When doctors told Maria Gonzales that she had colorectal cancer in January 2011, she had no time.
She had a family, a job and other priorities that needed her attention more. She also got ready to become a grandmother.
"When the doctor came in and told me what it was, I told him, well, let's fix it, I do not have time for it," Gonzales recalled
Next month, her first grandchild was due and she was looking forward to this moment. The thought of everything that the word "cancer" implied would not work for its schedule.
But she knew she needed to be better for her family, especially her grandson.
"My grandson," she said. "That motivated me."
According to an email from Liesl Wyett and dr. Theresa Byrd, both members of ACCION (Against Colorectal Cancer in our neighborhood) for Rural West Texas, has highest rates of colorectal cancer among Hispanic and rural populations. It is not talked about often.
The coalition, which began in El Paso, was established to promote the conversation on colorectal cancer and promote screening, particularly fecal immunochemical test screening and colonoscopy. Since launching in Lubbock in January 201
Since the month of March is colon cancer awareness, the coalition has been working to increase awareness of their campaign.
The timing also helped Gonzales share her story.
It all began with bad foot pain for Gonzales, Gonzales said.
A heel spur she found was getting worse and her foot was swelling. When her mother saw it, she urged Gonzales to visit the doctor.
Things escalated fast.
"They took X-rays and went ahead and did blood tests," Gonzales said. They phoned me later that day and told me to go to the hospital because I might need a blood transfusion. "
Gonzales was four times more likely to be blood and family sufferers Medical history raised even more concern among her physicians.
" My father died of colon cancer, "she said." They saw the history of cancer in my family and asked me if I had a colonoscopy and I said "no, but I need one." "
She started preparing the next day and had the colonoscopy done the next day [Sureenough"Theyfounditinmycolon"saidGonzales
The first person to call her was her sister Margaret Harper.
"I was strong on the phone for her," Harper recalls.
The Tears of tears came as she hung up.Harper put on her best brave face, drove to her sister and arranged for her children to go to the post office to pick up their sister's children.
Harper remembers that her sister remained positive was and had told everyone that they would be fine in the hospital to support them.
"She is much stronger than she thinks," Harper told her older sister.
Everyone in the family took their lead.
"I had to be strong," said Harper. "We all have."
After the operation, Gonzales stayed in the hospital for a week. She started about a month later with a pill form of chemo. She was officially released after one year.
Gonzales, looking back on her experience, said she was grateful it had happened to her. It was also helped to renew the conversation about timely bowel cancer testing with their friends and family.
"I'm glad I got it," Gonzales said. "I do not want them to go through what I went through."