have you ever done this? Gone through every seemingly insignificant reason why you could've possibly gotten cancer, every other illness in your life, how they might be linked, because a part of you feels like your doctors don't know shit, or don't give a shit? Because you want answers that no one, save yourself, has the energy to find?
List of things wrong with me:
1. I was born 2 weeks early at 5 lbs via c-section.
2. I had asthma as a child.
3. I've had eczema my whole life (chemo cured it!)
4. At 14 diagnosed hypothyroid, hashimotos's disease
5. At 16 started getting chronic sinus infections
6. At 16 my lymph node on neck swelled up for weeks like a golf-ball (9 years later cancer is found in the same exact place).
7. At 20 diagnosed with chronic depression, which notably heightened at the same time each month.
8. At 20-23 suffered fevers and sinus infections monthly, as well as (or due to?) insomnia & stress.
9. flashes of pain start in pelvic area & are misdiagnosed as ovulation pain.
10. At 23- 7.8 cm tumor found, Ewing's Sarcoma left pelvis diagnosis
11. At 25- lymph node in neck swells up like in high school. dx thyroid cancer
12. At 26- sharp abdominal pain and heavy irregular bleeding are explained away as "your period" even though I've been in premature menopause for 3 years.
13. At 26- ovarian cysts (assumed benign) found on both ovaries.
14. Also found- sinus cavity cysts deemed insignificant in CT scans & left lung spot
**I left out all ailments related to cancer treatment, which is a whole 'nother beast.
****also omitted "things awesome about me", which would take up too many pages and probably make your eyes sore, or just your ego.
-Ear/throat/tonsil/sinus ache. a cold? or EAR CANCER?
-Abdominal pain from cysts & free fluid.
-The usual chronic joint/muscle/bone pain.
-I'm nightmaring again. [PTSD rears its nasty head when you're the most stressed-- like today, I was slicing prosciutto at the deli, and the cut was uneven & slid, my pinky sliding with it. It wasn't too deep but bled A LOT, filling up my glove. I near-fainted and had a flashback of my sliced throat and that nerve pain... such a specific pain. A queue soon formed of disgruntled yoga-moms waiting for their post-workout-cheesewheel, so I sealed it with superglue to stop the blood, slapped a hello-kitty bandaid on, and went back to work.] But I digress.
I've come home from work now and can't stop thinking about my earache, cysts, throbbing pinky finger, problems problems problems. Always fear looming because I've gotten too attached to living again, having lived another full 3 years, working to the bone in hopes of future happiness. Wondering why it is that I must work so much harder than others... just to stay alive.
I am an artist and writer diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. This is an attempt to document my process and provide inspiration for other twenty-somethings who refuse to go the way of headscarves and hospital gowns. I mean, really? Cancer is fucking hilarious.