A shoulder pain, which had nothing to do with the final diagnoses of stage III colon cancer, led Rhonda Douglas, an employee at Swedish Hospital, down the path of having a colonoscopy. The x-ray revealed problems in her lungs. Rhonda, who had no family history of colon cancer, had been putting off having a colonoscopy. When she finally did, the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. Surgery was performed to remove 30 polyps in December 2011. She is undergoing chemotherapy treatment at present.
Rhonda thanks the positive attitude, dedication and faith of the doctors who treated her and motivated her to keep going. “They kept my spirits up throughout,” she says. “I don’t know how people can do it alone.” She credits her positive outlook to the doctors, friends, co-workers along with her family who keep her engaged with life and feeling positive. She has been able to work with very little disruption. This has helped keep her mind off herself. “Colon cancer is treatable,” she adds. “ Listen to your doctor and get your screening exams done early.”