John Peter Bain
My husband, John Bain was 29 years old when he was informed that he had colorectal cancer.
The year was 2014, and John exhibited few of the symptoms, leading his physicians to believe he had irritable bowel syndrome, commonly referred to as IBS. It would be a month or more before he was offered a referral for a colonoscopy, which isn’t routinely given to men until age 50. Having had more than one grandparent who also suffered from colorectal cancer, the routine colonoscopy for John would have been given 10 years prior to his youngest relative’s age upon developing the condition; age 50.
It would be more than 3 months from an “IBS” diagnosis to the removal of a potentially cancerous mass from John’s body. He followed up with radiation and chemotherapy as directed for many months and underwent several surgeries to obtain the clean bill of health issued to him in April of 2015; a year from when his original battle had started. However, in October of that same year, John was given a new diagnosis : Stage IV colorectal cancer with metastasis to the liver.
While John was given the bleak prognosis and timeline for patients with Stage IV colon cancer, he channeled his energy into being an advocate for others with the disease. Reaching out to his millions of followers on various social media platforms, John implored that every one be vigilant as you are #NeverTooYoung to be affected by colon cancer.
John’s battle with cancer lasted over 4 years. He experienced 150+ days of various IV chemotherapies, weeks of radiation, and multiple surgeries. Sadly, nothing could compete with the repeated torture of having his expectations raised and shattered by several of the country’s leading specialists and institutions.
John’s life and the lives of others could have been spared had there been more information available; targeted towards those who — until recently — believed that colon cancer was a condition that only affected the elderly. Colon cancer is often stated to be one of the most treatable forms of cancer in the body. I believe that statement to be true, but only if we promote education on early symptoms, push for better screening practices, and advocate to eliminate the stigma surrounding colorectal conditions.