I drafted this post a few times and have debated whether to post it or not. Mainly because I canvassed for Relay for life and so many generous people donated to the Canadian Cancer Society for my walk. But when I think about how much No Stomach for Cancer has helped me, I hit the post button. So here we go!
Okay okay, I know this is wayyy early but better early than never!
This November 1st (November is Stomach Cancer Awareness month) my family and friends will be walking in the No Stomach for Cancer Awareness walk. This is a walk that happens around the world to raise awareness about stomach cancer. My mom and I live without a stomach and my younger brother has yet to be tested. It may seem far fetched but I am hoping that in the next 10-15 years an effective screening procedure can be developed in order to find early staged signet ring cells so people with CDH1 mutations no longer have to have their whole stomach removed prophylactically.
There was one study that identified possible common areas where early signet ring cells may start to develop. I brought this article to the attention of the specialist performing my upper endoscopy just after I tested positive for CDH1 mutation (click here for the story). The study was not very strong however, the suggested areas to take biopsies lead to the identification of early staged signet ring cell carcinoma in my stomach. If the cancer was not found so early, I may have delayed surgery which may have resulted in a worse outcome. But let’s not go there. I know I speak very positively living without a stomach, however, if screening was more effective, I would have kept my stomach for sure!
I know I canvassed for the Relay for Life earlier this year and I am ever so thankful for all your donations!!! I am not someone who fundraises very often but this organization has helped me so much over the past year and I would love to give back. The money raised for this walk goes directly back into research for Stomach Cancer. Just a few months ago No Stomach for Cancer awarded $100,000 for new research grants studying familial gastric cancer. Amazing!
But besides the donation schpeel, I am still so thankful that for everyone who is following my blog. I know that this blog has raised much awareness about hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome and I am always surprised and grateful to hear when someone else is following my journey. I have many followers now and I am so happy because I know that for every follower, one more person has learned about hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome. I have such a wonderful support network.
For those who would like to donate or join my team you can click on the link below:
For those of you who would like to walk or find a walk in your area – click here
But seriously, even better than donating, is just spreading the word about No Stomach for Cancer. You never know who it can help!