CSN Login
Members Online: 5

Hello there :)

Kerri Lynn's picture
Kerri Lynn
Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2009

Hello, my name is Kerri and i am a 15 year cancer survivor of Retinoblastoma.
Here's my story:

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.

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

Dear Kerri Lynn,
You are a beautiful, wise young woman and I am just in awe of your uplifting attitude! I can only imagine how proud your parents must be of you. I have 2 daughters and a son and I am going to show them your post immediately; your advice is just what they need to hear right now; they know their mom is dying of melanoma and are struggling with the sadness of mom not being the strong, healthy one that took care of everything. I'm sure that they are also scared that their lives will change so much when I'm gone, even though their dad is going to take good care of them. It's just not the same as having mom around to listen and help with the problems that young people face. I hope that they understand through your words, that strength and happiness are self-made. You are a perfect example of that.
May God bless you and your family with every good thing, sweetheart.You are in my prayers and, again, I am so proud of you!!
Much love,
Hollyberry

Kerri Lynn's picture
Kerri Lynn
Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2009

First I wanted to thank you for the taking the time to share your story with me. I understand how all this must be so difficult for you. Even though you may not see it yourself, you are a strong and very courageous woman. I wouldn’t even come close to understand all the hardships that you have encountered. I give you such an applaud for your strength that shines through you at this most horrid time. You’re not only looking to the brighter side and keeping such an optimistic glow that just blows me away! I can just imagine how many lives you have touched with your uplifting attitude. I know for a fact that I will never forget this conversation we shared. I feel so terrible for all the bits and pieces that has come your way. I can only understand how you must feel to let your children know that they will no longer have that person of comfort to talk to and share those special moments. It’s your love and devotion that you have given to your children during your battle that will guide them to understand that you will always be there for them no matter where and when. Your ears will always be open as well as your heart. You literally have made me put in perspective how very precious life is and I am so scared for you as well me and the people closest to me. Life changes in split seconds and tears you to pieces at the seams. It’s how you deal with those times that make you a stronger person. It’s ironic that this story has come up because I am in my senior year at school and there are so many people around me that I hear every day complaining about the smallest things that come along in life and here you are facing such a painful time. I feel for you and love you so much!!! Stay strong girl and the best will come your way!!! God bless you and your family!!
Love always,
Kerri Lynn

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

I have raised 3 daughters, been married 33 years and had Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. I now help others that are dealing with cancer. Your parents must be quite proud of you. As a parent I wanted my daughters to be honest, caring and understanding individuals that would reach out and help others. They have not disappointed me and I am proud of them. You have the wisdom of a much older person as you have been through so much. You understand the gift of life much more than others your age. I hope you enjoy your senior year in school and have a life full of love and happiness. You are quite special. Bless you Slickwilly

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

Dear Kerri Lynn,
Thank you so much for your very kind reply; I am amazed at the strength and wisdom that you possess at such a young age. Most kids your age, as you so aptly pointed out, are pretty self-involved and don't understand the deeper lessons and meaning of life. You have been blessed with a wisdom that few people will acquire over a life-time.
You mentioned the people at school that complain about the littlest things and you can be proud to be above all of that ; your maturity and understanding are awe-inspiring to me. I hope that you find a career in a field that can show others how intelligent and intuitive you are; maybe social work or psychology. It would be a blessing for others if you could share your knowledge and compassion with them.So many people go through this experience and don't get all of the lessons that are hidden in the struggle, but you so obviously have. I am very proud of you! I wish that you hadn't had to learn such painful lessons at such a young age, but you have done so with such grace that I am just amazed at your insight and understanding.
Stay well and know that I love you and am praying for you. What a beautiful, wise and compassionate young woman you are! Take care and know that I am with you in thought and spirit.
With very much love,
Hollyberry

issi
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2011

Hello, my name is Isabelle.. my story is pretty much the same... just discovered the site. Im glad i found it... here's my mail so we can talk....
gozipp@hotmail.com

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network