Young Patient Discusses Her Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis

VIDEO | 02:08

Learn how one patient dealt with a colorectal cancer diagnosis in her 20’s.

Show transcript

Well, I was certainly in shock, to say the least. I was in the category that was just mentioned of no family history of disease. Talk about being healthy, I was a former college athlete. Just two years earlier, I was playing in national championship field hockey games. I like to think I would have been really good if I wasn't playing with a cancer diagnosis. I was OK as it was.

So couldn't even believe that-- I thought they must have had the wrong phone number at first, is how in shock that I probably was. A bit of just not even sure where to start processing anything. I mean, my first questions to my poor parents who have no idea how to respond to any of this were, do I have to have chemotherapy? Am I going to lose my hair? I was very proud of my hair. And am I going to die?

And poor parents shrug and basically said, you know, we'll figure it out. But we don't know much more about this than you do, kid. Let's figure this out together. And so I actually found the toughest time during the entire process to be the approximately probably about a week and a half all-in between the diagnosis and actually having the surgery.

I was a mid-risk-- a mid-level diagnosis. I was a stage II, at the end of the day. But the period of time between the surgery and the diagnosis, we didn't know what we were dealing with. And so went through kind of the full range of emotions during that period of time.

Definitely couldn't sleep. I remember watching Animal Planet in the middle of the night that first night, because it was the only thing on at 4:00 o'clock in the morning when I was wide awake. But as soon as-- a bit like Dario said earlier-- as soon as we got-- we knew what we were dealing with. Certainly, it was good news-- that albeit a high-risk II. It was only a stage II. We had a treatment plan in place. And as soon as we could start acting on the plan and putting the wheels into motion, all of a sudden, I felt like I had a little bit more of control over this train that had somehow railroaded into what would otherwise seemed like my perfect 24-year-old life.