Viviana shares her very personal story in hopes of protecting and preventing others from experiencing the suffering she and her family continue to endure.
Background My name is Viviana, and I am married to Master Sergeant Justin Davis. We have three beautiful children and a bulldog named Roxy. In 2016, I had been experiencing unexplained, severe physical symptoms. When I sought medical care, I was misdiagnosed or dismissed by medical specialists. I was so busy with my young family that I did not advocate more on my own behalf. I trusted the medical community to provide quality care for me and was not aware the symptoms indicated a serious medical condition. Shortly thereafter, after several trips to the emergency room for severe symptoms, I was diagnosed with stage 3b colorectal cancer. The news was devastating to myself and my family. I underwent several surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy only to have the cancer return in 2022, now stage 4.
What do you want to share with others about this illness? Self-advocacy is the key to ensure early detection. The doctors dismissed me thinking I was too young and too healthy for anything serious. The truth is that no one is too young or too healthy for colorectal cancer. Help me spread the word. Be your own biggest advocate. Don’t stop fighting! I have faith. I want to be a grandmother and burn cookies with my grandchildren. I share to help others…raise awareness about symptoms and have a colonoscopy. We are never too young for colorectal cancer.
What do you want others to be aware of? The lack of knowledge is a big barrier. Colorectal cancer is a quiet cancer; it is silent. It only talks to you when it is advanced. Even in the advanced stages, medical providers may dismiss the symptoms due to age or general health. It could be you. You don’t want to be me. I share my story to save others. Advocate for yourself. Check off all the boxes. Get the colonoscopy. Know ahead of time that there are obstacles to getting that colonoscopy. blood tests, age, general health, gender, lifestyle, insurance coverage, etc. The doctor needs to advocate for your colonoscopy; insurance companies may resist approving it due to age or general health.
Symptoms If you are having unexplained symptoms such as bloating, blood in your stools, constipation, or feeling tired, it is 100% worth your time and efforts to schedule an appointment with a physician for a consultation and a colonoscopy. Colorectal cancer is preventable if caught early in the form of a polyp. The polyp is often removed during the colonoscopy procedure, and you are on your way home.
If the doctors are telling you no…find another. If the doctor does not support finding the answers you need…find another. I moved my family 3 times in 7 months across different continents. My son, a senior is son is attending his 3rd high school, my daughter is 14 years old, and my younger son is in 3rd grade. All of the heartache, fear, uncertainty, and significant disruption could have been avoided. The least I can do is to continue fighting.
Keep Fighting I have a husband and three children. I will continue fighting. I am tired and weary, but I keep myself busy to distract myself from thinking about the what-ifs, and I look to my family for motivation. Love is my motivation; my family is everything to me. I want my children to know that even during difficult times, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Don't give up.
Love is my motivation; my family is everything to me. I want my children to know that even during difficult times, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Don't give up!
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