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Ryan Vieth

Patients & Survivors Stage III Rectal Cancer Colorado
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I was diagnosed with stage IIIc rectal cancer on September 12, 2019, at the age of 47. I had been working with my primary care physician on intestinal issues (thin bowel movements and eventually blood in my stool) and was not getting any real answers. I would experience bouts of pain in my hip that would wake me up at night. 

We later found out this was because the cancer had spread to lymph nodes immediately outside of my rectum, which caused inflammation and pressed against my sacral nerve. After fighting to get a colonoscopy (because I was under 50), we received our answer. I was in the recovery area with my wife when we found out. I was still out of it due to the colonoscopy procedure and medications when the doctor came in and told my wife that I had an aggressive 2-inch-long rectal tumor. It took hours for me to really comprehend what that meant. It was one of the most emotional and scary moments I have experienced. The news was devastating for my wife, but I was so grateful that we were together when the results were given to us.

Ryan's Advice

It is stressful and scary thinking about the potential of something coming from a colorectal screening BUT finding out as early as possible is critical in being able to fight this! The sooner you can find out if something is present, the better your chances of successful treatment are. I have found that knowing what is happening is easier to deal with than not knowing. As humans we are incredibly good at creating scenarios in our mind that may or may not be accurate!

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