I was 53 and decided I should get a colonoscopy. I don’t know why, I just felt like I should, being past the age of 50. Due to a series of setbacks, I was 54 by the time I was able to schedule my colonoscopy. I had scheduled a physical for that day too. After the colonoscopy we found a dark spot in my colon, and the doctor decided he wanted to do an MRI. Afterwards, I got the call informing me that I had been diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. The doctor was very up-beat about the possibilities that we got it on time. The MRI showed no signs of spreading to other organs, so the odds of the cancer still being localized were good. Two weeks later I underwent surgery to remove a foot of my colon and was hospitalized for a week, followed by 6 months of chemotherapy.
Throughout my struggle with extensive treatment, I never lost faith in my ability to continue and beat my disease. After successfully beating colon cancer, I decided to put my skills as a musician to use. I have played numerous benefits for people that have made it through what I did, and those who didn’t. For the past three years, I have been on a local colon cancer awareness program called Bottoms Up, on a radio station in Omaha Nebraska. I have participated in the Rollin’ Colon Bike Ride for the past two years, as well as any other event to help both raise awareness and benefit those going through this disease currently. It has been a humbling experience but I thank God every day for my ability to use my skills to help those that are struggling with this disease.
Stephen wrote a song of thanks to all those that helped him through his struggle with chemotherapy, titled “They Said Yeah”. Find it here: http://www.stephenmonroe.com.