Tag Archives | rectal cancer

Why Cancer Patients Should Advocate For Their Care, With Maureen Famiano


Why Cancer Patients Should Advocate For Their Care, With Maureen Famiano

Maureen Famiano

Maureen Famiano was originally diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer in 2010. Six weeks after colon resection surgery she learned her cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. During our conversation we discussed:

  • Why asking questions of your doctor and advocating for your care is so important.
  • The specific questions to ask your doctor after a cancer diagnosis.
  • The complications she experienced after her treatment and the choices she needed to make.
  • Why she chose to get a 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinion and why the 4th opinion was her best option.
  • How she evaluated her treatment options, including a possible permanent ostomy, and what she ultimately decided on.
  • The lifestyle changes she was required to make moving forward.

 

Links Mentioned In the WE Have Cancer Podcast

Connect with Maureen on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/maureen.famiano

WE Have Cancer Links

Subscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast – https://pod.link/wehavecancer

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

Email Lee

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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

Subscribe to the WE Have Cancer Podcast – https://pod.link/wehavecancer

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

Email Lee

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Fear of a Cancer Recurrence; An Emotional Conversation With Courtney Forget


Courtney Forget & Bagel Man

A cancer recurrence is every cancer survivors greatest fear. In her return visit to the WE Have Cancer podcast, Courtney Forget talks intimately about this fear. We also discussed:

  • How she went from looking forward to her ileostomy reversal – as discussed in Episode 43 – to loving her life with a permanent ostomy.
  • Living with the constant fear of a cancer recurrence after having two “cancer scares.”
  • The importance of getting second, and even third, opinions.
  • Her thoughts on being naive about her initial diagnosis and how she looks at her survivorship today.
  • Why she’s not a fan of ringing the bell at her cancer center after completing treatment.
  • The role her husband has played as her cancer caregiver.
  • The reason she adopted a Greyhound dog and why she’s training him to be a therapy dog.
  • The challenge of moving to a new city and finding a new Oncologist.

Links Mentioned In the WE Have Cancer Podcast

Courtney’s first appearance on the Colon Cancer (WE Have Cancer) podcast – https://wehavecancershow.com/043

Pet Partners – https://petpartners.org/

WE Have Cancer Links

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

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

Email Lee

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How One Person Can Influence Favorable Cancer Legislation, With Michael Holtz


How One Person Can Influence Favorable Cancer Legislation, With Michael Holtz

Michael Holtz is a 6 1/2 year survivor of Stage IIIB rectal cancer and is the author of the book It’s Not Harder Than Cancer. Michael first appeared on this podcast in 2015. You can listen to that interview here.

Michael and I discussed the cancer advocacy work he’s been doing with the American Cancer Society and as the Tennessee state representative for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network – ACS CAN.

In April 2018 the Provision CARES Foundation recognized Michael Holtz as the Patient Advocate of the Year.

 

Links Mentioned In The Show

Michael Holtz’ website – http://www.michaelholtzonline.com/

Michael on Facebook – https://facebook.com/michaelandrewholtz/

Michael on Twitter – https://twitter.com/michaelholtz

It’s Not Harder Than Cancer – Available on Amazon

 

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Colon Cancer’s Tattooed Pinup Girl, Tara Principali

Tara Principali

Colon Cancer’s Tattooed Pinup, Tara Principali

Tara (pronounced Tar-uh) Principali was diagnosed with Stage 2 rectal cancer five years ago at the age of 30. Though she once lived an unhealthy lifestyle, weighing as much as 270 lbs., she dedicated herself to fitness and healthy eating prior to her diagnosis and lost 130 lbs. In addition to the rectal cancer diagnosis Tara also learned she had Lynch Syndrome.

After a partial colectomy and temporary ileostomy, Tara was considered in remission. She didn’t undergo any chemotherapy or radiation, since her cancer was caught early. Six months after her ileostomy and j-pouch surgery, Tara’s symptoms returned. She went back to her doctor who ran a series of tests and diagnosed her with Crohn’s Disease.

Tara now has a “new normal.” She eats a healthy diet and is a competitive bodybuilder.

Related Links

Tara’s story from On The Rise, produced by the Colon Club

Tara on Instagram

Lynch Syndrome

Ileostomy

J-Pouch

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Her Attitude and Spiritualness Helped Get Her Through Rectal Cancer

Kari Amarosso

My Attitude and Spiritualness Helped Get Me Through Rectal Cancer

Happy New Year! There is much to look forward to in 2018. In March, I celebrate my 7th “cancerversary.” This is probably why, being Stage IV, my oncologist called me an “outlier.” I’ll take that! Next month The Colon Cancer Podcast will celebrate its 3rd anniversary. Also, on February 8th – 10th I will be attending Podfest; one of the largest Podcasting Conferences in the world.

In March I will attend my first Call-on Congress with the wonderful folks from Fight CRC. In April, The Colon Cancer Challenge, along with Northwell Health, will host the Early Age Onset-Colorectal Cancer (EAO-CRC) Summit in New York City.

During this episode I interviewed Kari Amarosso. In 2009 she was diagnosed with Rectal Cancer. In May, Kari will celebrate her 9-year “cancerversary.” During our conversation, Kari talked about how her positive attitude and spiritualness helped her cope with her disease.

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Supporting the Ostomy Community, With Deb Fox

Supporting the Ostomy Community, With Deb Fox

Supporting the Ostomy Community, With Deb Fox

Deb Fox has made it her mission to help the members of the ostomy community. She has created a private Facebook group – OstoMyFamily – to provide those with ostomies a private, safe forum to discuss all things ostomy. Her websites – ostomy211.com and ostomy211.org -provide numerous resources, along with support, for the ostomy community.

Deb received a complete hysterectomy in 2012 for ovarian cancer, and an Ileostomy in 2014 due to Ulcerative Colitis. The UC had cut the blood supply off to her small intestine, so she was left with 4 1/2 ft of the normal 25 ft of intestines. At the time, she had no insurance. “What good is having an Ileostomy to save your life when the quality of your life looks to be extremely debilitating?” Deb said. That is when she realized she needed to be one of the people to step up and make a change. The first thing she did was to locate the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA), and become a certified visitor. She then volunteered at the hospital where she received her surgery. It has blossomed from there. There are many, many reasons why someone my need an ostomy. Cancers, IBD, Birth defects, traumas, etc. This is why our ribbon is rainbow colors – It gives respect to all of the different colors of awareness ribbons.

Deb’s Links to Ostomy Resources:

  • ostomy211.com – is like a yellow pages directory for ostomates. It is broke down into categories so people can better locate the resources they need.
  • ostomy211.org – will give you a more detailed listing of our programs.
  • facebook.com/groups/ostomyfamily – is the online support group we have created for ostomates. It is a private group with over 2200 ostomates and nurses.
  • OstoMyCare. We are working to improve healthcare, thus quality of life to ostomates through collaborations in palliative care. From the doctors, nurses, clinics, and hospitals to support groups, home health, counselors, etc.
  • ostomysupplies.ostomy211.org – provides ostomy supplies for those who are experiencing financial hardships.

 

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Sex and Intimacy While Dealing With Cancer, With Dr. Sage Bolte

Sex and Intimacy While Dealing With Cancer, With Sage Bolte

Sex and Intimacy While Dealing With Cancer, With Sage Bolte

A couple of month’s ago I received an email from fellow survivor and former podcast guest, Stacy Hurt. She said she recently attended a presentation where Sage Bolte was the presenter and I had to have her as a guest on the podcast.

Dr. Sage Bolte serves as the Executive Director of Life with Cancer and Associate Director of Psychosocial Programs for the Inova Schar Cancer Institute.

She talked about sex and intimacy and the impact that a cancer diagnosis can have, not only the patient, but the caregiver as well. We discussed the different challenges that men and women face along with the patient/caregiver dynamic.

This was a frank and informative discussion.

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

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

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

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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Quality of Life Decisions and Palliative Care, with Dr. Manouchka Joseph, M.D.


Podcast logoManouchka Joseph is the highly motivated new Medical Director for Palliative Medicine at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona. She came to Banner in 2014, and under her leadership, the Desert Palliative Medicine Department is growing. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor for University of Arizona, where she facilitates education for Nurse Practitioners and Fellows interested in Palliative Medicine. She graduated from Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie Université D’état in Port-au-Prince, Haïti. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Flushing, New York and her fellowship in Hospice and palliative medicine at North-Shore LIJ Health System in Manhasset, New York. She has been in Palliative Medicine since 2011.

Palliative Medicine is a medical sub-specialty that focuses on the care for medically complex individuals who have high care needs and often spend considerable time in the hospital. Dr. Joseph was drawn towards Palliative Care in her second year of residency when she found that the critical care doctors, because of the speed of the work, did not have enough time to spend time with the patients and their families, particularly those chronically ill patients suffering from multiple comorbidities. Her desire is to help families in that crucial point in managing their health care by addressing their emotional, social, and medical needs.

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