The Least Sexy of the Cancers

I mean cancer isn't sexy, but it seems in our marketing and media crazed world, breast cancer is the most recognizable and most publicized with its pink ribbon and pink fundraising walks and pink everything. So I'm going to declare it "The Sexy Cancer."

Boobs are sexy, right?

Colons are not sexy, right?

So therefore it is safe for me to admit that I have colon cancer, the least sexy of the cancers. 

And by least sexy, I don't think I'll be slapping a blue ribbon magnet that says "I Survived Colon Cancer!" on my truck and I'm not going to be wearing a "Colon Cancer Survivor" shirt in any future races. It would totally take away from the sexy factor I've worked so hard to cultivate, you know? No amount of Victoria's Secret panties can make colon cancer hot!

Future cancer blogs will go in to some graphic detail because inquiring minds want to know. I think the details are important because they may make you aware of the importance of being in tune with your own body and noticing when things change or just aren't right. I've also been poked and prodded in so many parts of my lower body while awake and asleep at this point that I have no shame in talking about anything.

I mean, is there really any shame left after childbirth? 

I am currently 2 1/2 weeks post-op where I had an almost obstructing tumor removed from my sigmoid colon. Actually, the entire sigmoid colon plus some (about 10 inches) was removed (see illustration below). The surgery was performed laparoscopically, so my bikini days aren't necessarily over, and the whole healing process should technically be easier. Technically.

We now know that the cancer had spread into 14 of the 20+ lymph nodes that were removed, so this translates into Stage III cancer and chemo in my very near future. I've been told it won't be the hair-losing kind of chemo everyone expects, but it will be long and there will be plenty of fun side effects to disrupt my life.

You will never again see a photo of me without my eyebrows drawn in, so enjoy it while it last. This is a few hours after surgery, already out of bed and enjoying the comfort of my special "colon pillow." Be jealous, not everyone has a pillow with a colon on it and no you can't have mine. I also didn't grow a man bulge in the process. That was the ultra trendy fanny pack hanging out with my pain pump inside. Once I was more lucid, I moved it to my hip as to not draw attention to what was really going on under my gown.
Rather than send out mass emails with every appointment (and there are a lot of appointments), I'm just going to update the blog as we go along. I'll back track and tell you how, when, why, what and where, so don't start asking questions yet.  Feel free to bookmark, follow or just check back. Next stop should be with the oncologist after Christmas to discuss chemo.

Yes, this is surreal. Yes, we're still taking it all in. Yes, we appreciate all the prayers, support, encouragement and affirmation we can get. 

Sigmoid colon bye-bye. But that's OK, because there's still another 5 feet to go around!



Thank you for sharing with us. We will deifnately keep you and your family in our prayers. Please let me know if you need anything. I'm just a hop skip and a jump away.

LiliE said...

We continue our prayers and appreciate you sharing what you are going through!

Frances Fok said...

Dear Sarah,

We're sending love and support your way! Your humor has always been such a strength, and I hope that it will help to carry you through the upcoming months. Frances

Carrie S. said...

I will be following diligently! You know we care deeply, but don't want to bombard you or Kyle with tons of questions, so I am so glad you will be updating! And hopefully someone else will be helped with your info in the process.

melissaolivero76 said...

Thanks so much Sarah for being so brave and translucent about this...it helps for all of us who love you so much to know and feel(as much as we can)what you are going through. And I agree, the more educated the better so bring on the details. Love you and praying for you.

mamadiz said...

I hope that blogging helps you "get it all out". We are praying for you. You are such a strong woman. If anyone can beat this, it is you! ROAR!

Charles said...

You are a tough lady, and you'll beat this thing!

Carly said...

I've just come across your story and I've gone right back to the start. I was diagnosed with stage IV Colon cancer in December at 37 years young. So curious to read about your story.