Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - 20

The "A" in AYA

LIVING MY LIFE

Lucky Me
BEING A TEEN CANCER SURVIVOR
AND ITS EFFECTS NOW

WHAT DID I KNOW?
Ewing's Sarcoma they called it at the hospital, when they finally found out,
why I was tormented by so many pains. The bad boy (tumor) was in my
right leg, just below the knee, inside the bone. Yikes! Apparently, it had
been there for a year or more. I thought the pain was coming from all the
sports I was playing, that I was to blame my morning run, winter skiing
and horseback riding for a double sized knee and a lot of pain. I was 15 years
old. What did I know?
A LIFE FULL OF RESTRICTIONS
Today, I have a metal prosthesis instead of the bone in my right leg. The
prosthesis is placed underneath my skin. Besides from the long scar on
my leg you probably won't be able to tell that this leg is in fact made out of
metal and the other one is not. I owe much to the white coats (doctor) who
saved my life and left me with a metal device - and a life full of restrictions:
* No more running!
* Don't ever go skiing again!
* Sell your horse!
* You'll be lucky to survive - and the same if you learn to walk again!
I AM GRATEFUL, BUT I MISS ...
I did survive. And I did learn how to walk again. For that I am glad and
grateful. But I still miss my morning runs, the view from the top of a mountain covered with snow and the communication with of a horse full of

muscles. I am one of the lucky ones. I made it to the sunny side of life again.
But being a teen cancer survivor haunts me every day.
When the supermarket is too big, and I end up walking half a mile to
find the milk, carrots and pasta and then the prosthesis hurts so much
that I am about to sit down in the aisle of the supermarket just to take a
moment. (I am allowed to walk approx. two kilometers (about 1.2 miles)
a day. If I walk more than that, the pain will begin).
When I'm unable to carry my own bags because I'm not able nor allowed to lift heavy things anymore. If I do so, the prosthesis can break.
When I'm forced to park the car so far away from wherever I am going
and walk the rest of the way.
When I have used up all of today's steps and now, I am unable to take
my youngest son for a walk in the stroller so he can fall asleep.
When I can't lift my oldest son even though he needs to be held in
his mother's arms.
On days like that I feel more haunted than lucky. A rainy day in October almost five years ago was one of those days.
CHEMO KILLED YOUR FERTILITY
I sat in a new waiting room, waiting to see another white coat. This time it
wasn't an oncologist. It was a fertility doctor.
I had met my husband. We were in love and we had a dream. Like
most couples in love in their late twenties we dreamed about having a
family. But that dream was crushed on the rainy October day.
"Chemo killed your fertility. You will probably never be able to get
pregnant," said the fertility doctor with the glasses on the nose like
most doctors have them.
That day I left the hospital building feeling haunted by my past like
never before.
LUCKY ME
I have now lived longer as a teen survivor than I have lived as a 'normal'
child and teenager before the nightmare of cancer began. I do not expect
it will disappear.
Today, I know, that some parts of me will hopefully always be with me
including bad memories, a metal prosthesis and all the pain that comes
with the it. I hope that the prosthesis will carry me for many more steps.
I hope that everything I wish wouldn't have happened will stay in the
past. If it stays in the past I know, that everything in my present will
be as good as it can be. Even though it hurts to go to the supermarket.
It's nothing compared to chemo.
I did survive.
I did learn how to walk again.
And despite all odds I did get pregnant... twice.
Cancer only hit me once.
Lucky me!

M E T T E DE F I N E L IC H T WA S DI AGNOSE D W I T H B ON E C A NC E R BY T H E AGE OF 16 . TODAY, SH E IS
C A NC E R F R E E , M A R R I E D TO H E R PR I NC E A N D T H E MOT H E R OF T WO B OYS . SH E H A S W R I T T E N 10
B O OK S I NC LU DI NG 'W I L L P OW E R GI R L - A T E E NAGE R' S T R E K T H ROUGH C A NC E R'. YOU C A N FOL L OW
H E R ON I NS TAGR A M A S @W I L L _ P OW E R _GI R L A N D T W I T T E R @M E T T E _ L IC H T. A L S O, C H E C K OU T
H E R BL O G : H T T P:// W I L L P OW E RGI R L .C OM / T E E NAGE- C A NC E R-BL O G/

20

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
SEPTEMBER 2019


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Elephants And Tea - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - September 2019

Contents
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - 1
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - 3
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Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Cover3
Elephants And Tea - September 2019 - Cover4
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