Posted at: 05/29/2012 2:14 PM
| Updated at: 05/29/2012 6:10 PM
By: Benita Zahn
Spending a sultry, late spring day getting chemo treatment is not how Michelle Gordon envisioned her life. At 34 this married mom from Scotia works full time and is busy with her two kids, aged 4 and 10. She added cancer fighter to her resume in February. But you have to go back to November for the full story.
"Back numbness, back pain and it got worse when I laid down as opposed to getting up and moving."
She also had vague stomach distress. At first, the symptoms were waved off by her doctor. But when they persisted, so did Michelle.
"So I told her I wanted an MRI ."
The surprising diagnosis: stage 4 colo-rectal cancer- While usually associated with people over age 50, Michelle's learned young adults are not immune.
"Younger people are getting it more often. The rate of older people getting colon cancer has been going down because of colonoscopies."
It's not clear why the numbers are increasing in younger adults.
As for Michelle, she's undergone surgery to remove the tumor and this treatment marks the halfway point in the chemo therapy she undergoes every other week.
"I just always try to remember it wasn't always like this and it won't always be like this so you gotta try to stay positive."
Her oldest sister, Jennifer, accompanies her to treatment - her cancer buddy -and one of her cohorts in planning.
You see, Michelle wants her experience to help others- so she's about to apply for not for profit status for Yes We Can Sir - the name of her website. Funds raised will go to help other families touched by cancer.
But even if you never need those funds, Michelle wants you to remember one thing from her experience.
"Nobody knows everything, so be your own advocate and ask a lot of questions."