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Pam Allen

Patients & Survivors Stage III Colon Cancer Georgia

Story: "My name is Pam Allen, and I'm a colon cancer survivor because I got screened at the then-recommended age of 50. For me that was too late. I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer.

"I didn't know how to feel when the doctor came into the room following my colonoscopy and told me that I had cancer because I had never heard of colon cancer nor a colonoscopy. My insurance carrier informed me that it was time to have a colonoscopy, and I called my doctor and made an appointment.

"I was feeling good, looking good, walking in my stilettos every day, so imagine my surprise when the doctor came into my room following the colonoscopy and told me that I had cancer of the colon. It was very hard for me to believe because I didn't have any symptoms that I recognized at the time. I was healthy and in fairly good shape. After the diagnosis I had to have surgery to remove a portion of my colon and 12 rounds of chemo, which has left me with severe neuropathy in both feet and a lifetime of limited abilities.

"It's important for me to share my story so that my children, my grandchildren, and future generations will not go through the struggles I'm going through now.

"To help raise awareness, I started a Blue Day in my hometown. We ask the mayor to sign a proclamation declaring March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month. We ask the local merchants to decorate their storefronts blue as well. We celebrate survivors with a banquet and ask everyone to wear blue, and we give out information on colon cancer awareness. I am thankful for screening. It saved my life."

Advice: "Never give up. Follow the treatment plan your doctor has in place for you. Eating a healthy diet and exercising can increase your chances of survival. Stand firm in your faith knowing that God has his hands on you."

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