Milford woman uses crafting to spread awareness about colon cancer
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
MILFORD, Maine (WABI) - Jessica Sargent was diagnosed with the disease when she was 39 years old.
Doctors determined her cancer is resistant to traditional treatments and it’s progressed to Stage 4.
As Joy Hollowell reports, the Milford mother and grandmother is now spreading awareness about colon cancer through crafting.
“I’ve always been active. In the summertime, I’m always out on the water or hiking or doing something fun.”
But that all changed three years ago for Jessica Sargent of Milford.
“I had been really sick for months,” she says. A high fever, exhaustion and stomach issues let to a Cat Scan for the then 39-year old.
“Colon cancer definitely wasn’t on any of our radars.”
But that scan revealed a mass and a follow up colonoscopy confirmed it was stage four cancer.
“It was 10 centimeters,” she says. “There was a huge mass in my colon. I named it Edwards (laughs). I was like if I have a tumor the size of a baby’s head in my colon, it deserves a name.”
Doctors wanted to shrink the tumor before removing it, so Sargeat began radiation and chemotherapy. But 25 rounds later, it was still the same size. a second round also barely touched it.
In July of 2020, Sargent had the mass removed.
Two years later, another colonoscopy revealed two more tumors in the same area.
“That was probably the worst one out of all of them,” she says, sighing.
To date, Sargent has undergone 7 surgeries, some for post operative infections. Currently, she’s waiting to do a biopsy for some questionable spots on her liver Sargent explains that the liver and lungs are often the next organs that colorectal cancer will travel to as it spreads.
Doctors visits now occupy much of her time.
But not all of it.
“This is my Cricut,” Sargent says, taking us into her craft room.
Two years ago, her husband and mother gifted Sargent with the electronic cutting craft machine.
“And well you know, I haven’t stopped since,” she says, smiling.
Her creative streak now includes signs, pillows, decorative jars, jewelry and more.
“I like making my beads because I can do that even when I’m feeling really, really crappy,” she says.
She started a Facebook page- Crafting with cancer. Money made from selling her creations helps pay for extras not covered by insurance.
Sargent says staying busy, keeps her strong.
“I try to find a reason every single day to keep doing it, even when it sucks and it’s hard, cause it does get hard.,” she says. “I’ve got four kids, I’ve got 2 grand children, 2 new babies- they’re fantastic. And I’ve got a lot to be happy about, I don’t know really why I would not be.”
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