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Jenna Steele

Patients & Survivors Stage IV Colon Cancer Illinois
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My Story: My story began in Sept. 2019. At just 32 years old with four young children, I had been to my primary care doctor for ongoing symptoms: blood in my stool, low grade fever, change in bowel habits, lower back pain, and shortness of breath. She had ran every test until the colonoscopy was all that was left. The morning of my colonoscopy, I also had an MRI scheduled, so I went to that first. As I was waiting to go back for the colonoscopy, the MRI results came in so I already knew I had spots on my liver.

I went back for the colonoscopy, and the doctor said when I was finished, he would speak with my husband then move on to the next patient. Instead, I woke up to the nurse telling me that the doctor would be back in to go over the results. I already knew this was a bad sign since he made it clear he doesn’t came back in to see the patient after colonoscopies, so I made small talk with the nurses until the doctor came back in to deliver the bad news. He didn’t have the official biopsy results, but he knew and given the spots on my liver, it was safe to assume it was stage IV.

I was diagnosed at age 32 with stage IV colorectal cancer. Stage IV meant I had the kind that had spread to my liver. It meant a tumor about the size of a softball was on the left lobe of my liver and four smaller tumors on the right lobe of my liver. I started treatment in October 2019. The colon cancer went away with chemo treatment as did one small tumor. The cancer on the liver is still there. I underwent surgery to remove the largest tumor. Three small tumors on my liver remain.

Advice: Do it! Colonoscopies are no fun but they can save your life! The longer you wait, the worse it will be.

Stay positive! A positive attitude makes all the difference!

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