My name is Buddy Holson and I am a husband and father to two sons, now 14 and 7. I am also a stage IV colon cancer survivor. Before my diagnosis at 62, I had never had a routine colonoscopy. I have no excuses for being 12 years past due for my colonoscopy, except that I had always been healthy so I didn’t feel I had a reason to go.
In 2018, I had been experiencing problems with what my primary care physician felt was constipation. He referred me to a gastroenterologist. On May 31, 2018, I had a colonoscopy and that day changed our lives. We were stunned to hear that I had cancer, but our doctor took charge. That afternoon I had a CT scan, two days later an MRI, and a day after that, an appointment with the surgeon. A biopsy exactly one week after my colonoscopy confirmed my stage IV diagnosis.
Our gastroenterologist set the treatment ball rolling. All we had to do was show up (which is about all we could wrap our heads around to do). It was a comfort to know we were guided and not just left to figure it out on our own. I say “we” and “our” a lot because cancer affects the whole family. It didn’t affect just me, but my wife and my young sons as well.
I am still here 2½ years later. I have endured surgeries and chemo. I was in remission for nine months when I learned I relapsed and had developed another tumor in my liver. I had half of my liver removed. Seven months after that surgery, in June 2020 with three more tumor were found on my tumors. Those have been treated but I still have stage IV colon cancer.
It has become important to me to share my story, especially with those around the age of 45-50. I have been able to convince quite a few to have a colonoscopy. It is amazing to us that a product like Cologuard® exists now. For people at low risk of developing colon cancer, this is an amazing diagnostic tool! People hear about the colonoscopy prep and are immediately turned off, thinking that if they do not have symptoms, then there is no reason to get one. However, the Cologuard process does not involve flushing out your bowels, which makes screening a very simple process.
Finding out you have cancer is a tough thing to deal with. If we can keep one family from having to go through what we have, then we will share our story far and wide.
And as far as Team Holson goes, we will “Keep Pounding”!