This is a blog of a 21 year old fighter who was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma.
I was 19 years old, just figuring out what I want to do for a living and how I’d like to plan out my education. I began the course of my interest in the winter semester and enjoyed the type of knowledge and personal skills it was teaching me. As February rolled in, I started to develop pain in my rib and it was the type of pain that was indescribable. I went into my GP and they advised that it may just be minor stress or some sort of irritated nerves since I just began physical exercise at the gym. As time went on the pain went away and then it would come back but it came back even sharper and intolerable. I went into the hospital and they assessed me for pain in my rib area and did some X-rays and blood work which came out “normal.” They advised me to go home with some pain killers. I went home upset because I still didn’t know why it was hurting so bad. The pain increased so much that I would wake up every time I moved in my sleep. I attempted to take a sleeping aid and the pain killers they gave me but it just wasn’t helping. I’m sleep deprived and in pain every day. I woke up one day and cried because the pain took another hit so I went back to the hospital and they assessed me and gave me stronger pain killers and sent me home once again. However, they gave me assurance that they will book me into an outpatient MRI. After one month I went in for my very first MRI. It was loud and I was unable to move even an inch, along with this MRI for the chest, I had to hold my breath for most of the scans. Taking deep breaths would cause more pain for me so this whole MRI I’m just thinking “when will this be over” UGH.
Finally they said last scan and I left to change back into my clothes, my mom came down and the tech told us it would take about a week for the reports to get back to my doctor. I was eager to finally know what this pain was caused by. This week felt like one of the longest weeks ever.
I went into my GP and he had this saddened look on his face as he read my report and said there is something in my left rib area which isn’t fully diagnosed yet but could be the possibility of three things. ” 1) A very bad infection. ” I was worried but he kept going “2) a tumour but not cancerous.” I suddenly looked at my mom and she just looked like she was going to cry any second. As he said, “3 or cancer” quickly, tears came down my face and I just looked down and had no words at all. I was just hoping that it was an infection or worst case it was a tumour they could operate on. He told me he’d call me later after calling the cancer centre and booking my bone scan.
I received information about my appointment with an oncologist at the cancer centre and again was just eager to hear what they had to say. My mom and I went in for the appointment and the oncologist started off with a questionnaire, “do I have a past of cancer in family ” I answered no. No one has heard of such thing. “What’s your health history” I answered just anemic and overall healthy. They understood and gave different types of cancers that could show up on my biopsy. I didn’t even want to look at my mom cause I was already crying and my hands were shaking as my makeup just was wiped Kleenex after Kleenex. They booked my biopsy for a week later and till then I didn’t know what to think and honestly just kept telling myself that it’s an infection. Nothing’s wrong. Just an infection.
As I walked into my biopsy my legs shook and thoughts filled my mind. This was my first ever surgical procedure. I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t want the results. I just wanted this all to go away. As these thoughts run through my mind, they call my name. I left my belongings with my mom and went on in. I was numbed with freezing and had minor sedation. As one nurse holds my hand and the others talk to me through the intercom. The surgeon comes in and explains the procedure and I can hear and see everything. I felt the pressure in my bone as I slowly fall asleep. I woke up in recovery and was sent home with a small patch just underneath my breast.
Waiting anxiously for the results, having all my friends, family and boyfriend tell me that it’s going to be okay and nothing will happen. That they are here for me through anything and everything. It was tricky because my closest friends who I consider my soul sisters were long distance from me at the time. Also my boyfriend was working a couple hours away from my city.
Today was the day (July 5th 2015) I went into my appointment again, anxiously waiting. I just want to hear good news. My family has been doing everything to keep my mind off of this, as just last night I was partying for my cousin brothers reception. I’m thinking about nothing but the results.
Finally they call me in and they just open up with, “The reports have come back and it appears you have Ewing Sarcoma.” I froze, numb to feelings, crying. I can’t hear a single thing. “You will have to quit work, school and put things on hold because we start chemotherapy next week” They said. I’m being told to stop my life at the age of 19, where other are just beginning theirs. Being the girl who ALWAYS woke up an extra hour early to do hair, the side affects of chemotherapy were hard to process.
Soon after, I receive a green book which every newly diagnosed patient which included six other brochures and five sheets of chemotherapy I was going to start in just six days. I had chemotherapy booked for three days (Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday) eight hours every day. Two week break then one day for three hours. Cycling back to three days for six treatments.
After we left my mom just kept repeating “why didn’t this happen to me, why did it happen to you” I told her that it would have been the same thing because it’s family. But the real reason I said this is because I knew that I would never be able to see my mom go through this and I’d rather go through this myself. We just got home and my dad and older brother are just waiting in the living room for us.. They saw me crying and my mom tried to hold back her tears but just couldn’t. Her one and only daughter that she always treated like a princess is sick.. Sick with the worst condition. We finally told them and they both started to cry. I’ve never seen my brother cry but today I saw tears roll down his face as he questions what will happen next and if I’ll be okay.
Shortly after I went to my room and called my boyfriend, he could hear the queasiness in my voice as I hesitated more and he finally says “So it’s cancer.” I replied yes, as I bursting into tears. He helped me throughout it but I was just thinking how hard it must be on him, my family and friends. How is every one coping ? No ones venting to me because they don’t know what to say because they are speechless or just don’t want to say something because they are scared it will hurt me more than this already is hurting. Everyone took their day to themselves trying to accept the reality. Then there was me, I couldn’t accept it, just couldn’t wrap my mind around this at all. I googled everything that night and I know Google is your worst best friend during cancer but I wanted more information.
I had so many questions in my head like what’s it like to have cancer? What really is it? We only know the appearance aspect of it. Little do we know about the physical and internal impact. Neither are we aware about what the treatment actually does to the body. I wanted to know so much, WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and till this day the question is still why..