In March 2010, my husband Eric and I joined other grassroots advocates from around the country. We participated in Fight CRC’s Call on Congress in Washington DC, where we met in the offices of our respective representatives. Our mission was to garner their support and recognition for the need to facilitate through the passage of legislation and increased funding; better research, awareness and education while making screening and treatment more accessible for those in need. Additionally, a subsequent Fight CRC's Congressional Butt-Inn was also effective when our awesome friends and family helped New Jersey produce the most phone calls in the Nation to urge support for colorectal screening coverage by simply making a scripted phone call to the office of our Congressman. YOU ROCK!!!!!!! Our voices impacted Senators and Congressmen, which helped facilitate that important change!!! Insurances now must cover the cost of a colonoscopy!!! What a POSITIVE stride because our voices were heard!!
Our 3nd Annual Co-Ed Softball Tournament, held in November 2011 was a HIT!!!! So far to date we have raised over $35,000 for colorectal cancer treatment and awareness!!!!!!:):) Thank you so much to each and every one of you who participated and contributed to the success of this fundraiser!!! It is my hope this type of fundraiser will soon spread around the country and earn recognition and empowerment equal to that of Breast cancer advocacy. FYI… when the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program was enacted in the mid- 80’s, the screening rate for breast cancer was around 29%. Today, that rate is close to 80%! It’s time we made the same headway in the fight against colorectal cancer and enacted a national screening and treatment program for colorectal cancer, the #2 cancer killer.
I am BLESSED and HONORED to have your support and find words difficult to express my gratitude.
The following is my story:
Hi, I'm Rose Hausmann from Sayreville NJ. In November 05' at age 42, I went to the hospital after experiencing constipation for a couple weeks -the pain it finally caused was EXCRUCIATING! The doctor sent me home with assurance I was only constipated. I was told to double the amount of enemas I'd been taking. When that proved futile and the excruciating pain persisted, I returned to the Emergency Room doubled over in pain. After an X-Ray (of all things), I was reassured by yet another Doctor, that I was only constipated. Know that I complained of excruciating pain and having no bowel movement in two weeks. My husband and I were not aware that my situation should have prompted a CT scan or colonoscopy!! But what did we know at that time? ! After continual pain and no relief I called my Dr.'s office and explained my situation, they told me he had no room in his schedule. In desperation and with tears in my eyes from the relentless pain, I drove to his office. The receptionist agreed to call a GI Dr. when I begged for someone to look through my body. A subsequent colonoscopy revealed a cancerous tumor, which blocked my colon.
I was diagnosed with Stage III Colon Cancer. After a colon resection and 6 months of chemotherapy, there was no evidence of disease. Nine months later I had a metastasis in my ovaries followed by more surgery and 6 more months of chemotherapy. Now stage IV, all was well for almost 2 years. That was until I experienced another recurrence in July 2009 in my cervix and pelvis. After surgery I was informed the cancer had an excellent chance of recurring and chemo will not cure it. Because of the unusual spread of the colon cancer to my female organs, I received radiation in hopes it would respond to it, as do some female related cancers. I completed my treatments in Dec. 09 and remained hopeful!! Unfortunately, blood tests, CT and PET scans as well as an MRI indicated the cancer spread again near the last spot and I underwent surgery on 10-8-10 to remove the tumor. Although hopeful that it could be removed and knowing I would need to live with a colostomy and urostomy, I prepared myself and was anxious to endure the seven hour life saving surgery. Sadly, as it turned out, the surgeon found three lesions not picked up by any tests. He removed them but had to leave in the original tumor which he informed me has a 100% chance of spreading. I was also informed it was a quality of life issue. I am now truly living on a prayer!! In November 2010, I began a chemotherapy “cocktail” I had been given a couple years ago…the hope is that it may work for me this time. My Oncologist has recently given me some encouraging news that my blood tests indicate this chemo may again be keeping the tumor at bay. I continue to hold on to hope!
Obviously there is a need to educate people to include doctors about the seriousness of this # 2 cancer killer and the need to get screened for it before it’s too late. Also, because was very active, working out and running 5 miles per day at the time of diagnosis, I want people to know, this cancer does not discriminate against those who pride themselves to be fit.
I am blessed to still be here approximately 5 years after my initial diagnosis due to the wonderful support from doctors and treatments that have carried me this far; not to mention my loving friends and family that propel me through each day. As long as God allows, I want to be a voice for those affected by this devastating disease.
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