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“Not the News I Wanted” A Guest Blog Post by Danielle Ripley-Burgess

 

I had dreams of posting a blog about my colonoscopy earlier this week and sharing that I was polyp-free and the coast was clear in my colon.

Although I didn’t leave the clinic like I have in previous years, worried and concerned cancer was growing in my body, I didn’t leave like I’d hoped.

During my colonoscopy, my GI found three polyps. They were all hanging out in the rectum. Fortunately, he removed them.

This is why I’ve been …

Treatments for Colorectal Cancer: A Guide by Dr. Laura Porter

 

Today I want to talk about the mechanisms of action of various treatments for colorectal cancer.  There are three different categories of systemic or drug treatment.

Chemotherapy

This treatment uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing.  It also kills normal cells which is the reason for the side effects associated with chemotherapy.  Most chemotherapy targets cells that are fast growing which includes cancer cells, and surface …

New to Chemo? Survivors Share their Tips

 

One of the most intimidating parts of a cancer diagnosis is beginning chemotherapy. Patients wonder what to expect and what they need to have to make treatment easier. It is important to understand all patients should communicate clearly and openly about their side effects with their physicians. In addition to doctors, other survivors have great tips to help prepare for chemotherapy, so we asked some of our Colon Club family to share.

Preparations for chemotherapy start when treatment options …

Dear Caretakers: Thank You Isn’t Enough

One thing I think all cancer patients can agree on is that caretakers are the unsung heroes of a cancer diagnosis. You may be a spouse, family, or friends, but you all have something in common. Selflessness. You put us first and take on all the tasks we may be too sick to do ourselves. You feed us, take care of our kids, attend countless appointments, sleep in uncomfortable hospital chairs, and do your best to be strong when we …

Why them and not me?

 

I think every cancer patient asks why at some point? I know I did. Why did I get sick? Why did I get colorectal cancer under 50? Why me? I quickly realized there are no answers to those questions and stopped asking. But why has been creeping back into my mind a lot recently. This time the question is different. It isn’t about me and at the same time it is. I want to know why so many of …

Harvesting the Journey: Embrace, Empower, Endure

Embrace: to accept

As a pediatric palliative care nurse practitioner, I journey with patients and their families through the toughest of diagnoses, including disease-related pain and symptoms. I sit with them as they receive good and bad news, including conversations leading up to the last breath. As I reflect on the work I do, the word embrace takes on a much different meaning.

One of the favorite stories my husband Andy and I loved to share, was how we met. …

I Have Cancer: How Do I Tell My Children

Any parent can tell you, they have all had conversations that they would rather not have with their children. It could be the awkward puberty talk or confronting them about suspected substance abuse. If you are a new patient and a parent, you may be wondering how best to approach the subject of cancer. We asked our survivors what advice they had from their experiences sharing their diagnosis with their kids, and they delivered!

Many survivors say they struggle to …

Living with Cancer as a Chronic Illness -Diana Sloan

When you hear you have stage IV cancer, it is hard to wrap your head around the connotations that go with the news. Immediately your mind goes to this is the worst possible diagnosis. What do I do now? As you discuss options or the lack thereof with your doctor, the fear and uncertainty can be overwhelming. You just want it gone and, if your doctor says they cannot remove it, it is easy to fall into hopelessness. But I …

Five Years

~By Diana Sloan

For cancer patients, the five-year mark can mean different things. For some, it may be five years since diagnosis. For others, it could be five years without evidence of disease which cuts down the chances of a recurrence dramatically. I hit my five-year mark since diagnosis on December 12th; but, for people like me, it is completely different. I am a stage IV colorectal cancer patient, and I am incurable.

When I found out my staging, I …

Thankful For…

By Kenny Toye

I’m thankful for cancer because it taught me how to use everything I have to survive.

Sitting on a fake, deteriorating, peeling leather couch. Trade winds blowing through the 267 square foot apartment. Inhale the potpourri of the neighbors cooking their delicious, greasy breakfast. The sound of the sirens and cars are the soundtrack to this beautiful moment in time where everything is picture perfect.

The previous paragraph isn’t most people’s idea of paradise. Paradise is a …