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Jessica Fox

Patients & Survivors Stage IV Colon Cancer Ohio
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Jessica's story

Hi everyone! My name is Jess Fox, and I'm 44 years old and live in Dayton, Ohio.

This past December my husband and I took an extended vacation to Colombia for his 50th birthday. During our last week there, I started to get really intense stomach cramping and thought it was just a part of what happens with international travel.

But, deep down I knew something was off.

We arrived home at midnight on December 15, and the next day I went to the ER thinking that it was just severe constipation. Instead, I was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal (sigmoid) cancer. My colon was blocked by the tumor, and I had to have emergency surgery to put a colostomy in.

In a matter of 12 hours, my life changed. I have no history of colorectal cancer in my family, and I was presenting with zero symptoms until the abdominal cramping.

I started chemo on January 6, 2023, and I have had 10 treatments of FOLFOX. And just two days ago, I just had surgery for a rectosigmoid resection and a colostomy takedown!

I never knew one could be so excited for surgery, but that was me. My colostomy was really affecting my quality of life (due to severe prolapsing), and I can't wait to resume my normal activities.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms included stomach cramps/bloating/fullness and unable to have a bowel movement (bowel obstruction) or constipation.

Side effects

Side effects included fatigue, secondary cancer(s), and neuropathy.

Jessica's advice

Screenings are crucial in trying to detect cancerous cells at an early stage. Especially for colorectal cancer, early detection can make the cancer curable.

Having said all that, I would also ask them what their fears are based on. Is it fear of what the doctors might find, the fear of being in an uncomfortable, vulnerable position, or something else?

Cancer treatment and recovery is like running a marathon, not a sprint. We go through a lot of "training" to get us as healthy and strong as possible to face what is to come. Some training days are easy but others are long and difficult. With the right mindset though, we can set ourselves up to be the best we can be, despite the circumstances.

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