Susan's Story: Screening Works

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"I live in NJ.  I have been blessed with having good insurance and doctors who supported my desire to get a colonoscopy before the recommended age 50.  I wanted this done even though I have no verified family history (a great great grandma had some issue that required a colostomy bag but that’s it).   So at age 47, they removed 6 polyps, 2 biggish.  No cancer in them.  I went back this year, and had another 3 removed. No cancer in them.  My doctor said (and I quote), “If we hadn’t taken these out, you would definitely have had cancer in 5 years”.  Very sobering thought.

"My parents don’t have polyps when they get their colonoscopies. I exercise, eat right, am not overweight, don’t smoke.   I am after my brother, who lives in WY, to get a colonoscopy – he is younger than I am and even more fit.  However, he does not have the insurance I have.   I have directed him to see about getting a free colonoscopy.  I keep after him to do this so hopefully, he will follow through.

That’s my story."

-- Susan Murray, New Jersey

Laura's story: I'm forming a support group

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We never know the turns our life will take or where our journey will lead us….but one thing I know for sure…EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. My name is Laura Lagerstrom. I am a wife, a mother of four children, a friend to many, a nurse, a yoga teacher and so the list could go on. Never did I expect colon cancer survivor to be on that list. But it is and I am.

My roller coaster ride with colon cancer began in April, 2011 (Stage llla). It started with an emergency surgery, a surprise diagnosis post-op, six months of chemo and the journey continues with a myriad of residual effects, both physical and emotional. Never a ride I expected to take (not to mention drag my family along with me). With the love, kindness and support of my family, friends and many people who I thought were strangers (but turned out to be anything but), I am here today.

It was a wakeup call. And now it is my time to give back. I hope through the Colon Cancer Prevention Project's Colon Cancer Support Group, we can come together with a purpose to learn, share and support each other. By allowing time and space to discover new resources that may enhance our quality of life, give and receive support from others with similar stories, and potentially learn new strategies to cope with the limits we’ve got, we can affect positive and meaningful changes in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

Our first meeting is Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at Panera Bread 6221 Dutchman’s Lane, Louisville, KY 40205. Please come with topics you’d like addressed in future meetings. Hope to see you there!

Laura

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