I’ve tried my best to not let cancer define me, but instead motivate me to live a full and loving life, since I now understand I only get one.
Four years ago, my entire world changed…
I made my way to Miami for a second opinion on a leg injury from my car accident five months prior. I was unable to walk but FULLY expected my diagnosis to be a torn meniscus and a Baker’s cyst. I told myself “All I need is surgery, and then this will be behind me”.
I will never forget the shock and emotion I felt on November 11, 2015. My MRI scan showed something very wrong. That big white blob? Yeah, in a “normal” leg, it’s not supposed to be there. That large glowing mass was all tumor. Active Aggressive Fibromatosis of the left popliteal fossa. Complete with strangled artery, that if not treated NOW, could end in amputation.
Cancer was the LAST possibility in my mind. “I need a biopsy, why?”, “I’m sorry, I have what?”, “What does aggressive mean?”, “I need 24 weekly rounds of CHEMOTHERAPY?” — I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong person. Car accidents don’t cause cancer!
After two rounds of chemotherapy and relearning to walk through physical therapy, I walked into my orthopedic surgeon’s office December 2018 for a determination on whether or not I would continue with chemo, or be done for now. All I heard was “decreased vascularity”, “increased collagen”, “the tumor is so dense it’s absorbing all the waves”. These comments were soon followed by cheers and thumbs-up from all 8 doctors and nurses. My tumor responded well to the treatment, and it was his recommendation to stop chemo.
Cancer doesn’t take a break. It’s been on my mind every day for three years. It’s an everyday choice to fight. I’ve tried my best to not let cancer define me, but instead motivate me to live a full and loving life, since I now understand I only get one.
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