My name is Dan Wadsworth, I am a stage IV colorectal cancer patient, diagnosed at the age of 40.
My cancer journey began in a way that was very shocking and took us tremendously off guard – I was sitting in an ER room, having just heard the news I had cancer (likely stage 4, which was confirmed shortly thereafter). My mind was initially filled with fear and a list of questions/thoughts too long to even count. Some of those answers were answered in short order as colorectal cancer was confirmed, as was metastatic disease in my liver and likely lungs. Being a husband and a father of 5 young children, the diagnosis and subsequent initial path was quite a difficult one to face and navigate, after struggling for a while through various issues, I was very fortunate to be referred to Filomena and the team at CCRAN. After that very first discussion with Filomena, I felt something that had been very elusive to me – hope in this journey and a path/plan forward.
After 6 months of chemotherapy with a very good response to treatment I was able to have successful liver surgery which removed the disease in my liver with clean margins, the primary tumor upon a subsequent colonoscopy was found to be only scar tissue and no malignancy found any longer, confirmed by multiple biopsies. Currently, I am doing systemic therapy (chemotherapy) after a 7 month break to target the disease in my lungs, and again with CCRAN’s help I was able to secure a consult with one of the top thoracic surgeons available, which offers good potential for the future.
CCRAN has additionally helped me by offering practical and concrete steps along with much needed support in the form of regular meetings with other colorectal cancer patients. Combined with my faith, my family, as well as the support and guidance of CCRAN are 3 vital pillars I rely on in my journey. It is hard to describe the vast difference in how I feel before connecting with CCRAN and since, but I can say that I am very fortunate to be connected now with the organization and I would without hesitation recommend any and all colorectal cancer patients to connect with CCRAN. I feel confident now that my care and support team is complete, which CCRAN holds a large part of. To have the support and guidance CCRAN offers is invaluable to anyone facing a colorectal cancer diagnosis.