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Thursday, August 30, 2012

A reflective birthday post, completely non-makeup related

Today's my 27th birthday.  Because of the cancer I am so so thankful that I've made it here.  I know some people don't believe in God but I do and here's some of why.  Colon cancer isn't a disease they start looking for in people until they're about 50 years old so when I finally decided I needed to go to the GI doctor to get looked at, they made my appointment about 2 months away from the day I called.  I knew I needed to be seen sooner than that.

I really wanted a female doctor because I just feel more comfortable with women.  So I called the practice back and asked if they had a cancellation list or something so I could get in sooner.  They didn't.  So I started looking around for another female GI doctor who accepted my insurance.  God sent me to Dr. Jyothi Mann.  I was SOOOOO nervous and anxious going there, the preliminary questions they asked me made me cry because I was so mortified about being there and being asked such personal questions.

Dr. Mann was so incredible, she didn't do a physical exam on me at all because she must have known if she had, I would have been so scarred, I wouldn't have come back.  I feel like most doctors would have said something like, "well, let's change your diet and see how that goes.  We'll see you back in a couple of months."  I didn't have a couple of months.  She saw me back 2 weeks later for a colonoscopy, the one that saved my life.

I never cancelled the inital GI doctor appointment and when they called to confirm that appointment, I was on my second round of chemotherapy.  I had already had surgery to remove the mass from my colon and was on the road for treating the rest of the cancer in my system.

Another thing that has proven to me that God is real is that I am in one of the best locations in the country for cancer treatment.  People fly in from other countries to have treatments done where I live.  I couldn't understand for the longest time why I got moved from my life in New York (Upstate, not the city) and my family and friends but after finding out about the cancer, I know why I'm here.

I just am so grateful every single day for God putting me where he has.  It's not been easy by any means but since this has happened, I'm so glad that it's happened the way it is.  The only thing I would have changed is me being stupid and not going to the doctor sooner.  I was just too embarrassed.  Lesson learned.  I may not have made it to my 27th birthday if I hadn't been sent to Dr. Mann, if I had waited and gone to the other doctor, I honestly feel like my issues would have been brushed off because of my age.  Luckily Dr. Mann was sensitive enough to my feelings that she must have known if I was there, it was for a reason.  She has followed me every step of my treatment and has been such a huge encouragement for me.  I can't rave about her enough.

I really just typed this out for myself but thank you for reading it if you have.  Things may happen and we may not know the reason for them but there is a reason, rest assured.

38 comments:

  1. Beautifully written Sonja and happy birthday :)

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  2. Happy Birthday! You are a strong lady!

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  3. Happy birthday and hopefully there many more birtdays to come! i really enjoy your personal posts, also the one about chemo was very interesting.

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  4. God is good, that's all I can say after reading this. I'm glad you shared it and I'm glad you're still here and got to see your birthday, may you see many more! I'm about to turn 27 in 2 weeks myself and been through a lot of stuff and I know God has preserved me through it all. God bless you!<3

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  5. Happy Birthday! I hope you're doing well. It must be so special knowing that you made it to 27 considering everything you've been through recently! May God bless you in this new year :)

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  6. A very happy birthday to you girl and good for you for not settling and waiting for doctors to see you. We know when something isn't right and that we can't wait for some things... You're a fighter and you will survive this! Have a fantastic birthday <3

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  7. Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing your journey with us, you're truly an inspiration! I hope you have a wonderful birthday! :)

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  8. Happy borthday girl! Stay strong xoxo

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  9. Happy,happy birthday!!
    Keep listening to your gut feeling! We all rely too much on our heads.
    I'm getting close to that 50 year mark & am horrified at having to go through this test soon. I can only imagine how humilating it must feel at such a young age.
    I think you're fantasic, incredibly brave ....and gorgeous:))

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  10. Guilford Medical Center PA StaffAugust 30, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Sonja,

    It is such a great honor to be able to have met you, cared for you, and done what needed to be done in order to keep you here on this earth with us. Please know that we are here if ever you need anything and we are more than overjoyed at your continued progress. Rest assured that we are only a phone call away and each of us are here to assit you in any way that we possibly can. It is with great elation that we wish you a very Happy Birthday and may God continue to grant you many more!

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  11. you really are an inspiration. and happy birthday :]
    http://xmissxmaryxemm.blogspot.com/2012/08/whats-in-my-beach-bag-and-notw.html

    xoxo, mary

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  12. God has been very good... Happy Birthday. May He give you more health & life!

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  13. You are a real motivation to women; a reminder to trust your gut. Happy Birthday.

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  14. Happy birthday beauty ! You can be proud of everything you write and how strong you are ! Such an exemple for us ! Life lesson ! Take care of you and your family ! <3

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  15. This is such a beautiful post! May God continue to bless you and here's to a very Happy Birthday and many more!

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  16. Bless your heart. Happy birthday!

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  17. God is so good all the time!! All the time God is so good!!
    This post really reminded and encouraged me to truly be thankful for the people God has given me in my life. Thank you so much!
    I pray that you will continue to walk as a living testimony and light to all those around you! I hope this new year will be filled with more blessings!!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! and God Bless! :)

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  18. Happy Birthday :)

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  19. Happy Birthday!! God bless you and your family. Praying for you

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  20. Happy Birthday, and may god continue to bless you and your family. I also believe in everything happening for a reason. God is looking over each of us.

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  21. Aww that is a lovely post. I hope you are enjoying your birthday xx

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  22. Happy Birthday Sonja! Just found you through your guest blog on A Brush With Colour. God is good, as the timing of your post is just what I need. Your words have encouraged me to appreciate the here & now, and all the good things we have in our life. Stay strong, and wishing you health, happiness and joy.
    xxx

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  23. God Bless you on your birthday and always!

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  24. May God bless you and your family, honey. Although we have never met, you and your family are often in my thoughts and always in my prayers. I am a twice-recovered cancer survivor myself, but my last bout was more years ago than you have been alive! I never had chemo or any other post-cancer therapy because at the time I was a 28-year-old wife and mother of three (my cancers, of two separate types, were found during my six-weeks post-natal checkup after the birth of my beloved eldest son) with no insurance and no income, of any sort. My husband, a Vietnam veteran, had been unable to find work of any kind in our small hometown after he was medically discharged from the Army. We lived in an old, run-down country house, courtesy of his uncle who owned the property and house, but lived in another state, with no indoor plumbing and no electricity and my hubby carried water from a neighbor's house about a quarter-mile down the road from us. I cooked the food (which we were able to buy thanks to Food Stamps) on an old wood stove and boiled the water to keep us clean and fed. My mother-in-law had an old wringer-type washing machine and she would come to take me and the kids to her house to do the laundry twice a week in rainwater collected in several 50-gallon drums for the purpose. She supplied my laundry aids and personal grooming essentials for our family. She also took me to my oncology appointments and the university hospital (I was a charity case) more than 50 miles away from where we lived. Is it any wonder that I considered her my best friend and loved her as my own mother? She passed away in 1999 and I still miss her so, so much. Then, just after my surgery, the university hospital dropped it's indigent care program and I was unable to pay (please keep in mind that my husband was practically begging for any sort of work the entire time) to be examined to even make sure that both cancers were completely gone or have the aftercare therapy that the doctors had said that I would need. A young local surgeon heard about my situation and his office contacted me to come and, at least, let him check to see if all the cancerous cells were gone, and, if I required more surgery, he would do it, pro bono. We lived this way for about two-and-a-half years. Finally, things turned around for us: my husband found an excellent job and we were able to start living a far more normal lifestyle, my exams showed no traces of the cancers' returning and two and a half months BEFORE my older son's death, we had another beautiful baby boy! We now had (at least for a couple of months) what we had always wanted; two girls and two boys. I suppose you may be wondering why I am sending you this little biographical episode. I am not looking for pity. I am hoping that you will see how the hand of God can move through our lives in ways that we do not always understand, but He is always looking out for us. I found your blog several months ago through a link on another beauty blog. You and your family are so young and you are so beautiful that I kept coming back to see the gorgeous looks you would create. When I read that you were so terribly ill, my heart just broke! I would go back and forth looking at you and your lovely child and your handsome young husband and I would weep as if you were one of my own. Finally, I told my husband and my two surviving adult children,35 and 24,(my older daughter was killed in a car wreck in 2001, and yes, I have been through many, many years of therapy) your story and had them look at your pictures. They often ask me for updates on your condition and I tell them what you have posted to us. We all admire your tremendous courage, faith, and beauty (my 24-year-old son, in particular, admires the last! lol). Anyway, please keep us informed and know that I am just one of your many fans whom you don't even know that cares for you deeply. And, most important, NEVER give up that faith that you are going to beat this and live to be a beautiful old lady (like ME! lol)!

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  25. Hard to believe that there are any words left in me.....but Belated Happy Birthday!

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  26. Happy Birthday! I really hope you have many more birthdays to come! :)

    Please, check out this post:
    http://bloh-somekindofart.blogspot.fi/2012/09/i-love-your-blog.html

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  27. Happy Birthday!
    I wish this story belongs to the past and from now on only good days are in your life.
    Your makeup looks brought me here, but I was glad I read your story because it can really help others. I'll look for information about the disease as soon as possible.
    Whenever you have time, I hope you visit my blog.

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  28. Happy Birthday! I myself am in the process of changing doctors. I live in Canada, not sure how it works there, but here you go see your "family" doctor or general practitioner for everything and they may or may not send you to a specialist. I went to her with a mole I was a bit concerned about and she says "hmm, I think the really dangerous ones are black, aren't they? We'll keep an eye on it." A diagnosis with a question mark, not so comforting! I have also had some stomach issues that she has not shown much concern over, so I'm looking for a new Dr. I'm always a bit paranoid about cancer as I've lost friends and family members to it. I don't think it's the case for me (I hope) but your story reminds me never to ignore your health. I wish you the very best in your future and hope there is only good health ahead!

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  29. Thank you for this post. You are an inspiration. I too believe that everything in life happens for a reason and sometimes only God knows what that reason is. You reminded me to be thankful for all of the blessings that I have in my life. I wish you many more years of happy birthdays!

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  30. I am so happy you are doing well and I am glad you are sharing your story...I am sure you will help save someone's life by doing so. Stay strong : ) We are here for you!

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  31. God Bless you and your family!best of luck!I also survied prostate cancer!Michael Bonuomo Face book

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