Tag Archives | colon cancer alliance

Revisiting Stacy Hurt – Overcoming Stage IV Colorectal Cancer Through Integrative Medicine, Diet and Faith


Revisiting Stacy Hurt - Overcoming Stage IV Colorectal Cancer Through Integrative Medicine, Diet and Faith

Stacy Hurt

Stacy was diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer on her 44th birthday, September 17th, 2014 after experiencing symptoms of abdominal pain and bleeding.  Stacy put off a visit to her doctor since she was a health-conscious, athletic, non-smoker who maintained a normal weight.  The symptoms were merely “an annoying inconvenience.”  At the time, she was balancing a full-time job with raising her 2 sons, Griffin (now 13) and Emmett (now 11).  Emmett suffers with a rare chromosome disorder (one of three in the world) which renders him without the ability to walk, talk, or function for himself in any way.  He has multiple special needs and demands constant supervision.  He has the mental and physical capacity of a 6 month old baby.  Caring for Emmett requires the attention of not only Stacy and her husband Drew, but also a nurse.   To say Stacy had her hands full would be an understatement.

So, busy with her day to day role as supermom, Stacy self-diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or internal hemorrhoids until the pain was too much to bear.  A colonoscopy revealed the most shocking and most unexpected horror imaginable:  a tumor in her rectum so large that a scope could not get around it.  A subsequent scan revealed cancer in her liver, 5 spots on her lungs, and 19 lymph nodes.  She was given a 10% chance to survive 5 years and a treatment plan which included chemotherapy, radiation and ultimately surgery ONLY IF she responded, which was a 50/50 shot in itself.  The doctors could not believe it, especially considering Stacy’s lack of risk factors, lack of family history, and age (colon cancer is typically diagnosed in people over 50).

With her usual vigor, determination, and sense of humor, Stacy took to the task of beating colorectal cancer.  She was fortunate enough to have a response to chemotherapy (a protocol called FOLFOX coupled with a drug called Avastin) which qualified her as a candidate for a 5 hour colon and liver resection surgery in April, 2015.  Unfortunately, a medical mistake during surgery caused Stacy severe internal bleeding where she lost half of her blood volume.  She was immediately rushed back into a second, 5 hour emergency surgery and spent a week in the ICU fighting for her life.  As her oncologist later remarked, “anyone else would have died.”  But not Stacy.

She was declared as NED (no evidence of disease) in March, 2016.  Stacy continues maintenance chemotherapy for life (43 rounds and counting…) every 3 weeks.  She feels and looks great.  You would never suspect what all she is dealing with.  She credits her faith, family, friends, exercise, positive attitude, and integrative oncology modalities for her remarkable recovery.

“If it were just Stage IV colorectal cancer or just raising a profoundly disabled child, I could probably handle it.  But managing both is completely overwhelming.  I am enormously blessed to have a support system who helps me, when thee last thing I want to do is ask for help.  It’s really not my style.”

Stacy offers a unique perspective. Professionally, she has spent 20 years in healthcare management on the provider and delivery sides, including roles in operations, strategy, sales and training.  Personally, her battles as a patient and an advocate for not only herself but also her disabled son have fueled her recent work as a public speaker, fundraiser, and consultant.   Stacy’s mission is to raise awareness of inclusion for all persons with disabilities and exemplify a “keep it real” approach to fighting and beating cancer.

Learn more about Stacy and connect with her at:

Her website: http://www.stacyhurt.net/

Her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stacyhurt17

On Twitter: @Stacy_Hurt

On Instagram: stacy_hurt

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Interview With Stage 4 Rectal Cancer Patient Christy Lorio


Interview With Stage 4 Rectal Cancer Patient Christy Lorio

Christy Lorio

*** Please note – Just prior to publishing this episode, Christy emailed me to inform me that she’d just learned that her cancer had returned and had metastasized to her lungs.
In 2017 while traveling in Ireland, Christy had a seizure. The doctors traced the source of the seizure to a tumor in her brain which had metastasized from her rectum. She was 37 years old and had stage 4 rectal cancer.
During our conversation we discussed:
  • Her experience attending colorectal cancer conferences and cancer “camps”
  • How cancer impacts the control one has over their life
  • How she came to be diagnosed
  • The importance of exercise in her life
  • How her cancer impacted her marriage

Links Mentioned In the WE Have Cancer Podcast

WE Have Cancer Links

First Descents – https://firstdescents.org/
The Cassie Hinds Shoe Cancer Foundation – https://www.cassiehinesshoescancer.org/about/cassies-story/
Follow Christy on Instagram – https://instagram.com/christylorio
Follow Christy on Twitter – https://twitter.com/christylorio

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Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?

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Email Lee

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What Every Cancer Caregiver Should Know, With Kaycee Carmichael

Kaycee and Jane Carmichael – WE Have Cancer

In 2016 Kaycee Carmichael’s mother was diagnosed with Colorectal cancer. Though her mother died only four months after her diagnosis, Kaycee learned some valuable lessons about life as a cancer caregiver as well as dealing with grief.

We discussed:

  • Her Mother’s life as a teacher and the incredible impact she left on her students.
  • How her mom came to be diagnosed.
  • How she managed the challenges of a cancer caregiver and some helpful tips and advice for other caregivers.
  • How she deals with the grief from her mom’s passing.

Links Mentioned In The Show

Lotsa Helping Hands – https://lotsahelpinghands.com/

Connect with Kaycee on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kaycee.lang

Follow Kaycee on Instagram – https://instagram.com/kacellaneous

WE Have Cancer Links

Subscribe to the show – https://pod.link/wehavecancer

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Join our private Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/wehavecancershow/
Follow us on Twitter – https://twitter.com/wehavecancerpod
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Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?

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The Dana-Farber Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer; Interview With Dr. Kimmie Ng and Pat Beauregard


The Dana-Farber Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer; Interview With Dr. Kimmie Ng and Pat Beauregard

Dr. Kimme Ng and Pat Beauregard

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute opened the doors to its new Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center this past week. In anticipation of this exciting news I interviewed Dr. Kimmie Ng, Founding Director, and young-onset survivor, Pat Beauregard.

During our interview we discussed:

  • The goals of the Dana-Farber Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer and why it was created.
  • How Pat came to be diagnosed with Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer at the age of 29
  • The challenges in raising awareness around young-onset colorectal cancer and how it often leads to a late-stage diagnosis.
  • The three main areas of focus of the center
  • Where Pat currently is with his treatment

WE Have Cancer Links

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Links Mentioned In the Show

Dana-Farber Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center – https://www.dana-farber.org/young-onset-colorectal-cancer-center/

Dr. Kimmie Ng – https://www.dana-farber.org/find-a-doctor/kimmie-ng/

Connect with Pat on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pat.beauregard.79

Follow Pat on Instagram – https://instagram.com/pbo15

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Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story?

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

Email Lee

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Interview With 15 yr. Cancer Survivor and Passionate Advocate Candace Henley


Candace first appeared on the podcast back in 2015. You can listen to that interview here.

Much has changed in Candace’s life since then. During our conversation we discussed:

  • How her life has changed 15 years since her original diagnosis.
  • The alarming number of questions she is asked during her advocacy work that reflect many people’s lack of knowledge about their own bodies.
  • The advocacy work she is doing, along with Dr. Andrew Albert, in the Chicago area.
  • The growth of her non-profit, The Blue Hat Foundation.
  • The reason why many people of color are distrustful of the medical community.

Links mentioned in this episode

The Blue Hat Foundation – https://www.thebluehatfoundation.org/

Call On Congress – https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/events/save-the-date-call-on-congress-2019/

Candace on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/penelopepit_stop/

Candace on Twitter – https://twitter.com/colon_survivor

The Blue Hat Foundation on Twitter – https://twitter.com/BlueHats4colons

WE Have Cancer Links

Subscribe to the show:

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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Charles Griffin Jr. Copes With His Stage IV Cancer Through Faith and Positivity

Charles Griffin Jr.

Charles Griffin Jr. Copes With His Stage IV Cancer Through Faith and Positivity

Charles Griffin, Jr. was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at the age of 32. Shortly after, he discovered the Colon Cancer Alliance through their Facebook group COLONTOWN. It opened his eyes to the wonderful community of support for those impacted by this disease! Read his story below. 

In my 34 years of life, I’ve earned a reputation for being a do-it-all kind of guy. I’m a husband to my college sweetheart Britni, a father to our four young daughters, a former college football star, an avid golfer, a motivational speaker, a YouTube entertainer and a novice screenwriter.  My name is Charles Griffin Jr. and I never thought I would be a stage IV colon cancer patient. I’m reaching out to you today to ask you to join me in supporting the Colon Cancer Alliance. Two years ago, I suffered excruciating abdominal pain while playing golf. With no family history and no additional symptoms, I had to beg my doctor for a colonoscopy which revealed a golf ball-size tumor in my colon. Further testing showed the cancer had metastasized with multiple tumors to my lungs and liver. I was in the prime of my life with a beautiful family and a budding career when I got the worst news imaginable. I had stage IV colon cancer. Shortly thereafter, I discovered the Colon Cancer Alliance through their Facebook group Colontown. It opened my eyes to the wonderful community of support for those of us impacted by this disease. But now that I’m two years into my treatment, I’m eager for a cure, or at least treatment options that aren’t as taxing on my body. That’s why I support the Colon Cancer Alliance and their deep commitment to colon cancer-specific research. The Colon Cancer Alliance has taken an even bolder stance on research going forward, committing publicly to grow its investment in colorectal cancer-specific research to $10 million by 2021. Research that could ultimately save my life. I’m proud that the Colon Cancer Alliance is on the cutting-edge, exploring immunotherapy, biomarkers and personalized medicine. In 2016 alone, the Colon Cancer Alliance, in partnership with the Never Too Young Coalition, funded two grants to help researchers explore young-onset colorectal cancer in an attempt to better understand why people under the age of 50, like myself, are being diagnosed with this devastating disease. This is where you come in. Through your generous donation, the Colon Cancer Alliance will be able to expand its funding for life-saving and innovative research, putting us closer to realizing our vision of eliminating colon cancer in our lifetime. With your support, there will be a future for me and the thousands of other colon cancer patients waiting for a cure. Please give today. I am the reason Tomorrow Can’t Wait. Click here to listen to me tell my story.

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Pride, Love and Cancer, With Paula and Lara Chambers


Pride, Love and Cancer, With Paula and Lara Chambers - WE Have Cancer

Pride, Love and Cancer, With Paula and Lara Chambers – WE Have Cancer

Paula and Lara Chambers are high school sweethearts and have been together for over 30 years. In October of 2014 they traveled from their home in Houston, Texas to New York City so that they could be married.

Paula had been dealing with “stomach issues” for some time. Unfortunately she became very ill immediately after the wedding and soon after was diagnosed with Colon Cancer.

In our conversation we talked about their relationship and the challenges that gay couples may face when dealing with a life-changing event like a cancer diagnosis.

Paula and Lara said they could not have gotten through their diagnosis with out the support of ColonTown and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

To learn more about Colontown, visit https://colontown.org/

To learn more about the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, https://www.ccalliance.org/

Be sure to connect with the show:

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wehavecancershow/

On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wehavecancerpod/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/WEHaveCancerPod

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How One Doctor Is Working to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings


Dr. Andrew Albert

How One Doctor Is Working to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Dr. Andrew Albert is a Board Certified Gastroenterologist and serves patients in Chicago at his practice, Chicago Gastro.

After losing a patient to colon cancer he was at his wit’s end. “Colon Cancer is 95% preventable if people would only get screened” he said.

An avid cyclist, Dr. Albert decided to voice his frustration and let people know the importance of early screening. He hastily scribbled a note on the back of a manila folder that read:

“Lost a patient to Colon Cancer. Did not need to happen. Get your colonoscopy.”

He clipped this handmade sign to his back and rode through the streets of Chicago. Day after day he continued to travel the streets of Chicago wearing this sign, raising awareness. He shared the message on social media and soon after received photos from people across the world wearing their own signs that bared a similar message. Local news stations picked up the story as well. Here’s his story as shared by the CBS affiliate in Chicago.

 

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How to Communicate With Your Healthcare Team, With Eddie Leigh

How to Communicate With Your Healthcare Team, With Eddie Leigh

How to Communicate With Your Healthcare Team, With Eddie Leigh

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. The emotions behind hearing the words “you have cancer” can often cloud a patient’s ability to comprehend the information being shared by the medical team as well as the patient’s ability to ask important questions.

Eddie Leigh is a 20 year survivor of colorectal cancer and is the Founder and Director of The Center for Healthcare Communication. According to the website:

“The Center for Healthcare Communication’s mission is to increase patient satisfaction/safety and decrease communication-related medical errors.”

With years of experience teaching healthcare professionals how to effectively communicate, Eddie was a logical choice to bring on the show to teach patients how to communicate effectively with their healthcare team.

Tips for Communicating With Your Healthcare Team

  • Prepare a medical resume that includes your history of surgeries, allergies, current medications and family history.
  • Prepare a list of questions for your healthcare professional ahead of time. Review and rehearse them.
  • Follow the A-B-C’s: Always Be Courteous
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