For the past 5 years my life has been all about cancer, from age 12 to 17. Not saying that is a bad thing, I am grateful to those I have met along this journey. An to be able to stand here today, at almost 18 years old and tell my story. But, I never got a chance to sit down and figure out I was and what I wanted. Cancer was apart of my life, but my life shouldn’t and will NOT revolve around it. Now it is time to sit down and figure who Alyssa Marie is. I am not Alyssa the cancer patient or Alyssa the girl who had cancer. I am Alyssa, the girl with high hopes for herself. The girl who is reaching for the stars. The girl with amazing dreams and goals. Now its time to figure out who I truly am. I can’t wait to see what this chapter holds and where it’ll take me.
The word survivor, a word I can’t stand. To me it has a negative connotation added to it. People always say, “oh you are a survivor, you beat this monster” or “you made it”. But all I can think about is all of those who didn’t “survive”. To me the word survivor implies that I accomplished something that those who lost their fight couldn’t. I am very fortunate to be here and to have “won” my fight but lets not forget those who didn’t make it. I am one of those who or fortunate to be here, and I thank God for that everyday. But I didn’t fight any more or less than those who aren’t here with us did.
As of 08 February 2018, I am out of the wheelchair. My recovery from surgery has been going amazing and I prayed about it. An honestly, I felt as if I was ready to start walking outside of the house. February 8th, was my first day walking inside of the school for the whole day. To me its a huge accomplishment considering how big my high school is. I honestly felt like the wheelchair was enabling me too much because I would wake up and be straight in it for a entire school day and then come home and sit down and do homework and then go to bed. My day had very little movement of my legs in it. I felt like it was making me lazy as if I could sit back and relax because I was in the chair an just had surgery. That was honestly the mindset I was falling into, unintentionally.
It has now been almost a week and a half of me walking in school. An it is going great! I am feeling wonderful and my legs are getting good exercise. I still use the elevator at school because I don’t want to push it but it is amazing!
Today is my 5 year anniversary for the day I was diagnosed! It is so crazy to me to look back and see how far I’ve come. I remember the days where I used to think I wouldn’t make it or couldn’t do it anymore. Thanks to God and my amazing support system I am here today. I carry the scars of what I went through and I am proud. Proud to tell my story and proud to be able to shine a light on Childhood Cancer.
Taylor Hammond, my best friend and my little brother, you are gone but will never be forgotten. The way you lived your life was truly inspiring. Even on your roughest days you had a smile on your face. You had such a positive outlook on the world. I hope to live my life the way you did, never taking for granted everyday I am given.
I remember the conversations we had and the laughs we shared, I will cherish those moments forever. You had such a big heart and a larger than life personality. It hurts that your gone, but I know that you aren’t suffering anymore. I now have another angel to watch over me. I cry because I loved you.
I am tired of losing my friends to this monster called childhood cancer. An like all the others, I don’t want Taylor to JUST be apart of the “this many kids lost their battle this year” statistic. I want this to be fixed, we need to a cure. We haven’t been fighting all these years for nothing. His life and legacy means something. ALL of these kids lives mean something. We will keep fighting for a cure in their honor. And keep fighting for those who are currently in battle.
As of February 20th, it has been 4 years since my diagnosis of Pre-B cell ALL Leukemia.
I would like to thank my family for always being by my side fighting this battle with me. This diagnosis didnt onmy affect me, but the closest people around me as well.
I also want to thank God for guiding ne and giving me the strength to fight the battle.
Without God and my family by my side, I dont know how I would be able to handle this.
Yesterday, I came home from school and my mom said she had something for me. She pointed to T.V. stand where there was a clear bag. I was confused about what it was until, I realized that it was……MY PORT! I was so excited! It is a memory I get to keep. It symbolizes all I have went through and the end of a part of my journey. IT IS SO AMAZING! God is good, and I am so thankful that he has been by my side. As well as giving me my family to walk this journey with me.
Sue is such an amazing woman! She always brings a smile to my face when I see her, even when I don’t feel well. I love her so much! She always comes to see me when I visit the clinic. She has taught me so much on how to cope and deal with the diagnosis I was given almost 4 years ago. She has seen me in my best and worst moments. An has helped and walked me through dealing with it. I am thankful to have her in my life and to know her personally. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH SUE! ??
Yay! My port is out! I went in yesterday afternoon for the surgery. I was a bit nervous, but the excitement took over. This is a huge step in my journey! It to me, signifies the end, like the real end. I am so happy and thankful to all the people who have walked this journey with me. An the people who have encouraged me and lifted me up. Everyone who has fought right along side me, especially my family who has never left me! All the glory goes to God! In him anything is possible, you just need to believe and put your faith in him! “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME.” Philippians 4:13
Pictures – (top: after surgery; bottom: before surgery with a stuffed animal the lady who got me settled gave me)