You don't have to be an erotic author to talk about the bum. In fact, if we all did a little more talking and a lot less blushing, we could save many more lives. Here to tell us all about her experience is an advocate and colon cancer survivor. Welcome my buddy, Patti Shenberger.
Welcome, I’m the Priestess of Poop. Bet that got your attention now didn’t it? I actually called myself that for a brief period of time when I was diagnosed with colon cancer back in the fall of 2006. Wasn’t exactly one of the better times in my life, let me tell you.
You see I’d just gotten a raise that was literally double my previous salary, had a new job I loved, sold two romance novels and three short stories and life was looking pretty darn good if I do say so myself. Then…wait for it…you guessed it, my streak of good luck came crashing down around me in leaps and bounds.
I knew something wasn’t right with my body but put it off to stress (the new job), fatigue (burning both ends of the candle with my writing), and not eating properly (no good excuse for that one). But after seeing something that didn’t look right in the porcelain goddess and making a quick call to my family doctor, my worse nightmare quickly became a reality. Had my first colonoscopy two days after my 46th b-day. Woke up to find the doctor, nurse and hubby all staring at me and received the news there was a tumor. Yup, the first tremors of my world coming unglued kicked in. Three weeks later, I took a leave of absence from the job, notified my editor and publisher that I would do everything possible to get my edits done for them and retreated from life for a while for surgery and chemo.
Now if you can imagine this (and gals I know you can) my first day of chemo started off with a bang. I literally got my period, had to quit caffeine (Pepsi is my drink of choice) and had my first treatment of chemo. I have to admit there wasn’t a suckier day on the face of this planet for me!!! (LOL) And that would be a false statement because as chemo progressed, the days did suck worse to the point of my mind going to the dark side and I couldn’t find a bright light at the end of the tunnel till about 1/3 of the way through my treatment.
Those of you that know me know I’m a fighter. I’ve never met a challenge I couldn’t nip in the bud until cancer. I’m also a Type A personality (just call me anal to a fault – literally (G). So I was bound and determined cancer would not win. And since I’m writing this you know that it didn’t beat me, I beat it!
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer. It is also the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States. If caught earlier, it’s also the most treatable. I was floored when my doctor told me the tumor was probably in my body close to ten years! Can you imagine that? I had no clue. This year alone colorectal cancer is expected to claim the life of 49,830 deaths. But, more than a million people are survivors of this deadly disease as well.
While I don’t physically participate in the Relay for Life that is held in my community each year, I can say that I donate a nice chunk of change to the cause during the auction portion. For me June 4 at Friendship Park in Lake Orion is my Relay for Life survival day. I’ll reconnect with the doctors who treated me, the nurses who knew when I needed a shoulder to cry on or another bowl of soup (where I had my treatment had free lunch days a lot), and I’ll walk the survivors lap around the park, share lunch with family and friends, and more importantly know that I have made it through another year.
So on that happy note; I’ll leave you all for today. Thank you for stopping by and thanks for sharing my story with me. And remember, the Priestess of Poop says “Don’t forget your own colonoscopy.” Think of it this way, you get to lose a lot of water weight with the prep and get a great nap during the procedure. Best part – you know you’ve taken care of your body by scheduling the appt.
My love to all, Patti
* Statistics from The American Cancer Society – www.cancer.org
Thank you so much for coming by and telling your inspiring story.
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Author Patti Shenberger giving away a print copy of The Laird’s Lady
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