Help increase screening and prevention for colon & rectal cancer.


Faces of Blue: Heather McKelvey

By September 11, 2012Faces of Blue

FOB-HeatherMcKelveyI am the mother of three amazing children. They are my world. This year marks my 25th year as an RN. I am currently the Health Promotion Manager at a rural critical access hospital taking care of both employee health and community health. I love my job!

This was a scary experience. I had no symptoms. I went for my first screening colonoscopy early due to family history and recommendation by doctor.

The worst part was the unknown during the time period between my colonoscopy (he told me something was wrong, but didn’t know for sure if it was cancer) and being told my diagnosis. This was a true case of “in the nick of time”. My cancer was stage 1 and 1mm away from the lining of my colon in the large polyp they found. It was only four days, but I relived my mother’s story over and over during that weekend of waiting.

My mother was diagnosed with Stage 3 colorectal cancer at age 57 and died of mets at age 59. She died a painful horrible death and I worried that would happen to me too. This was my first surgery and I didn’t enjoy having an abdominal surgery for my first one, but am SO thankful to be okay now. I am a day away from six months out from surgery today!

This experience made me even more thankful for each day and everyone I have and know. It also raised awareness locally and employees have been getting screening colonoscopies done.

I take two Metamucil capsules daily. This is a lifesaver. First part of recovery was a bit rough. Bowel regulation early on was difficult. I also had abdominal discomfort with the right size jeans. I wear a size or two bigger now for comfort.

I would advise others to have faith in God and pray.

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