Vanessa Brannan
  • Female
  • Seattle, WA
  • United States
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Vanessa Brannan's Friends

  • Jennifer
  • Elesa
  • Palmettosmiles
  • 3littlebunnies
  • aprilart
  • tonibaloni
  • Sydney
  • Dixie
  • Dawn Marie Tanner
  • Jon Myers
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Vanessa Brannan's Discussions

Who's going to the conference?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Mark McManus Aug 16, 2013. 5 Replies

I thought I missed my chance, but they were still holding onto my scholarship.  We had a horrible summer finance wise:  HUGE tax mess to pay off thanks to moving out of our old house (in Orlando) too…Continue

stinky feet

Started this discussion. Last reply by Danny May 18, 2012. 3 Replies

I have NEVER had smelly feet, and all the sudden in the last month or so, they smell awful!  I've heard that a lot of toxins come out of your feet-- is it possible that the chemo is escaping through…Continue

Tags: side-effects, chemo, odor, foot

Undy 5000

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jeannie Moore Apr 20, 2012. 2 Replies

What's the difference between signing up as an individual or a team?  Are there benefits to being a team?  Is it a lot of work to be a team leader?  We've got 4 adults and 2 pre-schoolers (assuming…Continue

Does your output ever smell *good*?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Debe Hodges Apr 10, 2012. 2 Replies

I just emptied my bag and was confused by a sweet smell.  I confirmed that it was my bag.  It smelled good-- like rice pudding.  A little weird, but I wonder what I did-- I'd much rather smell rice…Continue


Vanessa Brannan's Page

Latest Activity

Vanessa Brannan posted a status
"First conference and it was AWESOME! Blog up:"
Oct 12, 2013
Vanessa Brannan posted a status
"It's my 2 year cancerversary today. I blogged about it"
Oct 4, 2013
Mark McManus replied to Vanessa Brannan's discussion Who's going to the conference?
"I'll be arriving in Miami on Thursday evening. I'm really looking forward to re-connecting with the friends I met last year in Baltimore, and meeting new friends this year. Hope to see you there Vanessa."
Aug 16, 2013
Jeannie Moore replied to Vanessa Brannan's discussion Who's going to the conference?
"Hi David, Here's the link: The scholarships/stipends are closed but Nancy is keeping a waiting list as many have to decline as it get closer due to health etc.  We do…"
Aug 16, 2013
David Losh replied to Vanessa Brannan's discussion Who's going to the conference?
"The information about where, and when the conference is should be included here. I'll look it up, but would like to go."
Aug 16, 2013
Randy Henniger replied to Vanessa Brannan's discussion Who's going to the conference?
"Dear Vanessa, I am looking SO forward to meeting you in Miami. I'll be at the welcome table on Thusday. Please stop by! See you there! Randy, CCA Patient Support"
Aug 16, 2013
Jeannie Moore replied to Vanessa Brannan's discussion Who's going to the conference?
"So happy to have been able to chat a bit in the chatroom - welcome back!  I look so forward to meeting you face-to-face in Miami! fondly, jeannie"
Aug 15, 2013
Vanessa Brannan posted a discussion

Who's going to the conference?

I thought I missed my chance, but they were still holding onto my scholarship.  We had a horrible summer finance wise:  HUGE tax mess to pay off thanks to moving out of our old house (in Orlando) too soon, said house sitting empty without renters for MONTHS, and, of course, medical bills...  But the house got rented, we finally finished paying off the stupid taxes, and we hit our out of pocket max for the year on the medical stuff, soooooooo...  even though we're in a deep hole from all of that…See More
Aug 15, 2013
Vanessa Brannan posted a status
"I'm coming to the conference!!! I thought I missed my chance, but no. Bought my plane ticket today!"
Aug 15, 2013
astrealaw liked Vanessa Brannan's blog post Banana Split Cake-- my own recipe
May 4, 2013
Vanessa Brannan posted a status
"Ran into my chemo nurse at the zoo. She was surprised I was out with both kids. Nice to hear my exhaustion is still normal."
Apr 21, 2013
Vanessa Brannan posted a status
"Can't seem to jump start myself lately. Been overdoing it for too long. Have never gotten normal energy levels back since second surgery."
Apr 12, 2013
Vanessa Brannan and Jennifer are now friends
Apr 12, 2013
Vanessa Brannan posted a status
"It's been ages. bought a new house, moved, and use my phone more than comp most days. Need to make the effort to get on here more"
Apr 2, 2013
Vanessa Brannan and Elesa are now friends
Apr 2, 2013
aprilart left a comment for Vanessa Brannan
"Hi Vanessa, I hope you are doing well. I was just thinking of you. Love, April"
Feb 17, 2013

Profile Information

First Name
Last Name
Seattle, WA
Race and Ethnicity [select only one]
White (non-Hispanic)
What is your connection to colorectal cancer [select only one]
Type of Cancer [select only one]
Colon Cancer
What stage at diagnosed [select only one]
Stage 3
Chemotherapy Received
Fluoroucil (5-FU), Eloxatin (Oxaliplatin)
About Me
I have had ulcerative colitis for 9 years. It was only on the left side. I've had a flare for several months that would not resolve and my recent colonoscopy showed that not only had it spread over the entire colon, but I have cancer as well. My Lynch syndrome testing came back positive for the MSH2 mutation, so now I get to have my reproductive system removed and be screened annually for a bunch of other cancers. Blarg. At least I don't have to worry about a reccurance of CRC since I'll be losing my entire colon on Nov 10th.

Update: nov '11--total colectomy and ileostomy, Jan-Mar '12--FOLFOX-- stopped due to excessive side effects and severe allergic reaction. Jul '12-- Total hysterectomy (incl. ovaries) and rectum removal. At least I won't get uterine or ovarian cancer-- Skin is most likely to pop up next according to family history. I hate Lynch syndrome, but at least we know what to watch for.

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Vanessa Brannan's Blog

Undy 5000 speech.

Posted on June 30, 2012 at 2:20am 5 Comments

I was asked to give the survivor speech for the Tacoma/Seattle Undy tomorrow.  Here's what I plan to say.

Some kids are afraid of the dark. Me? I was afraid of cancer. My dad was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer when I was three. And again when I was 6. I never met my grandma. Colon cancer claimed her life more than a decade before I was even born. In my mind, it wasn't a question of if I would get cancer, it was when.

My dad died when I was…


Moving up my surgery

Posted on June 18, 2012 at 2:24pm 3 Comments

My colitis is flaring badly and now I need to move up my surgery to remove my rectum.  I had my colon removed and an ileostomy in Nov of last year, but they left in my rectum because the surgeon was really hopeful that I would be a good candidate for a take-down.  I am not.  There is NO way I could hold onto anything as liquidy as my output.  I've known I needed an ostomy since long before I found out about the cancer.  I know I will be happier without the rectum-- I wish they had taken it…


Lynch Lady-- new blog.

Posted on January 26, 2012 at 6:34am 1 Comment

I finally got around to starting a blog about my cancer journey.  It'll be equal parts of my own story mixed with information about colon cancer and lynch syndrome.  I think it's really important because there are just no personal stories out there about people dealing with lynch-- I know because I LOOKED!  And most of you know that when I look, I look hard-- lots of in-depth research.

Anyway, check it out: …


Getting sick of the ER

Posted on January 25, 2012 at 9:12am 4 Comments

So, it turns out that I had no infection-- they took blood cultures from three different spots (port and both arms), urine, throat, and X-rays and NOTHING.  My fever was probably caused by a minor virus, but my blood levels all look good so they're not too worried about it.

The WEIRD thing is that my blood showed that I was having a severe allergic reaction.  The doctor is pretty sure that all of my cold-like symptoms are because of that.  And the best guess is the cat allergy…


Comment Wall (32 comments)

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At 12:26pm on February 17, 2013, aprilart said…

Hi Vanessa, I hope you are doing well. I was just thinking of you.

Love, April

At 5:33pm on July 18, 2012, Lindagorin said…

Hi Vanessa, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend Jill.  I pray the Lord will comfort you and Jill's family during this time of grief.


At 7:40pm on June 19, 2012, Vanessa said…
I agree. I would rather have everything done all at once and getvit over with. Its so much eaaier to deal with that way. When do you have to go in to get this done?
At 8:35pm on April 22, 2012, Jessica Vrabel said…

ok, well at least i now know it will take a while. hope all is well with you and ur enjoyong normal life again.


At 7:02pm on April 2, 2012, Michael Carver said…

Excellent theme Vanessa. I cant wait to see the outfits. :).


At 4:07pm on March 22, 2012, Jeannie Moore said…

Hey Vanessa - i gave you the wrong email for Roni!


My bad!

At 11:25am on March 22, 2012, Jeannie Moore said…

Hey Vanessa,

The NY Times reporter would love to talk with you if you want to share information about why you are participating in the aspirin trial.  You can email her your number and time that works for you:


At 4:23pm on March 19, 2012, Michael Carver said…

Hi Vanessa, I saw your latest photos of your welts and peeling hands. My heart is heavy with sadness that all of this is happening to you and has been happening to you for a long period of time. I will say and I have said it before you have a heart of gold and the drive that is second to none. There just has to be relief around the corner for you, there has to be. I am looking for good news after you talk to your Onc on Wed. I care about you alot Vanessa and love you like a sister. Take care:). Michael

At 9:28pm on March 13, 2012, Jeanne A said…

Hi Vanessa, Here are some ideas for when you have no appetite due to chemo.  There are chemical methods, like medical marijuana, the rx equivalent Marinol, and I believe Megace is another one.  Steroids are also used to increase appetite (Decadron).  Practical ways are different, of course.  Eat small snacks more frequently instead of big meals.  Eat mild foods.  Notice what things appeal to you - sweet, salty, crunchy, etc, and get that into the foods you eat.  If you like sweet, go for sweet potatoes, yams, apples, sweet bell peppers, cinnamon toast, you get the idea.  Chicken is a good protein to go with all those, maybe not the cinnamon toast!  If you're liking salty, go for white potatoes with veggies on them, like stuffed potatoes.  Go for protein like maybe pork, with a salty kind of sauce.  Or Chinese food!

Whatever you can eat that doesn't make you gag.  I know how you can cook something, and just the smell makes you not want to eat it.  I know how you can think something will be perfect, and one bite in the mouth and all your senses go on red alert, shouting 'no no no!'  Then there's no WAY you can eat that thing.  

Maybe a new cookbook, like "One Bite At A Time", made for cancer patients and their caregivers/support people.  There might be ideas for new things that will tickle your palate the right way!!

Let me know if this is way off base, and your problem isn't related to this at all.  I might have other ideas.


At 10:06am on February 16, 2012, Katie Kennedy said…

Thank you so much for the information.  I had my uterus removed last year because of endometriosis, they removed my ovaries at the same time they took part of my colon.  You are so young, I wish you a speedy recovery.  My daughter is 25 and they had to remove three polyps from her two of the three were precancerous.  They told her to have her children soon, and as soon as she is done having children, they want to do a complete hysterectomy on her as well.


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