I just finished my journey
Hi everyone, I’m Christina and I am 18 and I was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma in my right thigh, in June 2011. Two years before June 2011 I went to the doctors and they diagnosed my “lump” in my leg as something else, they told me not to worry about it. So therefore I did not. Then in April 2011 my thigh started hurting again and the lump seemed to be come larger then before. I begged my mom and dad to take me to the doctors again to figure out what was wrong with my thigh. As parents they did not want to believe that there could in fact be something wrong with me. They kept on pushing it off the doctors appointment that is. Once my mom did call the doctors office did not want to see me because my case was “closed” as they put it. In May I finally saw doctor lets call him “Dr.N”, he ordered a contrast MRI of the site and told us that we would go from there. I personally had a phobia of needles and blood but all of that changed while going through my cancer treatments. Once my MRI came back Dr.N told us to go to an oncologist. Luckily my dad works for Jefferson University Hospital, we went to we will call him “Dr.A”. He told my mom, dad, and myself that I would need a biopsy of my right thigh at the site. At this point I was terrified. I could not believe that there was a chance I could have cancer. I had my biopsy done a week after, two days before my 18th birthday. As a graduation present my parents sent me and my 21 year old brother to Disney World. While there I tried to take the thought out of my head that I actually could have cancer I just could not grasp the situation. After I got back from Disney I saw Dr.A and I remember sitting in the exam room with my parents telling them I had a horrible feeling in my stomach. Somehow in my gut I knew I had cancer. The doctor came in looking very serious and sad. He finally said the words you have synovial sarcoma. At that very moment my life changed forever, I just remember crying and crying. I could not contain myself the feelings I had coming from my brain and body were unreal to me. My mom looked at me and told me “it would be alright” and I replied “you dont know that”. The doctor then went through what my treatment process would be. I would have four sessions of chemo each session a week long, along with chemo six weeks of radiation, then finally surgery. To be honest I do not remember the fine details of the appointment. All I do remember is walking out into the street and seeing the world in a different view, things were running through my head “would i die?” “how am I going to handle loosing my hair” “will my friends support me” “What about college” etc. I can answer all the questions above. I did survive cancer, I lost all my hair and have a beautiful human hair wig, I lost many friends but learned who my true ones were, and I am starting college January 2012. I started chemo on June 20th the Monday right after my high school graduation while my friends were at senior week drinking away and having an amazing time. I had a double port placed in my chest the first day of chemo. Lets just say my needle phobia is no longer around. I was very lucky with my chemo I did not get sick, nor did I loose weight. The only thing which did happen was I lost my hair. Loosing my hair was the most terrible thing which could have happened to me. But now i realize that it is growing back and it will be long again in no time. My friend which I lost were scared to see a person go through one of the most scariest things a person can go through. My last chemo was in August 2011 while my friends were going to college. The last chemo was the worst, since I should have been going off to college. To those who are scared about going through Chemo, I am not going to sugar coat it, it is a very scary thing to go through but having a good attitude while having treatments helps the process 150%. I realized while going through chemo that I could not cry anymore because crying could not change the fact that I had cancer. Yes, I did let out cries sometimes, because crying is a good therapeutic technique. Once my friends left for college i became overly depressed, I started seeing a therapist who is wonderful and helped me deal with everything which I went through. I started radiation in mid September 2011. Radiation was actually very fun. The techs which were at the center were always fun and friendly and made me feel comfortable. The only effects I had from radiation were redness at the site and it made me tired. After radiation was surgery the last step to my treatment. Again my parents sent me and my brother to Disney World. There at Disney it was nice to feel normal, and realize life was getting back to normal. However, there at disney i ruined my wig because of the water and humidity! I was in a state of panic. So there at disney I went wig-less for a couple of days, and honestly I felt free. While going through all of the treatment I took online classes for college being an education major I would not let myself fall behind. It was another stress which I put on myself and wish I did not. However it gave me something to do. Finally on November 28th 2011, I had my surgery the removal of my tumor. They removed a grapefruit size amount of mass. I have 14 stitches in my thigh and I am now doing Physical Therapy. I know it can be scary going through cancer and not knowing what could happen. But my advice as a survivor now is to have a good attitude and take each day as a brand new start. Also, always tell yourself that you can do it! and you can kick cancer in the butt!!!!! because we are young and we have a life to live.