Kimberly Austin, Stage IV Patient/Survivor
I had my colonoscopy screening at age 50, in 2012, which came back clear. Less than a year later, my bowels changed (frequency, consistency and trace blood) and pelvic ache. The CT, MRI and liver biopsy led to my Stage IV Rectal CRC diagnosis in November of 2013. My head was spinning, but I knew I needed to start treatment. My treatment plan included chemo, radiation and surgery. The radiation was dropped from my plan because tumor board thought they could receive successful results without it.
I completed 8 rounds of FOLFOX, oxaliplatin was reduced as my side effects increased. After a brief recovery, on March, 2 2014, I had a LAR, 2 wedge liver resection and temporary ileostomy. 4 more rounds of chemo, without oxaliplatin, and then reversal of my ileostomy. I continue to present as NED!
I love to walk and continued to walk through my treatments. After surgery, I needed assistance because I had limited mobility. Soon after, I could take my dogs on a walk by myself. I believe that my continued physical activity has helped me stay NED.
It is my hope that I can continue to advocate for CRC. As a member of Fight CRC and COLONTOWN, I have the opportunity to reach out to share my personal experience, to offer support, and to provide others with the motivation to “just keep moving.”
Listen to your body, if something feels off, trust your gut. Also, keep moving!