Nima Harris started his 38 With Cancer Facebook page after being diagnosed with stage IV cancer. He sat down with us to share his experience, from chemo, to colostomy, to what helps motivate and keep him going!
What's your name & connection to colorectal cancer?
My name is Nima Askari Harris and I am a stage IV colon cancer survivor.
How were you diagnosed?
In October 2015, I had terrible stomach pain. I finally had a colonoscopy in February 2016 and was officially diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. I had surgery on my colon by April 2016 to remove the tumor and from there ended up with an ostomy bag. Sept. 2016 I then had surgery on my liver to remove the tumor on there. After 12 rounds of chemo, my cancer is gone.
Now just one more surgery to reattach my colon and be done!
What's helped keep you focused during treatment?
Definitely the one number thing that keeps more focused during treatment are my two daughters, Saniyah and Neena. They are my drive and force to stay strong and make sure that I continue to stick around to see them continue to grow.
What message would you like to share with the public about colorectal cancer?
Colon cancer is growing exponentially among people younger than age 50. That number continues to rise yearly. Yet the required age to get a colonoscopy is 50. More cases will continue to be reported within the US if this required age is not lowered.
What are some of your top tips for those who are young and fighting cancer?
Those who are young and fighting cancer, the most important thing is to have a wonderful support team. They makes such a difference when people are on your side who can be there to help and guide and encourage. There were times that I needed someone to just talk to while I was getting chemo or to just speak up for me when I couldn't. It made the journey more bearable knowing that you are not doing this alone.