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    Mellissa posted an update

    Feeling good about being alive and well.

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    Other Care (Fear of Return): Even though I am off treatment my cancer is not gone. My tumor is still there and it will never go away unless they take my leg. My cancer is shaped like a octupus, it has little tenticles that are wrapped around my bones and my muscles. My tumor is fast growing and random, this means that it could start growing at anytime. So I have to have MRI's every few months to monitor my tumor and to make sure that its still stable. The most someone has been off treatment without growth is five years. I hope that I can make it to that mark and beyond.

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    Celebration (Finished treatment): I had many celebrations in my cancer treatment. My first celebration was when we were told that the chemotherapy had shrunk my tumor. There was a 1% chance that this would happen and it happened to me, three seperate times. This was by far the best news we could have had, that ment that they didn't have to take my leg. The next celebration was my end of chemo. I was on chemotherapy for 22 months. Half of that time I was on chemo every week and half of the time I was on every other week of chemo. I had 54 rounds all together, I have had three surgeries, several hospitalizations and many other side effects. I beat the odds though I am a cancer survivor!!!

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    Side Effects (I had a little bit of everything. ): My side effects were not fun to deal with. I had alot of nausea and threw up every single time I recieved chemo and would continue to be sick for several days to come. I became anemic and had low blood counts like everyone else. I did however never loose my hair. I do not know why I was sappose to but I never did. I think it was God looking out for me he knew that if th at happened it would kill me inside as vain as that sounds. I lost alot of weight about 50-60 pounds. I am 5"8 and at the end of treatment I weighed around 120. Which may not seem that bad but for a girl of my height it was. I never want to experience anything like that again. I think I have thrown up more times in my life than I ever want to do again. It was probably one of the worst feelings in the world to always be sick and to not be able to do things with my friends or to go out and have fun. I also experienced chemo brain during and after treatmnet. Before becoming sick I was very good in school and math imparticular. During treatment I had a hard time remembering and it frustrated me. I looked foward to having my awesoome memory back when treatment was over with. However, that was and is not the case. I am one year off treatment and my brain still fails me. I often have to come home from college and re teach myself how to do things. Especially in math, I will understand how to do it during class but by the time I come home I cannot remember how to do it. I talked to my doctor as to why this has lasted so long when everyone said it should have went back to normal. My oncologist told me that in some cases when the treatment plan is long like mine was that the chemo brain never really goes away.

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    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): I was given two different chemotherapys, Methotrexate and Vinblastine. I was given them through my port through the outpatient clinic at East Tennessee Childrens Hospital. I would arrive at around 10am and stayed till about 6-7pm. It may not seem long to others but to me it was so very very long.

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    Mellissa shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): I was put on two different chemotherapy drugs, Methotrexate and Vinblastine. I was given them through outpaitient clinic at East Tennessee Childrens Hospital. I would arrive at around 10am and leave around 6-7pm depending on what my counts were and how I was feeling. I know that is not as long as other people but to me it was very very long.