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Jelena Tompkins

Patients & Survivors Stage III Rectal Cancer Colorado
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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."

3 thoughts on “Jelena Tompkins

  1. Hi Jelena, Excellent YouTube videos! Your experience sounds very similar to mine so far. Diagnosed in July 2022 with Stage IIIb mid-rectal tumor involving two or three lymph nodes, some penetration of muscle and fat layers. Completed 8 rounds of FOLFOX in November, 5 days of radiation in December, with excellent clinical response (scans now show no malignancy or spread). Surgery will be Monday 2/13. My chemo was neoadjuvant (before radiation and surgery). Sounds like your was after surgery? Based on my previous experiences with abdominal surgery (hernia repair) and anesthesia, I’m hoping for a smooth post-surgery experience. But your surgery video has prepared me mentally for intubation, plus more drowsiness, nausea, pain, and possibly a hospital stay longer than the 3 to 5 day estimate they’ve given me. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. Hi Bill. I’m doing well, recently hit 5 years cancer-free! Congrats to you also being cancer-free. I’m so happy to hear that my YouTube videos have helped you during this rough time. Hang in there as your body continues to recover, even years later, from the treatments you went through 💙

  3. Hello Jelena, How are you? Want to thank you for your Youtube videos. I live in Columbus, Ohio and have gone through what you’ve gone through. First in my family to get a cancer diagnosis. Since my 2nd surgery, my life has been a bear. Maybe too much chemo or too much radiation, or both. Now, my blood work shows I’m cancer free. Your YouTube videos have helped me to keep plugging along. To endure the past 3 years. And just now, my digestive tract, is close to working normally. Thank you. Hope you have a good day, Bill McGuire

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