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Rob Boling

Patients & Survivors Stage IV Colon Cancer Arkansas
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Story: "I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in late June 2014. I thought I was having an appendicitis attack and went to my local doctor. That day I had a CT scan. Once it was complete I got into my car to leave and the phone rang - it was my doctor. She told me that it wasn't an appendix issue, but that there seemed to be a large mass on my colon and that I needed to schedule a colonoscopy. The next day, I got another call and learned that they had also seen some spots on my liver and that I needed to come in for an ultrasound. The fear hit me quickly. After a few days, I finally had a colonoscopy and it was determined that I had a blockage the size of a grapefruit - I needed surgery.

"On July 3rd, 2014, I was scheduled for surgery and my life turned grim. I was in the hospital for five days. After healing, I was scheduled to get a port installed for chemo and met with my oncologist. I discussed the spots on my liver with him and he set up an MRI and a PET scan. He then recommended that I get a second opinion and look at MD Anderson as one of my choices. I took his advice and went to MD Anderson. I had my first appointment in the middle of August. At this time, I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. Doctors explained I had an inoperable tumor on my liver and that my life expectancy was less than two years (on average.)

"I went home and started my chemo and began reading up on cancer and how to keep my liver healthy. After three months of chemo, I went back to MD Anderson and had another CT scan. The surgeon initially told me that we couldn't do the surgery on my liver, but I wouldn't take no for an answer. I am 48 years old and healthy. I knew that if we didn't attempt to do the surgery, my life would be over soon.

"So, on January 8th, I had the first surgery on the left lobe of my liver. They removed the cancer on that side and I bounced back from the surgery. I am now a candidate for portal vein embolization (PVE) to help grow my liver back, which is set for April 1st. I am back on chemo right now to help keep the cancer stalled and set to remove the entire right side of the liver on May 1.

"Having a positive attitude and knowing God is with me, who is in control, has helped me through this fight. I thank God for giving me courage and keeping me healthy during this battle. Cancer does not discriminate. I am 48 years old, never smoked, 5 foot 10 inches, 200 pounds, and a social drinker. I did eat a lot of red meat, but I was very healthy. My goal is to educate people about cancer. I want them to know that once your attitude goes down, you will sink and lose the battle. I am one who believes that you've got to get off the bench and swing the bat instead of watching on the sidelines. Great music helps me get up, as well as my grandson, who is three years old."

Advice: "Get right with God, have a positive attitude, educate yourself about cancer, enjoy your family and listen to music. Remember that there are people in this world who are worse off than you. I pray to God, thanking him for what I have achieved over the years. I am thankful that I was born in the United States and have a home, food, water, knowledge, wisdom, and an opportunity to help others ask for strength. Before cancer hit me, I was one who could do everything on his own (or so I thought.) I found out that this battle is too big for me alone and I have put God into the pilot's seat and my trust in him."

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