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Jelena Tompkins

Patients & Survivors Stage III Rectal Cancer Colorado

Story: I was diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer in May 2016 at age 34. After experiencing symptoms off and on for nearly a year, I was referred for a colonoscopy. When I woke up, the doctor told me she found a mass and was pretty sure it was cancer. I went through 28 days of oral chemotherapy and radiation, had LAR surgery, which resulted in a temporary ileostomy, and went through eight rounds of FOLFOX. I am currently monitored every six months and have no evidence of the disease.

Advice: You are your best advocate and are immersed in cancer 24/7, so be sure to really let your doctors know how you're feeling. They can't help you if they don't know what's going on inside you.

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