I woke from my colonoscopy at 50 to the doctor saying, “You have cancer.” I had no symptoms, how could this be? The doctor said I had the cancer for 5 to 10 years and the tumor was close to causing an obstruction which could land me in the E.R.

I quickly learned a lot of things:

  1. My surgery date, March 1st was the official start of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
  2. That Colorectal Cancer is the #2 leading cause of cancer deaths in the US.
  3. That every 3 minutes, someone is diagnosed with colorectal cancer and every 10 minutes someone dies from colorectal cancer.
  4. That it is one of the most preventable cancers!

The colonoscopy was easy compared to the surgery to remove a foot of colon, and 12 rounds of chemo where each lasted 48 hours. It set the stage for the rest of the year of fighting to recover from the side effects of chemo.

Afterwards, I did the free Livestrong program at The Community YMCA in Red Bank to help recondition my muscles. I learned my body’s limits from fatigue and found the best treatment for neuropathy was acupuncture. I advocate with Colorectal Cancer Alliance, and Red Bank Gastroenterology while obtaining proclamations from Colts Neck, Monmouth County and New Jersey to raise awareness.

Today is my 6 year cancerversary and I continue to tell my story to motivate others to get a colonoscopy.

 

Michele Battista

Colts Neck, NJ