Hello everyone. My name is Rebecca and I have been diagnosed with colon cancer. Due to my chemo treatments I’m no longer able to work as a police officer right now. I’ve designed a pretty cool T-shirt as a fundraiser if anyone is interested. Just so happens my cancer color is also the same as the blue line. Check it out at the link below. Even if you don’t want one yourself, please share and feel free to follow my story.
I’m 34 years old and a mother of two teenagers. After my dad died at a fairly young age from bone cancer, I always figured cancer would be in my future but I never expected it so young. After all the close calls I had in Iraq and Afghanistan, Rockets,bombs, gunshots etc and all the close calls as a cop at home I never expected ass cancer. Colon Cancer to be exact. I also never would have imagined that all the things I’ve had going on in my body over the last few years was cancer. All those weird feelings and unexplainable pains. I saw several doctors and no one could figure it out. I found out a year and a half ago my hemoglobin was a 4 and that was just normal for me. Being anemic was a normal part of life. I functioned at that level for a long time. Doctors would freak out about it and I would just shrug my shoulders.
I never really considered it to be a major problem. Funny thing is I never even really addressed it until my IUD fell out last March and I went to the doctor in Afghanistan to have it replaced. They freaked out about my hemoglobin but never went any further to find answers. I had a blood transfusion and that was that. I had my IUD replaced and I was good to go.
When I went for the dreaded female checkup last August my IUD had become displaced again and they said that it was just because I’ve had them for so long that my body was rejecting them. Their reasoning was that I had an “angry, hostile uterus”. They gave me the depo shot and that was that. No further testing.
It wasn’t until I came to North Carolina that I realized I had a bigger issue. One morning I was feeling fine, had gone to the gun range and was shooting some of the best scores I’d ever shot! We went to lunch and upon returning I became exhausted all at once. Being exhausted with low hemoglobin is normal but this was different. I was confused, weak and lost all color. So off to the emergency room we went. I figured they would admit me give me some blood and send me on my way. Boy was I wrong. An ER doctor actually listened to me and the other symptoms I had been having. He asked off the wall, out of the box questions. He told me in the ER that night that he would make sure we got answers. He ran some tests, X-rays, CT SCANS and such. Sure enough hemoglobin was low but something didn’t sit right with the doctor and my CT scans. He said my colon looked enlarged so he started asking even more random questions. I was admitted that night and of course given another blood transfusion but then they said they wanted me to have a colonoscopy because of the CT scan. It’s not normal for a 34 year old to get a colonoscopy but a couple days after being admitted they attempted a colonoscopy. This is where my life changed.
When I woke up from that procedure I had 2 doctors sitting with me, that alone is enough to make you question. I was told that almost immediately after they started the procedure they found a large mass that was blocking most of my sigmoid colon and that it was bleeding and looked cancerous. They couldn’t be sure until the biopsy came back but he seemed pretty certain. The doctor said that either way I needed surgery to remove the mass. 2 days later the doctor told me what I already felt in in my gut.. the mass was absolutely cancer.
The next day my amazing doctor went in and cut the tumor out with a large section of my sigmoid colon. With it he had taken out 24 lymph nodes. He told me that with the size of the tumor it had to have been growing there for at least 5 years. When the pathology came back, 23 lymph nodes were negative for cancer but one little guy had spread so that and the size and placement and the fact that my tumor had grown completely through the colon wall determined I was stage 3 and now needed chemo. The surgery wasn’t enough.
So now here we are. I had a portacath placed in my chest yesterday that runs through my jugular and into my aorta and that is how I will be receiving Chemotherapy starting on Monday January 7th.
Most days this still doesn’t seem real to me. I’m trying to be positive and I’m trying to be strong. I have people that depend on me. I was 23 years old when I lost my dad to cancer and he never really got to know his grandchildren. I don’t want that. I’m going to fight and I’m going to win. I will beat this and I will be around to see my grandchildren someday.
I appreciate everyone who has followed my journey and continues to do so and I appreciate all of the donations, kind words and messages. Even if you don’t donate I appreciate you sharing my story to get the word out. If you think something is wrong, get it checked. Don’t wait. I almost waited too late but with the grace of god and an amazing ER doctor, I get to come out on the other side of this a survivor. I’m sure this will get some people mad at me but it’s been on my mind a lot lately and I’m trying to get rid of negative in my life so I’m going to share anyways. Growing up I was always told that the small town I grew up in would always be home. I was a part of that community for a very long time and have witnessed the community come together many times for people. Now since both of my grandmas are gone, it doesn’t really feel like home anymore. I guess it hasn’t for a while. I guess when you leave people forget you were ever there. It’s the same with Law Enforcement. They say the “blue line family” is the strongest and closest family there is, but that’s only while you are there and sometimes not even then. I loved being a cop. I loved helping people. I loved everything about it. I loved the way Law Enforcement would come together to help their own. I would give anything to put a uniform on right now and go to work. It’s all I’ve ever known. I don’t know how to do anything else. Since I was diagnosed with cancer, I’ve found out just how lonely this curse can be. That law enforcement family, I don’t exist to them anymore either. I sent the sheriff from my hometown the link to my Law Enforcement cancer awareness shirts and asked if he could share it. He looked at the message and never responded. I wasn’t asking him to buy anything. More than anything I want awareness out there. I’m 34 years old. I’m supposed to be too young for this. The last department I worked for wouldn’t have their national organization in place if it wasn’t for me but they treated me like shit when I was there so it’s really no surprise that the only time I’ve heard from any of them is if they want something. Please don’t mistake this as me asking for handouts. That’s not the case. Not at all. Even though there are people who say they are there and want to know how I’m doing, they don’t want the truth. They want the generic “I’m doing ok”, they don’t want to know the hell that actually goes through my head daily. The consuming cancer thoughts. The sickness from chemo, and that’s only just begun. Make no mistake, this isn’t a poor me post. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself, and I’m not asking people to call all the time either because if you know me, you know I hate talking on the phone but a sincere “how are you” goes a long ways. A share of a post to create awareness goes a long ways. As much as I hate to say it, small donations go a long ways. What I wouldn’t give to put a uniform on and go to work and none of this be real. Maybe this is just my curse, maybe I really am a horrible person and that’s why so many have turned their backs. Maybe my brother is right and I’m just a worthless whore, but I’m still me and I still have feelings and I keep getting told I’m this strong person but I promise you, I hurt. I wouldn’t wish this disease on anyone.