- Acknowledged– that the cancer may come back
- Shared– my feelings with those who are ready to listen
- Accepted– that l only have so much power over the relapse rate of the awful disease we all know as cancer
Talking about an illness that has impacted the person you are can be extremely difficult. It brings back memories that you may have spent a long time trying to forget. That being said, sharing your story can be beneficial for those around you as well as yourself.
“If you avoid your feelings, you also avoid understanding who you really are.”
This is why I believe it’s truly important to share your experiences and traumas with others to help yourself overcome them.
I understand that sharing experiences and traumas, that are associated to illnesses, can be difficult but, a new year means new goals am I right??
Are you or someone you know a CANCER warrior , CARDIOVASCULAR warrior, ANXIETY warrior, DOWN SYNDROME warrior, AUTISM warrior, DEPRESSION warrior, MULTIPLESCLEROSIS warrior, LUPUS warrior, BIPOLAR warrior??? Or a WARRIOR of any sort under the age of twenty five?
If so PLEASE message me (or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject warrior project) & add yourself to the Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/AnysePermanentlyPink/
If you would like to participate but don’t want to share your name that is okay, you will remain anonymous.
Your participation requires a minimal amount of effort.
I’m looking forward to hearing from some of you.
It’s 1:54 pm on a Tuesday afternoon and I don’t think I’ve ever loved being alive as much as I do in this moment. I’ve recently spent a lot of time thinking about everything I’ve gone through the last few months and suddenly all I feel is a weird mixture of sadness & relief all in one.
It all seems a little too good to be true- I made it out alive, in one piece; stronger & wiser than I could have ever imagined. My world was shattered when I found out I was sick again, but now that this chapter is coming to an end, it almost feels like I’m losing a part of me that I spent so long learning to love. I had never been so happy; everything & anything put a smile on my face. Now that the chapter is slowly ending I feel like I’m losing part of myself in the midst. It may be hard to understand from someone on the outside looking in nevertheless, cancer helped me find the person I wanted to become. Strong, understanding, loving and all around happy.
Cancer took a lot away- appearance, sensation & mobility but it also allowed me to gain so many wonderful qualities.
For that I am thankful.
Thankful to be alive & thankful to be me.
I hope each and everyone of you feels the same way.
I’ve recently been asked by multiple people how I stay so positive while going through something so difficult and challenging. If I’m being completely honest, the answer is quite simple- accepting that death may come a little sooner than you had once anticipated.
I know death is a difficult subject. The majority of people have a hard time accepting the death of a loved one or dear friend, let alone their own death. It is too often seen as the worst possible outcome.
Perhaps if it was seen in a more positive light those who suffer/suffered from a physical illness could live a happier and more fulfilling life.
I’m not saying it’s an easy pill to swallow. It’s not like I woke up one morning and decided that I was okay with my life ending at such a young age. It took a few months, and much thought but I have finally come to the realization that:
DEATH is okay
DEATH is unavoidable
DEATH is a part of life
Sure I’m young and sure I have a million things I would like to accomplish before my time here is up, but if tomorrow were to be my last day I am content with the things I’ve done, the people I’ve met and the love I have felt.
For those of you going through the same thing (or for those who want to appreciate their lives a little extra) – take a deep breath every time you wake up, hug the ones you love a little extra and conquer the day as if it were your last.
You don’t need to live a long life to live a complete life.
June marks 6 months…
The inevitable 6 letter word that was like vomit from my oncologists mouth. The day the life I was currently living was no longer going to be anywhere close to ordinary.
Everything I knew as normal came to a halting STOP.
I’ve been riding this roller coaster for a few months now and if I’m being completely honest it was easier to fight than I thought it would be. I would be lying if I said there weren’t days where the world felt dark and awful but somehow through this midst of it all life seemed to shine through TWICE as bright as it did before.
Planning summer adventures & trips between chemo… cute coffee dates & weeks spent with old friends…
School will await me when I’m ready- LIFE will be there for me to take on when I am well & ready.
Here’s to another 6 months of ups and downs- here’s to accepting everything life throws my way.
Hi! Long time no update (Oops)
Wednesday I finished my third week straight of chemo (ughhhh) You can probably guess it wasn’t the greatest of times but it’s done and I’m on to new things. (STOP DWELLING- that’s my new motto)
The weather is beautifulllllll and I’ve never felt so alive. The hospital has me feeling a little locked up; the lack of fresh airs gets to you after awhile.
I have a couple weeks off now (I go back for another three weeks the 15th of May- which means I have just over two weeks off- YAYAYAY)
I plan on taking full advantage off my time off once the side effects of chemo start to subside. Keeping my fingers crossed I might even get a couple days in England (depending on my blood counts and travel insurance.)
I also intend on drinking a lot of good coffee, eating A LOT of ice-cream and spending time with the people I love. Ou and blogging more frequently seeing I’ll have more energy !
Till next time,
Let me start with sorry for the time in-between posts… It has been a busy few weeks!
If I’m being totally honest I haven’t posted because I’ve been trying to forget my first chemo experience. It started off fine, a little stressful with accessing the port but nevertheless it was going pretty well.
Somewhere between receiving the chemo and my first night at the hospital I began to feel the effects. The nausea started slowly till I inevitably ended up over a bucket in the bathroom with tears running down my face because lets be honest: puking SUCKS- especially when you know it’s induced. (Puking with a healthy body sucks, let alone when your body consists of cancer cells.)
I made my way back to bed and the nurse offered another nausea medicine to help relieve my symptoms. She gave me these little white pills you put under your tongue. Shortly after they began to melt, my eyes began to close and my brain felt like it was incapable of processing anything. I’ve never felt anything like it.
I don’t drink but I think that’s the closest I’ve ever been to drunk.
Ingesting the little white pills is the last thing I remember. The few days after ingesting the pills are a blur. I don’t even have any recollection of leaving the hospital; I haven’t decided if that’s a good thing or not. I think that’s why I’ve been so scared to write about it because so much was forgotten.
Once home the initial days are still a bit of a blur. I was on 2 nausea medicines and sent home with those famous little white pills (that I had NO intention of using). I was on home hydration which means my port was hooked up to an IV for 12 hours every night. Every time the doorbell rang I knew it was time; theres something about having my port used that turns my stomach.
I initially was so nauseous I couldn’t even sit up. I laid in bed while someone fed me little pieces of watermelon and cheese. Those were the only things I could stomach. As the days went on the nausea seemed to subside but I had to take things slowly or it would creep up on me once again.
My body had been poisoned and I was slowly learning how to cope with it.
DID YOU KNOW… There are more than 100 types of cancer. On average, 555 Canadians will be diagnosed with Cancer every day.
In addition to that, 2 out of 5 Canadians are expected to develop cancer during their lifetime. [Canada’s current population is 36,626,083 those statistic estimate that 14,650,433 of Canada’s civilians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.]
I have not only been diagnosed with cancer once in my lifetime, but twice. I was first diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma a malignant brain tumour. The second diagnosis was osteosarcoma in simpler words- bone cancer [& yes, this is the cancer Terry Fox passed away from.]
Osteosarcoma is most commonly found in fast growing areas of the bone (knees, elbows, etc.) Some Osteosarcoma patients undergo surgery, while others must undergo both surgery and vigorous chemotherapy treatments. The choice of treatment is dependent on the severity, as well as the location, of the cancer.
My diagnoses of osteosarcoma is linked to both the radiation I received as a child AND the mutation in my gene (P53.) My left jaw lit up like a christmas when I had a bone scan done. The tumour was measured in cm (this generally means the tumour is of a large size.)
The board of oncologists at Sick Kids discussed my specific case and decided I should under go surgery before starting chemotherapy. They wanted the tumour to be removed before it caused further damage (specifically nerve damage.)
The surgery whom was done by Doctor Gilbert, the head and neck specialist at the Toronto General Hospital, planned on:
- Removing the jaw joint (leads to permanent complications chewing & numbness)
- Removing a small lower part of the skull (this was to be done by a neurosurgeon)
- Reconstruction of the left mandible (jaw)
- Free tissue transplant from the left leg (used to reconstruct the left mandible/jaw)
The morning of surgery was long; it consisted mostly of waiting around. Once I changed into my dressing gown the surgery was quick to follow. The surgeon, as well as his fellow, brought me into a massive operating room (exactly like the ones in movies.) The few minutes between being brought in by the doctors and being put to sleep, seemed to last forever. I’ve been put to sleep sooooooo many times that it doesn’t scare me anymore.
If you close your eyes and start counting….1…2….you’re asleep!
Everyones past helped shape who they are today so it’s inevitable that cancer helped shaped me.
I was diagnosed with cancer for the first time at the age of 2; it was a brain tumour situated behind my left eye. I underwent treatment for months, with little results. My family was devastated by the idea of losing a loved one at such a young age. My mom insisted they keep treating me until my little fragile body couldn’t take anymore. After 12 weeks of radiation, and week long chemo treatments my tumour began to shrink. Eventually my oncologist was able to shrink the tumour, to ruffly the size of a loony, as well as eliminate the cancer cells. Years of fighting finally payed off- It created a miracle… ME
In addition to having underwent a childhood cancer, I was born with the P53 gene. This gene is essentially an error in my DNA that creates masses of cancer. Because of this gene the odds of me having cancer again were high- much much higher than the average person. In all honesty though, I never worried about it. I always told myself it’s pointless to worry about something that was out of my control. Weather I worried about cancer or not, if my biology insisted I get it- there was nothing I could do to change that.
January 6th 2017, shortly after my 18th birthday, the inevitable happened- I was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. I had been sleeping more and frequent headaches during the night began to affect the quality of my sleep. Th0se around me believed it was the lack of routine in my busy university lifestyle but something inside of me knew there was an underlying issue. I procrastinated going to the doctor during the holidays until I realized that my health was in my own hands. No one was going to advocate for me anymore; if I wanted an answer it was my responsibility to ask the questions.
After reaching out to my new oncologist nurse a few times, I realized she didn’t believe my symptoms were associated to anything major. She repeatedly encouraged me to go see my family doctor; however, something about her reaction was too calming. I decided to contact my old oncologist nurse whom assumed another role at the hospital. I explained my symptoms and that my current nurse was disregarding the importance of me seeing my oncologist. She contacted my current oncologist nurse and explained to her the importance of me being seen by my doctor. [I later found out, by my oncologist, that I only received an appointment because I spoke with my old nurse.]
The weeks to follow are a little bit of a blur. Everyone was in shock that this healthy young girl could possibly have such an awful disease growing inside of her AGAIN. By the end of January I underwent a massive surgery to remove the tumour, as well as reconstruct the left mandible with bone and tissue taken from my leg. The surgery was roughly 12 hours. The recovery time was estimated at 12-13 days but I was out in 6. I slowly began to recover.