Archive for the ‘Colorectal Cancer’ Category

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. …

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 …

Colon Cancer Ruined My Kidneys But Didn’t Ruin Me

My first HIPEC surgery Friday on 1/21/2005, lasted 14 hours. I was so close to death my surgeon said I wouldn’t have lived through the weekend without it. During the surgery that saved my life, my right ureter was nicked. That tiny little whole in a tiny little tube would have a catastrophic effect on my quality of life forever. Long story short, that nick cost me my right kidney. For years we tried to save it but by 2013,  …

Family Ties

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By Leighann Sturgin

My Lynch Syndrome comes from my Dad’s side of the family. We have the MSH2 gene mutation. My dad has had several polyps removed during colonoscopies over the years and has had several spots of skin cancer. (Both squamous cell and basal cell are related to Lynch.) Two of 6 of my dad’s siblings have had colon cancer in their 30’s. There is more colon cancer in previous generations too. There are 13 grandchildren on my dad’s …

ONE DAY OFF

happiness

By Leighann Sturgin
I’d like to have One Day Off. One day that I didn’t have to think about the crapsack on my belly. One day I didn’t hear the bag crinkle or my stoma didn’t make weird, loud, embarrassing noises. One day I’m not worried about the crapsack leaking. One day I didn’t need to know where every bathroom along my path was located. I just want one day off from my skin hurting all the time. I believe …

Happy New Year

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By Leighann Sturgin

Happy New Year! I’m so thankful to see 2016. The holidays were a little tough for me this year.

On 11/25/15 (the day before Thanksgiving) I had stoma revision surgery. I lost another 12” of small bowel leaving me with a total of 120 cm of intestine. I had a very retracted stoma making it impossible to get a ostomy wafer to seal. The skin around my “innie” stoma looked like hamburger. It hurt…all the time. After …

Perspective on Patience & Life

lauren miller blog

By Lauren Miller

On a recent flight back to Chicago, I had the pleasure of sitting next an 18-year-old male college student. It was an early morning flight, and we boarded the plane in record time. Due to this, our pilot announced we would have an early arrival. The young man said allowed, “Yes! I have a connecting flight and I was worried I’d miss it.” This gave him an immediate sense of relief, and we began talking about what …

Hope, Strength and Inspiration

Lauren Miller

By 2016 Colondar Model Lauren Miller

 

I recently found out my coworker is having preventive surgery for breast cancer. She is a 5-year

breast cancer survivor and had the genetic testing done. It was confirmed that she has BRCA-1

gene. Because of this, she is also getting a partial hysterectomy in December to remove her

fallopian tubes. She will then get double mastectomy in March. What struck me as surreal was

that she is 52 years old, and came

I’m Stuck

Leighann

I’m stuck…I’m stuck between a world of cancer and wellness. I’m very grateful to be cancer-free but I’m far from healthy. It’s a lonely place. Sometimes I find myself jealous, even resentful of people who beat cancer and carry on with “normal” life. Then I’m quickly reminded of the many friends who have finished the race and are now resting then I feel guilty. I do not envy my friends who are on chemo indefinitely, or the ones who’ve run …

2016 Colon Camp

2016 colondar-family

By 2016 Colondar Model Phuong Gallagher

 

Eight years ago today, I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Although the cancer itself was not a blessing, some of the things that it brought me absolutely are. It has given me the experience and with it the wisdom to help those that are lost somewhere in the journey through their own diagnosis. It has also taken me through my own journey where I have met precious friends along the way. Too often …

Call on Congress 2015

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One day in 2006, while I was on my way to see my oncologist, the Patient Navigator at my cancer center stopped me in the hall and asked me if I’d be interested in going to Washington, DC to talk to Congress about colon cancer with a group of strangers who call themselves Fight CRC. I pictured someone testifying before ALL of Congress, like you see on C-SPAN. And thoughts of traveling with TPN and all the medical supplies that …

Last Moments with My Best Friend

Belle and Maria

By Maria Williams

I lost my best friend a short time ago. As I sit here re-reading through the e-mail she sent me regarding her final wishes I find something I had either forgotten or suppressed. She asked, with great clarity, that I write about her final experience, her death. This is something Belle and I often spoke of in her final weeks. We discussed how there are detailed accounts, opinions and specifics about all other aspects of life: birth, …

The Last Blog

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By Belle Piazza

Over the years on The Colon Club, I have read about knights in shining armor. Husbands whose wives they could not do without. Husbands who meet their every need, every moment of every day. And it angers me because I wasn’t lucky enough to have landed such perfection, but this isn’t a vent blog. One of my rules has always been a blog cannot be just a vent, it has to have a purpose, and I will …

Very terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

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By Belle Piazza

Today was a hard day.  I’ve recently been put on a dilaudid pain pump – so I’m receiving dilaudid 24/7 with a bolus button I can push for break through pain.  It’s taken a little adjustment and I’m not hallucinating as I doze off as much as I used to – but I wouldn’t say I feel 100% normal 100% of the time.  Not surprisingly, I’ve been advised against driving. You always hear about elderly drivers who …

Belle Strong

Belle Strong cropped

By Leighann Sturgin

After a respectful ‘moment’ of blog silence, it’s only fitting this blog entry should be in honor of our beloved Belle. She and I developed a relationship while writing for this blog together over the last 9 months. She was an amazing, honest, genuine, person with an infectious smile and delicious laugh. She didn’t bother with fluff, she knew there was no time for it.

I’d read many of her stories on The Colon Club blog but …

Media Alert: Young colon cancer survivors available for interviews during March’s colon cancer awareness

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Feb. 14, 2013 – March is colon cancer awareness month – a time when stories featuring “butts and guts” become appropriate for the nightly newscast. The Colon Club has a database of young colorectal cancer survivors from across the U.S. available for interviews and willing to share their stories. To set up an interview with a nearby colon cancer survivor, please email Danielle@semicoloncomm.com or call (816) 729-7760.

Why feature colon cancer in young adults?

meaghan-volk-1-colon-cancerTraditionally, colon …

Meet Brian Novak – Mr. January 2013

Meet Brian – a stage III colon cancer survivor, diabetic and world traveler.

Sometimes, facing a life-threatening disease can leave you paralyzed with fear. Although you’re fighting hard to save your life … through treatment and beyond it can be scary to live your life.

Be inspired by Brian as he explains that he doesn’t let his sicknesses or health stop him from living his life. Watch as he talks about some of his amazing life experiences that have come …

The Colon Club Adds Teen Survivor, Healthcare Marketer to Board

WILTON, N.Y. – Jan. 17, 2013 – Advocating colon cancer awareness and colonoscopy screening isn’t an easy job. Luckily, two women with a passion for colon cancer and a background in marketing have joined the Board of Directors of The Colon Club to help. Danielle Ripley-Burgess, colorectal cancer survivor diagnosed in her teens, and Debbie Donovan, healthcare marketing consultant, are the two newest board members to join the non-profit group.

“These two ladies bring a tremendous amount of experience and …

Meet Miss December | Reagan Barnett

You can imagine our surprise when we sat down with Reagan and asked, “How did you feel when you were diagnosed with colon cancer at age 22?” and her immediate response:  “Relieved.” But for someone with colon cancer running through her family and years worth of symptoms and pain, she was happy to finally have answers. Read on to learn more about Miss December, Reagan Barnett, a great spokesperson and advocate for colorectal cancer, and especially …

Meet Miss November | Paige Hartmann

Yes, it’s true. This beautiful gal that’s featured as Miss November is a survivor of colon cancer… diagnosed at age 21. The Colon Club was thrilled to meet her and have her model for us in the 2012 Colondar. Read on to learn more about Paige!

paige-hartmann-21-year-old-colon-cancerThe BASICS

Name: Paige Hartmann

Diagnosis: Stage III rectal cancer in October 2009.

Age at Diagnosis: 21

 

ON SURVIVING CANCER:

Where were you when you found out you had colon cancer? 

I was …

Meet Ms. October | Staci Wills

Now although she does have striking resemblance to her, October’s model is not Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie. It’s Staci Wills, a brave rectal cancer survivor from Canfield, OH. Read on to learn more about this funny, charming survivor we’re proud to call one of our own at The Colon Club.

The BASICS

Staci-wills-stage-3-rectal-cancerName: Staci Wills

Diagnosis: Stage III rectal cancer in July 2009.

Age at Diagnosis: 32

 

ON SURVIVING CANCER:

Where were you when

Meet Mr. September | Adam Benlon

Turning the calendar to Mr. September makes us smile anyway, but especially because we get to stare at Adam for the next month. Not only is his story of survivorship inspiring, but his jokes and humor make him extra fun. Enjoy getting to know this latest colon survivor!

Adam-benlon-colon-cancer-survivorThe BASICS

Name: Adam Benlon

Diagnosis: Stage IIIc colon cancer on  August 18, 2009

Age at Diagnosis: 29

 

ON SURVIVING CANCER:

Where were you when you found out you had colon

A Jarring Ride Back to Reality

I have been blessed as a survivor. All the people I have met through various colorectal cancer groups are survivors, and many are what I call “thrivers.” Colorectal cancer has hit them hard, but they just keep going. The survivors I have met are just that – survivors. Most of my friends through these groups are either getting on with their life, are learning to live a new “normal” life, or are years past their diagnosis.

I can read. I …

Meet Miss August | Melissa Bates

Woo hoo! We are so excited to introduce you to this beautiful young woman, Miss August! Not only is she so cuper cute, but she’s also got one of the biggest hearts you’ll find. Read on to learn a little bit more about Miss August, Melissa Bates.

Melissa-bates-colon-cancer-survivor

The BASICS about MELISSA BATES

Name: Melissa Bates

Diagnosis: Stage III rectal cancer on October 2, 2008

Age at Diagnosis: 20

 

ON SURVIVING CANCER:

Where were you when you found out you

Meet Mr. July – Tim Maiorca

Welcome Mr. July! We’re excited to introduce you to this brave stage IV survivor and share his story with you. And you’re welcome ladies, we know many of you are aren’t going to mind seeing him all month!

Tim-maorica-stage4-colon-cancer-survivorThe BASICS about TIM MAIORCA

Name: Tim Maiorca

Diagnosis: Stage IV colon cancer on March 20, 2002

Age at Diagnosis: 37

 

ON SURVIVING CANCER:

Where were you when you found out you had colon cancer? 

I was at work. I went …

Celebrating Success — Another Milestone Achieved!

by Staci Wills

Well, I did it! I have been irrigating my colostomy for several months, and for the most part my bowels are pretty regular. Like I said a few days ago, I have never had the courage to wear only a stoma cap outside the walls of my house, but yesterday I did it, and I plan to do it again today! Wearing the stoma cap meant that I could wear a regular bathing suit without the “granny …

Irrigation: It’s Not Just For Crops Anymore!

by Staci Wills

 

This blog won’t always be about ostomies, but since Belle opened the door, here is another spin on life as an ostomate.

At 32, I was diagnosed with Stage III rectal cancer. Because of how low in the rectum my tumor was located, I had no other option but to have a colostomy. Not having any other options, I quickly accepted that this would be my new way of life, but accepting something and embracing it …

Meet Ms. June – Kim Hall Jackson

Kim Hall Jackson – what a gem. She’s our Ms. June and boy does she have a great story. Read on to learn not only about how she survived rectal cancer but how she continues to make a difference and continually give back – constantly grateful for every blessing in her life.

kim-hall-jackson-rectal-cancerThe BASICS about KIM HALL JACKSON

Name: Kim Hall Jackson

Diagnosis date: Stage III rectal cancer in December 2008 (originally diagnosed with Stage I, re-diagnosed after surgery.)

Age …

Meet Ms. May – Connie Belden

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate May Day than to introduce you to Connie Belden. She’s one of the quickest-witted people we know and brings a smile to everyone she meets. And a joke. Learn a little bit more about Ms. May 2012, Connie Belden!

The BASICS about CONNIE BELDEN

Connie-belden-colon-cancer-survivorName: Connie Belden

Diagnosis date: Stage I colon cancer on October 6, 2006

Age: 32

 

ON SURVIVING CANCER:

Where were you when you found out you

Meet Mr. April – Dan Wilson

We know it’s April Fools Day and all but our newest Colondar model to be featured throughout April is no joke. Dan’s a marathoner who’s run a race in all 50 states. His story is inspiring, encouraging and eye-opening. Read on to learn a little bit more about Mr. April 2012, Dan Wilson!

dan-wilson-colon-cancer-survivorThe BASICS about DAN WILSON

Name: Dan Wilson

Diagnosis date: Stage III colon cancer in December 2005

Age: 47

 

ON SURVIVING CANCER:

Where were you when

Meet Mr. March 2012 | Roger Rojas

Happy Colon Cancer Awareness Month! To celebrate, meet one amazing survivor, Mr. March, Roger Rojas!

Roger is an avid runner, Steelers fan (although he’s from Texas) and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Read on to learn a little bit more about him.

The BASICS about ROGER ROJAS

Roger-Rojas-colon-cancer-survivorName: Roger Rojas

Diagnosis date: October 7, 2008 at age 32 with Stage III rectal cancer.

 

ON SURVIVING CANCER:

Where were you when you found out you had colon

Announcing the 2013 Models!

We’ve got another AMAZING group of models that will be showing off their scars and sharing their stories with everyone in the 2013 Colondar!

Please join us in celebrating our next round of Colondar models!

Gals in the 2013 Colondar

Dawn Gagliardi- Smyrna, GA

Dana Holbrook- Point Pleasant, NJ

Carolyn Hunt- Calabasas, CA

Tia Jones- Wichita, KS

Kelly Kuster- Milwaukee, WI

Kerryn Miller- Seattle, WA

Meaghan Volk- Peoria, AZ

Guys in the 2013 Colondar:

Sanjay Bery- Basking Ridge, NJ

Doug …

Meet Miss February 2012 – Belle Piazza

February is the month of love, and oh how fitting that as we introduce Miss February 2012.

Belle Piazza is a charming mom of two and avid gardener from Battle Ground, WA. She’s fun, spirited and a fighter. Read on to learn a little bit more about Belle.

The BASICS about BELLE PIAZZA

belle-piazza.the-colon-club-cancer-survivorName: Belle Piazza
Diagnosis date: October 23, 2007 (a day before her son’s 5th birthday) with stage IIIc rectal cancer at age 43
Currently undergoing chemotherapy.

 …

Meet Mr. January 2012 – David Dubin

Today we get to break open the seal and hang up our 2012 Colondars! And this brave cowboy is the first to grace the pages as Mr. January 2012.

David Dubin is a three-time cancer survivor from Haworth, NJ. You might have already read his Colondar bio to learn about his story of cancer survival, but here are some other fun facts that you may not have known about our Mr. January 2012. We sat down with him at …

2013 Colondar Model Applications

Our application process has begun and we’re now taking applications for 2013 Colondar Models.

Download The 2013 Colondar Model Application

How To Apply For The Colondar:

Please download the application, and fill it out completely. When you turn in the application, we’ll need:

  • The completed 2013 application.
  • A photo (one that shows your surgical scar – or lack of one)
  • A long bio (see past model bios to get an idea of what we are looking for.)

Send your completed …

Gift Guide for the Colon Cancer Survivor

In just a few days, our newspapers will be shoved full of ads and stores will be going crazy! Black Friday is upon us! If you’re starting to make your Christmas shopping list and trying to figure out what to buy the colon cancer survivor in your life, we have a few ideas! Coming from a community full of “semicolons,” here are some gifts that some of us wouldn’t mind getting … and watch out, they may just be what …

The 2012 Colondar is Here!

The wait is over!

The Colon Club is happy to unveil the next group of thirteen remarkable colon/rectal cancer survivors.

Set in the natural outdoors of the Lake George, NY area, this baby is one-of-a-kind.

Models bravely reveal their surgical scars surrounded by rolling hills, blue skies and the natural outdoors. Each photo shows that there is beauty in cancer survival, even as unnatural or unusual as colon cancer before age 50 can be.

Buy a 2012 Colondar!

The 2012

Colossal Colon Photos from Conway, AR Visit

 

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