Cancer patient hopes to become advocate for early testing; famil - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Cancer patient hopes to become advocate for early testing; family seeks funds for treatment

Candiss Bryant was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. (Source: Family photo) Candiss Bryant was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. (Source: Family photo)
Candiss Bryant who was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, poses with her husband Kris Rambsel and daughter, Madi, 10. (Source: Family photo) Candiss Bryant who was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, poses with her husband Kris Rambsel and daughter, Madi, 10. (Source: Family photo)
Candiss Bryant was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. (Source: Family photo) Candiss Bryant was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. (Source: Family photo)
A Team Candiss shirt for sale. (Source: Family photo) A Team Candiss shirt for sale. (Source: Family photo)
GOLDEN, TX (KLTV) - At 33 years old, Candiss Bryant is more than 20 years younger than the average colon cancer patient. 

Bryant was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer on Jan. 7 after doctors found a 6.5 centimeter tumor during a colonoscopy. Now, the stay-at-home mom and wife from Golden, Texas is hoping to become an advocate for early detection as she undergoes chemotherapy.

"I feel like ... I can be an advocate for 'Listen to your body.' You don't have to be 50 to get screened. I mean, that was the least painful thing," she says, adding that the signs were there early on.

About six months ago, shortly after she began making healthy lifestyle changes and seeing a dietitian, she began noticing symptoms.

"My hair started falling out. I had abdominal cramping and bleeding," she says. "I don't really have a family history of colon cancer. I'm otherwise healthy. I'm very active. It was just such a shock."

At first, Bryant thought it was a severe allergic reaction to certain types of foods, such as nuts. But as the symptoms worsened, she sought treatment. A Nov. 22 CAT scan at a Lindale hospital returned clear but doctors thought she might have ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. When she was told she'd have to wait months to see a gastrointestinal specialist, Bryant sought treatment at a Dallas hospital.

She went in for an appointment Jan. 7 and her doctor ordered a colonoscopy.

"Right after it was done he came back and said that I had a 6.5 tumor and that it was blocking me 98 percent," she says. "And he told me that I didn't need to leave the building before making an appointment (with a proctologist)."

During a surgery to remove the tumor and her lymph nodes on Jan. 14, doctors found that the cancer had spread. She is scheduled to begin a round of chemotheraphy on Feb. 9.

Treatments will be administered over a six month period. Bryant will be placed on a drip for 22 hours, three times a week for two weeks, and then take a two-week break. She will also need quarterly screenings. The process will be expensive too, the family says. The treatments will cost about $98,000, $20,000 of which Bryant and her husband will have to pay for out of pocket.

Her husband Kris Rambsel works in the oilfield as a driller. He says that the downturn in the oilfield industry has resulted in a $15 per hour pay cut.

"Candiss has always been there to help anyone in need," Rambsel says. "She has always gone above and beyond to be a wonderful member of our community."

Friends and family have created a Go Fund Me account to help raise money for expenses. There is also a Facebook page TeamCandiss Fund that is following her journey.

"Everybody's been extremely supportive and it's blowing me away emotionally," Bryant says. "It's been amazing to see the response."

Colon cancer, which affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, is most often found in people aged 50 years or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The average age of diagnosis in men is 69 and for women, 73.

"If I could say anything to anybody it would be, 'Do not ignore any little symptom.' If I would've known then what I know now, I wouldn't have disregarded it. Go get a colonoscopy. It's not as bad as what it seems. I know it's an uncomfortable subject for some people but it can save your life ... and here I am fighting for mine," Bryant says.

She expects the fight to be a challenge but says, "I'll give it all I have. I know that."

Donate to TeamCandiss here.

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