How Cancer Changed My Life

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Andrea Johnson

DEV 0032-158

November 1, 2012

How Cancer Changed My Life

Cancer can make a change in anyone’s life. It has been in my life for as long as I can remember. Many of my family members have had several different types of cancer and have lost their battle, but the one that impacted my life the most was the recent loss of my best friend. My friend’s name was Elke, and she battled brain cancer for almost 10 years. She was only declared in remission a couple times, it just kept coming back, and the last time the doctors said that there were no less than 11 tumors. This brain cancer took her away from so many people who loved her so much, including me. Watching my friend go through her cancer battle affected me in so many ways including making me more aware of my own health, my role as a caregiver has been expanded, and she inspired me to appreciate what I have and be thankful.

Elke found out that she had cancer when she was only about 25 years old, age does not matter to cancer, and it does not discriminate. The thought of watching her go through this at such a young age was just unimaginable. I have learned to start being more aware of my own health, after seeing her have to fight so hard, I had no choice. With the history of cancer in my family and what she went through, I decided to be proactive and the day after she passed away I went for a mammogram because the earlier cancer is detected, the better the outcome. I have an appointment to have a hysterectomy, and have had many MRIs to scan for migraine problems and check for cancer. Elke battling so hard just opened my eyes to see how fast things can happen and with no warning. She had to go through many tests, chemotherapy, and she was sick all of the time. The medications and chemotherapy and radiation break down the immune system and made her more susceptible to other illnesses. I didn’t want to have to go through all of that, it was awful to watch her go through it, but she did and...
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