Joe Bullock's strong arm

关于: In summer 2017, a couple of months after Joe’s dad died from a long-term illness, he started to have some abdominal pains and fatigue, which he figured was brought on from the stress of settling his dad’s estate and dealing with his death. Joe started to have a small amount of blood in his stool. He ignored all of this for the following months since he thought it was the grief from his dad’s death and family issues that he was having at the time. In October 2017, Joe went to a scheduled doctor’s appointment for a routine physical. He told his doctor about the symptoms he was having at the time. Because Joe just turned 50, his doctor told him, “It was time to get a colonoscopy.”

乔将结肠镜检查安排在几周后的 11 月。手术前两天,他的母亲因心脏病突发突然去世。乔又一次忽视了自己的症状,取消了结肠镜检查,以帮助姐姐处理母亲的遗产和遗愿。乔继续 "忍着",忽略了前几个月所感受到的痛苦。他认为自己身体的疲劳和压力是由所有的情绪波动造成的。在接下来的几周里,他对母亲的离世深感悲痛,因为他们在母亲去世前刚刚制定了假期计划。乔深受打击。乔感到情绪和身体都很虚弱。他并不知道:导致他痛苦和不适的是癌症。

Finally in spring 2018, at the urging of his wife, Joe rescheduled his colonoscopy, which had not been a high priority.  He had ‘Doctor Googled’  enough that he figured his pain and discomfort might be cancer. He hoped he was wrong. He and his wife drove to the GI clinic for his colonoscopy. As the procedure began, Joe drifted off to sleep because of the twilight drugs they had given him. Joe’s doctor discovered a tumor, but was able to get around it and remove two small polyps. His doctor marked, measured and biopsied his tumor. 



Joe’s wife is a nurse at the same hospital as his cancer center. She figured out the plan of action along with his care team at the hospital. The plan was to kill the cancer, and then surgery to remove my tumor from his colon and any infected lymph nodes (there were three). Joe had his colon resected during surgery. After surgery the plan was to do ‘clean up’ chemotherapy of Oxaliplatin infusions every three weeks with Xeloda 每次治疗之间都要吃药。起初,他的情况还不错,直到癌症的情绪副作用袭来,他才变得伤心欲绝。他可以承受身体上的副作用,但治疗期间的孤独和自我封闭让他不堪重负。他变成了一个悲伤的人,担心癌症已经扩散。压力有时压得他喘不过气来。 

Joe’s oncologist noticed how sad and stressed Joe looked, and told him to remember, ‘We got you!’ and their plan of action. He suggested Joe and his wife talk with a therapist. Joe thought he was ‘fine,” but for his wife, the pressure of being his caregiver, a full-time nurse, and mom was too much pressure for her, and she could not be Joe’s only sounding board.He agreed to listen to her and seek help.  Joe wasn’t going to let cancer steal my marriage and hurt the ones he loves. 



His therapist encouraged him to continue to attend the support group. She believed that his status of NED’ would bring a lot of hope to other members of the group. She also told me that him that he might find he needed support from the group as a survivor. She was right!


A fellow cancer patient and member of Colontown, Charles Griffin Jr., encouraged Joe early on in his stage IIIb colon cancer diagnosis to find ways to share his cancer story with the community. Charles told Joe that sharing his story was a way for Joe to give back to the community. Men typically don’t want to talk about their cancer story or are ashamed they have cancer. Charlesbecame a huge part of Joe’s cancer story. After Charles died in summer 2019, Joe was reminded of the words Charles told him and others in a speech Charleshad given to a group of cancer survivors. In his speech, ‘We Are All Glow Sticks,’ Charles told everyone that being a cancer patient is like being a glow stick, ‘You have to be broken to shine.’ Joe had been broken, and now he needed to shine. Joe will never forget those words and set out on a mission to discover how do that as a survivor. He looked for ways to encourage other cancer patients at his local cancer center. He participated in a couple of local fundraisers and started to share his cancer story in various colon cancer groups. 

At the end of 2019, Joe met a fellow cancer patient and Colontown member Trevor Maxwell. Trevor is living with metastatic stage IV colon cancer. Trevor had been building a framework for a webpage and writing a book about the physical and mental struggles that surround men going through cancer. He calls it, “Man Up To Cancer.” Trevor wants to change the narrative to what ”manning up’ means to cancer” means. This means having an open heart and a warrior spirit as they battled cancer. Trevor asked Joe to help  build a Facebook support group “The Howling Place,” as a component of the webpage. The idea is that a wolfpack supports each other. Previously, Joe sent friend requests on Facebook to offer friendship and support to men who had a cancer diagnosis of any type.Trevor asked Joe to be the lead administrator of the Facebook group.  January 1, 2020, Joe invited over 200 men to join the group and most of them joined within the following days. We currently have almost 1,500 men in “The Wolfpack” as the men of “The Howling Place” like to be known. Joe continues to fight the anxiety that comes from the worry of recurrence, but now he has “Wolfpack” to run with.  Joe has decided that if, “Cancer is done with me, I am not done with cancer.” Joe’s journey as a cancer advocate began with the Wolfpack, and now extends to hosting duties with Climb for a Cure, North Carolina so that he can help raise awareness for colorectal cancer, fundraise for cutting-edge research on a Path to a Cure, and provide support to the colorectal cancer community. . 

乔为什么登山 "帮助资助结肠直肠癌研究。我想举办一次属于我自己的 "攀登治愈 "活动,以此作为我的幸存者目标,并向激励过我的人致敬"。

是什么让乔保持动力? "寻找治疗方法这种疾病让我失去了太多朋友"。

乔对登山者的建议 "现在就开始训练!"