Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Coping with Crohn's & Cancer:

I want to first start by saying how hard this has been to write about but that it has actually helped me cope a little better.
So here it goes...

***

One thing I can honestly say I thought I would never hear was "you have early stages of cancer". I am very aware of my disease and the fact that I am sick, even though I look completely healthy on the outside (that is the reason Crohn's Disease is so misunderstood). Deep down I knew it could be possible that one day this could happen, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it actually would.

But here I am, a young 29 year old woman, married to the most loving, amazing, and perfect man, with the two most beautiful and healthy children I could have ever dreamed of having, and I am sick. To say that I am in a state of shock, fear, and disbelief would be an understatement. How did this happen to me? Why did this happen to me? Questions I have been asking myself for 3 months now, and questions I may never know the answer to. We have just recently started telling all of our family and close friends because it is something I didn't want people to worry about for me and it was news that both Steven and I needed to wrap our heads around ourselves. I still don't want to believe it is true, but I know that everything happens for a reason and that all of this is going to make me an even stronger person in the end! Though my Crohn's Disease has taken a turn for the worst I think we are ready (or as ready as we will ever be) and we will be holding on tight for what is ahead.

***

It all started a week before we headed down to Jacksonville before we moved from Charleston. I received some news from my GI Doctor regarding my last Colonoscopy in October.
My colonoscopy results showed that my entire right side of my colon, part of my transverse colon, and patches into my left had developed Dysplasia. Dysplasia is an early stage of cancer. We were told that my best and really only option at this point would be surgery.

Steven and I were sent immediately to meet with an amazing GI Surgeon in Charleston. One morning, after dropping Charli off at Preschool we headed in to an appointment that we weren't sure we were ready for. We had some things answered but knew we weren't out of the woods yet and knew we were in for a bumpy road. We felt incredibly thankful that this surgeon used to live and practice up here in Newport and had a few colleagues on the phone immediately. We had Doctors on stand by, waiting for our arrival into our new city. Needless to say I had an appointment scheduled for as soon as we drove into town (literally an hour after pulling into Newport we headed to the Doctor), and within our first 7 days of living here I had 3 Doctors appointments along with a visit to the Hospital for a CT Scan. Nothing like "Welcome to Newport. I have since met with 2 more GI Specialists in Newport and Providence and will be meeting with a GI Specialist Surgeon in Providence soon to schedule my surgery (it has been a busy couple of months for sure).

So where are we now?

My GI Specialist in Providence confirmed that I do in fact have early stages of cancer.
I went in today for a procedure called a Colonoscopy Chromo Endoscopy. This helps to better detect the cancer cells so they will know exactly how much of my colon to remove when it comes time for surgery. After 40 biopsies were taken today, my Doctor feels confident that only half of my colon will be removed. This does not mean my Crohn's Disease will be cured, as there is no cure. But this should take care of all the cancer and eliminate the need for chemo and hope that no more will develop.

We are planning for an early April surgery so I have enough time to build up a good supply of milk for Crew. I have been pumping like crazy (which I hate) to make sure I have enough for him. This is also why we started him on food earlier than we expected toThankfully my mom is able to fly up and be with us for over a month, as I could be in the hospital for up to 10 days plus recovery time after that.

Needless to say it has been a crazy roller coaster of emotions the past few months, but we have all the Faith in the world. I am ready for the road ahead of me and everything it will entail. I want to also say thank you, from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has put me on prayer lists and who have checked in on me!

It truly means the world to us! 

11 comments:

  1. Can't wait to give you a hug this weekend! Will be sending loads of prayers your way!

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  2. Traci, I am so sorry you are having to deal with all of this as a young mom and wife. You are very lucky to have so many fantastic people around you, and you are definitely a strong woman. Please know I am thinking about you and praying for the best xoxo

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  3. Traci & Steven -- Joe & I will be praying for you. Wish I could give you a big hug :)

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  4. My heart goes out to you and your sweet family! Truly. Prayers and hugs. You're writing all this down like a champ.

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  5. Tearing up reading this. I may just know you virtually but my heart aches for you going through this. I'm sending you tons of love, prayers and strength.

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  6. Tearing up reading this. I may just know you virtually but my heart aches for you going through this. I'm sending you tons of love, prayers and strength.

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  7. Oh Traci I'm literally in tears as I read this. You are such a strong mama and I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Thank God you're proactive about your health and caught this early. You and your adorable family will be in my prayers. Lots of love sent your way!!

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  8. Oh my gosh, Traci - I had no idea how much you are going through! You amaze me. So many prayers and thoughts will be with you, and I am SO GLAD your mom is able to help you. Newport isn't far, if you ever need anything... ;) xoxoxo

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  9. God bless you Tracy. I know I don't have the words to comfort you, but you and ur family are definitely in my thoughts and prayers. #cancersucks is an understatement.

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  10. Girl, what a rollercoaster ride you are on. But you will make it through. We are praying for you, and if there is anything else you need, just give me a call. I know that we don't live just around the corner from each other anymore, but we will do whatever we can to help. Love you!

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  11. Oh goodness, I had no idea you were going through all of this. I love your positivity and know you will kick cancer's butt and will be back to new as soon as possible. Thank goodness they were able to detect it early and sounds like that have a good plan to help you.

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