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TJ Brede

Patient/Survivor Stage IV Colon Cancer Nebraska
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I was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer in January 2019 at age 42. I started having several abdominal pain one Friday evening and put off going to get checked out and suffered through until Sunday when I could no longer stand up without doubling over.

After a couple days with many tests and scans, they found a spot on my liver, biopsied that, and it came back cancer that originated in the colon.

I was laying in my hospital bed when the doctor came in and spoke those dreaded words, "You have cancer."

The days, weeks, months, and years following have definitely been a roller coaster. I have had two reoccurrences, one to my right ovary and the other to my left lung, since diagnosis.

My side effects included pain, neuropathy, skin rashes, and increased anxiety.

Colorectal cancer symptoms are not fun to talk about, but trust me when I say that it is worth the embarrassment or inconvenience of the colonoscopy prep because the consequences for not taking action can cost you your life.

Sometimes all you can do is get through it one day, one minute, or one second at a time and that’s OK! Just keep going!

Two things that all members of Congress need to know is that the cost of treatment can ruin finances, and screening should be encouraged and costs covered for those who can't afford it.

Over the last five years, I’ve endured seven surgeries, and 69 chemo treatments, although as of right this moment I’m in remission and finally getting back to a little bit of a normal life, so it has been worth the fight!

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