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    Stephen wrote on Karalyn's wall

    Karalyn,
    I don't usually do this. I am a put your head down and plow through it person but your situation describes exactly where I was in 2008. I was diagnosed after a Jan 31st colonoscopy with no symptoms. @ weeks later, surgery to take a foot out and my cancer. I had 3 out of 20 lymph nodes with some cancer so on to chemo after I recovered so there you are and there I was. Went back to work, switched me to 3rd shift and I had the little belly pack for 46 hours after chemo. All went well and now I am looking at the last meeting with my oncologist Dr Soori who is a blessing of a man here in Omaha.
    NOW, I have been part of Colon Cancer Awareness through 105.9 FM Steve King does a show every year and the song I wrote ( I'm a musician....Stephen Monroe) is played every year live and I tell my story to get people to get checked out. I was 54....and without great doctors and luck, I wouldn't be writing you. I was stage 3 also, that is the reason I was compelled to write to you. I also am a musical volunteer for THE BOXER 500 (8th year) a run/walk for awareness too...I met my fiancée there. Life goes on!! Great Plain Colon Cancer Awareness asked me to do a spot on with a brief story on their website, I did that and ended up on billboards across town. I only tell you this because I NEVER meant to do anything but hope I make it and see my kids grow up and now these things happen and people say it has helped people get to it and maybe even save a life.
    My little brother went for a colonoscopy after my surgery and they found 3 pre-cancerous polyps....his action probably saved his life but he attributes it to me cuz I went first. I dunno....We touch other people through this process.
    I used to fear bringing it up because I would be the run down on everyone that ever had cancer and usually died....I DO NOT NEED TO HEAR THAT but I figured out how to not bring it up until the volunteering with my guitar started.
    The bottom of my feet are fairly numb form chemo still but I am alive as Dr. Soori says and that is the most important thing you can do.....survive.
    Your situation is similar to mine. I made it. Do all you can to stay positive and upbeat. Don't listen to fretters or doubters. Push on. never quit and do what they want you to do. It's not any fun, except the people you meet. One time I was sitting there with WWII, Korea and Vietnam vets. I'm just about as hippie as you want to get but I respect these courageous people. It was an amazing conversation.
    Bring a book and stay calm. You can reach out to me if you have any questions or if you need to unload some stuff.....I've been down that road before. There is that song of mine that has helped people too....I'm not selling anything. It's called THEY SAID YEAH on www.stephenmonroe.com. I wrote it in response to my friends that had a benefit for me.
    You take good care. Find your peace.
    Stephen

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    Stephen posted an update

    Reach out. Don't go it alone. Stay positive, especially if there seems to be no reason to be. That blows peoples minds. Let people go that are an anchor to your rising balloon. Smile even if you're under the blanket laying on the sofa feeling crappy. Believe in the doctors, nurses and a reason to Keep Going ( Joesph Marshall III book).

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    Stephen shared an experience

    Side Effects (Allergic reaction): Here's what else happened....I grew allergic to Chemo. They had to give me Benadryl before Chemo. I broke out in red blotches and the nurses went nuts!! The Doctor said....give him some benadryl and finish up the chemo. Love Dr. Soori. I had nausea. I was weak. My hands burned when I touched anything frozen. My feet are numb on the bottom. I'M ALIVE!!!!
    The year I had cancer I also gave my van back to the bank, went thru bankruptcy and divorce, moved out and to top it off, I got laid off. SO 2008 is a mark in surviving. I made it and so can you.
    My friends in the music biz around town had a benefit to help with my bills. I wrote a song for them to say thanks and I have appeared on local radio for colon cancer awareness month and I played this song in the studio.....You can hear it at:
    http://stephenmonroe.com....the song is called THEY SAID YEAH.
    We can't do this alone and there is no need to.

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    Stephen shared an experience

    Decision Point (What was next...what to do): I decided that I would do whatever it took. I decided to not be down. I decided to believe in the doctors. I decided to think of my recovery over any other influence....making someone else happy over my recovery. I decided to live a normal life no matter how long that was.
    I never waivered in my dedication to do what they told me to do. I cried in private. I prayed a lot. I got an overwhelming feeling of I was in the right place doing the right thing with the right people and I never let that feeling go.