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What does the first week look like after a cancer diagnosis?

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

The first week was the hardest. We were in the hospital after emergency surgery, and I still remember the moment the doctor said “cancerous”. Then she said it a second time, and a third. We had stage IV Colon cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes and the liver. This was our worst case scenario.

Over the next few days, our minds were reeling. Rachel was 27 years old, a mother of 3, and my wife. What does all this mean for us?

We spent the next few days cycling between crying, calling doctors, and research. Between each call or article read, we would need to take time to process through what our life had just turned into. This was the hardest week of our lives.

Thankfully, we survived that week. Rachel had a 13% chance of making it to five years and we knew that wasn’t good enough. We kept pressing forward, building the right team of doctors around us and becoming our own best advocates through education. We felt upheld by the prayers and support of our community and a week ago we celebrated our fourth totally clean scan!

There is much more to our story that we are excited to share, but for now we want to help equip those struggling through a cancer diagnosis with the first tool in their toolbox: knowledge. We have developed the Cancer Diagnosis Checklist out of the things we learned or wished we had known and we need your help sharing this with as many people as possible!

The checklist lays out what we believe are the top five things anyone who just received a diagnosis should start with. We also included 10 questions to ask your doctor to assist with those first few meetings with doctors as you are building your team and preparing for battle.

Will you help us get the word out about the Cancer Diagnosis Checklist?


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