A- A+


Bookmark and Share

Share Your Story

A Beautiful Story of Strength and Recovery

Jodie Stines was 38 years old, with three active children ages 7, 12 and 14, when she started not feeling well. She had lower back pain; she was tired and was experiencing bleeding. She knew something was not right. She talked to friends and family, but they didn’t think anything was majorly wrong.

Because the majority of her pain was in her lower back, she started with a chiropractor. After a few treatments, the pain got worse and she could barely walk so she told the chiropractor that she didn’t want to continue treatments. He told her she was not responding to treatment normally as her back was swelling. Her chiropractor asked her if there was anything else that was bothering her that she had not shared, and she admitted to bleeding. The chiropractor set her up an appointment with a primary care physician that same day. The physician ran various tests, all which were normal. He felt the bleeding was from internal hemorrhoids. She then went to her gynecologist,  and again, the tests showed nothing out of the ordinary. But, no matter what the tests and the doctors said, Jodie kept having this feeling that something was truly wrong.

She went back to the family physician and requested a colonoscopy. The doctor performing the colonoscopy said he too thought it was hemorrhoids, and that he would fix them by banding them while doing the colonoscopy. However, that simple procedure turned into many hours in surgery. When she woke up in recovery, the surgeon was holding her hand with tears in his eyes, and his first words to her were, “Thank God you got here when you did – you have cancer.” Upon hearing this, she did not feel scared, she did not feel sad. She just felt relief.

The next several hours after the surgery were a whirlwind. The first person she remembers coming into her room was Dr. Kelli Cawley, an oncologist with Memorial Health System’s Strecker Cancer Center. Jodie said she was like an angel that came in and reassured her that everything would be fine. Jodie loves Dr. Cawley and she cannot thank her enough for her friendship and support that has continued past her diagnosis and treatment. It also meant the world to Jodie that Dr. Cawley took time with her kids as they were scared. She explained everything to them and drew pictures.

They found that the cancer did spread into her muscles, but did not see any more malignant tumors. They scheduled and performed a colon resection. During this time, she felt at peace, thanks to many prayers, her friends and her will to see her kids grow up. She started radiation. Radiation was five days a week and she traveled one hour each way every day to treatment at the Strecker Cancer Center (she did not live in the area at the time). The radiation took away her energy and she learned to love cream of wheat, because that was all her body could tolerate.

Her youngest daughter was her travel companion. She traveled to every treatment with Jodie, until school started. She was adamant that she was not going to school because she had to be with her mom. When Jodie told her that she had to go to school, her daughter gave her a small stuffed animal to take to treatments with her so that she wouldn’t be alone.

The first couple of chemotherapy treatments for Jodie overlapped the last couple of radiation treatments. The last few chemotherapy treatments were very hard, but while Jodie was having her treatments, there was a little girl receiving chemotherapy at the same time. She thought to herself if the little girl could get through the treatments, so could she, and she needed to be brave.

Jodie was diagnosed in 2001; she is now 15 years cancer free. She said the top two things that got her through that horrific time were her faith and her children. She used to have colonoscopies every year, but because of her recovery, she has recently been promoted to a colonoscopy every three years. She believes she is a miracle, and she will never again be embarrassed to bring up symptoms if she truly believes something is wrong.

Jodie doesn’t know what she would do without Dr. Cawley and the staff at Memorial Health System and the Strecker Cancer Center. She believes that out of bad comes good, and she received so much encouragement and love from her children, her co-workers and her family. She is enjoying her second chance at life.
Memorial Health System’s Accreditations & Awards
Memorial Health System
401 Matthew Street, Marietta, OH 45750
(740) 374-1400
© 2017, Memorial Health System.
Belpre Campus ER min
Marietta Memorial ER min
Selby ER min
Physicians Care Express-Marietta min
Physicians Care Express-Belpre min
Back to Top