Tim McDonald
4 min readMar 2, 2022

Looking at Cancer as a Gift

Going through chemo for the past 15 months as been anything but fun. For the first 6 months, I was on a very aggressive chemo that had side effects to match. I didn’t know how much longer I could take it, even though they provided amazing results in shrinking my tumors. So why do I look at cancer as a gift?

When I was diagnosed and heard the three words, “You have cancer,” I didn’t say, ‘Why me?’ instead I asked, ‘Why not me?’ I soon realized it provided me a direction, a purpose, to spread awareness about colorectal cancer, which often includes colon cancer. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

GET SCREENED

The most impactful way you can make a difference is to get screened for colon cancer if you are 45, have a family history of it, or are experiencing symptoms (regardless of your age). By 2030, colorectal cancer will be the leading cause of death for people 20–49. We can change this as early detection is often treatable. I have heard from over 40 people who got screened for colon cancer since I was diagnosed. Many of them have has precancerous polyps removed. Guidelines have changed in the past year that make the screening age 45 instead of 50 for insurance to cover (symptoms don’t require a minimum age -talk with your doctor and push to get a colonoscopy). Also if you test positive from a screening test like Cologuard, your insurance is now required to pay for the colonoscopy. Don’t let cost be an issue. Your life matters.

CREATE AWARENESS

The easiest way to create awareness is to share. Sharing can be done with family and friends. Be sure to discuss family history and make sure your loved ones have been screened. You can also share on social media. FightCRC, which I am an amBADASSador for, has a selection of images and posts for you to download and share across most social media platforms. One thing I have seen over the past year from creating awareness on social media and talking with friends and family, is just how many take action to get screened when they are made aware. I can let you know the I’ve had family and close friends get screened and have told me I’ve saved their lives. You can help save someone’s…

Tim McDonald

Stage 4 colon cancer survivor — AmBADASSador for @FightCRC #ColorectalCancerAwarenessMonth — Former Dir of Community HuffPost