Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The surviving story of Barry Stein, a remarkable man!

The surviving story of Barry Stein, a remarkable man!

My name is Barry Stein and this is my story as a cancer survivor. In 1995, I was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer stage IV. Few of us, cancer survivors can forget what we feel when we announced the cancer diagnosis. I remember the effect it made me like it was yesterday. I was crushed by the news. I felt a surge of emotion and I suddenly began to panic. I started to sweat. I felt bombarded with information, launched faster than I could understand. I felt angry and I am sorry for myself. I wondered why this was happening to me and if I would have the opportunity to see grow my young family. I tried to digest the fact that my life was suddenly threatened by a disease that invaded me slyly, without symptoms. I thought doctors were probably wrong. I felt absolutely normal. They had certainly made a mistake.

I knew virtually nothing about cancer, but I had preconceived ideas. I associated the word cancer with death. Still, when the doctor told me the cancer had spread to my liver and my colon I had thirty percent chance of surviving five years, I could not accept it. I knew I had to fight. I wanted to do everything possible to improve my situation, but I had no experience in this field and I understood very little of the information that was provided to me. I was determined to do all possible research to be able to make informed decisions about my treatment. If I had been more aware of this disease, and I would be me tested for colon cancer in time, I could have avoided years of treatments, surgeries and pain and suffering for me and my family. Fortunately, after much hard work and quite scary moments, things have turned out well. I even saw my three children to marry in exceptional individuals and I now have two beautiful grandchildren.

My determination was a very important first step in my experience with cancer. Whatever the emotion you may feel after a diagnosis of cancer, it is likely that eventually you will face the reality of the situation and you decide how you will fight. I now know that cancer colorectal is preventable, treatable and curable. That is why I have devoted my life since 1995; to make others aware of the disease, to support patients and their families, and to advocate for screening programs for colorectal cancer in Canada, as well as equal and timely access to effective treatments to improve patient outcomes. I am the president of the Canadian Colorectal Cancer Association and we are here to increase awareness of colorectal cancer by demonstrating the importance of screening. It is not obliged to be sentenced to death. We can make a difference together. Support us so we can support you! 

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