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Loralee Lovell

Loralee Lovell

Patients & Survivors Stage IV Colon Cancer Texas
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Loralee's story

We had just moved across the country from North Dakota to Texas for hubby’s job at the end of 2020. Naturally, I was exhausted: from moving, as a mom of five, and we had just had a litter of puppies.

I grew up with IBS, so blood in stool wasn’t always uncommon. I didn’t lose weight, the opposite was happening.

But, I had a gut feeling to see a gastrointestinal doctor – finally. Six months after the move, I looked online in our new Texas location. I had a video visit. I mentioned the word “blood,” and she immediately scheduled a colonoscopy.

I woke up from colonoscopy being told with my hubby, that they suspected colon cancer, as my sigmoid colon had a massive tumor in it. Sure enough, stage IV colon cancer with mets to liver, lungs, lymph nodes, peritoneal lining, etc. Not only that, but I have the BRAF and MSS mutations, which cause cancer to spread and grow rapidly. So, it’s an extra “special” case.

I was diagnosed June 2021 (just six months after moving to Texas – and luckily for me, we happened to move close to MD Anderson Cancer Center). I had a surgery in October, and I was told there was too much cancer. I was closed back up and was told to enjoy my last holidays.

It’s been two years since I was told that. I’m now no longer "inoperable." I do live with a colostomy, due to much of my colon being removed.

I have now had two surgeries, going on a third due to new cancer growth. I’ve also participated in two clinical trials, and lots of chemo. I try to keep my body as strong as I possibly can, especially the immune system to help it fight! Chemo doesn’t know the difference of cancer cells vs. healthy cells, so I try and do my part. I throw everything at this cancer that I can, medically and naturally.

I will continue to fight this!

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms included rectal bleeding or blood in stool, and fatigue.

Side effects

Side effects include fatigue, chemo induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), pain, high blood pressure, neuropathy, and chemo brain.

Clinical Trial

My first clinical trial saved my life. It lasted for 11 months. The second clinical didn’t work and cancer grew.

Loralee's advice

Please, please, please get checked! Don’t wait for all the “typical cancer symptoms” like I did. I kept telling myself that it was just IBS and because I was gaining weight instead of losing, I couldn’t have cancer.

I made up a lot of excuses for myself. (Including not having medical insurance).

I tried to be tough about it and push the pain aside. If you don't have medical insurance (we were paying cash for medical at the time), find a way to get a colonoscopy paid for! It’s that important! You need to fight for yourself!

I am naturally a fighter. But, I have allowed myself some quick time (like a day or two) to grieve and be sad, but then I have to quickly turn my mind into fighting this.

I try and stay positive and bubbly. Doctors and nurses comment on my attitude all the time. It truly helps! I rely on what I am fighting for: my hubby and my five kids, along with other family members, and countless friends.

I will not give up! And I don’t want all my energy going to negative thoughts.

It is scary! But, we all have one life to live and I want it to be a good one – despite this horrible diagnosis! I have also surrounded myself with other colon cancer fighters who are encouraging, and we check up on each other a lot via social media. That’s been helpful as well.

One thought on “Loralee Lovell

  1. God bless you !! May you continue strong and bold. Thank you for sharing your experiences it has I’m certain helped others.

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