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Faces of Blue: Kathy McGill-Wadham

By May 6, 2020Faces of Blue
kathy mcgill wadham chemo

Kathy McGill-Wadham is a mom and wife from Asheville, NC. She was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer at the age of 50. Here is her story in her own words.

I knew something was wrong for quite some time. Being the main source of income for my family, my husband disabled and a 15-year-old daughter, I needed to work. I needed the money, so I kept putting off my colonoscopy. When I started feeling worse and seeing more signs, I finally went to my primary care physician and told him I would make time for the procedure.

I was scared because I knew something was wrong. With a history of polyps (my father) I thought well maybe that is what it is, just some polyps. Then the procedure happened. Just looking at the doctor’s face I knew it was not good. Then he proceeded to tell me they found a large tumor in my rectum and several smaller polyps throughout my colon. I just started to cry. Especially when he told me he would be referring me to a surgeon to do a colon resection to remove the tumor and an oncologist for my continuing care. The worst day of my life.

The beginning of the fight for my life had begun. Surgery, out for ten weeks, then twelve rounds of chemo and six weeks of radiation every day. How was I going to make it? How would I support my family? The torture began.

I have been NED for two years. I still have some complications from chemo, dealing with bad neuropathy in my feet and hands and dealing with digestive issues. I had to have my gallbladder removed a year out from chemo. I struggled with major depression. It seems like since going through cancer I have lost my confidence in myself. I also have lots of anxiety.

The cancer center where I went for treatment did not address the depression and anxiety that cancer brings. I still struggle with that.

I am a survivor. My family helps as much as they can. I have my child and my husband, my sister and brother. My close friends, and my work family helps me get through.

Get your rear into the doctor and take action for your health. Get in gear to fight or to help others that you meet to fight and support yourself and others in the battle for your life!


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