Hi my name is Denise I live in Long Island New York,
My story is one of positivity from the way I handled the initial diagnosis and made choices to remain focused, positive, and faithful throughout my entire journey. I have called it my wellness journey from the start because I never felt extremely sick and didn’t want to act sick and have others concerned so I put a plan in place for myself where I time lined everything from doctor visits, tests, treatments, surgery etc and literally lived day by day.
I was diagnosed with diabetes December 2015 and put on medication (runs in the family and hereditary, I knew my sugar was elevated and previously tried to control with diet and exercise)
As a result, my Doctor has me going for blood work every few months. He told me to lose a little more weight (I am small build and thin for most part). In March 2016 I went for blood work and was okay although I had lost some weight he was pleased, and I complained of some belching, but thought could be the medication I was on for diabetes.
I ended up with some stressful work situation over the coming months. When I went back to the doctor in September and my blood took a drastic drop with my haemoglobin very low. I showed no symptoms however needed blood transfusions etc. I was in the hospital for 11 days as all my tests kept showing negative or benign. I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy scheduled. They started but could not complete since I had some food left in belly. My doctor saw a peptic ulcer and did biopsy it. Came back benign but wanted to do again to go further and do a colonoscopy. The second endoscopy found the cancer as it was inside the peptic ulcer. The location was tricky as it was at the bottom and near the entry of the small intestine. I was diagnosed in Oct 2016. Underwent chemo treatments both pre and post-surgery and had partial stomach removal in Feb 2017.
I was in good care at the hospital I was in and thankful they persisted in finding cause before I was released (I think they felt it could be cancer but finding where was the issue)
I was referred to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York (Manhattan) where I ended up having surgery done robotically. Both my surgeon and Oncologist was concerned it may have spread given the location but ended up it was all contained for which I was very fortunate
I share all this because there is no screening but the importance of pushing to make sure find out what is wrong.
I fared very well with surgery all things considered, and I was eating solid food within 72hrs. Small portions of course but I was tolerating, and it was a big step!
From the moment I was diagnosed, I made a commitment to myself that I would allow my positive attitude, my strong faith and trust in God to guide me and create my own Wellness Journey. I prayed faithfully and felt if I would be blessed to be well and feel good I would pay if forward and help others by sharing my story and bringing awareness.
Presently, I am feeling good and doing well. I have gained 12lbs from my lowest weight and am able to eat whatever I want without any complications.
I hope my story can be one of inspiration and hope for someone else that finds themselves facing a similar situation.
Facebook: Denise Leprine https://www.facebook.com/daleprine