Ron Milos is the editor for Excelsior College’s digital engagement services team. Last year, he was diagnosed with stage four cancer and was determined to have the best care possible at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. He shares his experience with Excelsior Life to promote Men’s Health Month and the importance of a colonoscopy now matter how well you feel.
Excelsior Life: How did you find out you had cancer?
Milos: I volunteered to give blood at our church in May of 2013, but couldn’t since tests indicted I was anemic. My primary doctor ordered a colonoscopy. At that time I found out I had a large tumor in my colon that had migrated to my liver (Stage 4).
Excelsior Life: What were your symptoms? Milos: I actually no symptoms. I felt fine. I have since become a vocal advocate for colonoscopy.
Excelsior Life: What advice would you give to others based on your experience? Milos: During rough times, use humor, and have a positive attitude. Never look back, always move forward.
Excelsior Life: Are there words of wisdom you would share with other going through a difficult health diagnosis? Milos: Accept support and concern from friends and relatives. Relying on others is sometimes hard, but surpasses chemotherapy and medical procedures in the long road to recovery.
Excelsior Life: What helped you get through this difficult time in your life?
Milos: Ken Davey (who is a cancer survivor and my son’s father-in-law) volunteered to drive me to NYC for surgeon visits, tests, and minor procedures. It was almost a weekly run. Since he had gone through cancer himself, he attended doctor’s appointments with me, asked appropriate questions, and helped my family through this difficult time. Ken and his wife were at the hospital with my family during my 7 hour operation (that the surgeon claimed was his most difficult to date). Ken is my guardian angel. I also had some great friends at Excelsior College who helped me on my year long journey through their caring, encouragement, and understanding.
Excelsior Life: Since it is men’s health month, what advice do you give to men who don’t always go to the doctor? Milos: Get a colonoscopy no matter how well you feel. Cancer is insidious.
Excelsior Life: What is your prognosis now? Milos: Good news is that I am cancer free. Life is good.