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Vivek Kalra

Patients & Survivors Stage III Colon Cancer Arizona

On December 9, 2020, I remember the words, 'You have a large tumor in your colon, and it’s presenting as a classic apple core, which means it is probably cancerous, and we are admitting you and scheduling you for emergency surgery.'

Shocking words to hear, made stranger by the reference to a fruit that is supposed to keep the doctor away. That 45-second conversation with the ER doc quickly snowballed in my head. I barely remember the call I made to my wife, Ruchi, although I do recall the slight hesitation before I repeated the words I had just heard. About 36 hours later, emergency surgery followed, with the report that confirmed the diagnosis: stage III colon cancer.

I am 48 years old and was diagnosed three weeks ago. I was told by the doctors that it was growing for over six to eight years. So I was only probably 40 when it started. I think I got lucky, as I would not have gone for screening right at 50.

My wife and I wrote our story and our message to our loved ones.”

Advice: “I encourage everyone to screen early and take this seriously. I have been having talks with my body and also telling it to behave. Keeping a positive mindset has been key for me.”

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