Feb 13, 2009 - 1:40 pm
Hello, my name is Kerri and i am a 15 year cancer survivor of Retinoblastoma.
At a mere 11 months old as my mom sat rocking me to sleep, she noticed an odd puffiness and redness in my right eye. Thinking nothing of it she brushed it off. A couple weeks later as the redness worsened, she decided to take me to the doctor. The doctors performed many tests trying to figure out the cause of the swelling and redness. All the tests came back normal so the doctors said in a couple days it should be fine. Just days before my birthday, my mom receives a phone call from the doctors saying after some intensified tests, they have determined there is a tumor growing behind my right eye. I was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, or in simple terms, cancer of the eye. Receiving this news was a blast to my parents. I was at a young age and it crushed them. All the usual questions ran through their heads.....Why my daughter? Why so young? Will she understand? After undergoing many chemotherapy treatments and radiation, I was unable to keep my right eye. The doctors had not caught it in time to stop the growth of the tumor before it took over my retina. I underwent multiple reconstructive surgeries to rebuild the right side of my face so it was proportional to my left. I now have an artificial eye to replace the one I lost to my cancer.
My cancer experience has changed my life in so many ways. You learn that life is so precious and no matter what you have in life always be thankful that you can wake up each morning and live a healthy life. Going through all the cancer has made me not only a stronger person but has given me the chance to see that life is an obstacle that you have to be willing to push forward and achieve even the hardest of all bumps in the road. NEVER GIVE UP!!! You stop for a second and that's where you'll end up.