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A Shock Of My Life

Posted Oct 02 2008 4:23pm

“Jamie, I’m sorry,” the doctor silently said. “But you have cancer.”

My uncles, who were standing on both sides of my hospital gurney, immediately held my hand and just starred at me.

At once, our minds flashbacked when my grandmother and their mother died of cancer two years ago.

My uncles leaned over, held me and cried even more. For 10 minutes, we stayed this way, while the nurses in the laboratory let us deal with this shocking news.

Even looking at the pictures from the colonoscopy, it still didn’t sink in. It all felt very surreal.

Life was going great and then all of a sudden, this huge wrench just got thrown in front of my path.

My life was going on the right track – I just began a new reporting position, I graduated from college and my boyfriend and I were starting to look for a house for ourselves.

Alone in my hospital room, I realized that this was real, although I still didn’t, or couldn’t, grasp the entirety of the disease. My grandmother died of rectal cancer, but she was 70.

I’m 24 years old, so I should come out of this ordeal fine. By the end of the summer, I should be normal again and ready to dive into the swimming pool before autumn arrives.

However, due to complications with the initial surgery, my expected recovery will take a couple of extra months.

In an ongoing column series, I will share my experiences and struggles with rectal cancer. I will also explore different aspects of the disease and any progress from the medical field of either preventing or eradicating this cancer.

The Elk Grove Citizen will also have a special place in its online forum section for readers’ own survival stories. To submit a story, visit

So look in the next issue for my next column where the news goes from bad to slightly worse.

If you have any questions or suggestions for upcoming stories for this cancer series, contact Jamie Gonzales at

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