In March 2022 I went in for a colonoscopy. I went in thinking that this was just a diagnostic test, but I knew something was wrong when the physician was there when I woke up. He let me know that I had a cancerous tumor in the low rectal area. Stage two colorectal cancer. You know in a moment that your whole world has just changed. My wife was with me when we got the news and we were both pretty stunned. We really didn’t know how far the cancer had progressed or what we were facing. It was really hard and took a heavy emotional toll as both my parents had also passed away from cancer.
We were just coming out of the pandemic, so things took a little longer than expected. My treatment involved long course radiation and chemo, and then I had surgery. I started the second course of chemo about seven or eight weeks after my surgery and I had a few complications. I had a blood clot followed by a systemic infection at the end of my treatment, and then after that COVID finally got me.
Probably the biggest fear for me during this time was for my family… I have a wonderful wife and two grown children…I’m biased, but they’re a great bunch and they had to sit on the sidelines and watch me go through all of this.
I realized that cancer had impacted almost every aspect of my life. I knew I needed support managing my treatment side effects and came to InspireHealth after a referral for nutrition support. The experience I have had here has been lifechanging. InspireHealth’s philosophy, their approach, their advice, and the people that I’ve met really fit well with how I was trying to approach my encounter with cancer…as a whole person, on every level. InspireHealth has wonderful, positive, knowledgeable staff that really help you work your way through this journey, physically and emotionally. To be able to encounter free, comprehensive supportive care resources in one place has been remarkable.
The counselling services have been invaluable to both me and my wife, the exercise physiologist I saw was so helpful and it was wonderful working with the dietitians. I went on to do a number of group programs. Working together with another group of cancer patients, people at various stages in their cancer, people with various perspectives and outlooks, was really invaluable.
I don’t yet know how I’m going to be on the other side of all of this….I’m only six months out of treatment. But when you get a cancer diagnosis or you’re worried about dealing with cancer you need to look after your mind, you need to look after your body, you have to look after your spiritual life.
I would really encourage people to support InspireHealth because the work they do is invaluable. Everybody here is honestly interested in you and in helping you find out how to move forward through your cancer. We should have more of this for all cancer patients.
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