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Karen Montieth

Patients & Survivors Stage IV Colon Cancer North Carolina
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Karen's story

November 4, 2021, I was diagnosed with colon cancer at New Hanover Memorial Hospital. My husband was with me at the time of my diagnosis.

At that time, the stage was unknown. I remember waking up from my colonoscopy and looking over at my husband to see him crying. I knew from that moment it was cancer.

The doctor came in a few moments later to see me and gave me all the information on their next steps to prepare myself for surgery the very next day.

Everything seem to be moving excessively fast and was too much information for me to handle that day.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms were constantly throwing up after eating or drinking anything. My chest would hurt so bad that I believed I was having a heart attack. I had been to my county's hospital two times before going to another hospital to try to find out what was wrong with me.

Side effects

Side effects included fatigue, bowel irregularities, mouth sores, chemo induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), LARS, pain, neuropathy, skin rashes (skin toxicity, chemo rash), and chemo brain.

Karen's advice

It is easier said than done, but go get screened, or see your doctor. Don't let the fear of "something can be wrong" to step in the way of preventing something that can become wrong. That puts you more at risk and gives your doctor less to work with.

I hear people say, "I'm not a survivor yet" or "I can't wait to say I am a survivor," but you become a survivor the day you are diagnosed and will always be a survivor from that day on.

Each day will have its ups and downs, but it's your will to get through it, not only for yourself but for the others that surround you. That shows your fight and the thing is you may not see how hard you are fighting, but someone does, and it may be encouraging them to fight too.

I want others to know my fight because every fight is different. No one's fight is the same, but my story might just reach someone that is having a hard time.

Again, It is MY Story and MY FIGHT but I am proud to say I'm rocking it!

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