I will never forget that day: Wednesday November 27, 2013.

It started like all the others: I had a consistent breakfast and a lot of coffee preparing for my busy schedule. Among all the urgent matters that I need to solve at my job, I programmed a visit to a local Clinique because lately I was feeling small stomach pains on the left side and mildly painful cramps after eating. It was quite unusual for me as I always thought that I had a strong immune system able to process and resist to the tons of bad quality food that I was ingesting every day.

At 12 I arrived at the Clinique, dropped by the reception and went to my appointment with a generalist doctor. Once entered inside his practice, she kindly asked me for the symptoms and the reason for the consultation. Bursting with optimism, I elusively told her the reason for my visit and what I was experiencing at that moment. My thoughts were focused on my job, what I had to do, my kid and all other stuff that had no link to why I was there. We finally come to the last step of the investigation, palpation of the abdomen. An unpleasant sensation caught me and I was slightly revolted by this procedure.

The preliminary exam did not reveal anything that would require further investigation, but given my weight problems, she recommend that I should have an abdominal ultrasound echography.

I said to myself: my schedule is full and I was going to say NO, but for no reason I said YES. I found that there was a place for 15 thus I decided to continue my day and return for the echo in the afternoon. A very kind doctor instructed me on the procedure and she kindly started to move the echograph over the abdomen after moistening me with a greasy and cold liquid.

At some point during the scan her jovial face turned horrified and she began to comment really worried that something is wrong. I did not understand much but I remember her saying that the there is a tumor inside my colon, possibly cancer. I was afraid and started sweating. In the end I managed to calm myself down saying: maybe she exaggerates but if there is something I will definitely solve that.

Once the scan was completed she filled my with recommendations for further investigations: CT/MRI scan, colonoscopy and eventually surgery. My state of fear returned and my thought went to my little boy that at that time was 1 year and 8 months old. I knew how dreadful this disease was as my father-in-law passed away 1 year prior to my diagnosis.

I will be grateful to that wonderful doctor because she did not treat the investigation superficially.

Once stepping out of the Clinique I started to encourage myself: I am young (30 years old) and from my knowledge at that time only elder people do such diseases.  I was also thinking that if you have such a terrible disease you have pains, symptoms but I had no such major symptoms. Except that I was always getting tired and the light abdominal pain that brought me to the consultation.

From the park near the clinic I called my wife and mother. We burst into tears.

Cancer type: Stage III Colorectal cancer
Diagnosed: 2013
Treatments received: Surgery / Chemotherapy
Alternative medicine: Nutrition therapy / Naturopathic medicine
Andrew: How my story begins

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