My beloved grandma, 69 years young passed away this morning due to metastasized colon cancer. After over 15 years of intermittent bloating, nausea, gas, pain and bloody stools she finally went in to the dr for her colonoscopy. Sex and bowel movements had become extremely painful; sometimes she would bleed from her vagina. She was only 64, but the prognoses wasn't good. She wasn't surprised, she knew the signs she just hoped they'd go away. Her doctor said the size was about an avocado and needed to be removed asap so they could start an aggressive treatment. It's amazing how fast you become lingual in the language of medicine.
By the time her surgery to remove her tumor and give her a colostomy came around we realized just how serious it was. It wasn't the size of an avocado, but a grapefruit. It was stage 3, and they needed to remove a good deal more then expected, including part of her bladder and vagina. The doctors estimated that it was growing for about 20 years.
She fought hard for 4 years. Her hair thinned and fell, her fingers and feet started burning, but she remained good humored and refused to stop fighting. After 2 treatments, we found out that the cancer had spread. She now had tiny tumors punching holes through her liver and most of her lower abdomen. She chose another treatment, hoping for a little longer. It didn't work, she wasn't surprised. She had already sending out items intended for people after she was gone, we all got our inheritance early. Getting sicker from the treatments and told that she was now terminal, she decided to stop the treatment altogether and decided to go on holiday. Her and my grandfather bought a boat and started crabbing every weekend. She went to a carnival and and a vowel renewal ceremony.
I admire her so much for her strength and humor, even in the face of death. BUT when it comes down to it, if she had her colonoscopy at 50, she might have been spared. Learn the symptoms, know your risks and get your colonoscopy at 50. Cancer puts up a nasty battle, but it can be won -especially if caught early. Don't let your family suffer as mine has.
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