It's been awhile since I've taken the time write in our blog. This past year has been a whirlwind and we have just been trying to keep our head above water. It seems as though I always think about updates as we are facing trials in our life. I suppose it could be because writing is therapudic, it could also be because documenting life events, good or bad, is important. I want to be able to look back one day and see how strong we have been and how far we have come, remember the times that our faith has been strengthened, and be able to remember these events with a fresh mind. I will take the time to post about Becketts first 9 months of life soon, as those are very important, treasured days. But for now, I will begin with the current happenings, as I am mostly distracted by these thoughts.
At 24 years old I was having gastroentistinal issues. I had some tests ran and I was diagnosed with gatroperisthis. While this diagnosis covered a majority of my symptoms it did not cover all of them. My specialist recommended a colonoscopy. I was stubborn and adamant that I was NOT consenting to this procedure. Drew (my boyfriend of 2 months, at the time) somehow convinced me that it was important and necessary. As I walked into the hopstal the morning of the procedure, with my head hung low, I was still unsure. I was embarrassed when I had to check-in, and I was even more embarrassed when it was time for the procedure. When I woke up from the sedation I was so happy that was behind me (no pun intended) not even slightly concenred about the findings. As the doctor came into my room, he pulled up a chair, and began to tell me that I had 80-100 polyps filling my colon. There were so many that I would need a follow up colonoscopy to remove the remainder of them that he had to leave inside. He started talking about cancer, and syndromes, and genetic testing, and regular colonocopies for the remaineder of my life. I was so distracted by what he was saying that I did not realize the magnitude of what had just happened. He, quite literally, had just SAVED MY LIFE. We later recieved pathology reports, and as expected, these polyps contained abnormal cells. The cells had begun to change and while these polyps were not cancerous, they were quickly on their way to that.
Over the next 4 years I had my yearly colonoscopies. My polyps grow at an extremely rapid rate and I have now had well over 100 polyps removed. In my nieve mind I thought this yearly screening was sufficient in elimiating my risk of colon cancer. I was doing what I needed to do.
August 26, 2015 I had an urgent colonoscopy due to some accute symptoms, and we received some unsettling news. They removed 14 new polyps, not surprised, but the doctor informed us that my colon was filled with sessile serated polyps. Flat polyps, atypicial cells, that cannot be removed due to the risk of perforation. In a very untactful manner my doctor dropped the bomb that I needed my colon removed. We were speechless.
This last week and a half we have met with surgeons and genetic counselors at Huntsman's Cancer institute. I have consulted with 3 different specialists and all are in agreeance that I need a total colectomy. They will remove my entire colon and rectum and by doing so will eliminate my risk of colorectal cancer entirely. I have also met with the geneticist and discussed a few different genetic syndrome that I may have. (HPS, FAP, MUYTH) Depending on what the tests show, I have a follow up in 3 weeks, and we will know what risks are involved for both myself and my children.
Genetic testing = A LOT of info
It's been a long week for Drew and I. We are working on processing all of the information and trying to come up with a plan. I have felt a lot of emotions and I have so many questions running through my head. Through all of this I keep reminding myself to be grateful; Grateful for time, because it is on my side. Grateful for the upcoming surgeries and that they will ELIMINATE my risk for this specific cancer. Grateful for genetic testing and the fact that I will know how to protect my children. Grateful for my health insurance and comfort in knowing that I dont need to worry about the financial burdens and I can focus on my health. Grateful for prayer, the holy ghost, and a loving Heavenly Father that understands and knows first hand the pain that I may feel. Grateful for my Husband, a worthy priesthood holder, who will stand beside me and uplift me. Grateful for family, friends, and neighbors who are willing to drop everything to serve me and my family when we are in need. I could go on and on. I am blessed beyond measure.
So, for now, we wait and let the process happen. Updates will come when we have them!