WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- FOX 59 Morning News anchor Lindy Thackston was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer after her screening was canceled three times due to the pandemic.
- Thackston said her symptoms — stomach cramps, lower back pressure and later, blood in her stool — started in January 2020.
- Doctors ordered a colonoscopy but after several cancellations, she has only had it in early May 2020.
Fox 59 Morning News anchor Lindy Thackston was experiencing stomach cramps, bloody stools and lower back pain in early 2020. Her doctors suspected she had colitis and wanted her to get a colonoscopy. However, her scheduled screening was canceled when the coronavirus pandemic hit the US.
While on a vacation with family in February 2020, 40-year-old Thackston had been feeling extremely fatigued and her husband, Chris, pointed that out.
Doctors suspected “signs of inflammation,” and they wanted her to get a colonoscopy.
“That got postponed three time because of COVID but my doctor just kept insisting that I get one,” Thackston said. “I credit her for saving my life because she kept pushing until she found someone who would give me one and he happened to be a colorectal cancer surgeon.”
Finally, the mom-of-one was able to get a colonoscopy in May 2020, when doctors determined she had stage 3 colorectal cancer.
“When they were wheeling me out, I overheard a nurse say ‘tumor,’ ” Thackston said. “I turned to her and I said, ‘They found a tumor?’ And she said, ‘Yes.’ “
All of a sudden, she was a cancer patient needing to undergo chemotherapy.
“It’s just a weight on your shoulders that you can’t even put into words. It was so hard to look at my son because I was just wondering how much time I had with him,” she said. “Right then, cancer became a full-time job.”
Before chemotherapy, Thackston had to undergo 15 rounds of radiation but she experienced multiple complications.
“I was in the hospital for 24 days and had emergency surgery, a bowel blockage, I lost three weeks of my memory,” she said. “… I was in and out of the ER all summer with bowel blockages.”
She had lost 40 lbs. by the end of July. In August, she was able to undergo surgery to remove the tumor, along with 8.2 in. of her colon and 41 lymph nodes.
Thackston suffered a series of complications after the surgery. She needed surgery for internal bleeding and had harsh side effects from chemotherapy. She also had to get her gallbladder removed.
On April 12, she was able to ring the ceremonial bell at the hospital signifying that she was cancer-free.
“The thing that’s scary is that screenings dropped [about] 90% during the pandemic for colorectal cancer,” she said. “That means when people do get screened, there are going to be a lot of people who are stage 4.”
Thackston will officially be back on Fox 59 Morning News on Wednesday.