Colon Cancer: Lessons from a Loving Caregiver

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It is often experiences hitting close to home that inspire us to advocate for causes we believe in. Whether it’s a family member succumbing to an illness or passion stemming from a personal experience, as in the case of our guest, Dr. Eric Kingson. In this webcast, Dr. Kingson, who lost his wife, Joan, to a bitter battle with advanced colon cancer, joins Andrew to discuss colon cancer. Also joining the program is Katy Duggan, an advanced colon cancer survivor. These two brave individuals, join us for an intimate discussion on raising awareness for colon cancer. Their stories add perspective to the meaning of early detection and prevention.

The program begins with Dr. Kingson, a professor at Syracuse University and author of Lessons from Joan: Living and Loving with Cancer, a Husband's Story. Eric details his inspiration behind a book he hopes will raise awareness for colon cancer and offer comfort to others experiencing the loss of a loved one. In Eric’s own words, “We learned so much. We learned that living in hope was sure a heck of a lot better than living in fear and that hope changes. At first you hope for cure, then you hope for chronicity, then you hope for maybe more time.” Eric talks about how losing his wife Joan to colon cancer nearly turned his life upside down. Eric's book is an important resources for navigating treatments and overcoming obstacles in a massive healthcare system. It's these experiences that underline the importance of prevention and early detection for colon cancer. These Patient Power guests stress the need for understanding that each individual case has unique and distinct differences.

Katy Duggan, a 50-year-old nurse, was suspicious after her bowel habits changed. This suspicion led to a doctor’s visit and several days later, Katy was told she had advanced colon cancer. Fortunately, newer medicines helped Katy fight back. Although, her colon cancer was in its advanced stages, Katy was fortunate to survive an illness that at her stage of diagnosis offers a faint hope. You won't want to miss Katy’s story on how ignoring symptoms almost cost her her life.

Eric and Katy's experiences are one’s we can learn much from. Making sure you are up-to-date on all screening and preventative testing is key. This program offers more than just a story of two individuals receiving a devastating blow in the prime of their lives, but rather lessons about promoting prevention and raising awareness for those afflicted with a serious, sneaky, and untimely illness like colon cancer.

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