My name is Curtis Blair, and I was 53 when I was diagnosed with stage II colon cancer. I guess the symptoms of my colon cancer were early 2019. I was extremely tired all the time and my stool was a little irregular, but I didn’t have any extreme symptoms like bloody stools or abdominal pain. This went on for about a year before my primary care physician suggested that I go see an oncologist.
My oncologist had me try two iron infusions, thinking that I was losing blood somewhere and that’s what was making me tired. The iron infusions didn’t help, so I went and had a colonoscopy and they found a cancerous tumor the size of a tennis ball size in a colon. The surgeon removed the right side of my colon and 27 lymph nodes and I woke up with a colostomy. He got all cancer and I didn’t have to do chemotherapy or radiation, but I did spend 19 days in the hospital after the original surgery.
Two days after the surgery, the doctor found a leak in my colon that was leaking into my stomach. I went into septic shock, got pneumonia, and was on a ventilator for three days. The surgeon said I almost died so I am very grateful I am still around. I still have a colostomy bag but that will be removed when the surgeon reconnects my colon in January.
I share my journey with others because I want to let people know that it’s not worth putting off your colonoscopy. A colonoscopy may save your life. At my work when I hear somebody says they have a colonoscopy coming up I tell them just get it checked because all we want them to find is nothing or polyps because those cancerous tumors are no joke. Get screened and don’t put it off, it may save your life!