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Krystal Gurnell

Caregivers Stage IV Colon Cancer District of Columbia
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Krystal's story

My mom was diagnosed when she was 50 years old.

I was in my senior year at an out-of-state college at the time, so she did not tell me right away.

Signs and symptoms

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

Side effects

Side effects included fatigue, mouth sores, chemo induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), pain, and neuropathy.

Krystal's advice

Getting a colonoscopy can prevent you from developing colon cancer. I got my first doctor-directed colonoscopy before the age of 30, and I am thankful that I did.

My grandmother and mother both had colon cancer. I'm taking steps to lower my risk of developing colon cancer by being a pescatarian, not smoking, and taking care of my body through exercise and healthy habits.

I had my first doctor-directed colonoscopy at 29. My mother found out she had stage IV colon cancer at 50. I'm thankful for the time we were able to spend together, but I want to encourage everyone to know their family history, take care of their bodies, and get screened between the ages of 45 and 50. Join me in the fight against colon cancer!

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