Colon Cancer Patient Stories

  • Mary Carr

    Colon It sounds like something out of a movie. Although she was under twilight anesthesia, Mary Carr could hear the doctors talking during her colonoscopy in May 2011. "I couldn't feel anything but I heard them talking about the Phillies," Mary recalled. "All of a sudden I hear one of them say, 'There's something there, I can’t go any further.' The other one said, ‘Is it cancer? What range is she? Two to four.' I heard everything. When they wheeled me out, I said to the nurse, 'So I have colon cancer?'" Read more »
  • Joe Herceg

    Joe Herceg

    Colon Cancer

    Although he turned 72 in 2007, Joe Herceg had never had a colonoscopy. That year, the retired limo driver was seeing a dermatologist for a chronic case of dermatitis. Joe was put on a regimen of the drug methotrexate to suppress the condition. Because it’s a drug that can affect the liver, Joe’s blood was tested during the treatment. “After the third visit, the doctor says to me, ‘I think you have cancer.’ So I went to my doctor, who said I should have a colonoscopy.”

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  • Connie Jackley

    Connie Jackley

    In 1995, Connie and Michael Jackley experienced life's greatest pain as they lost their only child, Rachel, 21, to cancer. Several years later, when Connie was diagnosed with cancer herself, she did not have the desire to fight. Thankfully, Dr. James Watson, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, entered the picture and inspired her to keep fighting when she felt like she had nothing left to give. He performed multiple surgeries on Connie over the years to keep her alive and well. Connie now considers Dr. Watson a friend.

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  • Maryanne Kipe

    Maryanne Kipe

    Colon Cancer

    The Hatboro-Horsham School District staff are like family to Maryanne Kipe and her husband, Craig. Since 1990, Maryanne has managed the front office at the busy Simmons Elementary School while Craig teaches math at the high school. And just like a real family will encourage you to be on top of your healthcare, Karen Kanter, the principal at Simmons, watched Maryanne like a sister. “When Maryanne turned 50 in 2010, I encouraged her to schedule a colonoscopy,” recalled Karen, who admitted Maryanne was reluctant. Finally, in the summer of 2012, Karen jokingly said she couldn’t leave for the day until she made the appointment. That appointment – and Karen’s persistence – may have saved Maryanne’s life.

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  • Deborah Lech Bowker

    Deborah Lech


    Debbie Lech had always considered herself healthy. She ate well and stayed active, and at 51 was enjoying newly married life with her second husband Claus. But following surgery a few years earlier for pelvic organ prolapse and unbeknownst to her, the surgical repair created a fistula that was slowly becoming infected. (A fistula is an abnormal connection or passageway between two epithelium-lined organs or vessels that normally do not connect.) “I had some spotting which was concerning since I had already undergone a hysterectomy, ” recalled Debbie. "My doctor suspected I had a vaginal infection, but we later learned, it was something more."

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