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Amie Ross

Patients & Survivors Stage III Rectal Cancer Oregon

Story: "I had just finished nursing school and had been having rectal pain and bleeding, but I thought it was from a hemorrhoid from the stress of nursing school. COVID hit a few months prior, so I kept postponing going to the doctor. I finally went to my primary provider and was referred for a colonoscopy. I had the colonoscopy, and it was discovered that I had a large tumor in my rectum. By the time I was diagnosed, I was at stage III. I went through chemo and radiation and have now been cancer-free for a year and a half!"

Advice: "Fear and denial are real. I was 39 years old and a nurse, so I thought that there was no way it could be cancer even though the signs and symptoms were obvious. Go get that colonoscopy! There are many treatments available now for colorectal cancer and the sooner you catch it, the better your outcome is likely to be.

"You will have days of amazing triumph, and you will have days of deep despair. Focus on whatever joy or positivity you can. Enjoy the simple pleasures and count your blessings. Find the gratitude, even if it's only for your next breath. Celebrate your victories, even if that victory seems trivial: A win is a win. It's OK to be scared, to be angry, to be overwhelmed, to feel the loss. But don't stay there in those dark places for long."

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