steven-ring-share-your-cancer-storyMeet Steven

Steven Ring, stage IV colon cancer Ardsley, Pennsylvania

Steven's Story

In July 2007, on the advice of my cardiologist, I underwent gastric bypass bariatric weight loss surgery.  The effects were life saving.  Improvement in my diabetes, reduction of my blood pressure and a host of other benefits.  At that time there was no known correlation between gastric bypass surgery and increased risk of colorectal cancer. In the summer of 2013 at age 48, I started to experience some minor abdominal pain.  So mild, that as a man, you want to show you are tough enough and ignore it.  But it persisted for several weeks and thinking it might be a complication from the 2007 surgery went to see my doctor, which set me on a course to a colonoscopy and the discovery of a large mass in my ascending colon.  Over the course of the next several weeks, CT scans and MRI's were conducted and the news got progressively worse, showing that I had stage IV cancer that had moved aggressively into my liver and was inoperable. I was told I'd be on chemotherapy for life. Initial chemo was, blessedly, more successful than anyone had anticipated and I was moved onto a maintenance chemo protocol.  On maintenance chemo, the liver mets continued to shrink until they were no longer visible on MRI, so we extended the length of time between treatments.  Then the cancer began to spread again, and I am now working with my amazing care team to find the balance of treatment to hold the cancer at bay and have the best quality of life possible for as long as possible, and there is no stopping me.

What One Million Strong means to Steven

Battling cancer can often make you feel alone even though you are surrounded by people. Your care team, other patients in your cancer center, loved ones, friends and family, yet you can feel an island unto yourself. One Million Strong, to me means I am not alone. There are others going through what I am or have gone through what I am. There are caretakers that can relate to what I'm going through.  There are people to support me as I am here to support them. Advocating helps take me out of my own head and, in a way is therapeutic for me.

Steven's Advice

My advice to others, be your own advocate first.  Work with your care team to find the best treatment plan for you and your cancer.  Learn about the advancements in cancer care both for treating the disease and managing side effects.  There are great resources and great people with Fight CRC. And if you haven't had a colonoscopy, forget the social stigma around it and get one. More... Share your story! Read other One Million Strong Stories! Sign up for the latest Fight CRC news!

One thought on “Meet the One Million Strong – Steven Ring from Pennsylvania

  1. Many Blessings Steve! You are not alone in your battle.
    Mary Ann Patton
    CC Stage III
    Lynch Syndrome

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