Meet Deborah

Patient / Survivor
Lincoln Park, New Jersey

Deborah’s Story

I was diagnosed in July 2013 with stage IV at 59 years old. I had no symptoms until two days before when I had a pain in my right side. I do not remember very much, since I was rushed into surgery the next day to have a colon resection.

After six days in intensive care, I was released with five remaining spots on my liver. My next stop was to see an oncologist. I have received over 30 rounds of IV chemo over the last 3.5 years.

In 2014, I had surgery on my liver, using a newer procedure called the nano knife, to remove cancer that was near a vein to my heart and could not be cut out.

Over the last year I was on an IV drug, CPT 11, that really did help. However, as the treatments progressed, the harder it was for me to handle them without getting sick for up to six days. I am currently on an oral pill, which seems easier to allow me to maintain a good quality of life. It might sound trivial, but one of the hardest parts has been losing my hair three times.

I have faced the fact that I will be on some form of drugs for the rest of my life. The sad part is that this is a disease that can be prevented and cured with early detection, and my goal has always been to bring awareness to the importance of getting a colonoscopy to others.

I feel lucky that I have a husband and children, an extended family, and friends who have been by my side during this journey. That has been a key factor with dealing with this disease.

Deborah’s Advice

I know that it is easy to tell someone to stay strong, however sometimes with everything that you are going through it can be difficult. Chemo not only affects you physically, it affects you mentally also. I stay positive and face each day with a good attitude.

(Psychosocial health and reaching out for support is so important during a diagnosis click here  to find more information on psychosocial health.) 

I appreciate things that I never really did before. I talk about my disease to others. I have a bucket list of “firsts” and I think the best thing I did was to go back to work and get out there everyday.

I decided from the beginning that I was not going to let this disease control me or get me down. And most of all you have to believe!

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2 thoughts on “Meet the One Million Strong- Deborah Keraitis from New Jersey

  1. Please share some Alternative Therapy with me if you will. I have Stage IV colon cancer and have been dealing with surgeries for colon, liver and lymph nodes. I am holding on to God and He is holding on to me. I am a very optimistic person, but without a partner at times I get discouraged. I want to persevere and make my children and grandchildren continue to see the evidence of positive pushing forward! They have said I am amazing and one of my oncologists has referred to me as one tough cookie! I want to be around and enjoy these little grandchildren until they get older!
    Thanks for any help you have. RuthAnn Bromfield June 8, 2017

  2. Hello Deborah
    Thank you sharing!!! I am a Stage IV survivor since 2006, initially I had a colon resection and during the same medical operation the surgeon removed several tumors from my liver. In 2009 that same surgeon removed a small tumor from my right lung. Since then I have experienced No Evidence of the Disease (NED). I owe everything to God. If you would like I could share some of the thing I did as Alternative Therapy during this entire period.

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