McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 16, 2012

Cancer survivor encourages others

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — Paula Bussey has come along way since 2009 when she was diagnosed with Stage-4 colon cancer. On Saturday she walked 5 miles in a race called “Get your Rear in Gear” to raise money and awareness for colon cancer.

In October of 2009 Bussey, 57, said she hadn’t been feeling well but she had scheduled cataract surgery and didn’t want miss it. “I knew God would take care of me and if it wasn’t meant for me to have that surgery something would happen,” She said she continued working and didn’t go to the doctor. ‘

“I’m diabetic so sometimes I have days that I don’t feel well,” Bussey said.“ I  had been losing weight and I was just so tired all the time.”

“I was at Penney’s in Tandy town when I just fainted,” she said. 

“My husband took me to  Warren clinic and Dr. Milton got me admitted into the hospital right away,” she said.

Soon after she was stabilized she was given a colonoscopy and then she was told she had colon cancer and there was a possibility that it had metastasized to the liver.

“God took care of me,” she said. “The cancer did not spread to my liver.”

After going to another hospital for a second opinion, Bussey had surgery and underwent chemo therapy for five months. 

She said her friends were very supportive and took care of her and she said never stopped working. “I worked the whole time but I would get so tired.”

She is now cancer free.  She said her husband of 37 years, Jeral has been by her side all the way. “ He has been great,” she said.

She she and her husband have made some lifestyle changes as a result her battle with cancer.

“We have changed the way we eat, she said. “We eat a lot of veggies and we don’t eat cheese burgers and don’t drink soft drinks anymore.” We also we try to walk at least a mile everyday,” she said.

As a survivor Bussey said she hopes her story will encourage others to get screened for colon cancer. “If I had only had a test they could have caught it sooner,” she said.

Last October, two years after her surgery, Bussey went back for her annual exam. She said she decided to play a little trick on her doctor with some “Bubba teeth” She said her doctor asked her how she was doing and she said, I’m fine but I’m having trouble with my teeth and then I grined at him with those teeth, we all a laughed so hard,” she said.

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Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.