CANCER ADVOCACY

Transform Your Health With Grace

Grace De La Rosa

Colon Cancer Survivor, Advocate, Public Speaker

As a survivor of young-onset colon cancer, one of my missions is to raise awareness and educate the community about colon cancer and  the importance of screening and early detection; to give hope to newly diagnosed patients; and to save lives.

 

I was diagnosed at the age of 38 with Stage 3(c) colon cancer in 2005 and treated with a "chemo cocktail" called FOLFOX, a melange of several drugs including steroids. Looks can be deceiving: I was deemed permanently disabled due to the long-term side effects of chemo. This includes bone and joint degeneration as well as peripheral neuropathy, extensive nerve damage particularly to hands and feet that causes numbness which, to some degree, might help in a sense that it may lessen whatever pain may exist or arise. 

 

Also, a rare procedure, my left sacroiliac (SI) joint was rebuilt and fused with titanium bolts and rods.  After years of chronic pain, complications, medical scares including liver cancer and Multiple Sclerosis (MS), numerous surgeries and what seemed like never-ending doctor appointments, I decided that enough was enough. By 2016, my daily pill box included up to 24 (twenty-four!) prescriptions and over-the-counter (OTC) medications to alleviate some of my long-term side effects. Half of the pills supposedly counteracted the side effects from the other pills. This is known as polypharmacy, taking 5 or more medications to alleviate symptoms of an ailment(s). With the help of my general physician, I titrated down and discontinued almost all of my medications.

 

Today, I am blessed to be able to say that I have more better days than not.  I am able to get out of bed without too much pain and am glad I no longer have to walk with a cane or a walker.  I surmise that the pain could be much worse without the neuropathy (nerve damage; numbness of peripheries), a blessing in disguise!

 

I welcome invitations to be of service as a keynote  speaker or guest panelist for your next event, as a colon cancer survivor, former fitness instructor turned brain trainer--Mindfulness Coach, Guided Meditation Facilitator --and holistic wellness consultant.

Grace's Story of Survival

Mayo Clinic Proceedings, The Rise of Young Onset Colorectal Cancer: A Call to Action

Dr. Michelle Volland

Rotary Member, former President-Elect

“As a member of the East Arlington Rotary, I was privileged to invite Ms. De La Rosa to speak on Colon Cancer Awareness. She presents her subject matter with an understanding that can only be attained through embracing her life as a survivor. Her knowledge of fact and her eloquent explanation of the disease, along with her very personal message, were very motivational.

C. Costa

JEA Environmental Services

 

 "Helpful, relevant, and interesting all come to mind when describing [Grace's colon cancer awareness presentation] to co-workers and friends.

D. Smith

JEA

"Yesterday’s colon cancer awareness Lunch & Learn was one of the best yet. Grace was a wonderful speaker. Her personal story was a real eye opener. It would be great if we could get her back next year before/during colon cancer awareness month.