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Archive | June, 2015

Pregnant and on Chemotherapy, With Betsy Henson

Betsy Henson and her baby, Ellie

Pregnant and on chemotherapy, with Betsy Henson

Can you imagine being 20 weeks pregnant and being told you must start chemotherapy immediately? This happened to Betsy Henson. Betsy began feeling extremely weak. After several visits to the emergency room, for what she thought were severe hemorrhoids, her doctor ordered a colonoscopy.

Her worst fears were realized when it was discovered she had colon cancer that had metastasized  to her liver. Her team of doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) got right to work putting together a treatment plan to treat Betsy’s cancer as well as safeguard her baby.

Click here to see Betsy share her story, and meet her daughter, Ellie.

 

 

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The Cancer Olympics, With Dr. Robin McGee

Robin McGee

The Cancer Olympics – Dr. Robin McGee

Robin McGee was diagnosed with stage 3C rectal cancer after years of bungled and inadequate medical attention. Later on, she discovered that the best-practice chemotherapy was not available in Nova Scotia, Canada, where she lives.  After her very delayed diagnosis, she reached out to her community using a blog entitled “Robin‘s Cancer Olympics.”  The uplifting and humorous posts and responses followed her through the harsh landscape of cancer treatment and provincial politics.  She and her community were ultimately successful in lobbying the government for the chemotherapy to be approved, but too late for her to receive it.  She also sought medical justice, and the doctors who disregarded her were investigated and disciplined by their College. Since entering remission, she has been extremely active in patient advocacy, serving as a patient representative on several provincial, national, and international initiatives aimed at improving cancer care. Her book, The Cancer Olympics
relates her story.  It is an International Book Award 2015 Finalist, and has received 5-star reviews from Kirkus IndieReader and Reader’s Favorite.  In 2015, the Canadian Cancer Society awarded Robin their highest honor, the National Medal of Courage.

Purchase The Cancer Olympics:

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You’re Never Too Young for Colorectal Cancer, with Kimberly Bishop

Kimberly Bishop

You’re Never Too Young for Colorectal Cancer, With Kimberly Bishop

For several years, Kimberly Bishop was told by her doctor, despite obvious symptoms,  that she was too young to have colorectal cancer. As her symptoms worsened, her doctor finally sent her for a colonoscopy where a 13cm cancerous polyp was discovered at the recto-sigmoid junction. Kimberly was just 34 when she was diagnosed with rectal cancer. After surgery and six months of FOLFOX chemotherapy, Kimberly remains NED, 8 years after her initial diagnosis.

What I Learned From Kimberly Bishop

  • Don’t ignore the symptoms of colorectal cancer.

    • You know what is, and is not normal for your body. Talk to your doctor. If you have persistent symptoms, insist on a colonoscopy.

  • Support can come from many places.

    • If a spouse or partner is unable to provide the support you need, turn to friends or other family members.

 

 

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