Describe your overall experience at UCSF.
The surgery was very successful. My post-surgical care was superb. The doctors visited me three or four times a day and the nursing staff kept my spirits up. Each of them had a cheerful disposition despite having such a demanding job. They made me feel special and cared for.
After Dr. Varma removed the tumor, they sent it out for all the lab work. That's when they discovered that the cancer was stage 1. I had an appointment with Dr. Varma after the surgery and she said, "The good news is that you don't need to visit me anymore."
How are you feeling now?
I was determined to bounce back and live a normal life after my treatment. By God's grace, everything is good now and I am feeling healthy. There were a few realities I had to work around, like a shorter colon, but things are nearly normal now. If I don't disclose I have been operated on for cancer, no one would know.
How has your life changed since your diagnosis?
I have to go for periodic blood tests and I have a colonoscopy every year, but otherwise I feel very good. Since my diagnosis, I have realized how fragile life can be. I appreciate each day more than before, and I am more giving and large-hearted in my daily interactions. Most of all, I'm grateful for my loving family.
What advice would you give to other patients?
Stay active. Be positive. Take care of your health. And have faith in yourself.