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Keith’s Story

I was diagnosed on June 18, '08 with Stage 4 colon cancer with mets to the liver and lymph.  Since then, I've had 7 surgeries, 10 bouts of radiation and more than 125 rounds of chemo.  It's been quite a ride and we are still going!

We have been amazed by the love and support from our friends and family. We could not do this without you!

I hope to use my experiences to help others going through similar challenges. Please let me know how I can help.  Call or write anytime

(214) 793-0519 Cell
keith@friendfamily.net

Click 'Read Story' below for more.

I have been asked many times how all this started. I thought I would include as much as I can for those interested. I've joked before that this isn't the "Fun" type of cancer to talk about because you have to use words like Colon/>/>, Rectum, and Bowel Movement etc. Therefore, I apologize in advance for the bio references below.

Around September-October 2007, I had noticed a little bit of, what looked to me to be, blood when having a bowel movement. Now, I know what you’re thinking. "Why didn't you RUN to a doctor right away?" In hind-sight, you're right. However, during that time, your mind rationalizes things. "I just rubbed too hard. It's probably just a hemorrhoid" or something like that. I also have to add that this one and only symptom came and went. I might go weeks between seeing or noticing the blood. I finally went in for a physical around December and mentioned the blood. They gave me a take home test to perform and return. Of course, I lost the first test and had to get a new one. I finally turned that one it and it tested positive for blood. After another exam from my primary doctor, he suggested that I go see a GI specialist. Not being overly excited to have another doctor examining me in my least favorite place, it took me a few weeks to schedule that appointment.

I had my examination with Dr. Cox in Grapevine at the end of May or first of June. He did another exam and said that he did see some hemorrhoids but could not tell where the bleeding was coming from and that he would like to perform a colonoscopy to check me out. The colonoscopy was performed on June 18th. Dr. Cox discovered the tumor in addition to a couple of polyps during that exam. He removed the polyps with no trouble. The tumor was right at the point where the colon attaches to the rectum therefore I had "Colorectal Cancer". The tumor was about 8cm long (almost 3 inches) by his measurements. About 5 inches of the colon and rectum had to be removed from the surgery.

Dr. Cox estimated that this cancer could have been growing in me for as long as 5 - 7 years! This is pretty amazing. Who would have thought...? I am now the self appointed "Poster Child" for getting a colonoscopy. Had I had one back when I was 35, this would have been a simple procedure of removing a polyp and that would be it. So, to all my friends or to anyone reading this.... go schedule a colonoscopy NOW! A prostate exam will NOT cut it. I had two prostate exams before this diagnosis and they did not catch it. The colonoscopy is really no big deal. You sleep through the whole thing. It's really worth the peace of mind.

That's about it. That brings me to June 18th when I had my colonoscopy that I wrote about in my journal.

It is my hope that those reading this will be motivated to have a colonoscopy soon. It would be very gratifying to me to know that someone caught a pre-cancerous polyp via a colonoscopy that I helped encourage thereby saving that person from what I am now going through. Please prayerfully consider my suggestion and take action.

With love,

Keith

Latest Journal Update

- Where do I start?

Wow. It's been 4 weeks since any update. I guess that means this will be a little bit long.


When I last posted, I remarked on my CEA numbers. Well, they are still on the rise and I was taking a chemo drug called Zaltrap (aka "Evil Zaltrap". We started out pretty good managing the evil side effects of this drug but it too stopped working for my benefit. More on that in a minute.


While on the Evil Zaltrap, the problem in my throat got much worse. I developed a large ulser in the area that was causing problems and this makes it even harder to eat or drink.


The evil Zaltrap started messing with my colon again. (Sorry, this is colon cancer and there is lots of talk about Poo and Rectums and stuff.) Things got so bad that Lori and I went to the ER Wednesday night and I was admitted. I'm still there now.


My bowels got so backed up that now my stomach has food in it that it can't move into the bowels. The net result of that is that I had not gone to the bathroom in more than a week and I have not been able to eat in almost a week.


So, in the hospital, I have had all sorts of measures taken to try to "Clean me out" and I'm very to report that those measures are starting to work. I still can't eat or drink but am getting all my needed "food" via IV. I'm dying for a burger right now!!!


So, I'll be watching the OU/TCU game from my hospital room. That's kind of the short version of what all has been going on. The truth is that there is WAY more to talk about but this is a good start.


I'll try to be a little more frequent with my updates.


Take care and God bless,


Keith
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Comments

21 Comments

Nancy Legault
By Nancy Legault
You are such an inspiration to me & so many!! Prayers for you & your family daily.
Mike Dorn
By Mike Dorn
Wow... brother... I've also been having problems down there, although yours seem much more serious than mine. I just had another (4th in 4 years now) colonoscopy this past Tuesday because of some rectal bleeding. I'm glad to hear things are moving again for you. If you are bored, give me a call. Praying for you and the fam. God bless. -Mike
Pam Grissom
By Pam Grissom
Praying for you Keith!!!
Ann Thompson
By Jay and Ann Thompson
Well, this just brought back the memory of the hilarious scene from the "Nutty Professor". You know the one at the dinner table where Papa declared ending a good "colon cleansing"!

Prayers for your cleansing today and felling better soon!
Lyn Kelly
By
I am holding you continually in my prayers. I am sorry about all the problems and would be more than happy to bring you a burger!

God Bless.
Patti Fitch
By
Go Keith Go ... literally ! ;-) sending prayers ... your continued strength and faithfulness inspire... God be with you and Lori ..
neal craig
By neal craig — last edited
Good to hear from you Keith! Hoping you get some relief soon!-plumbing and poop jokes abound. :)
Lynda Schraub
By Lynda Schraub
Can't think of a better time to poop than during an OU game. Go Horns! LOL Have missed hearing from you.
Gene Boren
By
Keith, if I can do anything to help, let me know. You are in out thoughts always Ole Papa
sharon russell
By
Thank you Keith for posting. When we don't hear from you we get worried even more. I know you don't feel good and thanks again for letting us know. Lots of prayers coming your way constantly. Love you guy.