Around Easter of 2015 I woke up with a slight pain in my hip. It went away after a few days so I just thought it was growing pains. Then the last day of school my hip all of the sudden started hurting so bad that I could barely walk. I figured I had pulled something so my parents took me to the doctor to get an x-ray which showed nothing.
The next stop was a physical therapists and after a few visits my pain was getting worse. The PT recommended an MRI to see what’s going on. We figured it was just a pinched nerve. Once we received the MRI back it showed a large mass in my hip. I was then scheduled for a biopsy the very next day.
After about 5 days of waiting and still in excruciating pain we received a call from Phoenix Children Cancer Center for Blood Diseases scheduling us for an appointment to talk to the oncologist. At this time we were told that my tumor was malignant.
Four days went by before our appointment and on July 6th 2015 we found out that I had a cancer called Ewings Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. I was told that I would need 9 months of chemo, surgery and or radiation. I was also told that I would immediately be admitted into the hospital and that treatment would start within days.
What followed was many tests and scans as well as two surgeries. The first surgery was to insert a device called a port which is used to administer my fluids as well as my chemo. The port is nice because I don’t have to have to be poked for IV’s each time. The second surgery was a to take some bone to make sure the cancer has not spread through the bone marrow.
After a few more days we get the news that the cancer has not spread which makes treatment easier, still hard but better than if it had spread.
I would spend most of the next month in the hospital. My pain was still really bad, especially after the surgery that I had a ton of medications to help and an entire pain team trying to figure out a cocktail of mess that worked. I had to go through many bad episodes before they found a pain med that would work.
After the first cycle of chemo my pain was practically gone. After my second cycle which was 7 days in the hospital I came home and the very next day I started having severe pain in my abdomen. It felt like I was getting stabbed with a knife. My Dad wanted to take me to the ER but I did not want to go back. He finally picked me up and put me in the car and took me.
After about 10 hours of tests, a lot of pain meds and a rude male nurse the doctor tells us they can’t find anything and that they were going to send me home with some pain meds. My Dad insisted they keep checking because this is not normal and he wasn’t going to take me home. The doctors agreed. They had an ultra sound done on me and found out that I had appendicitis. If we would have listened to them and went home it most likely would have burst and I may not be here today.
They immediately scheduled surgery to have it removed. I could not believe it! The surgeon begins to tell us that because of chemo my blood counts are low and that makes this surgery very dangerous but that they had no choice but to do the surgery. They told me there was high risk of infection and that it may not heal.
So I had the surgery and after I came to from recovery I was in the most horrible pain I have ever felt. This pain was even worse than my hip pain which was unbearable. They gave me dose after dose of pain meds but it wasn’t letting up. They finally gave me all the medicine I could take and still it did not work. I suffered in screaming pain for over two hours. The entire floor could hear me screaming.
The next day I was feeling a little better and the doctors came in and told me that my counts are low and by the next day they would be zero. This is where we got concerned because of the ability towel would be affected. The next day when they checked my counts to there surprise they had shot up instead of down and over the next few days they continued to go up which enabled me to heal and not get an infection. I call this my mini-miracle!
After all this I told my dad that I didn’t look at this as a bad thing. I look at it as an opportunity for something I have to go through so I can help other kids. I really feel blessed that I have such a positive attitude and a strong family and friend support system that others may not have which will enable me to help them.
When I was in the ER there was a little girl around 2 or 3 years old that had cancer and I couldn’t stop thinking about how scared she must be.
I’m just about to finish my 6th cycle of chemo and we took a trip to Houston to see if surgery was an option. The meeting was really hard because I was told that the type of surgery I would need to remove this tumors would require removing my hip and not replacing it with anything. I will have to live the rest of my life with one hip and that means one of my legs will be a little shorter than the other which means I will need to wear a small shoe lift. I was also told I may not be able to dance again.
This upset me because they don’t know me or my abilities and I will show them that I will dance again!
On October 22nd 2015 I had the 8 hour surgery to remove my hip. I was in the hospital for 30 days and am 5 months out from surgery and doing well. I have a shoe lift because my left leg is now shorter than the right and I’m doing Physical Therapy to learn how to walk again. I finished all 14 rounds of chemo last week and I’m currently NED which stands for No Evidence of Disease. You can’t call yourself Cancer free until you have had 5 years of clear scans so I have a long way to go but I know I can do it because I have already beat it.
Through this journey I have learned a lot and I know that I want to help other kids and spread awareness about the horrible cancers that kids are getting. We must find a cure because this isn’t right. No kid should ever be told that there are no more treatments for them. We must urge the Government to give more than 4% of the budget to childhood cancer. We are the future!
I have already started working with with PCH, Mrs. Arizona and others to help spread awareness and I’m working on making makeup bags for the girls because makeup is something that helped me through this. Even though I didn’t feel great on the inside I could at least look and feel better on the outside. I plan to teach makeup classes as well.
This is only the beginning of my story. I have many plans in the works. To be continued….
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