Country singer Coffey Anderson is opening up about his wife’s metastatic colon cancer diagnosis, which they recently learned has grown to stage 4. Speaking out about the devastation that’s hit their family, Anderson and his wife, Criscilla, sat down with PEOPLE to address her health and what is next for their family. The couple, who has been together since 2008, has three children together whose ages ranging from 8 years old to 2. “When you say that you will be there for each other through thick and thin and through sickness and health, you have to mean it,” Coffey Anderson said.
The 40-year-old “Cowboy Style” singer went on to explain what those vows have been intailing lately. “There are a lot of moments that you can never prepare for. I mean, I never thought I would be helping Criscilla brush her teeth or get to the bathroom in the middle of the night. But we are willing to do it for each other. Each of us are giving 100 percent,” he told the news outlet. Criscilla described when she first began feeling pains in her stomach but because she’s a mom of three little ones, she didn’t have time to address it.
She told the story, which occurred in May 2018, when she was doubled over in pain because it was almost too much to bear. “As a mom, you always feel like you don’t have the time to deal with things like this,” reflected Criscilla. “But there came a point when I couldn’t ignore it anymore.” After pushing past the pain, she soon ended up in the emergency room while at a dance event in Kentucky, Louisianna, but they sent her home with simple antibiotics and a colitis diagnosis.
Days later, after returning home to California, Anderson’s wife ended up in the emergency room again with stomach pains. Again, they sent her home with medicine to help with cramping. It wasn’t until a friend reached out to her on social media, that she began to think it was something serious. “The whole time, I had been sharing my story on Instagram, and my girlfriend chimed in and told me that her dad was a GI doctor in Long Beach and that I should go see him,” she said. “By that time, I was in excruciating pain. I mean, I had stopped going to the bathroom. It was bad.”
When she sought help again, doctors wanted to perform an emergency colonoscopy, but they were unable to because a tumor was in the way. Criscilla spent nearly two weeks in the hospital and had to get surgery where doctors removed two feet of her colon. It was then, that Coffey Anderson and Criscilla learned she had stage 3C colon cancer. “The cancer has spread throughout my para-aortic region and has begun growing up my back,” she revealed. “My ultimate goal is to be in remission and have it not be chronic but be in a situation where it can be completely healed. The ideal, if that cannot happen, would be to keep it maintained and have it not spread any further for the rest of my life.” She spent a brief time in remission before learning the cancer was back and bigger than ever.
The country singer, who lost his mom when he was 10 to lung cancer, took time during the interview to reflect on his wife’s health status. “Life is not fair, but God is always good. I hate the smell of hospitals. I was 10 years old when my mom was going through her treatments, and I can still remember that smell. But I can also remember how my dad took care of my mom, and how he was the one carrying her to the bathroom and washing her back. So now, I’m taking care of my wife.”