A Patient Testimony - Karen Martens
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada April 2017
In 2008, I had a recurrence of colorectal cancer. My first experience with cancer in 2001 was quite different. The first time, I was in a state of unbelief that it could happen to me at my age. I had a minor surgery to remove a very small tumour, with no chemo or radiation follow up. Good to go, as they say! It was so minor that I wasn't concerned that I might need to change my diet or other lifestyle activities. Even still, I had feelings of depression.
After investigating a few nagging symptoms in 2007, it was discovered that the cancer had returned, but this time, it was much more serious. A large tumour had been growing for several years, probably since 2001, and had taken over most of my pelvis.
The treatment was nothing less than horrific: chemotherapy and radiation, then extensive surgery, followed by even more chemo. I was hospitalized many times over a two year span. My prognosis for survival was quite low. Nevertheless, God gave me the strength and faith to carry me through this difficult period; the pain was severe and I had little energy to perform routine activities. My recovery would be measured in years not months. Yet, I persevered and can testify that eventually I overcame!
During my recovery, I learned about important changes I could make to my nutrition and lifestyle habits to greatly reduce the chances of yet another recurrence. It's now nine years later and my health indicators are all strong. I am grateful for the support I received from my husband Andrew, family, church, and others. God has placed in me a desire and purpose to help those going through similar circumstances. He has directed us to Team Up Against Cancer, a support group, where we now lend our time and support.