Patient Stories / James Craig - Colon Cancer Patient
James Craig, now 76 years old, tries not to preach to people about how they should have a colonoscopy, but it's kind of hard not to when he knows that this simple screening that probes the colon for cancer can save your life.
In mid-March last year, Craig started feeling out of breath on his walk from the parking lot to the Veteran Affairs Hospital where he has worked day and night as a supervisor in housekeeping for 38 years. He was very familiar with that walk, so knew something could be wrong. But he didn't do anything about it, until his arm started going numb preventing him from doing his work.
Craig is a self-proclaimed workaholic.
He walked over to radiology at the hospital. Before he could say no, Craig was undergoing a battery of tests that led to a visit with his doctor. The labs showed blood in his stool. His doctor said he had to undergo a colonoscopy that probes the inside of his colon with a microscopic camera. The results came back.
"You have colon cancer," his doctor said.
He was in shock by the grim news.
Craig had cared for his wife through breast cancer. She passed away 15 years ago. But Craig still has his daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He called his granddaughter to tell her about the prognosis.
"We're going to get through this together," she said. He hung onto those words. His doctor gave him a few names for colon cancer surgeons.