Although life has been full of hardships, it has also been full of love and miracles.

I AM MORE THAN CANCER

You never really know what is just around the corner...for me, I've got to believe it is going to be something beautiful.

I have always been apprehensive to say “I am a cancer survivor” and have always preferred to say “cancer warrior.”

I know to most, hearing “you are considered NED or cured” sure sounds like “you won, you beat it, you survived,” which at first glance is completely true. Yet, for most survivors, pediatric and adult alike, although the cancer has gone, what remains is still very much a fight. And I, like others that have survived, must deal with the consequences of living through cancer for our whole lives.

I have lost precious time as a child, as a teenager, as an adult, and will continue to lose out on things through the entirety of my life because of my Wilms Tumor I was diagnosed with on my 4th birthday, nearly 27 years ago and because of the treatments I received for it.

Some days, it is so difficult and scary. Some days are amazingly beautiful and incredible. Yet everyday, I am thankful to be alive, fighting this fight, being the badass warrior I am. And although life has been full of hardships, it has also been full of love and miracles. You never really know what is just around the corner…for me, I’ve got to believe it is going to be something beautiful.

Cancer type : stage 4 Wilms Tumor (pediatric cancer)

Cancer dx Date: February 1994 (my 4th birthday)

How it was found: A “lucky” fall ruptured my tumor and left kidney.

Treatments: Left kidney & tumor removed, full abdominal radiation, 18 month chemo without a port.

NED Date: July 1995

Late Effects: Deformation of body parts, infertility, skin/nerve/bone/oral/organ/muscle & tissue damage & issues. Digestive & cardiovascular issues, autoimmune disease, even mental health issues such as PTSD/anxiety/depression/survivors guilt.

Life Now: Most recently was a Red Cross Instructor before stepping down for health reasons prior to virus outbreak. Enjoys her days living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband & 2 fur-babies. Likes to travel, hike, ski, garden, cook, bake, do crafts, rescuing cats & volunteering.

Interested in self sufficiency, homesteading, preparedness, survivalism, The Green Bay Packers & The Denver Broncos

ABOUT Kirsten

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