When I Discovered I Have Cancer
“On October 19, 2020, I self-published Rent-A-Cop Reboot, and I had a colonoscopy,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III. “After my procedure, the nurse said the doctor had asked my wife and daughter to come into the hospital. Alarm bells went off in my head. I had arranged for my family to meet me outside because of COVID-19.
“After my wife arrived, the doctor blurted out, ‘We found a mass in your colon, and you have cancer.’ I was completely dumbfounded. I said, ‘Are you serious?!’ He said yes, and spoke to me as if he had been asked if he had a pen. Had they become numb from giving patients bad news?
“Thirty days later, the mass in my colon was removed, and it was confirmed. I had colon cancer. Shortly after that, I found out that the cancer had spread to my liver, and it was at Stage 4.
“As the diagnosis set in, I found myself experiencing waves of various emotions, including fear. Thankfully, my business experience had already kicked in. I have always believed in having a Plan B, and suggest that other entrepreneurs have one. Add a Plan C, too.
“My Plan B thinking prompted me to contact my cousin who works at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center when the cancer was first suspected. I wound up being blessed with the opportunity to have my treatment begin at Sloan Kettering in early February, which includes chemotherapy.
“Dealing with the pain of this personal experience, the demands of the business, the news of racial inequity and political unrest, and balancing it all during the pandemic has been horrible. I admit it. I have had days of grief, fear, and hopelessness. But I also have faith. I thank God every day for my wife and daughter, my extended family, and my health care providers, as well as my Leumas Security team and clients.
“I was encouraged to talk about my situation this month by a member of my team. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. I want to add my voice to the voices of those who love actor Chadwick Boseman in reminding people to get screened for colorectal cancer. Boseman, who won a Best Actor Golden Globe Award this past Sunday, lost his battle with colon cancer last August.
“The American Cancer Society recommends that if you are at average risk of getting colorectal cancer you should begin screening at age 45. Talk to your doctor about the age when you should begin screening if you have risk factors such as a family history of colorectal cancer, are African American, or are Jewish of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews).
“Talk to your friends and family about getting screened,” says Griffin. “It’s a way of showing that you care about them. The screening process can be uncomfortable, but I want you to know that the process is definitely worth it.”