Andi's story

May 26, 2022
Andi Carlan

Andi's story

Everything started when I went to donate blood and my hemoglobin was a bit low.

My name is Andi and I’m a 39 years old Romanian, husband and father of two wonderful daughters. I’ve been working in the Pensions & Life Insurance industry for over 14 years and I built my carrier in Employees Benefits, Corporate Sales, Financial Advising, Training and Consultancy.

I’m an active volunteer, civic activist, #bloodfluencer, donor and occasional fundraiser, involved in civic social movements, blood donations, social cases and now – the Ukrainian refugees’ crisis in Romania.

In 2019, at 36 years old, I was diagnosed with Stage III Colon Cancer.

Everything started when I went to donate blood and my hemoglobin was a bit low. One month later it was lower so I did some more tests. Everything I did led to “anemia” so I got a prescription for Iron pills for three months. And a recommendation for a colonoscopy.

Five months later I did the colonoscopy and found out that I had two polyps on my colon. The doctor decided to do a biopsy only of one of them, which “looked malign” – and it did prove to be malign.

I got the laparoscopic colon surgery for removing the tumor and, one month later, I had to do another colonoscopy to remove and biopsy the second polyp.

It was very difficult for me to accept this diagnostic and trust the doctors around me so I asked for a second opinion. And then another. And another, until I had six ‘second-opinions’ from three different countries.

After that I started 6 months of chemotherapy (CapeOx) and everyone told me that I was “cancer free” and I shouldn’t worry anymore 🙂

The chemo period and the recovery after it were both very hard and I managed to pass through it with a great amount of help and support from my family, close friends and doctors.

A few months later I got back to the hospital, with excruciating pain. It turned out to be an infection, which put me in hospital for a couple of weeks.

After that I started to improve my lifestyle, diet and habits. I had always been an overweight sedentary man but this had to change! So I started physiotherapy, kinesiotherapy and psychotherapy, I saw a couple of nutritionists and a life-coach.

I found my way by starting to run for charity – kids with cancer, social causes, people in need – and I started motivating others to do the same.

Since 2020 I’ve been advocating for (some) cancer patients in Romania, helping them to cope with cancer and to better understand what this disease is all about and about their options and sharing positive ways of dealing with their new life.

But in July 2021, while I was preparing for a half-marathon and I was in the best shape of my life – mentally and physically – the cancer came back in the form of a liver metastasis.

I got another surgery, this time in Germany, and the recommendation was not to have another chemotherapy cure.

Now I’m (again) cancer-free and started (again) to prepare myself for another charitable half-marathon and a swimathon 🙂

I also started a blog (in Romanian) for documenting my journey with cancer and other social, medical and educational themes.

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