.

It makes you more sensitive, more emotional, feel more deeply, love more urgently, appreciate health, appreciate LIFE.

I remember the exact moment the Dr. Ryan told me that they think the mass was cancer –the look in his eyes, the silence after the words. The sinking feeling I felt when I looked over at my still looped up husband. It was the last thing I had even imagined would be what they found. Cancer happens to other people.

But yet, it explained a lot of things going on in our life at the time. We were out of balance as people, as a couple, as a family and had no answers. Cancer was the answer, the cause of the uneven path our lives were taking on. Once you know what you are dealing with, you can deal with it. And deal with it we did.

We don’t do anything half-ass –and this was no different. The following year, chemo appointments, doctors, pharmacy visits, rest, adjustments, pain, medications, tears, sadness, mourning flooded our lives. But it was all wrapped in hope, strength and determination. I learned more about who I was and who the man I was married to was made of. We are not super heroes – we are a team.

August 2008

August 2008

Colon cancer has milestones: Three years=remission. Five years=Cured. Today is FIVE years.

I have never felt happier. After my workout this morning, I could feel the tears bubble up as I mentioned to some friends about today. We are so blessed and fortunate that we indeed made it to the Five year mark. So many others have not and I am forever grateful for everyone that helped us through. There are a ton of people who in one way or another, helped us keep moving and for that — I am forever grateful.

 

family

Seeing Crystal Clearly

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It must be the spring weather and the extra sunlight but I am feeling better and more optimistic —and seeing things clearer. Or at least that’s how I feel today.  And I am feeling more empowered to take charge and control of certain aspects of my life that are out of whack. I feel good things coming my way very soon. It just feels right and that it’s my time to finally shine professionally. I am so hungry for growth in my professional life right now –and have been feeling stagnant. The past week –some great, no nonsense signs have presented themselves to me and I have seen them — crystal clearly and feel empowered by them. If you jump, a net will appear… 

I haven’t posted much cancer-related news lately – unintentionally. I came across this interesting piece yesterday:

The Tricky Business of Diagnosing Young Adult Cancer

I consider anyone under the age of 40 to be a young adult in the cancer world — and know that Scott was misdiagnosed a few times. What doctors do is they go by statistics — age, risk factors, family history to assess the symptoms. Why would a 37 year old male with on family history of colon cancer have colon cancer?  Statistics would say he wouldn’t so it must not be that. I am so thankful that we pushed harder –but we could have caught it even earlier had we known.  Visit stupidcancer.org for more info on young adult cancer and support.

Our Rigwarmup
800m jog
DROM

Burgener warmup

skill
Snatch balance

WOD
3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1-1

Snatch Balance
45, 65, 75, 85, 95 (failed)

Make a Leap

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JonI want to send a big THANK YOU to my big brother Jon Gettinger for making the FIRST donation to team Hoagie’s Heroes! I love you and you are awesome!

We are raising money for the Scope it Out 5K Washington DC Presented by Chris4Life and running the race in honor of Scotty’s fifth year colon cancer free.  Consider donating or joining our team!! And make sure no matter what that you become familiar with the signs and symptoms of Colon Cancer! 

There is so much good going on my life it seems to make the things that aren’t going as they should be seem magnified.  One thing I have learned about myself over the years is I am a thinker. I tend to have a very raw knee jerk reaction to something, then I step back and think about it –and ultimately fix or get to whatever it is I need to do.  People that don’t know me well tend to react from the initial knee jerk reaction and it obviously causes issues for both them and me.

The past few days I have been stuck in that initial knee jerk reaction phase and all I have to say is Thank God for good people in my circle. I asked for some pep talking and I got it. I asked for support and help, I got it.  And think I am now thinking and acting on some things that need to be cleaned up. I know I am being vague but sometimes the actual issue isn’t the point — it’s what you do when you are confronted with something that is throwing you off balance in your life. And how you work through the fear -of the unknown, of failure. It’s really about discovering yourself and making progress and change. It’s hard and sometimes it sucks and you go kicking and screaming–but usually what’s on the other side is so much better.

One of my friends yesterday shared this quote with me as a part of her kick me in the ass pep talk:  Leap, and the net will appear. -John Burroughs

I am going to keep that quote close to my chest as I work to make a leap….

snow
A snowy morning in Northern VA! Nothing major but enough to delay the kiddos a few hours so the roads can be cleared. It looks so pretty outside and it was pristine at 530 this morning!

warmup

  • DROM
  • Drills
  • Burpee/Shoot Thru/Suicide combos

skill

  • Split Jerk

wod

3-2-2-2-1-1-1

  • Split Jerk (go heavy!)
  • Tabata L-Sits

75,95,125#
I only got up to 125# because my technique is off with the hip drive. It’s frustrating to know I can lift more if only my form was dead on. I have to keep working on learning how to use my hips to drive weight up! Bam!

Hoagie’s Heroes: Scope it Out 5K March 24 2013

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Scope it Out 5K

This year is a big year for my family.

HoagieThe beginning of Summer 2008, my husband, Scotty was surprisingly diagnosed with colon cancer and had to undergo surgery to remove half of his colon and a year of chemo -that had us spending all day, every other Tuesday at Georgetown Hospital and two days at home with a chemo pack.  During the entire process, Scotty was an amazing fighter — continuing to work as much as he could and staying positive and keeping his amazing personality in tact.  The cancer story is followed in my original blog: Colon C – The Journey

This July, it will be FIVE years since that diagnosis and for colon cancer that’s a big deal. That means we can put a period at the end of it and call it DONE.  They consider it cured. Now to put things in perspective — cancer changes everything about you and your family so while the cancer is gone, the changes it makes to you are lifelong –good and bad.

Colon cancer, if detected early is very curable & awareness of its signs and symptoms is vital. Anything we can do to help someone else become aware and informed BEFORE — we are on board.

Last year, we put together a team: Live FIt and Sore! and managed to raise a lot of friggin money for Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation.  We raised $5600!!!

I don’t particularly like setting a goal for $$ amount because I appreciate each and every donation whether it’s a big amount or not! So — I’m going to give it a go again this year and see where we land.  I also as a practice don’t ask anyone to support any cause –this one is so near and dear obviously that I make this one year exception.

Last year we had the best time running the race and having brunch afterwards.  You can join us for the run this year, donate to our team, and/or raise some money for our team!

Join us or Make a Donation to our Team Hoagie’s Heroes! 

Scope it OutJoin the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation in the heart of Washington, D.C. for one of the largest annual colon cancer awareness events in the country – part of National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. The race course starts and ends at Freedom Plaza and will take runners and walkers up scenic Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. Capitol, bringing the Scope It Outmessage to the doorstep of our nation’s decision makers.

When: March 24, 2013 at 09:00 AM

Where:

Freedom Plaza
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington , DC

Join us or Make a Donation to our Team

[VIDEO] Colonoscopy: It’s Not That Bad

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With March being Colon Cancer Awareness month, StopColonCancerNow.com hopes this video will encourage people get over their fears and get screened. One test could save a life.

Most people need to get their first colonoscopy at age 50. You may need to get screened earlier if you are 45 years of age or older and African American, or have a family history of polyps or colon cancer.

There is no better test, no better time to help in the fight against cancer. Find a doctor today and schedule your colonoscopy: http://stopcoloncancernow.com/find-a-center

Colon Cancer Awareness Twibbon: Show Your Support

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It’s Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and Fight Colorectal Cancer & My Colon Cancer Coach is offering a Twibbon - a small image in the corner of your Twitter or Facebook profile image- to help unite survivors, loved ones and supporters with a symbol of support:  I just switched mine on Twitter – show your support and do it too!

Also, if you want more information about Colon Cancer or are newly diagnosed, visit My Colon Cancer Coach. It’s a great resource with loads of information about treatments, trials, and support and general education about the 2nd deadliest cancer which is 90% preventable if caught early!!

Don’t forget, we have a Life Fit and Sore! team running in the Scope It Out 5K race in DC this month! You can donate or join our team.  We are in 1st Place —-

Donate! or Join!

If you register for our team – register as an individual and during the reg process you will be able to pick Live Fit and Sore! as your team —

Last Year, Finishing the Race

 

Colonoscopy: Making People Squeamish Since It’s Invention

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Coming clean about my first colonoscopy

(CNN) — In my 20s, after my doctor performed a laparoscopy to examine my uterus and ovaries, he gave me a videotape of the procedure. I dubbed it “Madame Ovary,” threw a party and screened it for my friends.

Three years ago, when my doctor sent me to have a colonoscopy, the last thing on my mind was seeing footage from the exam.

At 39, I was mortified about having a procedure that I associated with older people. I didn’t even want to talk about it, let alone see it.

But March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so I’m coming clean. While drinking two liters of liquid that tastes like dirty sea water to evacuate my bowels doesn’t rank highly on my list of things to do, neither does dying from colon cancer. And having a colonoscopy, although unpleasant and embarrassing, was one of the best things I have ever done for my health.

Of all cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer –cancer of the colon or rectum — is the second-leading killer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 20, and up to 150,000 new cases a year are reported in the United States, the American Cancer Society says. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that removing precancerous growths spotted during a colonoscopy can cut the risk of dying from colon cancer in half. More than 95% of tumors are detected during a colonoscopy.

Yet despite these statistics, people feel squeamish about the exam and tend to put it off.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month!

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March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month!

if you are at risk for colon cancer, have any of the symptoms below, or are 50+ please go get screened for Colon Cancer. If caught early, colon cancer is beatable! And more and more young people are battling this horrible disease, so it’s not just a cancer for those ‘old people’. Know the risks, the symptoms and don’t let your guard down. We never in our craziest worst nightmares ever thought our family would have to deal with Cancer but…

From Colon Cancer Alliance:

Colorectal cancer first develops with few, if any, symptoms. However, if symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Having diarrhea or constipation
  • Feeling that your bowel does not empty completely
  • Finding blood (either bright red or very dark) in your stool
  • Finding your stools are narrower than usual
  • Frequently having gas pains or cramps, or feeling full or bloated
  • Losing weight with no known reason
  • Feeling very tired all the time
  • Having nausea or vomiting

These symptoms can also be associated with many other health conditions. If you have any of these symptoms, discuss them with your doctor. Only your doctor can determine why you’re having these symptoms. Usually, early cancer does not cause pain. It is important not to wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor.

Also, don’t forget about the Chris4Life Scope it Out 5K! Team Live Fit and Sore! will be racing! Join us or make a donation!

 

Treating Cancer Comes At A Cost

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Why do I post info about cancer on this blog? Besides the obvious reason: my family’s fight with colon cancer, I share it because if you aren’t thinking about these things now and take care of yourself the best you can – health issues creep up. They may not be as serious as cancer or disease, but it could be simple mobility and not being able to move around. The ramifications of an unhealthy, unhappy life do appear — it’s just a matter of when.  You have to be aware of what you could be in for —

During our cancer fight, we did have good insurance thank god, so it was manageable.  But I did see the bills –and there were times that monthly, Scott’s treatment cost in excess of $25K! That is a MONTH!! We had over a year of cancer/chemo care! Can you even imagine and of course do whatever it takes to save the person you love — but what about afterwards if you don’t have good insurance? You are left with a pile of bills and have to rebuild your ‘new’ life….

food for thought —

Cancer’s Growing Burden: Rising Cost Of Care

– Patti Tyree was afraid that cancer would steal her future. Instead, the cost of treating it has.

She had hoped to buy a small farm with money inherited from her mother. But copayments for just one $18,000 round of breast chemotherapy and one shot of a nearly $15,000 blood-boosting drug cost her $2,000.

Bills for other treatments are still coming, and almost half of her $25,000 inheritance is gone.

“I supposedly have pretty good insurance,” said Tyree, 57, a recently retired federal worker who lives near Roanoke, Va. “How can anybody afford this?”

Forty years after the National Cancer Act launched the “war on cancer,” the battle is not just finding cures and better treatments but also being able to afford them.

New drugs often cost $100,000 or more a year. Patients are being put on them sooner in the course of their illness and for a longer time – sometimes for the rest of their lives. The latest trend is to use these drugs in combination, guided by genetic tests that allow more personalized treatment but also add to its expense.

It’s not just drugs: Radiation treatment is becoming more high-tech, and each leap in technology has brought a quantum leap in expense. Proton therapy is one example – it costs twice as much as conventional radiation and is attracting prostate cancer patients despite a lack of evidence that it is any better.

The financial strain is showing: Some programs that help people pay their bills have seen a rise in requests, and medical bills are a leading cause of bankruptcies.

A Colonoscopy Can Save Your Life

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Report Affirms Lifesaving Role of Colonoscopy

A new study provides what independent researchers call the best evidence yet that colonoscopy — perhaps the most unloved cancerscreening test — prevents deaths. Although many people have assumed that colonoscopy must save lives because it is so often recommended, strong evidence has been lacking until now.

In patients tracked for as long as 20 years, the death rate from colorectal cancer was cut by 53 percent in those who had the test and whose doctors removed precancerous growths, known as adenomatous polyps,researchers reported on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. The test examines the inside of the intestine with a camera-tipped tube.
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