My name is Laura Maloney and my husband Greg and I are raising 4 wonderful children, Jonathan (23), Nicholas (21), Anna (13), and Daniel (11). In September 2016 at age 52 I was diagnosed with stage 3 invasive lobular breast cancer after noticing some physical changes to my breast. Despite having routine mammograms, the 7 cm tumor had gone undetected for years. After undergoing a bilateral mastectomy, I made a decision to refuse the recommended chemo and endocrine therapies and seek a second opinion. My search led me to an integrative oncologist in Chicago, who promotes a holistic approach to fighting cancer with an emphasis on physical fitness, nutrition, and spiritual and emotional wellness. Although he often recommends chemo, he did not deem it beneficial in my particular case. Had I not trusted my instinct and sought a second opinion I would have undergone needless chemotherapy.
Since my diagnosis I have become vegan ,lost 20 pounds, and trained for a half marathon. As I celebrate my first cancer anniversary I reflect on the most important lessons I have learned. First, your health is your responsibility. You can greatly reduce your risk of a cancer diagnosis by choosing to eat well and exercise. If you are diagnosed educate yourself, trust your decisions about your treatment options, and make lifestyle changes to improve your chances of survival. Most importantly cancer has been a "divine tap on the shoulder", reminding me to live each day of my life as if it were my last, focusing on the truly meaningful: loving God and through Him, loving others.
My name is Robin Gunn . My late husband George and I have 2 amazing sons: Clay (34) and Conner (32). Clay and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons: Russell (6 1/2), Patrick (4). Conner and his wife, Becca, have two daughters: Caroline (4 1/2) and Maddy (3). Our sons and their families were the light of George's life! George worked for GE Capitol, CIT Corporation, before coming to Trustmark, where he worked for 34 years, recently retiring April 2017 as Executive Vice President of Real Estate Banking. In August 2015, George was diagnosed with colon cancer with metastasis to his liver. After an amazingly quick recovery from surgery to remove his colon mass, George began the preferred chemotherapy protocol for his disease. Although Dr. Bobby Graham at Jackson Oncology offered him the opportunity to seek a second opinion, George had researched chemo protocols and felt Dr. Graham's treatment plan was the best option. George repeatedly said " I'm going to do my best. I trust my doctors to do their best. But, ultimately, God is in control of this outcome." George responded well to his first 12 treatments, which made him a candidate for additional treatment with Dr.Mark Earl at UMMC. Dr. Earl coordinated several procedures at UMMC involving targeted radiation (SIR spheres) for the liver tumors, and George continued chemotherapy. George's response to the new treatment was not as good as expected, and other complications prevented a positive response. George remained positive throughout his entire journey, and he wanted everyone else to be positive! Even when complications would put him in the hospital, he wanted to take care of the acute issues and get back to fighting his disease. Positivity was his attitude no matter the circumstances. I feel like his attitude kept him going as long as he did! Everyone should be aware of their body and any changes, as well as getting a regular checkup with their physician. Colon cancer can be treated successfully if diagnosed early! Have the colonoscopy at 50 -- or younger if you have symptoms or family history of colon cancer. Cancer brought us even closer as a family, and God walked with us each step of the way.