Featured MassKicker

Roger Rojas

Keep sending the positive energy about survivorship by sharing your stories. It really does make a difference to people that are going through a diagnosis.

March is Colo-Rectal Cancer Awareness Month.  We will be highlighting Colo-Rectal Cancer Thrivers throughout the month.  Our first thriver is Roger Rojas.  Roger is an Industrial Engineer, a father of three, and an active post treatment thriver in Kingsville Texas.  We were lucky to connect with him online and ask him a few questions.

mK:  Thanks for doing this Roger!  What/ when was your diagnosis?

RR: I was diagnosed on October 7, 2008. I had a weird diagnosis. It was Rectal Cancer, diagnosed at IIB, but one little lymph node was suspect so I was then diagnosed as a Stage III patient.

mK:  What were your symptoms?

RR:  I didn’t have the major symptoms associated with rectal cancer, I just had trouble going to the bathroom (constipation), which was not normal for me. So I decided to go see a doctor.

mK: Who are your heroes?

RR: Anyone that is working on or accomplishing something positive are my heroes.

mK: What motivates you?

RR: The idea to try to stay healthy and strong for my kids is my motivation. They worry about me so much, I just love to show them that I am OK.

mK: That is a great reason!  When was the first time you felt like yourself after your diagnosis?

RR: Yes, I did have cancer and went through radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery but I never felt like I was not myself. I always felt positive, I did have my moments of sadness and anger but I always worked through them.

mK: What makes you laugh, cry, angry?

RR: A Pittsburgh Steelers  win makes me laugh, hahahaha. Anything funny makes me laugh, I tend to try to laugh a lot.

A Pittsburgh Steeler loss makes me cry. When I think about what could have happened, had the treatments not worked and  had not beaten the cancer. Just thinking about that makes me cry.

I get angry when I hear people say things without thinking. I always heard you look good, your cancer must not be that bad. Or, now that you are in remission everything is fine, yes I’m fine but cancer left me with many issues that I have to deal with on a daily basis.

mK:  Our condolences on the Steelers 2013 season, but seriously people need to realize the scars left after the battle are not always visible. What would you say is the most interesting thing you’ve done?

RR: When I was selected to be part of the Colon Club’s Colondar, a calendar of colorectal cancer survivors. I had never been photographed like that, it was awesome. I also met some great people that had some of the same issues that I have.

mK:  You should have a single modeling name.  Like “RO-Hass, International Male Model”… J/K.  Serious question… What was the toughest challenge you faced as a survivor?  How did you overcome it?

RR: Dealing with all the gastro intestinal issues that come as a result of rectal cancer. It’s hard to try to anticipate going to the bathroom, but it’s something I deal with everyday and try to get through it by trial and error.

mK: What is your guilty pleasure?

RR: I don’t think I have a guilty pleasure.

mK:  OK, you can justify EVERYTHING.  How bout this question… If you won $10 million dollars in the lottery and had only 1 week to spend it, what would you buy?

RR: A lot of Nike Air Jordan Shoes, a lot of baseball caps. I would buy Houston Astros, New York Knicks, and Pittsburgh Steelers season tix.

mK: That would be a lot of traveling!  What do you like to do in your spare time?

RR: Run, play baseball/ basketball with my kids. Did I mention I am a Steeler fan.

mK: Hee hee.  What are you up to now?

RR: Just relaxing.

mK: We all need to relax!  Any advice for people or loved ones that get daunting diagnoses?

RR: Stay positive, surround yourself with a great group of people. Ask questions and try to stay as active as you can.

mK: Tell us something about yourself that people probably didn’t know… anything.

RR: I’m Batman!

mK: HAHAHA!  Chicks love the car… Any parting words for all the mAss Kickers?

RR: Keep sending the positive energy about survivorship by sharing your stories. It really does make a difference to people that are going through a diagnosis.

Roger Rojas: Die-hard Steeler Fan,  international Colondar model (Mr. March 2012), sports fanatic,and active colo-rectal cancer advocate!  Roger shows that a colo-rectal cancer diagnosis is not the end of the world, but a personal call-to-action against these horrible diseases.  We will be highlighting other colorectal cancer thrivers this month… stay tunned!

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