In February 2017, my whole life changed. Now other things led to these changes in the years previous as well but not like this.

In the middle of the previous year, I had started to lose a ton of weight, and when I say a ton I mean a ton. Lost a whole person worth of weight, without trying. I had gotten out of a long and very toxic relationship not long before the weight loss so I assumed it was a result of that situation.

Sometimes the most life-altering situations start with the most mundane of symptoms.

Other than an occasional stomach ache life was good. I was working had my apartment for the first time in years and was heading in the right direction. Fast forward a few months to February 2017, My occasional stomach ache was now fainting spells and terrible pain in my abdomen anytime I ate or drank anything at all.

After weeks of doctors’ appointments with Neurologists and Cardiologists, they found nothing and my mom and boyfriend at the time talked me into going into the hospital to have my gall bladder looked at. Long ER story short they agree it was my gall bladder and admit me for tests before surgery. ” You’ll be home by nightfall tomorrow”

Another boring long hospital story short, the next morning tests are done and everything is on hold. They found a mass on my liver and need to biopsy it before we can go any further.

While we wait for my body to cooperate for testing my now boyfriend Travus made sure to be with me every step of the way, even when it put him out. My mother was on the phone anytime I needed her to be and came to see me when she could and my little sister came to sit with me every chance she got.

Finally, we are ready and they do the biopsy, they come in and start throwing words like oncology department/teams around like its a free for all on the baseball field but in between breathes they make sure to nonchalantly tell me nothing is confirmed. 6 days I sat in that hospital and when they finally let me go I still had no “confirmed” answers but was sure nothing would ever be the same again.

My follow-up appointment was one week later. I had never been more scared to be in a doctor’s office in my life. Very quickly after introductions did I hear the words I was dreading the most:

“You have Cancer”

My heart stopped and I cried, for 30 seconds. For 30 straight seconds, I looked my little sister in the eye and cried as I told her I wasn’t ready to die. In those 30 seconds, all I could see was her fear and my heart stopped again. I wiped my face and as she always has my sister picked up the slack and asked all the right questions and we planned our next steps.

Nothing was as heartbreaking as it was to have to call all my loved ones and tell them. I could hear the heartbreak in all their voices and it just further readied me for battle.

Cancer didn’t bring me to my knees, it brought me to MY FEET

– Michael Douglas