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Kalifa Paul

Patients & Survivors Stage III Colon Cancer
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Kalifa's story

I was diagnosed in May 2022, 13 days before my 31st birthday.

I was sent to do a colonoscopy after complaining of severe stomach pains and chronic constipation. They found a mass and collected a sample of it and sent it to biopsy. I was also sent some time after to have a CT scan and an endoscopy done. It was on the day of the endoscopy while in the recovery room, the doctor handed me the results, pointed it out to me then walked away.

I was left by myself to figure out what it meant and what I should do next. I called my friend who worked in the hospital, and she came and sat with me while I cried my eyes out. She took me to the surgery department where I made an appointment to see a surgeon and schedule my surgery.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms included ongoing change in bowel habits, stomach cramps/bloating/fullness, fatigue, unable to have a bowel movement (bowel obstruction) or constipation.

Side effects

Side effects included fatigue, bowel irregularities, chemo induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), neuropathy, Hand-foot syndrome, chemo brain, and distress or mental health issues/illness.

Kalifa's advice

Early screening and detection is literally the difference between life and death. Had I been screened earlier, it may have been caught at stage I and not stage III.

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