Information for Patients and Visitors of Rockford Gastroenterology about Online Bill Pay Fraud:

      Patient Credits Colonoscopy and Pita Chip For Saving His Life

      Jason BuellJason with staff

      In 2018, Jason Buell of Rockford was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer at the age of 46. He credits a colonoscopy (and a crunchy snack) for saving his life.

      After biting into a hard pita chip and cracking his tooth in half, Jason had a dental procedure to fix the tooth and was placed on an antibiotic. As he began to take the medication, he noticed some stomach discomfort. He didn’t think anything of it as he knew antibiotics could cause GI irritation. The pain continued and he tried elimination diets and other natural remedies, but it didn’t help. A year later, in addition to still having some gastrointestinal issues, he also started to experience diarrhea and noticed blood in his stool. It was at that point; he knew he had to go to the doctor.

      Jason visited his primary care physician who instructed him to schedule a colonoscopy right away. He chose Rockford Gastroenterology Associates (RGA) because he had heard great things about the group.

      After his initial clinic visit at RGA, it was quickly determined that Jason needed to have a colonoscopy. In the summer of 2018, Dr. Ilche Nonevski performed the procedure, and it revealed a large, more advanced cancer in the rectum that nearly completely obstructed the opening to the rest of his colon.

      After some additional testing with blood work and scans, it was also discovered that the cancer had spread to Jason’s lymph nodes. He was referred to the UW Madison to undergo chemotherapy, followed by surgery to remove the cancer. Doctors were able to remove the colon cancer and Jason had an ileostomy bag for a time and then had a second surgery to reverse everything once he healed.

      Jason was grateful that he chose RGA for his care. "The staff is so caring and very friendly and that goes for everything from the first visit to every single procedure I have had there since.

      "I have developed a great relationship with Dr. Nonevski," he continued. "He is so supportive, and I still get calls from him asking about my progress. It’s great to have someone like that when you are going through something big like colon cancer."

      After the surgery, doctors instructed Jason to have a CT scan done once a year for three years, bloodwork every three months for five years, and a colonoscopy every two-to-three years.

      "Leading up to my diagnosis, I was terrified of a colonoscopy," Jason said. "Turns out, it was so simple and easy. You are put to sleep; you wake up and you don’t feel anything. It was the complete opposite of what I expected it to be."

      Today Jason is cancer free. He exercises and walks two to three times a week. He learned to appreciate his strength more after going though chemotherapy, so he also installed a chin up bar to build some muscle mass. He also enjoys spending time with his busy family and playing guitar, listening to music and woodworking.

      He urges everyone to get their colonoscopy.

      "I always use myself as an example that I was living a normal fruitful life. Without doing this very simple procedure, I may not be alive."