HEALTHSTORIES

SHARE YOUR STORYHave you recently been diagnosed with Cancer? Are you on remission? If so, for how long? We want to know and we’re sure others want to hear about your #HEALTHSTORY as well.

Email: sandra@orphansofwisdom.com for submission form


Meet Ellie. We <3 her!

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What is your name? 
Ellie Mae Waters-Barnes 

How old were you when diagnosed? 
I was 14 years old when I was diagnosed.

What type of cancer were you diagnosed with? 
I was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. 

If on remission, how long have you been in remission? 
I’m not in remission yet; my treatment plan is 18 months. I am currently on the 12-month maintenance chemotherapy stage of my treatment, which will end in March 2017.

What was most difficult about going through treatment?
Seeing my family suffer was really hard for me, as it made me realize that my cancer didn’t just affect me it affected my family as well. It was hard to see, as I felt to blame, even though getting cancer was not under my control.One of the hardest things I experienced through treatment was anxiety, it was so much worse than the physical pain of chemotherapy/radiotherapy. It made me scared all of the time, and it was so hard because you just had a voice in your head telling you something wasn’t okay when in reality it was. I felt so down and scared. At one point I would only be able to sleep if my mum was in the room with me, because I felt safe. It was tough but I used the strength and resilience inside of me to ignore the voice and know that I was stronger than my anxiety!

Do you have any regrets? Anything you feel went particularly well?
I don’t have any regrets, I try not to have regrets and accept the choices I have made. I think making my Instagram/Facebook account and blog was great for me. It really helped me to connect to other people who had cancer, also at the time I was feeling down so I wanted to write about my feelings and help others like me.

What did you do to relieve stress?
I like to have a nice warm bath, preferably with a Lush bath bomb, and just relax. Or I found, sniffing lavender oil would help me relax and stay calm.

What’s your favorite book?
I really like teen novels, such as Divergent and Hunger games. I like Divergent especially, as it gives you a different perspective of society, and how it would be if society was different to how it was today. I love books like that!

What’s your favorite song right now?
I’m not really into music, but my favorite song is the “Fight” song by Rachel Platten. The song is about believing in yourself, and fighting even when you feel weak. I can really relate to it since I’ve been in treatment.

Any advice you have to give?
Some advice I would give is to try and see the positive in life, and try and be as positive as you can. I would feel depressed because I was thinking negatively, it was hard to try and think positive at those times but it really works to think of the positive things in your life. When I felt down I would think to myself that I am strong, beautiful and brave, and I liked to think of all the positive things happening in my life at the moment.

Anything else you want to share?
For any of you cancer fighters who feel self-conscious of your bald head, DON’T BE!! Throughout treatment I would refuse to wear a wig, and I would rarely wear hats because I wanted to show off my beautiful bald head – you know why? You should show off your bald head with pride, because it shows how brave and strong you are to endure chemotherapy. Society is scared of cancer; we need to show them that cancer is happening now! Walk the streets with your beautiful bald head, and show off your best cat walk moves! (;

Check out Ellie’s #RAWBEAUTY post HERE

To connect with Ellie follow her on:
Instagram @teamellie_blog
Facebook: TeamEllie Blog
Snapchat: teamellie_blog

Meet @lizflower4

IMG_3210What is your name?
I’m Elizabeth “Flower” Williams.

How old were you when diagnosed?
I was 26 years old when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer.

What type of cancer were you diagnosed with?
I was diagnosed with uterine cancer.

If on remission, how long have you been in remission?
As of today I’ve been in remission since December 14th 2015. Which means I’ve been in remission for 68 days.

What was most difficult about going through treatment?
The hardest part about going through treatment was having to slow my life down. I’ve always been very go go go. I put all of myself into everything I do. I’d spent 3 months the year before backpacking through Europe. I worked 60 hours a week and still found time to bake, read, write, hike, press my own juices, keep up with friends, and party like a rockstar. I was a vision of productivity, a jane of all trades, a workaholic, the life of the party, and I did it all with a positive attitude and a smile on my face. Slowing down, relaxing, pausing, those were things I didn’t know how to do. And trust me, I fought it. I tried to still work. I tried to still go out. I tried to pretend I was “normal.” But my life was far from normal, and with the help of plenty of interventions from friends, I had to accept that being sick and focusing all of my energy on getting better was part of my new normal. The world wasn’t going to forget about me in the meantime.

Do you have any regrets? Anything you feel went particularly well?
I try not to regret things, everything you do in life, good or bad, is a learning experience that will lead you on to your next adventures. I probably should have relied on other people for help more, I probably shouldn’t have gone out as much. But hey, I can be stubborn sometimes. As for things that I did well… I tried to stay as positive as possible. I joke that I made the most positive Instagram account for anyone who’s ever had cancer, but it was sort of my fake it till you make it tactic. That even if I felt like crap, posting positive stuff, putting energy into something positive, really helped me keep my chin up.

What did you do to relieve stress?
I’m not the best with dealing with stress. The best thing for me was staying busy, even if it was just little things. I made dozens of friendship bracelets, colored in coloring books (yes I’m a seven year old at heart), took walks when I was feeling up to it. Having friends or family stop by, even if just for an hour really helped take my mind off of everything too.

What’s your favorite book?
My favorite book of all time is Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland. But my favorite as of recent is Tiny Beautiful Things. It’s a compilation of very raw and honest advice and letters from Dear Sugar, an advice column from several years ago. One of my favorite quotes from it is, “let whatever mysterious starlight guided you this far, guide you onward into whatever crazy beauty awaits.”

Your favorite song right now?
My favorite song right now is Forest by Twenty One Pilots or Ribs by Lorde. It might be a tie between the two right now.

Any advice you have to give?
My biggest advice to give to anyone fighting any type of sickness is to keep fighting for that light at the end of tunnel. It’s hard sometimes, it can lonely sometimes, because it’s your battle and no one else’s. No one is going to understand exactly what you’re going through. But remember how strong you are. Don’t push people away. Keep loving others and letting them love you. But most importantly keep loving yourself.

Anything else you want to share?
One of my dear friends kept reminding me that, “everything is temporary.” I wrote that on my chalkboard above the tally marks that kept track of how many days I had gone through chemo. It was true for every new situation that arose while being sick. In each moment it felt like the end of the world, but even when I felt like I was drowning, the feeling was temporary, and it helped me remember to just keep swimming.

Check out lizflower’s #RAWBEAUTY post here

 

One thought on “HEALTHSTORIES

  1. Flower is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. Thoughtful, compassionate, loving, funny, beautiful and mature beyond her years. She spreads love and joy wherever she goes. In sharing her story, she will help others through their difficult journey.

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