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Meet the One Million Strong – Patsy P from Kansas

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Be a part of One Million Strong and tell us how colorectal cancer has impacted your life! Share your story now! 

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Patsy, second to left, and family

MEET PATSY

Patsy Huggins Petzold, Survivor

From Overland Park, KS

PATSY’S STORY

On the morning of Monday, February 26, 2013, life as I knew it changed forever.

Following a colonoscopy to explore what doctors believed to be colitis, I heard the words “concern,” “cancer,” “colon” and “obstructed” used in conjunction with my name. It was a shock, to say the least! I never had symptoms prior to entering the hospital. No stomach pains, fairly regular stools, no blood.

I am the mother of three beautiful children, ages 9, 7, and 3, and the wife of an incredibly supportive man. I am a high school special education teacher. Becoming a cancer patient was not in my plans.

I had surgery the very next day to remove about a foot of my colon – where the tumor was located. The doctor also removed a wedge of my liver where there was another tumor. In addition, he removed part of my abdominal wall and some lymph nodes, which were also involved. From the first day, my mentality was to fight, and fight as aggressively as possible.

I was recommended to the greatest oncologist in the Kansas City area at KU Medical Center. Our first meeting was brutally honest. I had stage IV colon cancer. I was 34 years old.

Fear, sorrow, pity, and doubt were not allowed in my home or anywhere else around me. I insisted on positive attitudes, lots of laughter, and even more dancing! We leaned on our faith, family and friends, and they held us up from day one until the final day, seven months later, when I finished my 12th round of chemo.

On 11-12-13, I had my final appointment with my oncologist. She deemed me cancer free!

Patsy’s Advice:

Do whatever it takes to maintain a positive attitude, it’s the best medicine!

What does “One Million Strong” mean to Patsy?

One Million Strong means the collective support of survivors, caregivers, and families. It means strength in numbers with super-amazing, strong people!

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