Epithelioid Sarcoma

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Epithelioid Sarcoma
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    Survivorship

    #EpithelioidSarcoma I am a mother to a survivor of this disease. She is 8+ years NED strong. If you would like to talk, then please comment. Every time I hug my only child, I am reminded of how blessed I am. Any of you who are fighting this battle, please know you are in my heart and NEGU. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    John Polo

    Cancer Warrior: Your Star Will Never Fade

    How do you stand so tall? How do you walk so proud? How do you smile easily? How do you laugh so beautifully? How do you comfort others? How do you shine with such grace? With such class? With such dignity? I used to ask my wife those questions. The ultimate cancer warrior. She fought so hard. So bravely. With a spirit that left the world in awe. And now, I’m asking you. You: the cancer warrior. How do you do it? To say I admired her, well, that would be the ultimate of understatements. To say I admire you, well, that would be of the same. She amazed me. You amaze me. Her spirit. Your spirit. Her grit. Your grit. Her strength. Your strength. Her heart. Your heart. Her fight. Your fight. I was in awe of her. I am in awe of you. But, with that said, I do have a confession to make. I know. She told me. My wife, that is. She told me she was tired… of standing so tall. She told me she was tired…of putting on a brave face. She told me she was tired… of being so strong. So, I know. I know you’re tired… of the battle. The battle you never asked for. I know you’re tired… of the fear. The fear you never thought you would face. I know you’re tired… of the admiration. The admiration you never sought. I know you’re tired, of being “the person with cancer.” I know. So, I say this: When you can, stand tall. When you can, walk proud. When you can, smile easily. When you can, laugh beautifully. When you can, comfort others. When you can, shine with grace, class and dignity. And, when you can’t: don’t. Be vulnerable. Be tired. Be weak. You are a hero. And your star will never fade. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Getty Images photo via m-gucci

    Lauren Poole

    When People Say I'm 'Too Young to Have Had Cancer'

    I don’t seem to fit a lot of people’s ideas about cancer. I’m neither a child nor properly an adult yet, I still have all my hair and I didn’t have to have chemo or radiation. My cancer journey started and ended with surgery, mainly because I was diagnosed with an incredibly rare and resistant-to-treatment cancer. Outside of that diagnosis, I’m still 22, and that surprises people. We’re not told much about young people with cancer. The incidence of cancer in children is one in 285, according to the American Cancer Society. Most cases of most cancers are in people who are older; their cells may have had longer to age and mutate. Mine just happened to do so at 22 instead. I’ve been told that the statistical likelihood of me getting the type of cancer I had, at the age I had, is so astronomically small as to be almost statistically impossible. No amount of overly cautious scanning or awareness could have prepared either me or my doctors for what would appear. To give some idea of how rare my cancer is, the largest study — itself a meta-study including all previous studies — had about 500 cases in it. Not 500 in a year, or a decade; 500 total. A bunch of the studies were just about one person. Now six months out from my diagnosis I’ve been told numerous times by numerous people that I’m “too young to have had cancer.” It might seem like a good comment to make, but to me, most people are “too young” to have cancer. Maybe if you’ve lived a hundred years and done everything you want to do, but cancer doesn’t differentiate based on time or experience. In my opinion, hidden behind a comment of me being “too young” is a possible assumption that it “should” have happened to someone older. I will never be glad I had cancer; it’s one of the most difficult and horrifying things that has ever happened to me and will continue to haunt me for the rest of my life. But even though soft tissue sarcomas like my own cancer have an overall survival rate of 45 percent, I’ve learned there’s a better chance — statistically — of overcoming it is as a young adult. So to the people who said I’m “too young to have had cancer”: there is no age threshold beyond which it is acceptable to have cancer. My young age does not mean my cancer is not as impactful or difficult as that of someone who is older. To the next person who offers a comment about my age: I know you don’t mean to, but what you say can invalidate my experience. A better thing to do for me would be to sympathize, to express empathy even though what I am experiencing is so entirely foreign. I’m well aware that what I’ve gone through is beyond unusual, but despite that, I still crave normal, empathic human interaction. Please ask how I am, how my scans went, how university is going, even how my dog is; it makes me feel a bit more human in the midst of an inhumane experience. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here. Thinkstock image by AntonioGuillem