Stronger, Leaner, Meaner: A Cancer Survivor Story

22 May 2013

My name is Scott Z and in 2008 I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at the age of 30! What??? “How could this be right” is what I used to ask myself. I was fit, in shape, never smoked. I wasn’t old.

IMG_5219Well none of that mattered and I found that out really quick. After getting the terrible new from my doctor they didn’t waste any time. 2 weeks later (after having a chemo port installed in my chest) I started chemo and radiation. In my case it was nothing like the movies. I would go everyday to get 45 second shots of radiation and I had to carry around a cool fanny pack that would pump into my chest for the first 4 days of every 2 weeks (which I would rock to the gym). I had to do 12 rounds of that. I never got sick didn’t lose my hair and I only lost about 5lbs. Really it wasn’t that bad. Then I had my first surgery to remove the tumor, that’s when the fun really began. I developed a staff infection after being home for 5 days and pancreatitis it was the most painful thing I had ever experienced in my life.

Well lucky me I was in the hospital for the next 17 days when not only did I go from weighing 168lbs t0 127lbs I was given a colostomy bag… SO,cool!! nothing like pooping out of your belly in a bag. SO after those 17 days enjoying my meals in an IV, I was able to come home and start my long road to recovery. I couldn’t walk and could see every bone in my body I was a real mess. But with the help of my amazing wife Michelle (who never let me stop) I finally started to walk eat more and get back to myself. I would even go to the gym a couple times a week. I then had to have another 12 rounds of chemo as a continuous treatment that was scheduled. I was getting strong feeling great then it was time to have my colostomy bag removed.

My surgery went as well as I expected, I got another infection. This time I only had to have 4 drainage plugs stuck in my hips for 2 weeks… fun dragging those things around. After a month or so FINALLY it was all over, no chemo, no radiation, no more surgeries… well I guess after having 3 major surgeries on your stomach your stomach lining gets a little weak because while I was doing some heavy triceps pull downs i felt a POP… WHAT THE???? I developed an issitional hernia which looked like an alien was popping out of my body… SO, yep another surgery was necessary to fix my hernia. That one was easy compared to the rest. only out of work and the gym 11days..

It’s been almost 4 years since my last surgery and I have really pushed myself physically during that time. I really wanted to get back to the man I was. I have not been able to gain any real mass do to the limited diet I have now (no dairy, no pasta, no salads, no caffeine, no ice cream, no fun stuff) but I am stronger leaner and meaner then I ever have been in my whole life. I still have side effects from having so many surgeries (I POO A LOT) but small price to pay to have my life.. I don’t think I would be sitting here telling you this story if it were not for my dedication to fitness before I had cancer and the strength of my wife who has sacrificed so much for me but never ever has lost her love for me…She really is my true strength… I can’t thank Nikki Sharp enough for sharing my story of surviving and thriving after hearing those words “YOU HAVE CANCER!” If you want to continue to follow my story I post pics on IG @dacancerkilla78 get motivated and remember to see your doctor. Its very important for you to get your physical……. #survivornation SCOTT Z

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