You can always find a Reason.
I hate this! I feel like I am slowly being ripped apart.
This experience is one of many: by far one of the most painful. Please let me explain.
Since I was diagnosed with FAP (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis), I had to maintain a strict schedule of appointments every year, and this did not change for 16 years.
Early on my mother was able to do a genetic test to isolate the gene responsible for our disease. She was diagnosed with the ‘attenuated’ type.
This kind of made sense after knowing what my siblings went through. They were required to have a colonoscopy every three or so years to have a few polyps removed.
For whatever reason, my mom and I were ‘carpeted’ with polyps they called it, and we had to have our colons removed.
There is an elevated but rather rare risk of polyps in the duodenum immediately beyond my stomach in the lower intestine, and any other areas within the digestive system polyps can grow. However, this is rare, and I never gave it much thought.
This explains the rigorous schedule.
In September of 2016 I was diagnosed with an area of advanced dysplasia within my stomach during a routine upper endoscopy. Now there is talk of removing a part or all of my stomach.
Advanced dysplasia is a precancerous condition of the stomach. Of course, dysplasia can occur anywhere in the body but for me it occurred in the upper part of my stomach. Now dysplasia means the cells in part of my stomach are changing. They are more likely to develop into cancer if not treated.
Later that year I finally had a lower endoscopy to check various areas of my lower digestive system, including my rectum.
It did not go well.
Fifteen polyps were removed from my duodenum.
Now I must be screened for cancer every six months.
I cannot tell you how many times since then I thought about giving up and just letting this stupid disease take over and impede its will on me.
Yes, the same questions popped into my head, “why me?” and so on and so forth. I have often thought my family could be freed from the burden.
The emotional pain is extremely real.
Then I remember my babies, Sam and Shaun. My wife, and more importantly, my faith in God.
I fight because if one day my children need to fight like me, they will remember how strong I was. I believe we are all here for a reason. I believe everyone has a plan.
Yes, I must find my reasons to fight. You can too! Another reason I fight is because my brother fought. I will just call him Smith but anyone that really knows me knows who I am talking about.
He fought for our freedom in the Iraq war.
I feel like he is the only person close to me that knows what it’s like to have death camping out on your doorstep.
No matter how hard it gets, I find a reason. I will not give up.
If you are wondering when and if you should get screened for colorectal cancer, or just want peace of mind, check out the American Cancer Society’s website and their guideline for colorectal cancer screening.
It might be able to help you.
I am going to go down fighting. Will you?