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Kecia Johnson

Patients & Survivors Stage IV Rectal Cancer Texas

August 6, 2020 changed my life in a way that I could have never imagined. After being in pain for months in the middle of a pandemic, I was told by a colorectal surgeon that I had cancer. For months I walked around going from one emergency room to the next after being told that I had a hemorrhoid or being rushed to the side; because the world was so in disarray from COVID-19. The pain was so unbearable, that by the time I was admitted into the hospital to undergo surgery, my body was in such shock that it was shaking uncontrollably.

After diagnosis, I was told that I had to immediately go into chemo and radiation therapy as the cancer was much further along than they initially accessed. The treatment in the beginning did not become aggressive and agonizing until the third week in. From being admitted into the burn unit and feeling alone while in the hospital because the world was in the midst of a pandemic put me in a space of traumatization that I will never forget. While being on treatment for several weeks, I lost over 100 pounds and began to lose strength over all of my body. Radiation treatment became so painful that I had to end my treatment sessions two weeks earlier than scheduled. More than anything I truly want the pain and discomfort to end. Once the treatment ended, it took months for me to begin the healing process as my mind and body was dealing with so much trauma that I could not function at times.

However, seeing my daughter's face daily through that battle with cancer showed me reason for consistently fighting forward. Just being her play and love on me made me want to get realigned with my healthy lifestyle of making my custom smoothies and healing my skin with my various home remedies. From that I began to feel better not just in my body day to day but in my mind. The biggest toll cancer takes on any person is in your mind. There are times where my mind wanted to do many things that my body was just simply not ready for and for that reason, I had to choose in that moment to help others through my same battle.

Now, in a space of remission, I am now battling with radiation toxicity from being over radiated. Because of it I am now 62% disabled below my waist. I can walk, but I have to do so with a cane. Despite the aftermath, I am so vigilant in fighting to help others get to the other side. I know that not everyone gets a chance to see the other side of a stage IV cancer diagnosis, so with that I will continue to workout, do yoga daily to increase my lower extremity and keep aligning myself to a healthy lifestyle while empowering others.

Kecia's Advice

The most sound piece of advice that I can give a person about the importance of getting screened is this: 'When you know, YOU can truly take action.' Had I known that as a person with a compromised immune system, it is recommended to get screened for colorectal cancer after the age of 35, I would have prioritized that aspect of my health a bit more! There is more fear in the unknown than there is in the power of knowing!

"Being a relentless champion takes a lot of courage to continue to keep fighting daily. However, what I want those reading to know is that YOU ARE POWER! YOU are strong, YOU are amazing, YOU are loved, YOU are capable, YOU are healing, YOU are patient and, YOU are peace. Having those various words poured into me while I was battling colorectal cancer helped me tremendously on some of my worst days. Having the understanding that I AM all of those positive words helped me realize that I was more than a conqueror."

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