arrow copy Created with Sketch. FightCRC Logo fcc-logo-light

Joanna Stimmel

Patients & Survivors Stage IV Rectal Cancer California
Back to Champion Stories

Story: "I had rectal bleeding for a couple of years and was misdiagnosed as having hemorrhoids. My doctor suggested a colonoscopy, but my insurance would not pay for it since I was under 50. When I finally switched insurance and got the test done, a 7 centimeter mass was found in the middle rectum.

"I was diagnosed with IIIb rectal cancer. I went through chemo, radiation, surgery, and chemo, but progressed to stage IV rectal cancer the following year. The one small lung metastasis was removed, and I had another round of chemo following the surgery. Luckily, since then I’ve been NED, which is nothing short of a miracle. Almost six years in remission from stage IV! The universe has my back and I’m eternally grateful."

Advice: "Get screened at the first sign of trouble. Colonoscopy doesn’t hurt, the prep is just a short nuisance. Cancer on the other hand is a nightmare that I would not wish upon anyone. Never give up. Even with a 1-in-10 chance, there is a chance."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Stories

Patient/Survivor Stage IV Rectal Cancer

Kristie Reimann

Side Effects, Fatigue, Rectal bleeding or blood in stool, Ongoing change in bowel habits, Narrow stools, Unable to have a bowel movement (bowel obstruction) or constipation, Stomach cramps/bloating/fullness
Patient/Survivor Stage III Colon Cancer

David Coulter

Treatments, Chemotherapy, Surgery
Patient/Survivor Stage III Rectal Cancer

Ashlyn Carter

Side Effects, Fatigue, Rectal bleeding or blood in stool, Other (please explain)