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.
This week, Tuesday the 29th we went to see my shoulder doctor, Dr. Kam. From my bone doctor, we were told my shoulder is closed. So we went and seen Dr. Kam to let him know and see where we are going from here (surgery?).
If you guys haven’t read my post before about my shoulder I ‘ll give you a little background. I went through 2 1/2 years of cancer treatment for Pre-B Cell High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The steroids and medicine have caused me AVN of both knees and my left shoulder. Due to the a vascular necrosis, my shoulder is pretty much destroyed. I now need a shoulder replacement.
I have been waiting for my growth plate to close so that I am at skeletal maturity and can go ahead with surgery. Well, now I am closed and ready for surgery. We talked about all the complications, what this journey will consist of, and what happens once I go down this road. It is a huge decision deciding to have a shoulder replacement, especially at my age. My huge deciding factor was pain relief.
I thank God over all for being with me through this journey and never leaving my side. I have prayed countless days and nights over what I should do and what is the best decision. I thank him for putting the right people and doctor in my life to take care of me. I am so thankful for my family for being by my side, always taking care of me, and loving me.
Hey guys! I want to tell you about a great ideal I had! I noticed that my high school did something for Breast Cancer and also when Paris was attacked. I started to think, since September is Childhood Cancer month I would love for them to do something to support it.
My ideal is that everyone can wear fun, bright colored socks for the month in honor of the spirits of the kids fighting. Also to make a banner and hang it in the quad. Then I could make and sell cancer ribbon shaped chocolate (like my family and I did one year) and give the money raised to a cancer foundation. I really want to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the world! Not everyone understands what I and other kids and teens like me have and are going through in this battle. It would be great to raise awareness for something that means so much to me!! I want to use my testimony to tell people how great God is and give people incite on what I went through.
I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on February 20, 2013. It was a huge shock. The Thursday before I was at the pediatrician and two doctors fought over whether my spleen was large or if I had a lot of muscle. I was in a lot of pain. They said it was just growing pain – I don’t blame them for not knowing.
We were out of school for President’s weekend. When my parents came home I told them I ate but barely took a bite of food. My mom said I had to eat and gave me a small late of food. After I ate, I went to sit on the couch and screamed in pain. My side was hurting and I couldn’t breathe. I was literally in tears. My dad took me to the ER at Sunrise but, it was packed so we drove all the way to Southern Hills Hospital. They drew blood, took my weight, height and symptoms. I was very fatigued, couldn’t breath correctly and lost 20 pounds in a month. They got me set up in a room. I dozed off and was woken up to a nurse trying to move me to another gurney to be transported to Sunrise by ambulance. My mom came in just they were putting in an ER room. The doctor said did he tell you the L word. My mom looked at my dad confused. My dad was convinced it wasn’t that but, it was. I was transferred to the pediatric oncology floor. That night was rough. I was on oxygen and every time I moved I was hurting and screaming in pain. One of my lungs was partially collapsed the other filled with fluid and my spleen enlarged.
The next morning my parents told me the diagnosis. I was overwhelmed with emotions. Being diagnosed with cancer was something I never thought could happen. When I found out it was cancer that was making me so sick I was extremely angry at God. I asked God “why me” several times. One day he came to me and told me that everything would be okay to place my faith in him. Another day He told my sister that I was the strongest one in my family to handle this.
Over the course of the next week, my port was placed (immediately) and chemo was started. I also had a bone marrow and lumbar puncture procedure.
I have gotten on my knees many times and just cried to Him for help. He has been by my side and carries me when I am weak. Through this journey he has taught me faith, trust and to lean on him in my time of need because he is my strength. When I am struck with worry and doubt, I give it all to him and try to remain in faith. The verse that I live by everyday is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Even though this is a storm I am going through I have been blessed to wake up every morning and praise Him. With God I am finding the joy in this storm.