Colon cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in the United States. In 2018 the American Cancer Society estimates that over 50,000 people will lose their battle with colon cancer. This year, my grandmother Anne was one of them.
My grandmother passed two months before her 91st birthday. In the 25 years I was honored to have known her we shared many memories I will cherish forever. My grandmother was extremely caring and valued her family more than anything. She was loyal and fiercely strong. Aside from her loving spirit, she was also known for her quick wit and ability to say pretty much anything that was on her mind, and always kept us laughing because of it!
My grandma was first diagnosed with colon cancer in the early 2000s. It was localized and quickly removed, not requiring any further treatment, like chemotherapy. Over 16 years passed, and my grandmothers cancer came back and metastasized to her liver, the lymph nodes next to her lungs and eventually her lungs. At 90 years old my grandmother still opted to take chemotherapy pills because she was strong and wanted to fight no matter what. The pills caused her to wind up in the hospital for close to a month this past fall, where her muscles atrophied and she was unconscious for a week. We thought we were going to lose her when one day she just woke up like none of this ever happened. My grandma then entered a rehabilitation center to strengthen her muscles so she could return home. She spent months working so hard to be able to lean forward, feed herself, and of course to walk again. This past December she accomplished her goal of being able to walk again! She was the picture of strength. A few weeks later her right lung filled with fluid and we found out that the cancer spread to it. We lost her a week later.
The point of me doing this is that I saw over and over again how angry my grandmother was with her situation. She repeatedly told me that had she of known she was supposed to go back for routine colonoscopies she would have and then none of this would have happened. I want to fundraise because I need to know that there is some way to help prevent what happened to my grandmother from happening to another person.