James Gilbert is a survivor. His "titles" include colorectal cancer survivor and survivor of metastatic rectal cancer on his lung...but Jim's just happy to be "a survivor."
Jim's cancer journey began when he approached the age of 60 and decided it was finally time to get his long-overdue physical. The last in his series of tests was a colonoscopy, something he knew he should have had 10 years earlier, but he just kept putting it off. After completing the procedure at Henry Mayo's outpatient Gastrointestinal Lab, he realized he had worried needlessly about taking the test - it was a breeze.
A few weeks later, Jim and his wife Bernie were celebrating the news that Bernie's breast cancer was finally in remission. However, the day took a turn for the worse when Jim met with his doctor to determine his treatment plan for his newly diagnosed colon cancer
"If I could say just one thing to anyone who would listen, it would be that my cancer could have, and would have, been prevented if I had my colonoscopy when I was 50," Jim said. "Believe me; one minute of chemo is far worse than a lifetime of colonoscopies."
Jim's doctors at Henry Mayo developed a detailed treatment plan that included radiation and surgery followed by six months of chemotherapy. "I was so very blessed to have a team of doctors, nurses and hospital staff that made my medical (and emotional) needs a priority," said Jim.
The day Jim was declared cancer-free was a day celebrated by both of his families - his loved ones and his friends at Henry Mayo. "I cannot begin to express my gratitude to everyone at Henry Mayo for giving me my life back," said Jim.
After three glorious years of living cancer-free, Jim received the bad news that he had cancer again, this time in his right lung. The oncology team at Henry Mayo once again sprung into action, developing a treatment plan that would eventually save Jim's life. Comforted by the knowledge of his previous experience at Henry Mayo, Jim knew that his doctors, family and faith would see him through.
When asked how he was able to get through two bouts of cancer, two surgeries, radiation and almost a year of chemotherapy, Jim answered "I showed up and I didn't give up. I left the miracle of medicine in the hands of my doctors and nurses at Henry Mayo and worked on the miracle of faith with my family."
As for the experience and the impact it has had on his life, Jim said, "I was blessed to have been treated in the world-class manner at Henry Mayo and, while I met such amazing and talented people, it pains me to know that all of this could have been prevented had I just had that colonoscopy when I was supposed to."
Don't wait to schedule your colonoscopy. To locate a physician, visit www.scvdocs.com.