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Staying Positive While Facing Stage 4 Rectal Cancer, With Chere Garcia

Staying Positive While Facing Stage 4 Rectal Cancer, With Chere Garcia

Chere and her family have had one hell of a year. In May 2014 Horacio’s mother, Aurora, was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was heartbreaking news to the family. Chere took initiative to care for aurora by being present day to day, cooking for her, helping with her medications and doctors appointments and so much more. Soon the family would learn that Aurora’s cancer had spread. Knowing that they didn’t have much more time with Aurora, Chere and Horacio decided to get married so that she could be in attendance. They had a beautiful wedding in August 2014. Aurora’s health continued to decline and she passed away in October 2014. Chere cared for her until she took her last breath. In November 2014 Horacio was laid off of his job. Chere has been the sole provider ever since. As you can imagine this is very unfortunate, but they just kept pushing forward and doing the best they could. It was around this time that Chere started experiencing changes in her health. She had decreased energy levels, no appetite, and changes to her gastrointestinal system. These symptoms progressively began to worsen. Everyone around her assumed that these symptoms were stress related. Still mourning the loss of her mother in law, the pressure of providing for a family, and other day to day stressors would do that to anyone. She is always taking care of those around her, and in turn she was neglecting herself. On April 23rd 2015, our lives were changed forever. Chere went in for a colonoscopy and endoscopy. The endoscopy was normal, but the colonoscopy was not. I think everyone has known someone who has had cancer. What we never want to think about is the day that one of our loved ones is diagnosed with it. Chere had a mass in her rectum. The mass was too large to advance the scope further to evaluate the rest of the colon. She was then sent for a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis that day to see if the cancer had spread anywhere else, and scheduled an appointment with a colo-rectal surgeon the following day. The next 24 hours until her follow up appointment and waiting for the results of the CT scan were the longest hours of our lives. But finally the time arrived. The surgeon discussed that the biopsy results showed that she has rectal adenocarcinoma, the most common form of rectal cancer. The CT scan showed the rectal mass and questionable spots on the liver. He explained that these could be just cysts or metastasis of the rectal cancer. She will need to complete a PET scan for further evaluation, and will be meeting with an oncologist on Monday. The oncologist will be able to provide more answers, support, and confirm the plan of care. Since Chere is only 34 the health care providers have been very reassuring that she can be treated aggressively to fight this horrible disease. Please keep Chere and our family in your thoughts and prayers. She is so very strong for her loved ones, and now she needs to know she has an army supporting her in her fight against rectal cancer.

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