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 »
  • Sharifah Furson

    Sharifah Furson

    Colon Cancer

    For over nine months, Sharifah Furson, a registered nurse, experienced bloating, pain while using the bathroom and abdominal discomfort.  When she noticed blood in her stool, she immediately went to her doctor. “I thought my symptoms were caused by stress or my diet but when I saw blood I knew to seek medical attention,” she says.

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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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  • Janet Meyer

    Janet Meyer

    Colon Cancer

    Early symptoms of cancer are often misinterpreted as digestive issues, intolerance of foods, like dairy or gluten, or stress. As a working mother, Janet Meyer looks back and recognizes there were small signs along the way: not feeling quite right, fatigue and constipation, but it was not until intense stomach pain one night accompanied by other symptoms that led her see a doctor. “The symptoms were never severe until that one night,” Janet recalls.

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