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Ellen Tappin

Patients & Survivors Stage III Rectal Cancer Maryland
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Ellen's story

I was diagnosed in September 2020, almost a year after I was told by divine intervention that I was sick. My doctors tested me every three months, but never tested for cancer.

I was pretty healthy. I ate well and exercised. I was a vegetarian at the time for 20 years. I didn't and still don't eat processed food, fast food, sodas.

I didn't drink, yet after a sign of blood in my stool. My doctor didn't think I should have a colonoscopy.

My last colonoscopy prior to 2020 was done in 2017. It was OK.

Thank God, I went ahead, again with divine intervention, despite the fact that my doctor didn't agree that I should have it. After the colonoscopy, once I was told to sit in the doctor's office, I knew, something wasn't right.

The doctor broke the news to me by myself. One of my sons was going to pick me up. I didn't panic. I told God he was going to deal with this problem since the revelation of my sickness came from Him.

When I got home, the rest of the family were told.

We scheduled the appointment with the surgeon, scheduled chemo and radiation, and I learned to take it one day at a time.

I believe that my faith got me through a situation I wouldn't have otherwise be able to deal with.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms included rectal bleeding or blood in stool, and no symptoms.

Side effects

Side effects included bowel irregularities and fatigue.

Ellen's advice

Get screened. Know the signs. Be your own advocate. Talk to a friend, and take the friend with you.

Be strong. Stay positive. There is life after a diagnosis.

Choose what to believe. Follow your gut. Ask questions. Be your own advocate. Rest, exercise, and diet are important. Never be too weary to ask for help. Set boundaries.

Your health is important, Colorectal cancer screening saves lives.

Our voice is our greatest weapon. Advocating for others, is self-advocating. We are stronger when our communities are stronger.

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