An Anchor on FOX59 Morning News Wants Her Peers to Know that Colorectal Cancer is Not Just For the Elderly

 

Lindy Thrackston, a FOX59 news anchor in Indianapolis and emcee for the Indiana Pacers, interviewed recently with ON TODAY. She says that her cancer was caught in time but not before it reached stage 3.

Somehow Lindy managed to get through a year of operations and treatment for colorectal cancer. She believes strongly that if she alerts others to the symptoms and the importance of early detection, a life will be saved.

It is difficult to gauge how canceling her three scheduled tests may have affected the progression of her disease. Lindy managed to get through a year of operations and treatment but there were several severe complications.

The Symptoms

Lindy was experiencing back pains and abdominal cramping and some blood in the stool. Although worrisome, her hectic schedule caused her to put any concerns aside.

When Lindy began to feel unusually fatigued, she finally contacted a doctor who initially thought Lindy had colitis. A CT scan showed signs of inflammation although there was no family history of colorectal cancer.

The doctor decided to order a colonoscopy. That is when COVID began to dictate who and when can be tested or seen by a physician. But Lindy’s doctor kept urging her to get tested and now Lindy credits that doctor with saving her life.

Now in hindsight, Lindy realizes that those symptoms were warning signals saying that it was time to act. That is the message she hopes to get across to others.

The Diagnosis

As it turned out, Lindy was able to keep the third scheduled colonoscopy. She felt lucky that the doctor performing the test was a colorectal cancer surgeon.

Lindy had not even been out of recovery when she heard one of the nurses mention “tumor.” Lindy was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer. Her first thoughts were of her son and husband and wondering how much time she has left to spend with them.

The surgeon met with Lindy immediately and laid out a treatment plan. First, he administered genetic testing but was unable to find markers that would identify the cause of her cancer.

The treatment consisted of oral chemotherapy and radiation prior to surgery. After surgery Lindy would undergo chemotherapy by infusion.

All treatment was halted after she had received her fifteenth round of radiation. Lindy had a bowel blockage that required emergency surgery and twenty-four days of hospitalization. But the bouts with blockage continued. Lindy literally spent the entire summer in and out of the ER dealing with several blockages. The chronology of her summer looks something like this:

·       June 30th – emergency surgery to remedy the bowel blockage

·       July 8th   – discharged

·       July 15th – ER with rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)

·       July 29th – insertion of her port

·       Aug.24th  surgery

The surgery was successful and removed the tumor, forty-one lymph nodes, and over eight inches of the colon. This was followed by more surgery to remedy internal bleeding.

After the surgery, Lindy had to tolerate ten rounds of chemotherapy by infusion. She was scheduled for twelve but had to halt the chemo as her body could not withstand even two more chemo infusions.

Then, only two days after she stopped chemotherapy, doctors removed Lindy’s gallbladder.

Looking Forward

Lindy’s goal is to speak out about colorectal cancer and especially the myth that it is a disease of the elderly. According to the American Cancer Society, about eighteen thousand individuals under the age of fifty received a diagnosis of colorectal cancer in the year 2020.

Lindy hopes her podcast about her struggle with cancer will enlighten and encourage others to seek help if they observe the following symptoms:

  • Rectal bleeding.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Iron deficiency
  • Narrow stools.

Lindy said that current reports indicate that screenings for colorectal cancer have dropped by ninety percent during the pandemic. That translates to many people being diagnosed at late stages of cancer with less chance of survival.

Now that Lindy is cancer-free, she plans to return to her jobs at FOX59 and as emcee at the Indy 500.

Many cancer infusion centers have a bell hanging on the wall that patients ring when they have completed their cancer treatment. Lindy said that she had survivor’s guilt when she rang the bell and looked at the patients sitting there getting their treatment who were unsure about their future.

As proof that Lindy’s message can help others, a young woman wrote to her that she saw Lindy’s tweet and it prompted her to see a doctor. According to her doctors, her precancerous polyps were removed just before they would have become cancerous.

 

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

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