My Story

As you can tell by the name of this blog i am a dancer… with cancer. and here is my story:

In January 2013 i was in 8th grade, captain of my dance team, and getting ready to compete at Nationals with my dance team. Almost everyday i would have a moment, only a couple seconds long, that i knew wasn’t right. I could see and hear everyone around me, i could talk too, but it didn’t feel right and I would just zone out for a couple of seconds until that feeling was over. It didn’t occur to me that this had anything to do with my health, until it happened during a pep-rally and made me forget my dance routine that i have known for a couple of months. Knowing something wasn’t right, my mom took me to the pediatrician just to see what was up. The nurse told me it could be anxiety, migraines, or seizure activity. She wasn’t too concerned but she scheduled an EEG on January 16. The EEG showed seizure activity in my brain, which I was not expecting at all. January 22 i had an MRI on my brain early in the morning. While i was on my way back to school the doctor called my parents telling them there was a brain tumor in my right  front temporal lobe. I never knew how much my life would change that day. February 3 I competed with my team and won first place in Hip Hop at nationals, which was a dream come true. February 14 (Valentines Day) I had my brain surgery. That day, my doctors discovered i have an aggressive, highly malignant form of brain cancer. My official diagnosis is Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma. Once i was recovered from surgery, i became a patient at St. Jude. March- April 2013 i received 33 rounds of radiation treatment. I lost half of my hair on the right side of my head from radiation, but that was the least of my worries. In just 3 months my definition of “normal” changed drastically. After my 33 rounds, i returned to school and dance trying to work with my cancer and my normal life at the same time. I get an MRI every 3 months to see what my cancer is doing. On December 5th, 2013 ( almost a year after my first seizures) I had an MRI that showed my cancer is returned in many areas  and i will need a second brain surgery, in-patient chemotherapy at St. jude, and more radiation in april. A week before my scheduled 2nd surgery i had another brain/spinal MRI, Some of the spots were gone. It seemed impossible, yes i still have the cancer in my right font temporal lobe, but the other areas were gone. Now i still go every 3 month for MRI’s to see if my cancer has spread. I am back on track now, I still dance and i still go to school, but it takes a lot more effort than other people. People tell say to me “you don’t look like you have cancer”. Is it because i have hair? there is much more to cancer than just baldness. I struggle with my disease everyday- taking more pills than any teenager should , losing my short term memory , constantly being tired, feeling sick at least once a day, living my life from scan-to-scan. But people don’t see that when they look at me.  With Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma there is no remission or cure, hopefully one day someone will find one, but today there isn’t. Cancer sucks, but i’ve just learned to live with it and enjoy the good things that i do have. Thank you so much for everyones continuous thoughts and prayers—

I was a little drugged up from anesthesia lol

I was a little drugged up from anesthesia lol

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One thought on “My Story

  1. Debbi Allen says:

    Very proud of you for starting this blog. Writing is very therapeutic! Love you so much!!! Cancer has nothing on you!

    Like

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