This is a guest blog written by Kathleen Overy, a 2018 Fight CRC Ambassador.
My husband Jay had finally scheduled his first routine colonoscopy. On the way to the appointment we were laughing and joking about how hungry we were and deciding where we would eat his procedure. I also did clear liquid diet the day before to be supportive.
I kissed him good luck as he was taken back for the procedure. Neither of us prepared for what happened next.
The doctor called me back after his procedure and said, “You’re a nurse, right?” “Yes,” I replied. At the time I was not sure why he asked. He proceeded by showing me photos of Jay’s procedure explaining that he had a 5cm mass that was most likely to be adenocarcinoma, polyps or a hemorrhoid.
I did not hear anything after the word, “tumor.” I was having an out of body experience.
I had an internal conversation with myself and was flooded with questions! “Can he remove the mass? now?” “Has it spread anywhere?” “How do I tell our kids?” “How do I tell him?” “What if…..?”
The entire experience was horrible to say the least! When my husband woke up from the procedure I was crying, which is something rarely do. The doctor wanted me to tell him the news, but I was unable to speak. The doctor eventually told him about the tumor. I have been a nurse for 26 years and when Jay looked at me for answers, I was kicked into action.
In January 2018, he had surgery to remove the mass, ileostomy and an ileostomy reversal. There were complications in-between, but we got through it. We are extremely blessed to have caught Jay’s cancer early. We also feel lucky that we had connections, insurance and a great surgeon, but most importantly we had each other!
This type of cancer is a number 2 cancer killer among men and women and is 90% curable if caught early!
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” – Benjamin Franklin.
Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Jay and I feel that his rectal cancer has given us the opportunity to get involved with Fight CRC and to help make change. Being surrounded by others who have also been impacted by this disease has allowed Jay and I to know that we are not alone in this fight. Thank you Fight CRC for allowing us to gain 30 friends for life!
We know that together we can make a difference. We can push for greater patient awareness, for more active involvement from the medical community and better care for those affected by this terrible disease.
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