Meet the One Million Strong- Katherine Berry from New Mexico


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Meet Katherine

Patient / Survivor Clovis, New Mexico

Katherine's Story

I was humiliated to tell my doctor that I have been noticing blood in my stool. I was embarrassed  when I left his office with a prescription that could solve my problems. Six months down the road I was still bleeding, and I went back to the doctor to get it checked out. I had done a lot of research and knew I needed a colonoscopy. He refused at first because of my age (28) but after I told him that I was not leaving without a referral, he finally caved. As soon as I woke up from my scope, he explained that they found a tumor and I needed to see a surgeon right away. Two weeks later I met with my amazing surgeon, and two weeks after that I was cut wide open. They removed my sigmoid colon and half of my rectum. I was diagnosed with stage IIIB rectal cancer. In the first six weeks of daily radiation and 5FU chemo, there were no issues. After treatment I was in constant, excruciating pain for two months. My radiation oncologist just kept telling me to go home and take more laxatives and drink more water. We finally ended up in an ER in a larger town and they finally helped me! They found severe proctitis and ulcers in thirty centimeters of my colon. I currently have six months of chemo left.

Katherine's Advice

Be your own advocate! I have had to fight my doctors almost every step of the way. If something sounds off to you, follow your gut and make them help you!

One thought on “Meet the One Million Strong- Katherine Berry from New Mexico

  1. Exactly right. Fight for you, you are your best advocate. I was 46 July of 2016 and had to get checked I knew something was wrong the doctor agreed but said he was going on vacation for two weeks and we would do my colonoscopy when he got back. I told him absolutely unacceptable find someone else to do it immediately I was not waiting 2 more weeks because I knew deep down there was something wrong I ended up being diagnosed with Stage 3A rectal cancer. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to talk about what happened because of what I can share has one person taking themselves to the doctor and getting checked and maybe finding the cancer earlier than I did as well worth it. I am 6 weeks out of my final chemotherapy and still regaining strength but at this time I am NED.

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