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.
Okay, so I have decided in the past week to make a very important decision: i am stopping my medication, ALL OF THEM (the last few pain meds). I have done this many times before on my own accord with previous heavy medications I have been on. What prompted this decision is the fact that I already don’t take them the way that I should because I forget and we have weened me down pretty low as is. It seems like this weening process has been taking forever and I am over it. I didn’t want to continue with that, so my only other option was to go ‘cold turkey’ and just stop and that ended up being the decision I made. I felt as if with God by my side I am strong enough to do it. Now it isn’t easy, let me tell ya. I have woken up with shakes every morning for the past week, my breathing feels uneasy and I have the worst sensation of pain running through my body. You have no idea how this is for me, how many times I just wanted to reach for the morphine for relief. But I decided to stick with it because that is my only way to get off of it since we having some issues with getting a prescription written and I was running out of medication.
I felt so dependent on them. Even when I didn’t necessarily need them I felt as I had to have them. I hated the fact that they changed my mood and how I acted, as soon as I took a morphine, everything changed. An being in school made it even harder, I walk through halls half present and half out of it. It made it hard to focus on my school work and be present/participant in school. I decided enough was enough, I control my life. Changes needed to be made and I needed to do it on my own accord. If I was forced into this then I would not have been able to do it, the motivation and determination wouldn’t be there and i’d slip back into that cycle of “i need, i need, i need”. Ultimately this was my choice and I feel like it was something that needed to be done.
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)
Today at school, I got a game called Bulldawgopoly (like monopoly). Teachers were given them to give to one special student. When I went into my Photography class I noticed my teacher hadn’t given hers away yet. Another student and I admired it at the beginning of the class. Later in the period, I talked to the teacher about it and told her I really liked it. She is like “I am going to give it to you just don’t show it to the kids in the class, get it before you leave.”
As I left class early I grabbed it. I went to my next class but the door was locked so I sat on the floor admiring the game. I noticed a story on the back and read it. It talked about a girl who found out she had an inoperable brain tumor called ganglioglioma on May 19, 2011 at 15 years old. The parents searched for a cure and found The Burzynski clinic. It was starting trials that had a 70% success in stopping the growth ot reducing all types of cancers. After only having less than a 1% chance of living 5 years, her parents pursued the clinic. The cost was an issue though, insurance only covers a small portion of the $8000 a month cost. That is when the ideal for Bulldawgopoly came in. 100% of the sales of this game go directly towards Kassidy’s cancer treatments. How amazing that they are doing this for her.
The website on the box is www.lateforthesky.com
Please check it out.
In Photography Class, these past 2 weeks we have been working on soming she called “The Theory of Life”. Basically, we had to create a 3 by 4 collage of pictures that expressed the words below it. After you put it all together, it would be a story. You could write about anything, but I chose to write a short story about my journey. Here is a picture of the final product…….
I am so proud of it and everyone likes it. I love the facial expressions and the story. I am so proud of myself, I worked hard on it, it was more complicated than you think.
Friday I had a cancer doctor appointment. Everything looked great, but I got so excited when…… Arlene, my mom, and I talked about getting my Port out!!!!! Talk about EXCITING!!!!
The Month of September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately, I know to much about this. I feel like no child should have to go through this.
Here are some statistics you may not havd known.
•Everyday 46 children will be diagnosed with cancer.
•A child is diagnosed every 2 minutes worldwide.
• Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the U.S.
• Childhood Cancer is vastly and constantly underfunded. Childhood Cancer on gets 4% of funding.
• One in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20 years old.
To be honest, that is very saddening.
Childhood Cancer effects not only the person who has it, but the entire family. I know this first hand, as of June 10, 2016 I am one year Cancer free. For 3 years I endured cancer treatment and the side effects that come with it. Till this day, I still have many side effects. I will fight for all my fellow warriors! Cancer is something no child should ever have to endure. We should not have to have our childhood taken away to deal with something so horrible. We take medicine to heal us everyday that makes us not feel so well, but we dont complain because we want to get better. All the kids I see at the clinic have a glowing smile on there face even though they are fighting this monster. I have lost to many friends and fighters to this deadly disease. It is time to stand up and take a stand. We need to fight for the children that are our future.