A Change in Plans…
When I began COLON TALK, it was about something totally different. Initially, I created this site to be a Valentine’s gift to my fiance, Matt. While on long, romantic walks in the hills, we would rant to each other and discuss topics from the sublime to the absurd. I wanted a platform for us to record our funny, sometimes off-color thoughts. We chose to name it COLON TALK for how we would talk out of our proverbial colon. And man, we had FUN coming up with colonisms!
Life happened… During the conception of this site, I began to notice changes in my digestion and bowel functions. My symptoms were not unlike a bacterial or amebic infection, which I strongly willed to go away and leave me alone. Nothing changed however, and my discomfort lead me to pay a visit to urgent care, and then follow up with a comprehensive stool exam. Neither turned up any definitive answers for my intestinal discomfort. So I went straight for the colonoscopy. Nearly one month after the first true suspicion, and one horrible day of fasting and purging, exam day came.
Matt drove me to the appointment, and I stared out the window to the beauty of the ocean along Pacific Coast Highway, trying to disconnect my mind from how hungry my body was feeling. When we arrived, we walked into the clinic calmly, making jokes with the receptionist, signing forms, waiting, waiting, then the nurse called my name. I greeted her warmly, wide-eyed and open for my next few hours of prep and exam. Matt attended me during the preparations. I was out quickly after the Propophol administration.
After the exam, I awoke in the cozy wrappings of the hospital bed to Matt’s million dollar smile. The doctor walked over, handed us a printout and said, “Here’s your problem. You have a napkin ring growth in your *sigmoid colon,” and then,
~~~ TADA! ~~~
“I’ve never seen anything like this that’s not cancerous.”
~~~ BINGO! ~~~
Ok, so that being as good as a diagnosis is all I needed for that “Oh no! Now what?” reaction.
Matt & I were planning a wedding, house hunting, building a future together, having kids and settling down! And now Matt’s & my new job is to interview doctors, manage calories, meds, daily radiation treatments, keep each other positive, research all we can about my condition and read personal stories wherever we can. At the end of the day, we’re understandably exhausted and moody!
REALLY? ME! Who would have thought I could get cancer?
Not me. Not Matt. Not anyone! I have built my life around leading a balanced, nutritionally conscious, fit, active lifestyle. I live, promote and inspire this lifestyle. I also make it SEXY and appealing to the best of my ability!
So, to what do I owe the pleasure of getting the colorectal cancer? My ancestors? Yep, passed right down the lineage to moi. My younger brother and cousin each have bowel difficulties. We have no say in our genetic make up.
I believe stress is also a major factor in my cancer susceptibility. It’s not that my environment is unusually stressful, but it’s HOW I internalize stress that ultimately cracked my fit armor. STRESS, PEOPLE! Pay attention here! It is important that you take care of yourselves! This is my message to all:
Identify what stresses affect you most and either change how you deal with it, or GET RID OF IT.
*Just for the record, the cancer has since been retraced to *rectal* cancer, and not to the sigmoid colon. And I therefore may not be able to thank my ancestors for it. DARRRN!
3 weeks after the diagnosis, I am catching up this new blog with what I have posted on Facebook and email updates to friends and family. This site is a personal story about a life-changing journey that my fiance and I are working through, day by day, by day, by day…
MICHELLE & MATT
Observant, calm, grounded.
Inspired by food, expressive fashion and adornment, art, music, genuine human spirit.
Prefers remaining behind the glass, observing, and being a strong part of the functional background.
Highly intelligent, restless and inspired.
Fascinated by just about anything, including human behavior, infrastructural systems, art, music, tribe.
Creative, engaging and pursues a genuine curiosity of personalities of all kinds.
We are two avid bicyclists who met and fell in love in their perpetually moist and culturally rich hometown of Portland, Oregon. Matt is of Italian and Polish descent. Michelle is of Scottish, German, Swedish, French, Irish, English descent. We love good food, beer and coffee. We fit together and work in concert, moving around space as two choreographed dancers.