Perspective of a Cancer Patient

Milford student shares unique view on going through cancer treatment

Michael Stevenson, Managing Editor

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Cancer. At a doctor’s office, it’s one of the worst word to hear. So many things go through your mind after hearing the diagnosis. What kind of treatment will I have to go through? What stage is this cancer?“Will I be okay?

Going through cancer at any age is a horrible experience, but it is much harder when you are a child. After a brain surgery, I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 11. After the diagnosis, I had to endure a second surgery and am now going through chemotherapy. I am getting my treatments at DMC Children’s Hospital of Detroit.

Due to the fact that I go to a children’s hospital, I see a lot of kids battling cancer each week. It’s eye opening to see kids who are infants going through the same treatment as me. They are so strong to go through something like that, and are oblivious that there might not be a tomorrow.

Having to go through treatment as a high schooler is extremely burdensome. Last year, I missed 37 days of school. It is so difficult to feel crappy after a day-long infusion and then have to work on homework and make-up work.

The side effects are another major difficulty. One of the side effects is lack of attention and focus. The treatment can affect all body organs, particularly the brain.

One other side effect that I have had with chemo was a lack of grip strength. This is very common with chemo patients, but it is invisible to my peers and teachers.. My hands look completely normal, but I can not hold on to many things, including pencils. This makes taking tests and even driving  difficult.

Going through this experience was very taxing. I always appreciate the Milford community who has helped me through my rough time. There have been many students who have helped me with moral support, and teachers and counselors who have me keep my academic career moving while I battle cancer.

I also realize that I am not the only one going through a cancer battle. There are thousands of kids nationwide who are battling cancer who do not have the support that I do.

To help with the troubles of a cancer diagnosis, there are many organizations that raise funds to give young kids with cancer an opportunity to go on a vacation and forget their worries. The main leader of these organizations is Make-A-Wish. The company has many centers around the United States and in 45 other countries. There are many other local companies that do the same thing as Make-A-Wish, but they only serve kids that live in a certain state.

The one thing that all of these companies can always use is donations. They have fundraisers every year, and there are many different ways to donate. Most importantly, all of the funds go to help a young child in need. If you would like to donate to Make-A-Wish, go to http://wish.org/#sm.000017frfa28afepwqb7tnxs5hirb .

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