"Cancer" | Teen Ink


March 3, 2013
By Alex_Hunter SILVER, Delano, California
Alex_Hunter SILVER, Delano, California
7 articles 23 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
Live to the fullest, while your talents can be explored

Eleven years ago, from the early age of three, I would often get painful ear aches, which had gotten worse by the day. In a matter of a year I was, at the age of four, diagnosed with Embryonal Parameningeal Rhabdomyosarcoma. I then had to go through radiation and chemotherapy and had a catheter installed below my shoulder which went to my heart. I had to have the catheter near my heart so that all of the chemotherapy medications I was taking would be quickly distributed through my body. This tube was also used to give my body balanced nutrition to maintain my growth and development with IV “food”.Sadly, when I awoke from the recovery room, I not only noticed the catheter in me, I also lost sight in my left eye, I lost feeling on some parts of my body on the left side, I had temporarily hearing loss in my left ear and my teeth began to have problems. I had gone through tremendous amounts of surgeries and at the time it seemed as though I was getting weaker and more helpless each day. I was four, what was I suppose to do but pray and hope it will all end some day. There was only one logical explanation as to why I had cancer and it was that I was born with cancer.You could say I was a lucky one for being born with cancer but I think of it as more of a curse. You could say that I am special but I know that you mean ‘different.’ Once I was free to go home they took out the catheter and put in a feeding tube in my stomach, so I could still receive the nutrients from the children’s drink Pediasure. Although I wasn’t bound to a bed, I wasn’t completely free of the pain that came dragging along from the hospital with me. By this I mean that my mother, of all people, had to clean my feeding tube by twisting it while it still remained in my stomach. This was an indescribable pain for me and I experienced it daily. To this day I am proud of how strong my mother had to be, how caring she was and still is and for not losing hope when I had. I hated the way I looked, I still do, and it all felt like a curse that could never be undone. I then continued onward with my life, frequently visiting the doctors and being scanned over and over again for further precaution as to if the cancer was gone and occasionally I went to the doctors for a scheduled check up. Thankfully, one day when I was five, I went to the hospital for a check up and the doctor removed the feeding tube from my stomach, it was official, I was finally free of pain I could enjoy my life more instead of sitting around in my bed feeling like a blank canvas.Although all seemed well and I was enjoying every day I was given to live; in November 2011, I was diagnosed with Hurthle Cell Carcinoma. Imagine my surprise when I found out that this type of thyroid is very rare, especially amongst children. This was just the icing on top of my ten years free of cancer cake, I knew, I had a very faint feeling that I would eventually get cancer again. But it is still a mystery as to why I had gotten Thyroid cancer in the first place. So, if something is too good to be true, like being a ten year free cancer survivor, than it usually never lasts long enough to be truly enjoyed or celebrated. I was immediately rushed into surgery, no hesitations, no time to waste, where I was put to sleep.When I woke up I realized I was missing teeth and that I had a hard time balancing when I walked. I thought that it would now end but then, I was re-examined and was told I would need to undergo a second surgery to remove the cancer. This made me feel spineless and paralyzed. I felt drowsy and I felt like an 85 year old man needing help just to get out of the hospital bed. A week had passed until I was finally myself again. A couple of months of healing went by, and I had to receive treatment; radioactive iodine therapy. It involves a very strict diet and a stop of the thyroid replacement medication I take daily. This makes me extremely tired and irritable.

I have noticed that when your ill your family members express there inner love(sympathy) for you. Why is it that when I am sick I am loved but when I am not I am ignored or that now I will never be good enough to anyone. Love is rare for me, I cherish it and others take it for granted. None the less, I am grateful to have such a wonderful family. I am also lucky to have such loving, concerned and caring friends and I am thankful for every day I am given to live my life.

The author's comments:
it's my story.

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