When I woke up on October 21, 2012, I had no idea that my life was about to change for the worst. Before I begin to tell you my story, we must first go back a couple of years. Seventh grade summer going into the eighth grade, I was at my all time high playing softball every weekend and practicing every day. It was 2011 and I was a catcher so I was used to hard work. Life was good and free and I was enjoying my youth. Everything seemed perfect until one day, I noticed a lump on my throat. No biggie, like I said, I was a catcher. I was used to swollen lymph nodes because dust was constantly being thrown in my face. Usually, it would go away after a day or two, but not this lump. This lump grew.
I went to the doctor and she had me go get a biopsy because it looked precancerous. As you can imagine, that did not settle well with my parents and I. Long story short, I got the biopsy and everything was normal.
Fast forward to my freshman year of high school, 2012, I just made the JV softball team and was practicing hard with all of the girls. I was constantly tired and my back and head hurt all the time but it was nothing you wouldn't expect when playing high school level softball. A day comes where I get to school and head to my first period class and I break. My back had a twinge that made me want to throw up. I was in so much pain and I couldn't figure out what was going on with me. I went to the little doc-in-a-box type things to see if I could get some help and they told me what every other doctor/specialist has told me. "You're growing up and using muscles you've never used before." No. I refused to hear that I knew my body and I knew something was wrong. However, I couldn't do anything about it except to go on with my life.
October 19 came around and it was my parents' anniversary so I stayed the night with my friend, Maggie, so that my parents could go out. When it was time to go to bed, my back started hurting more than usual but I was extremely tired and decided to take some Advil and go to bed.
October 20, 2012, I woke up in excruciating pain — pain I have never felt ever. I called my parents but they weren't awake. We called Maggie's parents but they weren't responding. I needed help. Fast. After about twenty phone calls, my dad picked up and headed my way. Again, as I was a softball player, they thought I was just working too hard and needed a break so they gave me some medicine and sent me back to sleep. When I woke up the pain hadn't gone away and they slowly began to worry.
We headed up to the hospital's ER where my dad works and got checked in. The man who was doing my vitals could tell how much pain I was in and sped up the process for me. He drew blood which wasn't normal for my condition but sent it off to the labs. I was called back to a room and they asked me about my pain. I told them everything and they ordered Morphine for me. The doctor eventually comes in and tells me I have Leukemia. cute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I don't think I even knew what cancer was really and all of a sudden I had it. They sent me to a children's hospital where they officially diagnosed me on October 21, 2012.
The process was extremely long and hard. I met so many great people and lost a couple. The ones you meet don't outweigh the ones you lose. I am now a sophomore in college and every day I think about how blessed I am to say I'm cancer free. The crazy thing about it is the doctors thought the lump on my throat was cancerous, which would have been Lymphoma. Lymphoma and Leukemia run in the same family. It was like a sign that I needed to watch myself. The main thing I want you to take from this story is to check yourself. I personally have PTSD from cancer so every time something occurs, I'm paranoid that it's cancer.
Don't be like me. Live your life with ease but take care of yourself. Drink water and quit smoking. Eat vegetables and fruit and go on walks. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Be free with your life and love who you are. Cancer is a scary thing to go through but it's not the end of the world. I thought it was, but then I began seeing the beauties in life. I do not regret having cancer because it has made me the person I am today. I love more and give thanks to everyone I can. I am me and I thank cancer for that.