Meet Julie

Julie Krause, Stage IVB Survivor/Patient

Crystal Lake, Illinois

Julie’s Story

I was living a very active life before being diagnosed.  Working full time, exercising for a body building show, very involved in my disabled daughter’s life and traveling.  I have a family history and had put off my colonoscopy until I was 51, when a friend was diagnosed with colon cancer.  I went in within weeks for the procedure.

I had a cancerous polyp that had not infiltrated the submucosa.  They told me they thought they had it all but to be on the safe side I should have that part of my sigmoid colon removed, so I scheduled the surgery.  The surgeon said everything looked good, he was sure he got it all and it was all over.

When I went in to have my staples removed he told me I had 1/14 positive lymph nodes.  Now it was stage III and I needed to see an oncologist.  When I saw him he said my chances of surviving five years was 92 percent with front line treatment, Oxy, Folfox, and Leuc. I proceeded with eight treatments at full strength and four at 75 percent.

I ended treatment and went about getting my health and life back, in May 2011.  By Dec. 2011 my CEA started to rise.  In March, I had a PET and they found a met in my liver. So it was back to stage IV. I had a liver resection in May 2012.

While I was recovering, I developed 2 more mets in my liver.  I started Irtotectin and Avastin.  By Dec. 2012, I was NED.  I continued on various forms for maintenance chemo until Mar. 2016 when again my CEA started to rise.  The PET showed a new met in the liver.  I then had an MRI and CT that showed no signs of cancer elsewhere.  I had my second resection in May 2016 and was back at work in three weeks.  The doctor was sure he got it, until the path came back.  I had a positive margin.

Recently, I had RFA and will follow up with chemo.  I have worked full-time, exercised, kept very involved in my daughter’s life and still travel.  It has not been easy, but I refuse to allow cancer and cancer treatments to ruin my life!

What One Million Strong Means to Julie

I want a cure for myself and others.  This disease takes too many, especially young people. One Million Strong means being an advocate for testing to prevent this disease.

Julie’s Advice

Everyone should be screened for CRC at 50, or even sooner if you exhibit any of the warning signs.  There are other tests besides colonoscopies. Do not let your doctor minimize your symptoms because of your age. It is time to bring the discussion of colon health to the family dinner table. It is important to discuss your family history.

There is nothing crappy about knowing your and your family’s crap situation, only in not knowing it.

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2 thoughts on “Meet the One Million Strong- Julie Krause from Illinois

  1. I was diagnosed at the age of 36 with colorectal cancer Stage III and now I am 37. I was devastated my life turned upside down. There is no family history of colon cancer in my family. So when I went to the doctor with my symptoms and he said there is no way you can have colon cancer due to my age and no family history. After colonoscopy doctor came in and said I am so sorry you do have colon cancer I need to send you over to have another test to determine the stage and if it was in my lymph nodes. So it was determined to be in 2 lymph nodes so I started radiation and chemo treatment. I had surgery and had part of my sigmoid colon and rectum remove 3 months after I was diagnosed. Then I did 4 more months of the most painful chemo treatment of my life. So March I am due for a colonoscopy and I am scared to death that the cancer will be back. Labs are still abnormal. WBC is still low and I am doing all I can not to get the flu or even a small cold. Now I have some issues with my liver that the doctors are keeping an eye on but that thought of cancer is still in the back of my head. My body is weak, my legs hurt so much, and my feet are constantly on fire. I had to contact all my family and let them know that there is now a family history of colorectal cancer in the family and they need to speak to the doctor about getting a colonoscopy. My sister had one last year and her colonoscopy came back with precancerous cells. At least she didn’t have to go through what I am going through.

  2. At Stage IV @ 46 I was devastated!,went into the ER for what I thought was bad food! One lowly CT scan later and I’m down for the count! Colon Cancer with mets to the liver it was. I was running 3 banks, recent promotion and here I was hospitalized for 10 days! I’m about to start treatment 4 of 12 with hopes of kicking this mess and returning to some sort of normalcy. Genetic testing was negative.

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