Help increase screening and prevention for colon & rectal cancer.


In Loving Memory: Sara Nyberg

Sara Nyberg of Rochester, MN.

We are sad to pass on the news that Sara lost her battle with cancer on November 4th, 2009 @ 10:20 p.m. Her husband left this message on Caring Bridge:

Devoted and beloved friends,

I’m so sorry to write…that our dear Sara passed away last evening at approximately 10:20 pm. She was surrounded by her two favorite men in the world, her father and me, and her best friend Howie (Nancy Fowler). We have all lost a dear friend, confidante and pillar of optimism and beauty. I don’t know where to begin, what to say or how to end so I’ll just close by writing what I’ve told Sara for the past 11 months, “Sweet dreams Lovey, everything’s gonna be alright.” I will post in the short future regarding details of Sara’s celebration of life.

My name is Sara Nyberg and I was diagnosed with Ceum (colon) Cancer during a colonoscopy in December 2008 at 39 years of age. I started a testing process to figure out why I was having abdominal and back pain with a loss of appetite in June which consisted of a ct scan without contrast dye, urinalysis, blood work, gynecological exam, fecal test, abdominal ultrasound and finally colonoscopy.

The doctor that performed the colonoscopy visited with me prior to the procedure and reassured me that he more than likely would not find anything as I was so young to have colon cancer. Shortly after the procedure my husband, David and I were taken to a small waiting room to speak with the physician. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2000, so I instantly knew something wasn’t right when we were asked to talk to a doctor immediately follow the test. The typical protocol is a follow up visit with a family doctor or a phone call. This couldn’t be good, and it wasn’t. I was told there was a mass in my cecum and that I had colon cancer. Wow, how this would shake my world would still remain to be seen.

I had an appointment with my family doctor who set up another ct scan and an appointment with a surgeon. The scan showed another mass and surgery also revealed the cancer had spread to both sides of my abdomen, including my ovaries. All visible cancer was removed, but diagnosis was grim due to the severity of metastases and the features they had.

After two months of healing I began the first of eight chemotherapy treatments. This is where I learned that chemo is not for wimps! The more treatments I had the harder the side effects and the longer recovery time.

Today I had my second CT scan since my surgery. The first one showed several soft tissue densities that needed to be followed. Today’s scan showed that these densities have grown in size and more were seen. This was very deflating to my husband and me as the aggressive chemo I was on is unusual to have cancer growths while under going treatment. Less than 10% of patients show growth. There is a study I can try and I took home the information to read and absorb.

The amazing and touching realization of my diagnosis and disease is the support I have been given by my friends, my family and my community. It really shows the power of love and positive energy that we have all around us and is there for us to draw from when needed.

I was a hairstylist for almost 20 years and my wonderful co-workers not only formed a team for us to participate in the Rochester “Get Your Rear In Gear” walk, but also have organized an open house at the salon the night before for a fundraiser to kick off the event. Times like these, as a person living with cancer, make me aware of all of the blessings that have been given to me and if I can raise awareness for prevention of this awful disease, it will be energy well spent.

Leave a Reply