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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

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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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Losing Fear In The Face of Cancer, With Jessica Buscho

Jessica Buscho

Losing Fear In The Face of Cancer, With Jessica Buscho

Jessica is currently undergoing treatment for Stage IV colon cancer. Despite the fact that her symptoms were dismissed by doctors for years, she approaches life with positivity and gratitude. During our conversation we discussed how her cancer diagnosis has been the impetus behind her living a life less driven by fear and more focused on presence.

One of the guides that has helped Jessica navigate her disease is the book Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds by Kelly Turner, Ph.D.

 

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Honoring Her Husband’s Memory Through Her Advocacy Work, With Dana Georges

Dana Georges

Honoring Her Husband’s Memory Through Her Advocacy Work, With Dana Georges

I had the pleasure of meeting Dana at the 12th annual Call-on Congress.

She became very involved in cancer advocacy efforts after losing her husband Jean to colon cancer on Mother’s Day, 2015. He was only 43-years-old. Her 7-year-old  son will need to begin screening at age 25. Also, her32-year-old brother recently had precancerous cells found in a polyp that was discovered during a colonoscopy due to rectal bleeding.

Since her husband’s passing, she has been to Capital Hill twice to meet with her federal  lawmakers in an effort to increase funds for cancer research. She also focuses on meeting with her state and local lawmakers throughout the year. In addition to her advocacy work with Fight CRC, she also works with The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network.


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Talking Colon Cancer Screening and Awareness With Dr. Andrew Albert


In this bonus episode Dr. Andrew Albert returns to the show for an informal conversation about colon cancer screening and awareness. He and I talked about embarrassment, stigmas, poop and more. How do we get young people, and their doctors, to recognize their symptoms and understand that there’s no such thing as “too young” for colon cancer? How do we get people in their 40’s to ask their doctor when should they schedule their routine colonoscopy?

If you’d like to share your ideas on how to increase screening rates in those over the age of 50 – 45 in the African American community – and how to raise awareness of symptoms in the college-age community please email Lee at Lee@thecoloncancerpodcast.com

 

 

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Getting Men To Discuss Their Colon Cancer Symptoms, With Paul Shadle

Paul Shadle

Getting Men To Discuss Their Colon Cancer Symptoms, With Paul Shadle

Paul Shadle was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer in 2016 after noticing symptoms on a family vacation. He had dismissed prior feelings of fatigue and chalked it up to getting older. On vacation, he had bloating and cramping in his abdomen, later noticing blood in his stool.

When Paul was diagnosed, the disease had spread to spots on his liver and lungs. Since then, he’s undergone regular sessions of chemotherapy. The spots on his liver have gone away, and the spots on his lungs have shrunk considerably. He’ll continue with the chemo treatments until doctors expect to remove the main tumor.

Paul stumbled upon Fight Colorectal Cancer’s ambassador program shortly after his diagnosis. Last summer, he applied and was selected to participate in the national campaign in New York City.

The campaign encourages individuals to get checked and learn more about the disease.

 

Paul and I discussed the fact that many men are reticent to share information about their health, particularly potential symptoms of colorectal cancer.

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Our Seventeen Years With Colon Cancer and Each Other

Danielle Burgess, Mike Burgess

Our Seventeen Years With Colon Cancer and Each Other

Danielle and Mike met when they were teenagers. “We were best friends” they told me. When she was just 17, Danielle was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer. Nine years later she again would be diagnosed with colon cancer; this time it was Stage 1.

Initial genetic testing was inconclusive. Later on she would learn she had Lynch Syndrome. On January 23rd, 2018 Danielle and Mike commemorated her 17th “cancerversary.”

Danielle currently serves as the Director of Communications for Fight CRC.

During our conversation, Danielle and Mike discussed their relationship and the joys and challenges they’ve experienced. Mike talked about being a caregiver.

During the show intro. I mentioned the upcoming Undy Run/Walk taking place in Tampa, FL. If you’d like to join my team or make a donation to my team click here.

I will be attending Podfest from February 8-10; one of the largest podcasting conferences in the world. At last year’s conference I met Bruce Langford and Chel Hamilton who I interviewed on the podcast. Bruce is the host of the Mindfulness Mode podcast. He came on The Colon Cancer Podcast to talk about how Mindfulness can help ease the stress and anxiety of cancer. Chel Hamilton is the host of the Meditation Minis Podcast. She and I discussed techniques to help alleviate scanxiety.

 

Links

Fight CRC 

Lynch Syndrome

Danielle’s Blog

Danielle on Twitter

The Colon Cancer Podcast interview with Bruce Langford discussing Mindfulness

The Colon Cancer Podcast interview with Chel Hamilton discussing scanxiety

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Through The Window – A Photographic Tale of Cancer Recovery

Through The Window - A Tale of Cancer Recovery

The Colon Cancer Podcast – Scott Wilson

When photographer, Scott Wilson, was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer and was told chemotherapy meant avoiding direct sunlight, placing serious constraints on his landscape photography career, he set about creating a new Colorado wildlife portfolio, shot entirely Through the Window of his car. The result is a compelling visual journey through Scott’s year-long triumph over cancer, filled with mini anecdotes of some of the challenges, such as neuropathy, which he overcame to combine his passion for photography with a ‘survivor mindset’.

Scott’s purpose in producing the book is to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of colon cancer by creating a photographic ‘stepping stone’ into a difficult conversation; and, if he can, to provide some light relief to patients going through their own treatment process.

Through the Window – a Photographic Tale of Cancer Recovery represents a partnership between Scott Wilson and the Colon Cancer Alliance. All proceeds from the sale of Through The Window books, prints and postcards support the Colon Cancer Alliance.

Click here to purchase Through The Window – A Photographic Tale of Cancer Recovery

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