Eula Marshall shares why she shouldn't have skipped her colonoscopy screening.

Throughout my life, I've had stomach distress. I started seeing a gastroenterologist in my 30s. A colonoscopy found that I had several polyps. My doctor recommended a colonoscopy every three years since I was at higher risk for colon cancer due to my family history. At each screening, more polyps were found and removed, but none were cancerous.

I kept up with the regular screenings through the years, but as I got older, I got busy. I was running a business. My husband was ill. I had grandchildren. I was well acquainted with the risks I faced, but I made a fatal mistake. I skipped my colonoscopy for six years and that delay resulted in the onset of cancer.

I was having pain in my left side, but didn't think much about it until it kept increasing. Eventually, I passed blood and I knew I was in trouble. My doctor recommended gastroenterologist, Dr. Jamie Walters at UM St. Joseph. I set up an appointment with her right away. She put me at ease as soon as we met and arranged a colonoscopy. When the lab work confirmed that I had stage 2 colon cancer, she referred me to Dr. Howard Berg, chief of colorectal surgery at UM SJMC, who would perform my surgery.

My first visit with Dr. Berg was wonderful. He explained my diagnosis, what the surgery would entail and what I should expect. The surgery went exactly as he had predicted, and I'm doing well now.

I hosted our annual Thanksgiving dinner for my fiancée, Victor Frenkil, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren this year. I am so grateful to be here with them. I'm living proof that even at 79, a colonoscopy can save your life.