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IamA teen Cancer survivor, AMA!

Short Bio:

This past May after a doctor's appointment due to abdominal pain, it was determined I had a tumor. Less than a week later, I was having surgery to remove that tumor, a germ cell tumor. The cells in the tumor were malicious, and so I had three rounds of chemotherapy. I'm 18 and a senior in high school now, 124 days til graduation!! AMA!!

My Proof: https://imgur.com/a/Etamm

36 comments
72% Upvoted
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My father was just diagnosed a week ago, with stage 4 small cell. From a survivors point of view, how can I help him cope the best? Also so glad you're healthy now!!!!

Original Poster3 points · 6 months ago

First, thank you so much!! Second, my family was the most supportive group in my life during the process. So I suppose it’s a given but I would say just /be there/. Though the physical aspects sucked, the mental part of it all was much worse, and several people who I thought were my friends stopped checking in and trying to be my friend because I couldn’t put in the effort while I was sick. The people who were there for me and never gave up or left me were the most helpful and supportive. So i guess I would just say stick with him through everything, even when it gets hard. Ask him how he’s feeling, physically and mentally. Those people were the most important and helpful for me through everything. I’m really sorry about his diagnosis. I hope he will be okay, but you as well. If you need any more help or other questions in general about the cancer process please let me know!!

What type of cancer was it? Congrats btw you’re awesome

Original Poster2 points · 6 months ago

It was a germ cell tumor, thanks so much!!

😊💕🎊

Oh I study about it

Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

I looked through your profile and saw you’re a medical student. Have you heard of it before, what all do you know if so?

Not much We had to learn classification of ovarian cancer in the pathology long back and it's prognosis and histology... all that stuff. There are many like dysgerminoma.. for now all I remember is this because it was at the top of my book and fairly common that is why we were taught

Surviving it must be hell You have grit lady :)

[deleted]
2 points · 6 months ago

How are you? :)

Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

I’m great! We have a school day so i’m sitting at home embroidering and watching the x files, thanks for the question! How are you??

[deleted]
1 point · 6 months ago

Haha nice, never really got into the x files, or any series... :/ and I’m good thank you for asking!

2 points · 6 months ago

How did you notice that it´s cancer? did you regularly check it or discovered it random? or did maybe some symptoms occure?

Original Poster3 points · 6 months ago

I started having a lot of abdominal pains, like cramping but a lot worse than normal period pains. Also I would get severe headaches. Then I noticed a lump was growing and it got so big I realized I needed to see a doctor about it. So I went to my regular doctor, got an ultrasound, then they referred me to a gynecologist oncologist who diagnosed me with a tumor. I didn’t think it was cancer until it was confirmed after my surgery. I was even oblivious to the fact i went to a gynecologist ONCOLOGIST lol...

What was your initial reaction to hearing the news that you had cancer?

Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

I had been accepted to an academic camp earlier in the year, and I was actually supposed to leave the day after my first doctors appointment. But after the discovery of a tumor and the news that i needed to have surgery ASAP, there was no way I could go, so I was actually more devastated I couldn’t go to the camp than of the news of the tumor haha. But when I found out it was actually cancer I think I was more shocked than sad because I honestly never thought I would have cancer, especially as a 17 year old

What helped you get through your treatment?, I have heard chemo can be nasty! And congratulations by the way, I wish you all the best!

Original Poster2 points · 6 months ago

Since the type of cancer (GCT) is especially aggressive, my chemo was too. I’m not sure if I really “got through” my chemo lol, more like suffered through. I felt like the life was sucked out of me, there was constant pain, aching, puking. On top of that I was too sick to drive and hang out with friends, so I was pretty sad through it too because I wasn’t allowed to go to school and I never saw my friends. The main thing I guess was holding onto the days I wouldn’t have chemotherapy anymore.

Thanks so much! I wish you the best too:)

Friends couldn't visit? :(

Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

Sometimes they could. Since my immune system was not good at all I was vary susceptible to sickness, so I tried to avoid outside contact. On top of that, I was usually feeling too sick to anyways. Sometimes they would visit me, or I would visit my school tho!

Ah sorry to hear that, I cant even imagine what that must've been like! Has it changed your perspective of the world? As in Is there anything you want to do now that you didn't before cancer? Like new hobbies or travel.

Original Poster2 points · 6 months ago

I'm definitely a lot more positive now as well as ambitious. I feel like that was a wakeup call to chase happiness in my life, so that's what I'm gonna do in college. My dream job is to be a photographer for National Geographic or work for United Nations, so that's what I'm gonna do!!

are you from the US? did you suffer economically? how are you feeling today?:)

She was probably financially supported by her parents, as she's a teenager. Otherwise them's some shit parents, not paying their 17 year olds cancer treatment.

Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

Like MariusRaps said, I didn't have to pay haha, but in terms of my parents I think we were okay. They didn't talk about money a lot, so I assume we are good. I am covered by my states insurance. And I'm great, thanks for asking! It's a four day weekend for me so I'm just relishing my free time. How about you?

It's summer here, so about to have a birthday bbq at home with family:)

Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

Ooo happy birthday to whomever.

Comment deleted6 months ago
Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

That's a good question!! To be honest, I'm not sure if I am afraid. I'm afraid for what happens to those around me if I were to die, the grief it would cause my parents, friends, and teachers. I am afraid of dying before I accomplish my goals in life. I am afraid of dying with regrets and without happiness. As of death itself, I don't think I'm afraid because we are all destined to die. And whether there's an afterlife doesn't matter to me if the time I have now is well spent.

Number one?? I would love to be swole AF and hike the Pacific Crest Trail hahah, it'll happen someday, I swear.

Thanks for the great question.

Comment deleted6 months ago
Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

Oh yeah, I'm heading to the gym in February 💪 💪💪 Thanks!!

Surprising response for a 17 year old, especially one that potentially faced death. (in a good way, of course)

How are you doing now? Was the entire tumour removed successfully do they think? I guess surgery + chemo should've gotten rid of it pretty well.

Original Poster2 points · 6 months ago

I go for check ups every few months and everything has been fine so far (no suspicious things on scans, blood tests are good), so I hope it's gone for good. I'm always a little scared it'll return somehow (I still have another ovary for a tumor to eat) but I'm sure I'm good. I'm back to being a pretty normal teenager now. Thank you for the question.

How did your family react? You are very beautiful by the way :)

So by survivor you mean the cancer is completely gone and you're safe now? If that's the case, do you know whether there's a higher or lower chance of you getting cancer in the future, now that you've already had it once?

Also, do you know exactly why you developed cancer? Was it just by random chance? Were you raised in a place with lots of pollution? Did it have something to do with your family genes?

Thanks for doing the AMA btw, congratz on beating cancer!

Now that one of your ovaries is gone, would you only be fertile every other month, assuming that which ovary the egg is drawn from switches?

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