Diagnosis & Treatment

Colon Cancer
Medical Center
Intermountain Health Care - LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT and The Utah Cancer Specialists
H Tae Kim, MD - Intermountain Health Care - LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT
Dr. Justin Call - Utah Cancer Specialists
Clinical Trials
Medical Treatment
Details of Treatment
18 months in total. 12 rounds FOLFOX chemo, 25 rounds radiation, 4 surgeries.
Medication During Treatment
FOLFOX (leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin).
Alternative Therapies During Treatment
Ayurvedic medicine
Plant-based Diet
So here’s what I know: time marches on, and the hard part will end. Laughter heals, even if there are tears. Connection & community are everything.
CDB oil at nighttime
WHAt helped me during treatment
Kate Farms protein shakes. Pilates. Calm meditation app.
Favorite Quote
Life is too damn short to be unhappy and too freaking long to be unhappy.
Advice for Others
Find the joy in every day. It's there always - and it's up to you to choose to see it.

My Story

On January 8, 2017, I found myself in the emergency room with severe abdominal pain. A CT Scan and an ultrasound revealed a mass on my left ovary and something else the doctors couldn’t quite make out. It was large and black and obscuring all of my internal organs.

They told me they needed to look inside to see what was happening. It would be a 1-hour laparoscopic surgery leaving me with just 3-5 small incisions.

Five hours later, I awoke with staples from my navel to my pubic bone and a colostomy bag.

One week later, in the early morning, my doctor came in and told me that the pathology had returned and it was stage IV colon cancer.

I couldn’t believe it. I was in the best shape of my life!

Apparently, a tumor that had been growing for over seven years has finally perforated my colon. The large black mass on the CT scan was fecal matter filling up my abdomen.

The next 18 months would bring

  • 4 abdominal surgeries
  • 12 rounds of Folfox Chemotherapy, each one lasting 46 hours
  • 25 rounds of radiation
  • Medical leave from my job followed by long term disability
  • Colostomy (large intestine, solid poop in a bag taped to your abdomen)
  • Ileostomy (small intestine, liquid poop in a bag taped to your abdomen)
  • Port-o-catheter in my chest so I can sleep with a tube to the chemo pump and not have to get poked every time they needed blood
  • Farting & inflating my colostomy bag during client meetings because I had no control and no warning it was about to happen
  • Uncontrollable diarrhea for months once my intestines were reconnected
  • Pooping my pants during a video conference call and just having to wait until it ended to take care of the situation
  • Cold sensitivity (felt like drinking broken glass)
  • Numb fingers & feet (my feet are still numb)
  • Everything tasted like metal

I thought it would never end. The physical discomfort. The emotional pain. The humiliation. It seemed like every time I reached the “end” of one step, two more would take its place like a Hydra. I mean...seriously?!

So, I became a warrior.

  • Laughing instead of crying when I was beyond humiliation
  • Meditating daily to find peace
  • Carrying crystals & stones to protect me - smokey quartz and amethyst were life savers
  • CBD daily (with THC. That’s the magic)
  • Walking daily with my dad
  • Going to yoga & pilates and moving as best I could (THANK YOU Maven Strong & Salt Lake Power Yoga)
  • Surrounding myself with friends and family
  • Sitting quietly so I could hear my angels
  • Escaping to the desert after each treatment to put my feet in the dirt and ask mother earth to support me
  • Gratitude for my life. Gratitude for my tribe. Gratitude for my family. GRATITUDE!

One year later, I found myself sitting in Amsterdam, cancer free, starting my own company, engaged to an amazing man, and about to become a Grandma.

Cancer taught me to relish each day and not take my body, my life or the people I love for granted. Since cancer I have quit my 15-year career to start my coaching practice focused on helping others turn the crappy things that happen in life into their superpowers.

So here’s what I know: time marches on, and “it” will end. Laughter heals, even if there are tears. Connection & community are everything. You CAN...Keep Calm and Karey On!

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