Help increase awareness and screening of colon cancer.

Donate
952.378.1237

Faces of Blue: George Stilphen

By March 29, 2016Faces of Blue
image1

It seems like just the other day. On December 1, 2014, it seemed like my world was coming to an end. On that day, I was diagnosed with colon cancer after a colonoscopy showed a malignant tumor in the sigmoid section of the colon. I felt numb, angry and confused. Earlier, when I had begun to exhibit signs that something was wrong, I prayed to God that it not be cancer. At that moment I thought God had abandoned me. In fact, though, nothing could have been further from the truth.George Stillpen- Faces of Blue | coloncancercoalition.org

How could I have cancer? Well, at the time, I was 57 years old and I had kept delaying my first colonoscopy. That could have prevented this from ever happening. I am now the biggest advocate for getting a colonoscopy at age 50 or earlier. Don’t wait!

After my tumor was detected, I had surgery a week later where they found that it was in fact stage III colon cancer having spread to four lymph nodes. They removed about a foot of the colon and 21 lymph nodes. My oncologist warned that without chemotherapy treatments, I had less than a 50% chance of survival. With treatments, my chance would increase to 70+%. I, of course, wanted 100%.

I started treatments right away. I was NOT going to let this get me down. I remained upbeat and positive. I put my life in God’s hands and never looked back. I had hundreds of people praying for me. I had tremendous support from my church family and that made a world of difference. They even made me a chemo quilt with notes and prayers on it from many friends at the church. It kept me warm during treatments. I posted my health status on Facebook on a regular basis and had hundreds of people praying for me there. I handled the treatments fairly well and rarely got sick and didn’t lose my hair. After 12 rounds of chemo and other tests, I was finally declared cancer free, a survivor! Thank God!George Stillpen- Faces of Blue | coloncancercoalition.org

What made the difference for me? Catching it just in the nick of time of course made a difference. However, what worked for me was having a very positive attitude. I was not going to let it get me down. Also, going back to work as early as possible while I was going through treatments helped. I also had excellent top-notch doctors and nurses! But, what really made a difference for me were the many, many people praying for me and providing support in so many ways. That’s what got me through this journey! You can do it too!

Return to Faces of Blue

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Susan Rodger says:

    George, I love that we both wear Superman (for me Supergirl) clothes in our pics. The Super blue is the same royal blue as my colon cancer ribbon that I have hanging next to my name plate outside my door. Plus, being 41 and was stage IV-A, I was not going to let this kryptonite kill me or destroy me. I, too, know the love and support and many prayers of my family, friends, co-workers and legal community that I work in and it helped keep me strong.

    • George Stilphen says:

      Hang in there!!! The power of prayer and a positive attitude makes a world of difference. Where are you now?

      • Susan Rodger says:

        I have to do another six months of low dose chemo (the maintenance medication). Scan scheduled for sometime in April. I’ve been back to the gym working on some strength training exercises and continue to also dance once or twice a week. And agree that attitude is everything!

Leave a Reply