NAME: Diane Bowen
TYPE OF CANCER: Colon
DATE OF DIANOSIS: 2017
- WHAT MADE YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR TO DETERMINE YOUR DIAGNOSIS?
I was nurse for 40 years, I always said, “If it is not broken, then don’t fix it”, with that being said I ended up in the hospital and with an Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib), and I was placed on medication. That certain medication caused me to bleed excessively, and my doctor told me that I needed to have a colonoscopy to see exactly what was going on. I went to Dr. Barrett at the Carillion in Rocky Mount, and she was wonderful! That was my first colonoscopy, and she found one spot on the left side of my colon. She showed it to me, and it looked like a peony bloom. She then sent me to Duke for a second colonoscopy. That doctor found another spot on the right side of my colon. After that, the doctors on my care team decided to take out all of my large intestines, but leave just enough to resection it, so I wouldn’t have to have a colostomy bag or anything.
- HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU WERE DIAGNOSED?
It was devastating. No one in my family had been diagnosed with colon cancer, but I honestly did not know what I was going to do, how I was going to handle it, but I am a survivor.
- WHAT/WHO DID YOU TURN TO AS YOU WERE GOING THROUGH TREATMENTS?
Family, friends, mainly my daughter and granddaughter. They both have been a big help to me, as well as a couple of friends.
- AS A CLIENT OF DPC, HOW DID WE ASSIST YOU?
DPC assisted me by letting me simply talk and help financially. I was never aware of the organization until I had cancer. Y’all are a great organization… there’s a lot of people who do not have anyone and y’all are there for them. It is an expensive ordeal. You want the best of care and you want what is best for you as an individual, and y’all were able to assist me with travel reimbursement.
- DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE OR WORDS OF WISDOM TO SOMEONE WHO IS NEWLY DIAGNOSED?
Don’t give up, keep pushing, keep trying. It’s hard not to feel sorry for yourself. You want to know if you’re going to live longer or die, but if you keep a positive attitude and have your faith and trust in God, He’ll bring you through it.
- WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE NOW?
My diagnosis has made me take better care of myself, such as annual checkups. Being a nurse, I have always taken care of others before myself. Everyone needs to take care of themselves and keep up with the things that are important.