17th August 2017

Child Cancer

Why am I alive?

I survived through stage 4 ovarian cancer. I only had a 17% chance of surviving, I was just 11 years old and still had a whole life ahead of me. Not being able to have the strength to walk, sleeping for 20 of the 24 hours a day, being in pain and discomfort constantly. Moving around on two wheels and having company non stop while going toilet and taking showers while being supported to stand. Liquid food being forced down the tube in my nose into my stomach to keep me fed and alive. This was my definition of hell. I had a tumour in my left ovary the size of an american football, after my hair slowly thinning off my head and having 4 rounds of chemo this tumour had shrunk to half the size. After the fourth round of chemo they noticed that it wasn’t shrinking as much anymore as they needed it to, so we needed to come up with another plan. I had surgery to remove the remains of the tumor, but it wasn’t as easy as it sounds; the build up and procedures I went through before I could have surgery were dreadful. From unsleepable nights because of the drains they had to put in my lungs irritating my skin, to the picc lines that were inserted in my upper arm to keep me fighting from other diseases that could have killed me. I am now left with a long scar going across my lower stomach. When I thought it was all finally finished, I was wrong.. of course something else has to get in my way of me being able to go home to my family that I haven’t seen in months, I got a blood clot in my upper right arm, because of a medicine I had to have called bleomycin. Bleomycin usually causes blood clots when reacted with other medicines. I had to take a jabb in my stomach every morning for 2 months with close control until the blood clot had diluted and went away. After those longest months of my life I was finally gone from that pain and misery of the hospital and finally allowed to go home and be with my family and friends. Life is nothing without the motivating support from your family and friends. We all need to appreciate one another for what they do for you and never take love from others for granted because as I’ve learned this is what keeps you going when you’re going through the hardest times in life.

Getting back into the sports and activities I loved to participate in before this interruption in my life had occurred, was very hard, from the first painful steps of getting out of my wheelchair and my legs being so vrale, to getting back aches because of my weak stomach muscles. I went from laying in the hospital bed for months and months to then trying to gain my strength to do the things I was able to do before. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, I wasn’t going to let myself not accomplish what I was aiming for. The amount of dedication that I’ve gained towards things now has changed the way I live my everyday life, I have realised that it’s not worth it to give up without trying your hardest and to your full potential and you’re just failing yourself.  

But I’m not the only one, there is kids out there your age that are fighting against things that are deadly. Some surviving and some not, only 1 out of 8 kids survive from cancer and more than 40,000 children are cancer treated every year. Some things we don’t realise and don’t take in consideration of how lucky we are. You’re alive, I’m alive, we’re alive. Why can’t we help the ones that are struggling and fighting to stay alive themselves. Children with severe cases of cancer are spending most their childhood lives in the hospital trying to stay positive to survive. Imagine you being the parent of your child and the doctor came up to you saying ‘your kid has cancer,’ well approximately 15,700 parents a year will hear this. With the lucky kids that survive cancer 60% of them will suffer from late effects, such as heart failure and secondary cancers. But we are still standing here doing nothing about it. The child cancer foundation advertises to us that we can help the ones struggling as well. But most of us don’t even recognise these advertisements and what the foundation is doing to help these kids. They help with supporting the emotional side of the child by being there to support them until they are really finished their fight. They help with accommodation, travel assistance, household and family support for the family with the child going through the procedures of having cancer. Personally i know it’s just as hard for the family as it is the patient and every family undergoing this interruption in life needs as much support as they can get. So why can’t you help. The things we do for others will come back to us some day when we really need it so don’t wait until you wish you had done something to help, make that change now. Life isn’t to be taking advantage of as i have learned, the moments when you’re desperate for support to survive make you realise how lucky we are to be alive.

With the support of the child cancer foundation my family and I had an easier time surviving cancer, wouldn’t you like to help a family survive as well. Because we are the ones that can help others and make a difference, you’re just as capable as anyone else.

That’s why I’m alive.  

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