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Becky Leman

Patient/Survivor Stage III Colon Cancer Wyoming
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In 2017, I had put off going in to get screened for about six months from the time I had noticeable symptoms.

I finally called my primary physician to get the colonoscopy scheduled after being home alone with my youngest son and going to the bathroom and having nothing but blood. It scared me, and he knew something was wrong and asked me what was wrong.

I told him, and I made a promise to myself to get past all the worry of colonoscopy scares to get in and get it done for him and his brother and my family.

I received the news the same day as my colonoscopy at 43 years old.

The doctor had come in and told me his suspicions were correct and that it was cancer. My husband and I both cried, and all I could think about was that I can’t leave my boys.

I made my calls to both of my boys and my parents from the hospital parking lot and to hear their voices with the news I just gave them will be embedded in me forever.

I never want to have to do that to them again. It was so hard to hear their side of the phone go quiet as they thought of what to say.

Symptoms that were happening were rectal bleeding or blood in stool, ongoing change in bowel habits, narrow stools, anemia/low iron, and fatigue.

My treatments were chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and I received a temporary ileostomy and had reversal surgery.

Some of my side effects included pain, LARS, and neuropathy.

My advice to others who may be afraid to seek medical advice or a colorectal cancer screening is talking about your butt issues is never easy, and I know it’s something you don’t want to do, but telling them and listening to your doctors' advice to get the colonoscopy could definitely be a lifesaver and stop the cancer from being a possible stage higher.

If you’ve been diagnosed, get into a social media platform to at least listen to others that are going through the same things that you are or people that have been there/done that, and what they are doing to get through the residual effects after a colon cancer diagnosis.

Members of Congress need to know that insurance companies should not dictate our health. If a doctor orders tests and scans, let it be known that the doctors are trying to save your life while the insurance company is trying to save money by denying your tests and scans. With a cancer diagnosis, every test that is pushed off from a month or so may cost people their lives.

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