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Katlyn Rigney

Patients & Survivors Stage III Colon Cancer California
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Katlyn's story

My name is Katlyn, and at the age of 17 I was diagnosed with stage lll colon cancer, as well as being told I have Lynch Syndrome. I found out when I had gone to Kaiser in Antioch for a colonoscopy appointment.

I was very nervous and deep down I knew I had it. It was me, my mother, and my grandmother. We were all anxiously waiting and finally the doctor came out to us and eventually told us I had cancer. I was so heartbroken as were they.

I remember when the doctor told us I looked up at my mom and started to reassure her that everything was going to be OK and God had us.

But there’s still much more to this story. My doctor told me I’m one in a million.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms included rectal bleeding or blood in stool, ongoing change in bowel habits, narrow stools, stomach cramps/bloating/fullness, unexplained or sudden weight loss, fatigue, unable to have a bowel movement (bowel obstruction) or constipation, passing out and anemia.

Side effects

Side effects included fatigue, mouth sores, pain, infection, and distress or mental health issues/illness.

Katlyn's advice

Please don’t be afraid to get tested. It’s really not that bad considering it could save your life. If I can get cancer at the age of 17 imagine how many other people who can or even someone younger.

My mom once told me that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers and that has always stuck with me. Never stop fighting and never lose hope. God and your body do miraculous things. There’s always going to be light at the end of the tunnel. I know it might not seem like it at times but trust me, you got this!

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