15 May My name is Dennis Maione
My name is Dennis Maione. When I was 27 years old I went to the doctor because I was experiencing rectal bleeding. It took 3 months to diagnose what was wrong with me, primarily because the doctors were looking for the things that cause 27 year olds to get rectal bleeding: cancer was not one of them. In the summer of 1992 I had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from my rectum. Because it was caught early, that was my only treatment.
Skip forward 13 years to a call from my mother telling me that there was a genetic mutation in the family that was probably the cause of the many cancers my relatives had experienced, including mine. I was tested and found that I was positive for Lynch Syndrome, MSH2 variant. Two years later, in the summer of 2007 I had a second surgery for a colorectal tumour, this surgery to remove all but just a bit of my large intestine, enough remaining to preserve the functioning of my digestive tract.
Now I’m healthy and happy. I get scopes (upper and lower) every year to ensure that if I get a third cancer it will be caught early. In addition, I am now getting yearly ultrasounds of my bladder and prostate. My biggest worry, these days, is not my own health but that of my middle child, my eldest son, who is also Lynch positive. At 20 years old, he has a lifetime of surveillance of his own to endure. I am glad that at least for some of the years to come, I will be able to walk his path alongside him.
In the fall of 2014 I released a book called What I Learned from Cancer, a narrative of my story of cancer and coping with crisis. You can get it in paperback at prompterstolife.com/shoppers and as an eBook at payhip.com/prompterstolife.