February 29, 2012

Gloria Riggs | Colorectal Cancer Survivor

Gloria Riggs
“It feels good to have energy again. I knew I was sick because I was tired all the time and started having some spotty bleeding. I went to my doctor at to the Family Medicine Clinic at UAMS and they immediately sent me to the Cancer Institute.

I was told I had Stage 3 colorectal cancer. I didn’t know anyone else who had ever had colorectal cancer, and I felt really alone.

I had chemo and radiation at the same time, had surgery and then had chemo again.

I can’t even remember 2011. It’s really like a whole year of my life is gone.

I formed my own support team with Dr. Govin; Dr. Mizell; the nutritionist, Michelle Morgan; and my social worker, Harold Dean. I also met another colorectal cancer patient who supported me.

When I was so weak, Michelle told me to eat tuna and peanut butter with crackers. She would call to check on me to make sure I was eating enough protein to keep up my energy, and it really helped.

Now that my treatment is over, I want to go back to school to finish my master’s degree. I’m also starting a group at my church to educate people about colonoscopies. Because of what I went through, my family and friends are all getting colonoscopies.”