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Countdown to National Cancer Survivor’s Day

On social: Share how you plan to celebrate cancer survivors. Use #Survivors4ACS. Visit Take Back Your Day to see how others are celebrating survivorship!
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**The following post is a part of our blog series that we will do each month as a part of our cancer observance mission information.  These courageous cancer survivors are sharing their story…..the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly.  But the great news, thanks to the work of the American Cancer Society, they are with us today and we hope these stories provide inspiration to all who read them. 

By Lori Kuhuski
Voice of Hope, Tennessee

My journey began on a crisp January morning just after returning from my honeymoon .  Going to the Doctor was not supposed to result in a trip to a specialist that tells you,
”You have Cancer”.

And every sentence after that seemed worse.

  1. There is no treatment protocol at this time beyond surgery.
  2. It is Stage III.
  3. You will have a permanent Colostomy.

There was a 4th Item my Surgeon chose not to share with me on that fateful day until months later.   I had a 5 percent chance of surviving 6 months. I knew from hearing those 3 words “You Have Cancer” that I absolutely would give this fight everything I had. I had 2 young children to whom I had given my solemn promise I would survive and I had every intention of doing that. I had so much for which to be thankful. I had just married a wonderful man, I had a great job and 2 beautiful children. Life was good and I had no intention of allowing Cancer to interfere with my plans. I knew I would arm myself with as much education about my situation as I could, gather my strength from my family, faith and my own internal hope and go one day at a time.

Thanks to the American Cancer Society I was able to attend a special support group that specialized in patients that had colostomies although I was the youngest, that
experience allowed me to regain my self-worth and go forward in my career and my marriage with confidence and dignity. When I became involved in Relay for Life I knew I
was truly making a difference in the world. I was providing hope to people on an individual basis in my home Relay For Life but was also creating more birthdays and
saving more lives every day throughout the world by the research being done by The American Cancer Society. Today I know I am saving hundreds of lives a day and will continue to be involved in Relay For Life until we can all know a world without cancer.

In 2016 after 26 years of surviving stage III colon cancer I had to hear those 3 words again, when my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer as a result of a routine screening, encouraged by the American Cancer Society that stressed the importance of screenings for early detection of colon cancer, and I took on a new role as caregiver.

 

Both my husband and I are cancer free.

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