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Discussion:
Help with Awareness
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Hi everyone!

I am a journalism student in San Francisco, and I am writing a story about colon cancer that I believe is very important. I lost my mother to colon cancer in 2009, and have since been inspired to share her story and spread awareness to women in the United States.

I have done a lot of research about the affects of colon cancer, including common myths regarding the disease. It is so hard to believe the amount of women who are actually affected each year, but have no idea that they were even at risk.

The story I am writing is about how, when and why colon cancer affects women, and what they can do to avoid it or be treated in time to beat it.

This story has come a long way, but I still need some sources. I am looking for women/families who are willing to share how colon cancer has affected them, and women who have survived colon cancer.

If you feel inspired to share with others, please contact me on this post!

Thank you so much in advance!

Best,
Kelly
Posted on 04/30/12, 05:36 pm
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Reminder: This is a support group for Colon Cancer. We trust you will do your best to remain positive and helpful. For more information, see our rules of the road.

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Reply #1 - 04/30/12  6:03pm
" this is how my b/f found out . a pain hit him in dec 09 . he had lost a lot of weight n didnt know why. he got weaker and weaker by the days. he thought it was just a tummy ache but it didnt go away. he had a pain just were the colon is but, we didnt even know the colon sat there we thought it could be something small . looking back i remember saying one day you look sick. agin brush it of. two mth later in dec 7 09 he had a ct it was a thursday i may be of by a day on mon doc call us and said get over now ... i knew that was not good. that was it a monster . doc said this is the part of my job i hate then i heard blah blah blah . i tone or black out but he said you have a tumor in your colon and it is spred. by then we had no ins we got to the hospital by dec10 he was in the O.R when doc. came out he said stage 4 with metatisn lymnods. 2 years later 100 chemo he is still with us and ready for hipec treament like i hear moas .

sorry for the typing mis spelling but i hope this helps ur study
good luck!!!!! "
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Reply #2 - 04/30/12  11:33pm
" Hi Kelly, I was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 48, I really didn't have too many symptoms, at all some occaisional constipation and diarrhea, no pain, no bleeding, no tiredness, no weight loss, no nausea. Good thing I made an appointment to see a doc just for what I thought was irritable bowel syndrome. The doctor was just as surprised as I was. Most doctors look at women of my age and say oh its just IBS, I had been to a doctor in 2008 and basically was told just to increase fiber intake, well had they really done the job I would never have progressed to cancer. I am a little over a year since diagnosis now, ready to have a PET/CT scan in 8 more days to check things out, hopefully all clear.
This whole experience has changed my life forever, and put me and my whole family in a state of distress. I am married and have two teenage boys, ages 18 and 19. My kids have really been great, but I am sure that they have both had private times of worry, they keep me uplifted though. My husband of 20+ years is great but worried as well, it crushed him when I was diagnosed. I have a good prognosis, but one can never be sure with cancer. I feel as though I have lost my sense of well being forever. I ended up losing my job because I could not return back to work fast enough for them. I am a RN by trade, and am currently getting disability insurance. I had chemo for six months and it left me with severe neuropathy in my hands and feet. If you need more info let me know. I do and have maintained my role as a wife and mother the entire time, cooking, cleaning, laundry, groceries, and all the other things my family needs. "
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Reply #3 - 05/01/12  12:44pm
" hi Kelly, sorry to hear about your mother. I'm a stage 3 colon cancer survivor and was told i had this, the day after my 45th birthday. The comment you make ' they had no idea they were at risk', isnt a surpise to me, but i think in general the awareness of this illness is aimed at over 60's because usually its between 55-65 that your most likely to get this illness.
I live in the UK and the government have just released a tv advert promoting colon cancer awareness, not one person in the ad looks under 60.
The only symptom i had was one day i was at work and started having a severe rectal bleed, that i couldnt control, i went to the doctors same day, who sent me for tests, the bleeding stopped and was sent home from hospital and went back as an outpatient, i had the bleed just that ONE day, it never happened again, my surgeon said if i hadnt gone for tests and just shrugged it off, i wouldnt be here today as my cancer had already spread. You ask how its affected my life, initally after diagnosis my life and families life was like being on a roller coaster and we couldnt get off. I had the all clear a year after my diagnosis, after having a colon resection and 6 months chemo, and now fully fit. Ive met people who have this illness who smoke, never smoked, drink alcohol, tea totallers, overweight people, super fit people, personally i think its a lottery, you either get this kind of cancer or you dont, i cant find any reason why some get it and some dont.
I now do as much as i can to promote colon cancer awareness, by saying if there is a change to what is NORMAL to you for more than 4 weeks, or you feel a lump or have a pain, see blood in your poo, get it checked out, dont shrug it off.
My story is on Lynn Faulds Wood bowel cancer awareness website, if you want details of my full story.

Hope this helps, i do what i can to promote awareness of this cruel disease, maybe thats why i got it, and that is my lesson in life. I now enjoy life more and appreciate the smaller things in life, i know its a cliche but it is true, you actually do.

Any thing else i can help with just give us a shout. "
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Reply #4 - 05/02/12  9:21am
" I was misdiagnosed as having Irritable Bowel Syndrome and since I had that as a teenager, I believed it.
I finally found out when I was getting weaker and they did blood work and found I was dangerously anemic. They did a CT scan in emergency and found a tumor which was confirmed at a colonoscopy

A word of advise, my MD recommended a routine colonoscopy when I turned 50 but I refused. Wish I had. However, on this site, many people under 50 are being dx with colon cancer, so I think routine colonoscopies should be done earlier. "
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Reply #5 - 05/03/12  8:42am
" I think the biggest Myth is you can't get colon cancer at a young age.I was diagnosed at 40. The only way to treat colon cancer in order to beat it is early detection. I had no family history of it. For some reason they say have your first colonoscopy at age 50 as you can see from this site some of us were much younger than 50 when we were diagnosed. I had a small apple size tumor in my rectum Thankfully I started having symptoms and I was able to be treated and it was at an early stage. My doctors say that the tumor probably took at least 4-5 years to grow that big. Colonoscopies need to be done at a much earlier age like at 30-35 and every 5 years after that. This is not called the silent killer without reason.Unfortunatly for most by the time symptoms appear it's too late.Looking back now I was having symptoms for years rapid heart rate I thought I was having panic attacks, getting dizzy I thought it was stress or low blood sugar I actually thought I had something wrong with my heart as my mother passed away form a massive heart attack at age 63. The reason I went to the doctor was having blood and blood clots in my stool The first doctor was foul and said I was too young for colon cancer and I did'nt want a camera shoved up my butt at this age. The second doctor sent me to a GI doctor who did the colonoscopy and found the tumor.I was pregnant twice during the 5 years it took for the tumor to grow and both my babies were only four pounds at birth. I can't help but wonder if maybe the tumor had something to do with that.. "

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