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Faces of Blue: Cathy Hanson

_CathyHanson4IMG_0146When I was 23-years-old I was very ill and did not think I was. While my 2-year-old son and I were visiting my parents they noticed my extreme weight loss and that my skin was turning gray. We knew that I was anemic since about the age of 13-14. My mom took me to the hospital and the doctor looked at me and didn’t hesitate to tell me to go home, pack a bag, and go to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas.

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I saw my former doctor and she ordered a colonoscopy first thing in the morning. I was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent a risky surgery. The specialist who did my surgery told my parents that he didn’t know how I was still alive and that I should’ve already passed. I was in ICU for a few days and in the hospital for a few weeks. I had an ostomy bag and did chemo treatments for a year. I did not lose my hair but I do suffer from other side effects to this day. My cancer could have been caught earlier BUT none of the doctors would perform a colonoscopy on me every time my mom requested one because of my AGE!! I was TOO YOUNG!! I can only imagine how much pain and suffering that I, along with my family, would not have gone through if the doctors had done one before I was 23.

Cathy with her family.

Cathy with her family.

For the past 10 years I have been going to routine checkups with my specialist at Wichita Surgical Specialists and continuously have pre-cancerous polyps removed to reduce the risk of my cancer returning. The same polyps that produced my colon cancer are also found in my stomach so I also have a specialist who does stomach procedures to remove the polyps. I saw a third specialist who told my husband and I that it is not if, it is when, that I will have to have a surgery to remove part of my stomach, part of my liver, and part of my pancreas due to polyps. My cancer was formed due to a mutation in my genes that still is a mystery of sorts to my specialist.

My husband, my parents, and I are beyond thankful and blessed for having my specialist who saved my life and continues to keep me cancer free to live my life and watch our kids grow up!

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Shannon says:

    Stay strong and positive. You have come this far you can go so much further. 🙂 it’s a hard journey but for those who know what you have gone through and those who love you … know that you do not take this journey alone. Many surround you and walk with you and sometimes carry you. Each day is a blessing. My best to you Shannon

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