Αρχική World News How My Navy Career Helped Shape My Positive Attitude During My Hereditary...

How My Navy Career Helped Shape My Positive Attitude During My Hereditary Cancer Diagnosis

Dan “Dry Dock” Shockley is a retired United States Navy veteran and an 8-year hereditary attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis (AFAP) survivor with a permanent ileostomy. He is an active patient advocate across multiple organizations and strives to bring awareness to hereditary colon cancer. After receiving his AFAP diagnosis, he enrolled in the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Creighton University hereditary colon cancer registries. Through the years, he has requested and received Colon Cancer Month, Rare Disease Day, and Ostomy Awareness Day proclamations from the governors of Hawaii, Idaho, and Texas, as well as from the mayor of each town he resided in each of these states. His current advocacy efforts are to establish legislative jurisdiction to designate the 4th week of March as Hereditary Colon Cancer Awareness Week.

It was during my first and only colonoscopy at age 51 that 100 polyps were discovered embedded throughout my colon, rectum, and anus. I was immediately referred to a certified genetic counselor for further evaluation and genetic testing. The test results confirmed the diagnosis of attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis (AFAP), a genetic condition where a person develops colon polyps that could lead to colorectal cancer.

I knew nothing of this disease before meeting with my genetic counselor and colorectal surgeon. They began educating me on the condition in order to provide effective counseling regarding my options for diagnosis and treatment. They also educated me on my genetic situation so that I could choose how to best inform my family. By providing me with great care, they were essentially going to treat an entire family.

During my meeting with the genetic counselor, we discussed my family history of cancer. There was none that I or my siblings knew of. We also discussed the genetic mutation that I was thought to possibly have, which was familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). But a gene sequencing DNA test would be able to determine the exact diagnosis. The results arrived 6 weeks later, confirming the rare diagnosis of AFAP, which is a subtype of FAP.

After my diagnosis, my health care team and I discussed the type of surgery I would need and what life would be like with an ostomy. I was eager to learn about the mutation, the type of surgery, and life as an ostomate. All of this information was a lot to digest. However, my military experience equipped me to adapt, improvise, and overcome. Throughout this process, my certified genetic counselor and colorectal surgeon encouraged me to read about my condition. I divided my research efforts into 3 phases: first, I would learn about AFAP. Then, I would learn about total proctocolectomy with ileostomy, which was the type of surgery I would receive. During this procedure, my colon, rectum, and anus would be removed (proctocolectomy), and then a piece of my small intestine would be pulled through an opening in my abdomen to pass waste out of my body (ileostomy). Then, I would learn about life with a permanent ostomy. To better prepare myself for life with AFAP, I created a binder to hold all my medical reports for future reference.

It’s important to note that I didn’t have any symptoms or family history when I was diagnosed with AFAP. The mutation manifested in my small intestine, stomach, and left eye, so I would also need routine ophthalmology examinations and endoscopic procedures of my stomach and small intestine. I embraced the diagnosis from the onset. That said, my mindset was, and still remains, not to dwell on things I’m unable to control, such as medical conditions. What I can control is my attitude. After 5 decades on God’s green earth, my positive attitude has brought me this far. So why change? Furthermore, worrying is not the cause of my condition. Therefore, worrying will not make it go away. Reading about such a diagnosis and asking my medical team members questions had a positive impact on my outlook.

During my 22-year Navy career, I learned that mental and physical strength are important attributes to possess, especially in the face of personal or professional adversity. I feel maintaining a positive attitude while committed to the mission is instrumental in achieving success. This was evident during my numerous deployments to the Persian Gulf. When faced with challenges, both physically and professionally, I maintain a positive attitude and use the many resources that allow me to better understand the situation. Challenges, such as a diagnosis of AFAP, are opportunities for me to overcome adversity.

For those experiencing a similar diagnosis, I suggest establishing and maintaining an open dialogue with family members as well as your medical team members, including your certified genetic counselor. I prepared a binder and retained as many documents about my case as I could. Reviewing medical researchers’ peer-reviewed publications has also been an invaluable source of information directly related to my diagnosis.

There were 2 acronyms I created shortly after my diagnosis and then ostomy surgery: Full Assurance Influenced Through Hope (FAITH) and Attitude Determines the Ability for a Positive Transformation (ADAPT). FAITH is believing in what we’re unable to see. For example, we can see the tree branches swaying in the breeze. However, we’re unable to see the breeze; we just see the effect of it. ADAPT is about learning to adjust. It’s been said we’re unable to change the direction of the wind. But what we can do is adjust our sails. After 22 years in the Navy assigned to 7 different ships, I’m good at adjusting. My positive attitude has had a direct impact on my strong faith and my ability to adapt to life as an ostomate with a rare disease. Hopefully, your positive attitude can do the same for you.



Συμπληρώστε το email σας για να λαμβάνετε τις σημαντικότερες ειδήσεις από το ogkologos.com

Βρείτε μας

2,449ΥποστηρικτέςΚάντε Like

Διαβαστε Επίσης

Καρκίνος και Κορωνοϊός (COVID-19) ΜΕΡΟΣ Α

Εάν είστε καρκινοπαθής, το ανοσοποιητικό σας σύστημα μπορεί να μην είναι τόσο ισχυρό όσο κανονικά, έτσι μπορεί να ανησυχείτε για τους κινδύνους που σχετίζονται...


Η Παγκόσμια Ημέρα Κατά του Καρκίνου καθιερώθηκε με πρωτοβουλία της Διεθνούς Ένωσης κατά του Καρκίνου (UICC), που εκπροσωπεί 800 οργανώσεις σε 155 χώρες του...


ΕΞΕΛΙΞΕΙΣ ΣΤΗ ΘΕΡΑΠΕΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΜΗ-ΜΙΚΡΟΚΥΤΤΑΡΙΚΟΥ ΚΑΡΚΙΝΟΥ ΤΟΥ ΠΝΕΥΜΟΝΑ (ΜΜΚΠ) Γράφει ο Δρ Παπαδούρης Σάββας, Παθόλογος-Ογκολόγος   Ο ΜΜΚΠ βρίσκεται αναλογικά στο 80% και πλέον του συνολικού...

Διατρέχουν όντως οι καρκινοπαθείς μεγαλύτερο κίνδυνο λόγω κοροναϊού;

Σε πρακτικό επίπεδο, τα δεδομένα των σχετικών μελετών υποδηλώνουν ότι η χημειοθεραπεία ή οι άλλες αντι-νεοπλασματικές θεραπείες δεν αυξάνουν σημαντικά τον κίνδυνο θνησιμότητας από...

FDA: Η ακτινοβολία των smartphones δεν προκαλεί καρκίνο

Σε μια νέα έκθεσή της, η Υπηρεσία Τροφίμων και Φαρμάκων (FDA) των ΗΠΑ αναφέρει ότι επανεξέτασε τις σχετικές επιστημονικές έρευνες που δημοσιεύθηκαν τα τελευταία...

Νέα ανακάλυψη, νέα ελπίδα για τον καρκίνο

Ένα νεοανακαλυφθέν τμήμα του ανοσοποιητικού μας συστήματος θα μπορούσε να αξιοποιηθεί για την αντιμετώπιση όλων των ειδών καρκίνου, σύμφωνα με επιστήμονες του πανεπιστημίου Cardiff...
- Advertisment -

Ροή Ειδήσεων

2-Year-Boy Is So Excited To See Himself In Disney’s ‘Encanto’

The importance of representation in media has been a growing topic of concern, and companies have responded by adding more diversity to their characters,...

Man Walks Entire Continent To Spread Awareness About Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

Matthew Fennell is walking over 3,000 miles across Australia for an important cause and one that is near and dear to his heart. Last year,...

Boy Battling Cancer Becomes Honorary Police Officer, Sworn In To 45 Agencies

At just ten years old, Devarjaye “DJ” Daniel has already been through more than most people go through in their entire lives. DJ has been...

Paclitaxel and Carboplatin Not Inferior When Compared with Paclitaxel and Ifosfamide for the Treatment of Patients with Uterine Carcinosarcoma

With regard to overall survival (OS), paclitaxel and carboplatin was not inferior and demonstrated improved progression-free survival (PFS) when compared with paclitaxel and ifosfamide...

Cancer in My Community: Improving Access to Palliative Care in Indonesia

Cancer in My Community is a Cancer.Net Blog series that shows the global impact of cancer and how people work to care for those with...

Should CAR T Cells Be Used Earlier in People with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?

January 13, 2022, by NCI Staff Several approved CAR T-cell therapies work by binding to the CD19 antigen on cancer cells and killing them. Credit: Adapted...