Today is my daughter’s 3rd birthday, and I just wanted to thank her for saving my life.
Long before I had kids, I had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and even though I had this diagnosis, I still did not take care of myself the way that I should have. I think I thought that if I ignored the problem, that it would just go away.
When I found out I was pregnant with my son, of course I started to eat better, and got better sleep, so my child was already starting me on a path to better health. I had a great pregnancy, and other than gaining 65 pounds, I felt great. After his birth, I started going to the Doctor when I was sick, getting regular check ups, and just keeping a better eye on my overall health, this was important since I was his main care giver and I could not afford to have anything go wrong with me. My child needed me, so I needed to stay well. However, I still had not been back to the Gastrointestinal Doctor in over 5 years, so I was still in denial about my Crohn’s.
1st Birthday Photo!
My daughter’s pregnancy was a little bit different however. I could not gain weight during the first 7 months, I was plagued with severe stomach cramps, and I just did not feel well. To make things worse I was having nausea and terrible constipation, and I looked like I was about to waste away. I ended up visiting a couple of doctors, and the diagnosis was, I must have been having a flare of Crohn’s and they put me on a 2 week treatment of prednisone. They said after the pregnancy I would need to come in for a colonoscopy. So needless to say I got a little better, gained some weight, and delivered a Healthy Baby on November 17, 2008.
After I had my daughter, things were not much better, I was still having stomach cramps and the terrible constipation, so I finally broke down and made an appointment with the GI Doctor. They set me up for a colonoscopy, I went to my appointment, they found inflammation due to Crohn’s, plus they found 2 polyps in the process. I left my appointment with a prescription for Asacol for Crohn’s management, plus a little bit of worry about the 2 Polyps. I’ve heard that Polyps are typically not anything to be concerned about in a person my age, but it took forever for me to get the results back, so I really began to worry.
2nd Birthday Photo!
Well, I went in for my follow-up and found out that one of the polyps was a form of cancer called a Carcinoid. I was devastated, I just had a baby, I was supposed to be having fun, and here I am having to deal with this. I then had to go through a string of tests to make sure it had not spread to other parts of my body, (the size of my Carcinoid was at the point where it began to spread to other areas) so my tests included a CT Scan and a Nuclear test. I had to come back 4 times during one week at 6:30am to see if I had any other spots showing up. Thankfully everything was clear and I would then have to repeat these tests in a year to make sure that nothing was missed.
3rd Birthday Photo!
Well I am happy to say that a year later my tests came back fine and although, I will have to be monitored for the rest of my life, I would rather know what is wrong with me, than have something like this inside of me growing and reeking havoc on my organs. So today, I want to wish my daughter a Happy Birthday, but I also want to thank her for saving my life and giving me better health. Honestly I believe that if I had not been pregnant, I’m not sure how long I would have put off getting the proper help or even a colonoscopy. I probably would have continued to be in denial about my stomach issues and would have just suffered through, who knows.
To learn more about what a Carcinoid is visit The American Cancer Society – Carcinoid Tumors and to learn more about Crohn’s Disease visit livingwithcrohnsdisease.com
Here is just another reason to be thankful for my family.