A New Jersey nurse has gone viral after posting a video about the impact of her cancer diagnosis and urging others to take her own exams.
When the mother of two children Jennifer Waller went to visit her doctor complaining of abdominal pain, she thought she was tired of working two jobs.
The 32-year-old woman from Clifton was examined to detect a number of problems, including breast cancer and hemorrhoids, but the tests yielded negative results.
His gastroenterologist suggested that he undergo a colonoscopy in June, but he never dreamed that he would be diagnosed with colon cancer.
"It was a complete shock because I can not have cancer." I mean, I'm a nurse. I tell you that you have cancer, I treat you, but I can not have cancer, but I'm still here, "he said in the video uploaded to Facebook.
Speaking to Daily Mail Online, Waller said that despite his initial fear and sadness, Waller said he is ready to fight and win, and has received messages from around the world from people detailing their own battles against cancer and a doctor who says & # 39; I love taking care of her.
Nurse Jennifer Waller, 32, of Clifton, New Jersey, has shared a video on Facebook that has gone viral (left and right) about her own cancer diagnosis and is urging others to take an exam. First he began experiencing symptoms of abdominal pain in May
The mother of two children had a colonoscopy in June, which found a large tumor. In August, the diagnosis returned that it was cancerous. In the photo: Waller with his son, Landyn
Colon cancer is a cancer of the large intestine, which is the part of the digestive tract where the body removes water and salt from solid waste.
Cancer usually begins with growths called polyps. They are found in the inner lining of the colon and become cancerous for many years.
A study published last year found that cases of colon cancer diagnosed in adults younger than 55 years doubled between 1990 and 2013, although no one is sure why.
In response, the American Cancer Society updated its screening guidelines for colorectal cancer, and now recommends that people with an average risk begin performing periodic evaluations at age 45.
"Here in the United States, you do not get tested until you turn 50, that's 18 years from now," Waller said in the video.
"According to my biopsy, I would be dead, and if I had not entered and had not been aware of my body, I would have died."
The signs and symptoms of the disease include a change in bowel movements, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain or sudden weight loss.
Treatment options currently include surgery to remove any tumors, as well as chemotherapy and radiation to kill the cancer cells.
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. UU., Both in men and women.
It is also the third leading cause of cancer deaths in American men and women and is estimated to cause more than 50,000 deaths in 2018.
The five-year relative survival rate for those with stage I colon cancer is 92 percent, according to the SEER database of the National Cancer Institute.
Waller (in the picture) said he wanted to be a positive voice because if he did not know he was a nurse, he could be diagnosed at a young age, so many people probably did not know either.
However, once the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, it is drastically reduced. The five-year relative survival rate for stage IV is around 12 percent.
Waller, who has two jobs and is a single mother of 3-year-old Landyn and Harper Jeanne, said she began experiencing abdominal pain in May and visited a doctor after she lost 12 pounds in six months.
Because breast cancer belongs to her family, she thought that this could be the underlying health problem, but the results of her test gave negative results.
Then, in June, he noticed blood when he went to the bathroom and his stomach pain persisted, so he visited his gastroenterologist.
He underwent a colonoscopy and said he knew something was wrong when he woke up in the Post Anesthesia Recovery Unit (PACU).
"The procedure normally lasts one hour but, when I woke up in the PACU, it was almost three hours later," he told Daily Mail Online.
"The doctor told me:" If everything is fine, I will see you in a couple of weeks and, if not, I will see you after the procedure. "Then I asked the nurse if the doctor came to see me, and she told me:" Yes".
"And my boyfriend, Omar, was by my side and I turned to him and said:" I have cancer. "
The doctor told Waller that they found a large tumor and, in August, it was revealed to be a malignant tumor. While the cancer has not yet spread to his liver or lungs, Waller was told there was a good chance it would spread to his lymph nodes.
& # 39; You're first surprised, then you're angry. Then you are a little sad because you think of the children, of your future, "he said.
Waller said he decided to make the video after realizing that there was probably a lot of misinformation about colon cancer.
"Colon cancer is classified as the disease of the older man, but I am a 32-year-old woman," he said.
"And if I'm a nurse and I had no idea you could get colon cancer so young, then probably many other people do not know either." I need to be a positive voice and make people aware of this & # 39;
The video was published on Facebook on August 29 and since then it has accumulated more than 22,000 visits and has been shared more than 200 times. In the photo: Waller with his son, Landyn
Waller (left and right) said that the reaction to the video moved her and she hopes that she reminds them of the people who should prioritize their health. She will undergo a procedure on Monday to determine whether or not chemotherapy is needed
Waller posted the five and a half minute video on his Facebook page on August 29.
"The day I published, I thought:" I can sit here and not tell anyone and get treated or I can post this video and maybe a couple of people will see it and one person will be examined, "he said.
"I had no idea that it would go viral."
So far, the video has garnered more than 22,000 visits and has been shared more than 200 times.
Waller said the reaction to the video moved her.
"It has been very inspiring, I can not even explain it, the amount of love and support in the strangers who send me messages," he said.
& # 39; Somehow restore your faith in humanity. All these messages are overwhelming in a positive way. And at a time that should be a dark moment, it has been revealing. "
On Monday, Waller will undergo a colectomy, which removes part of the colon, and doctors will examine his lymph nodes to determine if he needs chemotherapy treatment.
Waller hopes that people who watch the video and read his story remind them to prioritize their health.
"We live in such an accelerated world, where every day is a deadline and we are always running, "he said.
& # 39; We forget ourselves, but you need to take some time for yourself. Because it's just a story you listen to but you never think it's going to happen to you. I never thought that in a million years I would be diagnosed with colon cancer at 32 years old. "
Your colleagues have created a GoFundMe page to help cover your medical expenses and make up for the days you miss at work.
So far, $ 7,400 had been raised from a goal of $ 10,000.