CRUSH 2018

Team Tarhole Dookies

Join my team in helping to CRUSH Colorectal Cancer, one step at a time!

Duke is hosting the 5th Annual CRUSH Colorectal Cancer 5K Run/Walk on March 24, 2018. The CRUSH 5K marks almost exactly one year since my diagnosis, March 23, 2017, so I guess I have good reason to celebrate.

Please consider joining my team, Team Tarhole Dookies, or another worthy cancer cause. The most important thing we can all do is to just be a friend to someone directly/indirectly battling the disease. If the treatment phase isn’t challenging enough, patients continue to deal with lingering physical side effects as well as the on-going worry that it might come back. 

Gastro-Intestinal (GI) cancer is a term for the group of cancers that affect the digestive system. This includes cancers of the oesophagus, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, bowel (large intestine or colon and rectum). Colorectal cancer, which includes both colon and rectal cancers, is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States and the second leading cause in men, according to the American Cancer Society. 

Unfortunately colorectal cancer diagnoses are on the rise among younger adults, and no one knows definitively why. Since routine screening is generally not recommended for most adults under 50, the cancers found in younger adults are often in advanced stages and more deadly. Immunotherapies are starting to help change the outlook for patients with colorectal cancer, but unfortunately not as quickly as with other cancer types. More research is needed.

When I was diagnosed with early stage 3, I was initially pretty worried ... my life briefly flashed before me. Still see myself as young and invincible. If god forbid you or your family has to go through this, it’s not the end of the world ... every case and each person’s response will be different, but good treatment options exist. In my case, both radiation and chemo went better than I expected.  I don’t look at 2017 as a lost year. Maybe it’s been one of the most rewarding as I have a new outlook on life.

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