One year ago my father-in-law, Dave, was admitted to the hospital for rapidly declining health. He was never the type to go out of his way to see a doctor and he had hit the point where he could no longer keep food down.
He had previously battled throat cancer in 2018, and our family knew that something wasn’t right. By May 3rd, we had confirmation that it was cancer again. By mid-May, stage IV colorectal cancer was diagnosed and it just so happened that a friend of a friend posted on her Instagram one of her rides for the 2022 Tour de Tush that caught my attention.
I donated to her campaign and I mentally committed then to riding for 2023. Dave’s battle was fast, furious and nearly unbearable to watch. So many medical professionals, friends and family that have knowledge or personal experience with colorectal cancer have told me that it’s one of the most preventable and treatable cancers. While I know they meant well, it hurt so much to hear.
If only Dave had said something, asked a question, not felt shame or whatever it was that kept him hiding it so long. Most people just don’t or won’t talk about it because it’s too taboo in our culture. Especially now that it’s hitting younger and younger, educating the public and making sure people know what to look for is such a major factor in fighting this disease.
The Colon Cancer Coalition dedicating the funds raised to researching the cause in younger populations has ALL of my support. My biggest why now is my husband and my two young boys who are at a higher risk for getting colorectal cancer now that there is a family history. We have a saying in our family that we used to help remove some of the embarrassment for potty train our kids, “everybody poops!” (I even made up a song!)