In September 2016, I was just like any other working mom. I was adjusting to life with a new baby and toddler while running on fumes. After a “quick” doctor’s visit to follow up on some persistent postpartum GI symptoms turned into an urgent procedure that found a large tumor, I quickly realized that baby feeding schedules and toddler tantrums were no longer going to be my biggest worries. I was diagnosed with Stage 3c Colorectal Cancer at the age of 33.
I’ve worked in Oncology nearly my entire adult life, but getting diagnosed with cancer myself made me realize how little I knew about what being a cancer patient really feels like- the fear and uncertainty are crippling and the journey is long. I’ve always known the cancer community is special, but when it was my own life on the line and I could see everything from a new perspective, I only then realized how exceptional survivors really are. I am so honored to continue to care for and relate to my patients with a deeper understanding… now I get it.
Why “Here Comes the Sun” ?
The day I had my first staging MRI and CT Scans was the lowest I had ever felt. I had just been diagnosed a few days prior and my mind was still spinning. I couldn’t even wrap my mind around what might be found in those tubes. The techs placed ear phones on me to play music and help drown out the jackhammer sound of the MRI. As I was being slowly rolled in, the first song starts playing, “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles. An immediate calm came over me as I listening intently to the lyrics, and for the first time since I had heard the words “you have cancer”, I knew everything would somehow be ok. So, it became and has remained my motto. (PS- the second song that played was my wedding song- was Someone talking to me, or what?) The photo below was taken the day before those scans that showed I did not have metastatic disease.