I had a fistula and had surgery to repair it. It did not close afterward, so I went for a follow-up and was told there was a growth that was keeping it from closing. I had scar tissue during my surgery, so I just assumed that was the growth.
My best friend had just told me she had breast cancer two weeks prior. My biopsy came back as anal gland cancer. My doctor called me one evening and asked me to come in to discuss my results. I was at work and asked him if he could tell me.
He said it was cancer, and my purpose was born. I immediately knew I was chosen for this. I didn’t know why, but there was a plan for me. I was scheduled for a colonoscopy, and as I was getting prepped, I was talking to my doctor, and he began to talk about needing an ostomy bag. I remember being wheeled down to my procedure and tears started to fall down my face.
They gave me medication to put me to sleep. My fears and anxiety were put to sleep and never returned. I had just got engaged in January 2019 and was scheduled to get married in August. Of course, my treatment had complications, and I was hospitalized for three weeks.
I walked down the aisle five weeks after my last surgery. I started looking for lingerie and bra and panty sets, but there was nothing. I found bottoms but no tops. This began the journey to my purpose. I started a lingerie company, Still A Lady, that is inclusive of women who have ostomies.
Be afraid of the unknown. Get screened because there is power in knowing.
My husband would always tell me we are stronger together. My family and friends would tell me I don’t fight alone; we fight together.
Read this story and more on: fightcolorectalcancer.org