- Country Ever After star Criscilla Anderson, 41, has shown so much inspirational strength and positivity throughout her battle with stage 4 colon cancer, but the reality star isn’t afraid to get real about the bad days of chemo either.
- The hip-hop dancer, who is married to country singer Coffey Anderson, travels every few weeks from Dallas to a Los Angeles hospital for chemotherapy.
- Leading experts tell SurvivorNet that stage 4 colon cancer can be treated, and there is still a chance of a cure.
Criscilla Anderson, 41, has shown so much inspirational strength and positivity throughout her battle with stage 4 colon cancer, but the Country Ever After reality star isn’t afraid to get realistic about the bad days of chemo, either.
Most cancer patients know that chemotherapy treatments become increasingly difficult as you progress, with recovery time taking a little longer with each treatment. While you may feel good for many days, the days immediately following your infusion can be the most difficult for many patients.
‘Downhill. See you in 4 days, ”the mother of three wrote on her Instagram stories with a photo of herself in the hospital. ‘I hate this so much. It’s not fair.”
Criscilla travels from her Texas home to Los Angeles every few weeks for her treatments. She and her husband, musician, Coffey Anderson, 42, who she met at church and married a year later on Valentine’s Day in 2009, rent while building their first family home together in Dallas. The country singer threw his wife a surprising 41st birthday party in their neighborhood last week with dozens of friends and a massive amount of crawfish. He serenaded his wife with tunes (and even carried her on his shoulders during the party really started).
“Meet my wonderful friends I made here. 98% of these people live in my neighborhood. And they are my friends, ”the birthday girl wrote on her Instagram alongside a huge group photo outside. “They’ve also all come together to pray for me, to bring my family meals when I’m going for chemo, to take care of us. That’s how special this place is. Texas is all about love! “
Criscilla, who has danced in videos with Rihanna, Katy Perry and Britney Spears, even taught dance lessons during the treatment, and just took a “bucket list” dance class that led the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders through some choreographed moves.
Leaning on faith
The couple have relied on their faith during this difficult time. They placed a Bible and scattered a few colorful scripture stones with religious sayings in the dirt of the foundation of their new home, while their children, Ethan, 8, Emmarie, 6, and Everleigh, 4 lend a hand.
Criscilla insisted that her foundation stone be placed in the front entrance. It said, “For me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Coffey read another message aloud to their fans. “Stand firm in your faith, be courageous and strong.”
And that’s exactly what his wife did. Everyone has their bad days going through cancer, and in life in general, but you just have to pick yourself up again. “Sometimes I am like ‘God? Why did you choose me for this because it’s stupid, ” said Criscilla SurivorNet in a previous interview. “But if I can keep that up, inspiring other people, then I know why He chose me.”
Treatment for stage 4 colon cancer
Criscilla first started noticing symptoms in May 2018. She had a stomach ache.
“As a mother, you always feel like you don’t have time to deal with things like this,” said Anderson. “But there came a point when I couldn’t ignore it anymore.”
She immediately underwent a colonoscopy, which revealed a blockage, and then ended up in the hospital for emergency surgery. Doctors removed two feet of her colon and was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.
After a short remission, her metastatic colon cancer was diagnosed at stage 4. “The cancer has spread to my para-aorta region and is starting to grow up in my back,” she reported via Instagram. Criscilla dropped out of chemotherapy to try a holistic approach. The couple went to Spain alternative treatments, and in April 2020, Anderson reported that her tumors were shrinking. While she was confident she would be cured with her next scan, unfortunately that didn’t happen. Criscilla started chemo again at the beginning of this year.
Experts say multiple treatment options are available for patients with stage four of the disease, and improvements have been made in survival.
“Stage 4 colorectal cancer means that the cancer has spread from the colon to a distant part of the body or to another nearby organ,” Dr. Heather Yeo from Weill Cornell Medicine SurvivorNet. “Sometimes you can make sure that patients are completely cured with different chemotherapy and surgical treatments. Their survival rate is lower than stage 3. But we are still getting cures even in stage 4 patients, which I find very exciting. “
Criscilla is not sure how long she will have chemo.
“I asked my doctor how long I should have chemo,” she told PEOPLE in one recent interview. And he told me that I could either spend the rest of my life on it or just be on it until the cancer is no longer detected. And then when it comes back, I’ll be back on chemo until we turn it off again. “
Another leading expert explained SurvivorNet that more patients have survived stage 4 colon cancer in recent years.
“When someone comes in with cancer that has spread outside the colon, this is called stage 4 colon cancer or metastatic colon cancer”, Dr. Paul Oberstein from NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center tells us. “The primary goal of therapy, and we discuss this at length with patients and their families, is to control the cancer, to try to control the cancer, to make it a chronic disease, to grow, spread and cause problems. . “
Dr. Oberstein says treatment options are complicated and unique to each person. There are different treatments for surgery, chemotherapy and immunotherapy, depending on where the tumor is located in the body and the genetic profile of the patient.
Hopefully, Criscilla will get some positive scans in the near future. “There are ups and downs, there are good scans and there are bad scans – that’s just the cancer journey,” she said. “When you realize that, it’s easier.”