Lexie's Colon Cancer Fundraiser
Hello, and welcome to my fundraising page!
I first wanted to thank you for taking the time to visit my page, that alone means that you care to learn more about why I am fundraising, so thank you!
November 14, 2018 is a day I will never forget. A few days prior, Philly (my step-dad) went in for a routine colonoscopy (following the previous year when the doctors found some cancerous polyps [the doctors easily removed these]), and I couldn’t be more grateful he got screened. That night, I remember getting a FaceTime call from my mom and Philly, and as soon as I answered and saw that they both were calling me sitting at the dining room table, my heart dropped. I immediately said, "...it’s serious, isn’t it?” Philly immediately started explaining what was going on in medical terms, of course (if you know Phil, this is very Phil of him: Mr. Logical). Once I connected the dots and understood he was diagnosed with cancer, I was immediately filled with frustration, devastation, anger, confusion; I felt broken-hearted. I felt wronged by the doctor who didn’t catch it a year prior… then I found out it was stage IV colon cancer. There are truly no words to describe the feeling of finding out that somebody you love and care about so profoundly has cancer spread throughout their body. Not to mention, Phil is only in his early 50's and is very healthy and active. We simply did not know the signs and the importance of getting screened right away.
The months following, we watched his energy deteriorate, hair fall out, we experienced quite a bit of doubt, fear, anxiety, and even times of hope… I watched him take on a whole new perspective on life...Appreciating the little things quite a bit more, talking about significant milestones, his life lessons. After many CT scans, MRI’s, tons of blood drawn, hours and hours and hours of chemotherapy, and even the most aggressive surgeries to obliterate the cancer that spread throughout his body, we finally got the news we wished for (or as my mom always says, we were calling out good energy). Phil’s carcinoembryonic antigen levels were decreasing, all of the grueling hours at the hospital receiving chemotherapy, all of the tests, everything…it was paying off. For those of you who are not familiar with the term (I wasn’t either), carcinoembryonic antigens are used as tumor markers, and the average healthy person has a CEA level of 3 ng/mL. Philly was diagnosed initially with a CEA level of 55 ng/mL. It had moved down to 36, then 18, 9, 5.5, and then a 2. I am now the biggest believer in miracles, prayer, and GOOD ENERGY (thanks mom).
Fast forward a few months later, and the cancer is back. But, man were those some fabulous months of celebration, love, appreciation, you name it, we were all so damn grateful. Not to mention, his CEA levels STAYED at 2 until the end of January of this year. Although it’s back worse than before, we are still PRAYING, hoping, sending out all the good energy and love we have, and we are all looking forward to having another time for celebration.
If I’m honest, there’s a lot of details I’m sparing intentionally, but I am happy to be frank about the hopelessness we have all experienced. It is heartbreaking when somebody you love gets sick; you go through many stages of emotions; you wish it were you instead... My feeling of hopelessness is exactly why I am fundraising and sharing Philly’s story.
I hope that by sharing my family's story, you will encourage your friends and family to get screened as soon as recommended (or even earlier), educate yourself and those around you on the signs and symptoms of colon cancer.
If you can spare any change to further colon cancer research, education, PREVENTION, it would mean the world to me. And if not, then please share this story with somebody. Support your loved ones by ENCOURAGING them to get screened as often as they should, as EARLY as doctors recommend.
And lastly, thank you, thank you for reading this story and caring about my ‘why’ for fundraising. I love you all and appreciate your support; we all do. <3