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Michael Stern

Patients & Survivors Stage IV Colon Cancer Florida

Story: I found out about my cancer diagnosis waking up from my colonoscopy in October 2019. At that time, it was unknown what stage I was at, just that it was most likely a cancerous polyp. It took about a week to find out it progressed to stage IV.

I turned to Google, which was a very big mistake. After reading most of the results that I had about a 14% chance of living past five years, my life stood still for that moment. All I could think of is, "Will I see my kids grow up?" and "What do I say to them?" "How can I leave my family at this time? I have so much more to do." It took me a few weeks to come to grips with things. I started to think in a different direction.

I was very fortunate to have my wife (aka "my rock") stand by my side and listen to the waterfall of information thrown at me, as I was unable to comprehend anything. She was able to help me process things. I found the best medical team and focused on anything I can do to beat this. I surrounded myself with an incredible support system, family, and friends, who pushed me every day to keep going and stay strong. After multiple surgeries, chemo treatments, temporary ileostomy, and then a permanent one, CT Scans, MRIs, blood draws, and port flushes, I stand here today NED and stronger than ever.

Having the right mindset in a cancer journey is half the battle.

Advice: The fear for me was getting that colonoscopy. It was the total opposite of what I thought it was. It was so easy. I wish I knew this sooner, as I would have gotten my colonoscopy a few years earlier. The polyp could have been found early and prevented me from having cancer. My advice is simple. GET A COLONOSCOPY! It could save your life.

Whatever part of the cancer journey you are on, take this life-changing event as an opportunity to do whatever you really want to do. Focusing on being positive. Try to get rid of stress. Remove the fear. Enjoy and appreciate all the good things.

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