Roxanne Camp, Ostomate and Advocate
My cancer story began while living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. By January 2014 I had been experiencing persistent, undiagnosed symptoms that my doctors refused to acknowledge for months. The first time I felt like I was being listened to was when I received a referral to a “Specialist”. The specialists specialty read “Oncology” and my heart sank. I knew there was something wrong, but I didn’t want it to be the C word.
On January 7th, 2014 I was diagnose with stage 3 cervical cancer and was told there was not much they could do for me. In other words, I was going to die. I moved in with my daughter and her husband in Arizona to get a second opinion and a fresh start on health. After 36 radiation treatment, 8 chemo treatments, and 5 internal treatment at Ironwood Cancer Center, we thought we got it and celebrated me being cancer free. Then, a few days later I got the call from my Oncologist-gynecologist, Dr. Chase, and it was not good news. She said, you might want to sit down. On September 16th, 2014 she told me to come into her office and have an open mind. I met my daughter and her husband at the office where we got the news that the treatment did not work. It shrank the tumor but did not kill the cancer cells. The told me that I had an aggressive cancer and I need to have a last resort Pelvic exenteration surgery as soon as possible or I was going to die within a year of a slow painful death. I was maxed out on Chemo and radiation, and again, there was no more they could do for me. The following week I saw three different surgeon’s; a Colorectal surgeon, a Urologist, and another Oncologist. That week on September 26, 2014, I went into a 10 hour Pelvic exenteration surgery with only a 30% chance of even surviving the procedure, but I came out with two permanent Ostomies; a Colostomy and a Urostomy. And that is how I became an Ostomate. It was a tough choice and I was scared, but I had to choose, the box or the bags, and I am not ready for that coffin yet!
I believe Stoma’s are angels of many diseases, without them us Ostomates would not be alive today.
Watch a testimony of my survivorship from St. Joes Below:
Read my excerpt in the St. Joes Newsletter Below