Colorectal Cancer Grad- Leanna
Name: Leanna McKay
Age at Enrollment: 34
Major: 3b Colorectal Cancer
What were the primary symptoms you experienced prior to diagnosis?
Lower back pain, loss of appetite, fatigue
What symptom(s) lead you to go to the doctor?
So far: 3 surgeries, 6 cycles of chemo and waiting for 25 rounds of radiation
What has been your biggest struggle since your diagnosis?
Self confidence, Ostomy bags are not the nicest looking things in the world!
What was your hardest moment (or moments) thus far and how did you you get through it/them?
Hearing I had a new mass on my ovary and then they just removed it.
What has been your biggest accomplishment since your diagnosis?
Raising $2500 personally for the relay for life!
What advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed? What advice would you tell them to ignore?
It’s not the end it’s just a chapter, pick yourself and move forward. Don’t listen to everyone else’s advice on how to cure cancer.
How did your family and friends respond?
They were in shock
Since your diagnosis, what does it look like to you to “get back up”?
Going back to Zumba after 10 months
When you feel overwhelmed or anxious, what do you do?
Deep breathing. I didn’t deal with this well before my diagnosis either.
What did you know about the type of cancer that you were diagnosed with prior to your diagnosis?
What do you now want people to be aware of?
Be your own advocate! If you need to get a second opinion get one, you know your own body. If no one listens go to the hospital and lastly get a colonoscopy.
How did/do you find joy during this experience?
Food! I love eating delicious things, and experiencing new foods.
How has your diagnosis informed your life?
Sharing my story has brought me a sense of peace.
Did you learn anything about yourself or your life? If so, what was it?
For all the things cancer took from me it gave me an amazing group of friends in fellow survivors.
If you could write anything you wanted on a billboard in NYC’s Times Square that would reach millions of people, what would it read?
You’re never to young to get cancer.