Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments (1)

Beating Colon Cancer: One Woman’s Journey

A few months ago I wrote about my dear friend who was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer just after having her first baby. Her optimism and positive focus was inspirational to me, and I marveled at her ability to live life unencumbered by prognosis.

Today I am happy to report that she has completed her 7th round of chemotherapy (with avastin, oxaliplatin, 5FU, and leukovorin) and her liver tumors have already shrunk by two-thirds. She is bothered by neuropathy (burning sensations in her hands and feet – a known side effect of this drug regimen) and has lost the ability to taste food fully, but otherwise she is maintaining her weight and her blood counts are good. She told me that her plan is to complete 12 rounds of chemo and then meet with a liver surgeon to consider surgical removal of the remaining tumors. Miraculously, her doctors believe that she may be a candidate for liver resection and eventual cure.

This couldn’t be any better news and I am so pleased to be able to celebrate my friend’s success. I have learned a great deal myself about the journey, and about how many people are willing to reach out and help those who are struggling. As for my friend, she has greatly benefited from:

1. CarePages – an online gathering place where friends and family can find out the latest news about her progress, and leave well wishes and virtual gifts. CarePages is part of the Revolution Health family.

2. The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) – this wonderful non-profit organization linked my friend up with a mentor who has been through a similar treatment regimen and diagnosis and can speak to her about what to expect. The CEO of CCA has even taken time out of his busy schedule to make sure that my friend gets the best support available and has put her in touch with top liver surgeons.

3. Dr. Lenz’s Colon Cancer Blog – Dr. Lenz is a leading medical oncologist and Co-director of both the Colorectal Center and the Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Program at USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles. He also prepares 3 fresh blog posts per week here at Revolution Health, to make sure that cancer patients have access to the latest research and information about colon cancer.

With incredible advances in evidence-based cancer therapies and these terrific online resources, colon cancer patients have a brighter future than ever before. I’m so pleased that my friend is doing well, and I’m grateful for the many people and organizations that have touched her life. Expect another update on her progress in March!This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

You may also like these posts

Read comments »

One Response to “Beating Colon Cancer: One Woman’s Journey”

  1. rlbates says:

    Dr Val, so glad to it!  Hope it continues well for your friend.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »