June is Men’s Health Month, and I’m spending the month highlighting various advocates for different conditions that affect men. Earlier this month, I shared an interview with Wayne Dornan, a male breast cancer survivor. I also recently spoke with Truitt Taylor, the owner of Taylor Design Shop, host of the One Percent Podcast, and a seven-year colon cancer survivor.
ABSOT: Tell me about the man beyond the cancer.
Truitt Taylor: After spending 10 years in higher education, I decided to left the education world to start his own custom furniture and contracting company. My craftsmanship and designs have been featured in several home magazines in the Atlanta area.
In addition to my design business and podcast, I enjoy public speaking, baseball and spending time with my wife, Clare. We live in Atlanta, GA with our dachshund, Blue.
Let’s get into the your cancer story. How did you discover you had colon cancer?
I had a pain in the lower left side of my abdomen and I noticed some changes during bowel movements. My doc actually told me that the worst case scenario was Crohn’s disease. This diagnosis was crazy to me since I never even had a cavity.
What surgeries and treatments did you go through?
I had a colon resection where they removed twelve inches of my colon. I had surgery to place a port in my chest. Following this, I completed ten rounds of chemo and twenty-five rounds of radiation.
What did you know about colon cancer before going through it?
I didn’t know much. My only experience was hearing about older adults having to disease.
How and why do you share your story?
In the midst of starting my furniture company, I launched the One Percent Podcast. On the podcast, I interview fellow cancer warriors, survivors and caregivers in order to inspire hope and develop relationships in the cancer community.
There are a lot of healing properties in storytelling. My goals are to help my guests continue to heal and allow all of my listeners an opportunity to connect to a positive cancer community. People need hope, faith and inspiration and we connect with those needs through discussing topics of mind, body, and spirit.
(Editor’s Note: ABSOT appeared in this episode of the One Percent Podcast — check it out and then check yourself!)
I share my story to bring awareness to the rise in colon cancer among young adults. Colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer for adults 20-45 years old. I also feel it’s important to address the mental health side of cancer and how it impacts your identity, especially as a young adult.
The One Percent Podcast has been downloaded in over 20 countries and continues to serve the cancer community by creating awareness and highlighting the mental health challenges of a cancer diagnosis.
What do you want all men to know about colon cancer?
Three things come to mind:
- Go get screened at the first sign of blood in your stool or persistent pain in your abdomen.
- You’re never too young.
- If detected early, colon cancer is one of the easiest to treat.
What message do you want all men to take away about health matters in general?
I want men to be open about discussing health and mental health issues in a greater way. Being masculine is about courage; it’s not about pretending to be tough.
Any other last minute words for our readers?
I’ve had plenty of traumatic events in my life: my parents’ divorce, my father’s motorcycle accident (which left him as a quadriplegic), my brother’s suicide, my divorce, and my cancer diagnosis. Through it all, I still have faith and tons of gratitude each day and am in love with life.
I feel a responsibility to show vulnerability, masculinity, patience, kindness through all my actions and my voice on the podcast.
This post originally appeared on A Ballsy Sense of Tumor. It is republished with permission.