I’m the girl that bewilders her doctors at Mayo Clinic. Now 28, I have routinely received a new cancer diagnosis every three years since my first diagnosis at age 17 of osteosarcoma in my sinuses. It rebelled at our efforts to treat it, so we finally singed it with heavy rounds of radiation.
That radiation saved my life, but its emissions unfortunately seeped into and settled in places they shouldn’t have. I’ve since had thyroid cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), for which I received a bone marrow transplant at age 24. Just before my 28th birthday we discovered the osteosarcoma had muscled a return in my sinuses. Alongside it, doctors discovered a a high-grade carcinoma, and it has metastasized to my liver.
You could call me “the girl who gets cancer a lot,” but I think you’d be typecasting me. Of course it has been a resounding, formative experience, but I won’t let it be my core. Since my diagnosis 11 years ago, I have graduated college, lived and worked in Washington, DC, Chicago and now Iowa City. I have (re)met and married a man who doesn’t let a day go by without saying and showing he loves me, or making me laugh incessantly with mostly middle school-grade humor. I met so many of you along the way. I deepened friendships. I loved the crap out of my family.
Through all of this, I’ve been reassured that not everything happens for a reason, but with the right people behind you, you can reason with anything.
I write this blog because it keeps me from having to relay cancer news over and over. I do like talking about other things, you know. I also write because so many of you have invested so many prayers and energy into my family and me over the years, and I greatly appreciate your support and sincerity. Thank you for keeping up with me.My contact info is: 111 S Summit St. Iowa City, IA 52240 firstname.lastname@example.org “Live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” – Henry David Thoreau