Guest Blog Post: Deanne Morris
Hi world! Jeremie here. This week we chat with one of the sweetest women I know. Deanne Morris shares her story about dealing with Colon Cancer and it's a fascinating episode. Check out her blog post below. Listen to the episode over on iTunes and don't forget to spread the word!
"I have cancer???!!!!!???" Even though I had said it out loud, it was fraught with disbelief and it took a good while to sink in. A great novelist could have hardly written a more pathetic story. I was homeless, we were in the middle of a corporate relocation, everything I owned was in storage, we had just moved in with my in-laws, I had a 6 month old baby.....and now I have cancer. I remember telling my husband "I just don't have time for this right now". His response was "Is there ever a convenient time to have cancer?" He had a point. And so we started on this "journey", as another blogger said this is not a journey....it's a trip to hell and back.
This little trip of mine started with surgery to remove a foot of my colon and then went on to a grueling 5 weeks of injections and ultrasounds to harvest my eggs for fertility preservation. That was all before the 6 months of chemo started. Like many other cancer patients, when I learned I would have chemotherapy, my first concern was whether or not I would lose my hair. What???? Six months of chemotherapy and all the havoc it was about to wreak on my body and I was concerned about my hair?!?!?! I had accepted that I had cancer and was prepared to do what needed to be done to fight the battle, but I did not want to look the part. If I wanted to host an all out pity party for myself that was all well and good, but I did not want the looks of pity from strangers. I knew a bald head would make me a walking billboard. I lucked out, most of my hair remained intact. But the other difficulties I faced, mainly in my digestive system, provided enough moments of humility and embarrassment to last a lifetime.
It was the most difficult time of my life. People would always say the same thing. "You are so strong. You are so strong" It almost made me feel guilty, I didn't feel particularly strong, somedays I was downright flailing. I was doing what I had to do to get through this. Many days and nights I could have wasted in my own despair. But my son gave me a reason to smile everyday. He kept me from wallowing in my own self pity, even though he was way too young to ever understand or appreciate the monumental role he played. Each and everyone of us, when faced with something that threatens to disrupt the health and happiness we enjoy, will discover we are able to endure a lot more than we ever knew we could. We are able to reach down deep into the burrows and pull courage and strength we never knew we had to stand up and fight. I am lucky, I had a wonderful supportive family to help me through my battle. A battle that has been won for now. I am living life and enjoying my beautiful family. I am proud to call myself a survivor.
Thank you to Jeremie, Taylor and Brian for having me on the show and letting me tell my story. I hope you all listen and if nothing else, help me raise awareness and realize that colon cancer does not just happen to old men!