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Archive | October, 2018

Interview With 5-yr. Breast Cancer Survivor and Cancer Scientist Noel Peters


Noel Roma Peters

Interview With 5-yr. Breast Cancer Survivor and Cancer Scientist Noel Peters

I had the pleasure of meeting Noel Peters in July of 2018 when I was invited to speak at the company where she works, Foundation Medicine. We quickly bonded after learning we were both Stage IV cancer patients.

During our conversation we discussed:

  • What it’s like living with cancer
  • Her experience of learning about her diagnosis and how she shared her cancer diagnosis with her children
  • The uncertainty around her being staged with Advanced Breast Cancer
  • What it’s like being a cancer scientist and a cancer patient at the same time and how this experience has impacted her approach to her job
  • The definition and importance of palliative care and how it shouldn’t in any way be confused with hospice care
  • The impact her diagnosis had on her marriage and her family
  • Her thoughts on the annual “pink-washing” of America every October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

To learn more about Foundation Medicine and the work they do listen to my interview with interview with Dr. Prasanth Reddy, Vice President of Medical Affairs: https://wehavecancershow.com/095

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A Routine Colonoscopy Saved His Life, With John Cavanaugh


Dr. John Cavanaugh

A Routine Colonoscopy Saved His Life, With John Cavanaugh

in May of 2014 John Cavanaugh was diagnosed with colon cancer after a routine colonoscopy.

John’s story was profiled in this Colon Cancer Coalition’s Faces of Blue article.

On my 50th birthday, I promised my wife I would make an appointment for a full physical. On May 5, 2014, my primary physician, Dr. Troy Fate, MD scheduled a routine colonoscopy. I had two polyps removed and one turned out to be cancerous with positive margins. After a consultation with Dr. Scott Brill, a Colon and Rectal Surgeon at Ohio Health in Columbus, we elected for surgery on June 6th (Lilly’s birthday). Dr. Brill found no evidence of cancer in the section removed, but one lymph node out of 13 tested positive for cancer cells. One of the risks of my operation was the possibility of a leak. Unfortunately, that occurred and I fell ill with sepsis which required a second emergency surgery. Luckily Dr. Brill is an Army Veteran with trauma experience so he was able to save my life. I needed two additional procedures to install drains for fluid build up near my lungs. My wife never left my side for a month and slept next to me on a recliner (Much like the scene where Robin Williams describes the meaning of love to Matt Damon on the park bench in Good Will Hunting).

After a several rounds of antibiotics, I recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital with a temporary ileostomy. After three weeks of intensive physical and occupational therapy at home, I was able to participate in our daughter’s wedding ceremony. Then I endured several months of chemotherapy that made me look like the main character from “Unbroken”. In December, right before my birthday and the Christmas holidays, Dr. Brill reversed the diversion and I spent much of 2015 recuperating. On May 5, 2015, Dr. Brill performed a colonoscopy which resulted in a normal finding. Later in December, I had a CT scan and received a clean bill of health. I continued to be followed closely by my oncologist with regular blood screening, but am now back to work full-time.

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Links Mention In This Episode:

The Colon Cancer Coalition:  https://coloncancercoalition.org

Cancer + Careers: https://www.cancerandcareers.org/en

WE Have Cancer Links

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Follow WE Have Cancer on Social Media

Like our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/wehavecancershow/
Join our private Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/wehavecancershow/
Follow us on Twitter – https://twitter.com/wehavecancerpod
Follow us on Instagram – https://instagram.com/wehavecancerpod

Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?

Nominate a guest to appear on the podcast – https://wehavecancershow.com/guest

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