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Suzanne Barbour

Caregivers Kansas

Suzanne: "I am a spouse, mother of three, and soon-to-be grandmother. I also am the caregiver to my husband with stage IV colorectal cancer. He hopes his story might be able to save a life."

"This is his plea, in his own words: 'Don't be like me. I thought I was invincible."

Suzanne Barbour

Story: "I was 47 years old and running 4-6 miles per day. Physically fit and had not seen a medical doctor for anything but a nagging lower back injury in 20 years. I had been ignoring what I now know were clear signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer for 6-9 months. Constantly tired, out of breath after walking up a flight of stairs, losing weight, having a burning sensation in my stomach, and experiencing changes in my bowel movements. I had convinced myself the burning sensation was an ulcer and there was no way I was asking a doctor for a colonoscopy. By the time of my colonoscopy and diagnosis, I had stage IV metastatic colon cancer. I have no idea what stage it might have been 6-9 months earlier, but I do know it could not have been any worse!  

"As I type this, I'm at Kansas University Hospital getting prepped for a radiation treatment this morning. I will follow that up next Wednesday with my 73rd chemotherapy treatment. Do me a big favor. Message or text me when you have made an appointment for yourself, or your spouse, to discuss getting a colonoscopy. I would like to think I made a difference."

Advice: "Get involved with social media. Follow organizations that advocate for colorectal cancer as well as leaders in the field. This has been our best way to locate clinical trials and new treatment ideas. We also learned about the side effects of treatments and connected with additional support services!"

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