Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Colon Cancer Awareness and Red Cross Winners

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.

Colon Cancer Alliance <~~~Donation Link


Giveaways:

Author Allure Van Sanz Noble Ebook, your choice

Author Patti Shenberger giving away a print copy of The Laird’s Lady

Erotic author Avril Ashton’s EBook Secret Cravings


Red Cross Winners: (Please emails allurevansanz@aol.com if you did not leave your email or you don't hear from me in the next few days T-shirt and Print winners will need to email their addresses for the prize. If shipping winners are outside of U.S. their prizes can be swapped for ebooks. Thank you!)


Allure Van Sanz T-Shirt - Therese G.

Erotic Author Em Woods Print Book Saddle Up N Ride - Helen

Erotic Author Brindle Chase EBook copy of The Grass is Always Greener - Marilyn B.

Erotic Author Megan Hussey EBook copy of Love Revisited: Judith and Prince Valentin - Madelina

Allure Ebook of your choice: Everyone else who commented on the Red Cross thread!! Please Email me with your choice of book from the ones listed on this blog in the sidebar.

Thank you everyone!

36 comments:

Margo Hoornstra said...

Patti,

Every time I hear your story, I learn something new. And, every time I hear your story, it brings me to tears. Though I have no real right to be, I am extremely proud of you. And very pleased to call you friend.

Much love and hugs,

Margo

Margo Maguire said...

Here's a first - I'm the second Margo to comment on a blog!

Patti- your story is amazing and a good heads-up to us all to get our periodic screenings... colonoscopy, mammogram, etc. Congrats on your FIVE years!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Holy cow, Patti! I'm 46. What an eye opener! Thanks for sharing your story.

Starr Ambrose said...

It hurts all over again to hear your story, Patti, but it has the best HEA I've ever read!

Neecy said...

Priestess of Poop, thanks for sharing your story. What an eye opener.
So glad your here.
Neecy

Marianne Evans said...

This was harrowing to read...I give you such credit for strength of spirit, stamina and the ability to fight back. Great post!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Great blog. From a selfish point of view, I'm very glad you're still around. (even if we haven't gotten together in way too long.)

Cathy Shouse said...

Patti,

I didn't want to read this post but I'm glad I did.

You are an inspiration.

Cathy

Margaret Carroll said...

Hey Patti (Priestess of Poop), thanks for sharing your story with everyone and trying to help others. Watching you walk through your tough times is an inspiration for me. I love that I almost forget you're a cancer survivor because as they say, you've got it going on! You are a great friend and inspiration to me and so many others. Hugs, Margie

bgs82083 said...

Patti,
You are one Brave Lady ! I could not have told my story half as well as you did. You have helped to raise awareness for a "silent" disease and we are proud of your Victory over it.
We have truly become "Sisters" since you were diagnosed. Thank you for your support and for always making me laugh!
Your "twin" - Geri

Patti Shenberger said...

Thanks to both Margo's for commenting! I'm very glad to still be here as well.

Patti Shenberger said...

Wendy, you're never too young if you think something is wrong. Only you know how your body should feel. Thanks for commenting!

Patti Shenberger said...

Thanks Starr, Neecy and Marianne, I'm still here to bug you all! And that's a good thing of course (G)

Patti Shenberger said...

Cindy, you're right it has been awhile. Let's shoot for June's meeting!

Patti Shenberger said...

Thanks Cathy, I appreciate you reading the blog, as I know it isn't a fun or really interesting topic (G).

Patti Shenberger said...

Thanks Margie, if I can remind someone else to take care of their body, then I've done my job (G). It's easy to forget, but more important to remember!

Patti Shenberger said...

Geri, I'm no more brave than you were. And we really were identical going through this. You were the one I turned to when I knew something was wrong and I thank you for reliving what was a nightmare time in your life to help me get through mine!

Mona Risk said...

Hi Patti, I met you at FTHRW blog, and never thought you went throught something so harsh. Why do you always think that these things ghappen to others. What an eye opener. Thank you for sharing. I pray that you are completely free of cancerous cells now.

Cheryl Ann Smith said...

When you look up the word "fighter" in the dictionary, there's a picture of Patti! Good post!

Donnell said...

Patti, what an amazing post. You are a survivor and you're fabulous. Thanks for thinking of us and sharing this story. 50,000 a year. That's a significant number.

What is your prognosis by the way? And have you sworn of Pepsi?

Sharon Archer said...

Patti, this is an amazing post and you are an amazing person! Good on you for getting out and spreading the word about what is one of the most treatable cancers as long as it's caught early.

My family has a history of this cancer and my grandmother particularly had a difficult time with it. But that was many years ago and today there is much more awareness of the disease. And that will continue to grow with ambassadors like yourself telling their stories.

hugs
Sharon

Victoria Bromley said...

Telling your story with such humor and courage is so inspirational. You are a true survivor. Glad to know you at Heartbeat!
Hugs,
Victoria

Patti Shenberger said...

Thanks Mona, I think we started at FTH and now at HeartBeat!

Patti Shenberger said...

Thanks Cheryl, I'm probably under the word anal too (G) Cause I'm very fussy about having things done a certain way (being a Libra)

Patti Shenberger said...

Hey Donnell, while I have backslid a little with my Pepsi, I am no longer a 2 liter a day drinker. I'm down to about a 6 oz glass once a day. Getting there slowly but surely. This Oct will be my 5 year mark. So far so good. I'm very careful to get my bloodwork and scans on time. August is my next round of fun tests.

Patti Shenberger said...

Thanks Sharon, that's very sweet of you to say. All it takes is one person to start talking about it and hopefully everyone will think twice about getting their colonoscopy.

Patti Shenberger said...

Victoria, great to see you here and at HeartBeat. From the minute I learned I had cancer I adopted the attitude that I wouldn't be sad because then everyone around me would be. Instead I approached it with humor which sometimes floored people into silence. But I'm still here, so I must have done something right!

Louise G said...

Patti - what an amazing story, what an amazing woman! Thank you for having the courage to share your story.

Sadly, my dad died of colon cancer years ago and way too young - he had his own (dependency) problems over and above that which made early diagnosis and treatment impossible. By the time he was diagnosed it was too late. I am all too aware that this is a treatable disease if caught early and that maybe if dad had been more amenable to help and more aware of the issue we'd still have him here. Anyone with a family history should sign up for regular colonoscopy checks.

Ladies - a colonoscopy is truthfully a very small matter, an easy way to shed a couple pounds and not at all as uncomfortable as a pap smear in my opinion! And man, the food tastes so good after.

Patti - I'm so sorry you had to go on your chemo journey, I can't imagine how hard that must have been for you -but we are all so grateful you are here, such a valiant survivor and flag waver for the cause.
Hugs, Louise

Patti Shenberger said...

Louise, I'm so sorry you had to go through that with your father. I'm sure it wasn't easy for you and I commend you. And you are so right about the food after. You are just famished! Thank you for leaving a note, it is much appreciated. I'll go on being a flag waver as long as it takes in order to make people aware of how simple it is to make sure you stay healthy. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Patti, Thanks a thousand times for sharing this story with us. You ARE an inspiration, and on top of it, you do it with the most wonderful sense of humor! You have us in tears and laughing at the same time while we read this.
Love ya.
Philine

Helen Brenna said...

Hey, Patti. Had no idea you'd gone through all that, but it doesn't surprise me that you beat it! I need to schedule my first colonoscopy this summer and I keep putting it off. Thanks for the the nudge!

Dawn said...

Hey Patti-I wouldn't mind doing the relay for life walk-let me know about it...Dawn

Patti Shenberger said...

Philine, you know me well enough to know I do everything with a smile and a laugh. Thanks for commenting!

Patti Shenberger said...

Definitely do it Helen. Early detection is the best cure! Hope to see you in NY next month.

Patti Shenberger said...

Hey Dawn, I don't do the walk, but I do show up at the Survivor luncheon and ceremony for Lake Orion and Oxford. It's June 4th at Friendship Prk, off Baldwin and Clarkston Rd. Starts at noon and they also have a huge auction which is a blast cause my hubby gets in bidding wars with other people over sports memorobilia. (G)

colon clinical trials Houston said...

Its very touching.. Its a change to read an inspiring one. Thanks