I was 13 years old when I was first diagnosed with bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma.
I am now 23 years old. You do the math.
I had stage 4 Ewing’s Sarcoma when I was 13. My right femur was completely destroyed by the cancer and my lungs were also showing nodes on the medical images.
Back then, I had a 25% rate of survival. I had no idea about this stat until after my third relapse.
At 13, I went to school still, eventually graduated from a small, Christian middle school, and began to attend a huge public high school Olentangy High school. I would disappear from my desks in class for a week or more at time to receive chemotherapy and radiation. My right femur, completely destroyed by the cancer, was removed, and I now have a metal bone instead. Incredible. I learned to walk again. I survived my freshman year without really remembering anything, to tell you truthfully.
I had multiple scans, multiple check ups throughout the years to monitor my health. It wasn’t until I was 18 years old, a freshman at a small liberal arts college Otterbein University, that I began to have intense pain again for no reason. Pain is one of the indicators for any cancer survivor that something is wrong, something is up. My doctors thought I was wrong and that it was nothing; my body and God told me that I was right. I relapsed, now 5 years later with the Ewing’s again on my pelvis bones and showing beginnings again in my lungs of nodes. I continued to go to college while undertaking rounds again of chemotherapy and radiation for a year. I was declared cancer free again in 2011.
Now, here I am again. My cancer is back, and it’s only 1.5 cm in diameter on my left hip bone. I don’t know what God is doing. You see, there are so many things he has done and interwoven behind the scenes that I can barely begin to talk about and that I have seen. But now, I have no idea. I don’t know what he is doing. And I am waiting and hoping for that distant country to come to me now and trying to figure out from my small perspective what is he exactly doing. It is beyond me, but I know that it is not beyond him.
INSERT EDIT [11.9.2016]
Let’s pick up where I left off.
This section, “My story,” is to help introduce you to me as a person, a blogger, my cancer history. I wrote this section at the beginning of my third relapse, unsure of what was to come for my chemo-year future but confident and hopeful in the Lord.
And this is now, in history, me looking backward as a I type up now some sort of addendum.
If you want to know what happens, to me throughout that third relapse, read all of my blogposts from July 2014- July 2016. (Good look, there is at least 100 posts to be read. Man, I wrote a lot!)
But if you want some highlights, here they are:
- I started chemotherapy for a year.
- I blogged and prayer journal blogged during that entire time.
- I developed closer friendships with the Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) cancer community. I learned what it meanst to seek help and support with fellow brothers and sisters like Daniel, Jared, Mary.
- I met an amazing younger brother named Skylor who was also doing treatment.
- He came to a high school Bible study that I helped to lead while still being on treatment.
- I continued to try to teach and mentor and enjoy and laugh with others during chemotherapy.
- I did radiation therapy Jan 2015.
- I got asked out on a date by Josh for Valentine’s day of that year.
- We’ve been since dating and he brings a lot of laughter, peace and perspective through all of this.
- I finished all of my treatments in July 2015.
- I was a Patient Champion for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon in October, which was so much fun and brought tribute to such an amazing hospital that helped me so much.
- I struggled to start to get back to “normal life,” working part time, seeking out support from my AYA brothers and sisters at varying events.
- I continued my check up scans every 3 months; I am cancer free for a year.
- I received a full time job a year later at OSU.
- I push up check up scans a month early because of numb fingers and hurting shoulder.
- October 24, 2016, I find out that I have cancer again for the 4th time in my life.
- October 30, 2016, Skylor passes away after 2.5 years of battling together.
Now, here I am again. My cancer is back, and it’s in my C7 vertebre, beginning to show in my lungs. Once again, I don’t know what God is doing. You see, there are so many things he has done and interwoven behind the scenes that I can barely begin to talk about and that I have seen. This is just a meager list for the beginning. Even though I have no idea now what he is dong, I look back and see that I am more and more confident of whatever plans there are to come. I don’t know what he is doing. And I am waiting and hoping for that distant country to come to me now and trying to figure out from my small perspective what is he exactly doing. It is beyond me, but I know that it is not beyond him.