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Linda Hartong

Patient/Survivor Stage IV Colon Cancer New Jersey
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I was diagnosed at age 44 with stage IV colon cancer on August 11, 2023. I was diagnosed after having a CT scan, MRI, and ultimately a colonoscopy.

My only symptom was constipation and belly pains.

I was in the hospital where they discovered that my mass was connected to my uterus, so they decided it was safest to close me up and put in a loop-colostomy.

My husband was with me and continues to be there during every office visit, test, and hospital stay.

I was left with an ostomy bag and my first visit to my oncologist. My doctor thought it was best to be aggressive and put me on four different types of chemo to begin ASAP.

I had a right liver resection and 10 cycles of chemo so far.

I am feeling OK and grateful for all of the people who have been put into my life.

I will be having the colon mass removed, full hysterectomy, and my ostomy reversed at the end of this month. The last step will be my last two chemo cycles.

My advice for someone who might be afraid to seek medical advice or colorectal cancer screening is to just do it! Any GI issue could be a sign of colon cancer, and the plus side: A colonoscopy is the best nap you have ever had.

Something all members of Congress need to know is that colonoscopies should be offered at a younger age and easier to have done if the patient asks for one.

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