Hello, reddit! I recently joined reddit and I get a lot of questions about my situation IRL, so I thought maybe you guys would be interested too! I was born with a rare and terminal lung disease called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) and it eventually got bad enough that I needed to be listed for a double-lung transplant. After a year of waiting on the list, I received my transplant at the age of 14.

About 6 months after the transplant, I started having severe stomach and back pain. At first my doctors shrugged it off as medicine-related pain, but when it got so bad that I physically could not get out of bed, they decided to hospitalize me. While hospitalized, I learned I had stage 4 of a specialized kind of non-hodkin's lymphoma that only happens after organ transplants called Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD). I was 15 years old at the time of diagnosis.

I had to go to live in a different state for 8 months to receive my treatment due to there being no specialists in my state or even any of the states surrounding mine. As you can imagine, this was very difficult for me.

When I received my first chemo treatment, all seemed to go well. I lost my hair, however, that was something to be expected. But about a week after I got the treatment, I started having extreme stomach pain (again!). They thought it was nausea from the chemo at first, but after a few days of me suffering in a morphine-haze, they finally opened me up. Turns out I had 10+ large intestinal perforations. For those who don't know, that means I had over 10 holes in my intestines and my liquid fecal matter was free floating around my abdominal cavity. During the surgery to fix this, the lead surgeon called my mom and asked whether or not she wanted him to proceed with the operation because he did not think I would survive. She said yes and so he finished it up. I won't go into too much detail, but after the surgery I went into septic shock and also developed a fungal infection, all whilst possessing about zero immune system. I spent a total of 3 months in the hospital, half of which was in the ICU. It was pretty much a miracle I survived.

I had to have a temporary ostomy bag for 6 months to allow my intestines to heal. (The ostomy bag would break sometimes, especially during the nightime. Nothing quite like being 15 years old and waking up drenched in your own liquid shit.) Since I was getting my treatment at a hospital far away from home and in a very expensive city, my mother and I had to live in a tiny studio apartment. It was super hard and I actually don't remember much from that period of time since I was so traumatized I repressed most of the memories. I suppose that was a good thing.

Lastly, after I had my operation to reverse my ostomy, there was a medical error and they gave me too many fluids, resulting me in developing Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. I was on the vent for 5 days and they weren't sure if I'd make it. Despite this trauma to my (transplanted) lungs, I still have above average lung function today. I also had to do an entire year of physical therapy because one of the chemo meds totally fucked up my leg nerves and I was forced to relearn how to walk.

It's been a crazy journey, and a challenging one, but it's been worth it. I am alive and healthy today and for that I am forever grateful. I just finished my first full year of school since the 4th grade and even finished the semester with a 4.0. I'm a year behind peers my age in school (I just finished sophomore year) because I had to take a year off for the cancer, but that sure doesn't stop me. I have big plans for the future and nothing will get in the way of them!

Proof: My scars and certificate of completion of chemo.

Comments: 1139 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

Scout_Treeper665 karma

I don't really have a question thought up but I'll be the first to say here that you're really incredible and its awesome that you made it through all that!

But if I had to give a question, it would be: What part of the journey had you most worried? Through all that did it ever get to the point where it was like "oh great, another bad thing"?

actualkaty582 karma

Thank you!

I think the scariest part was when I was first diagnosed. Even though I had already gone through the lung disease and transplant, that was really the first time that it really hit me that I could die. That it was likely that I would die. I suddenly realized my own fragile mortality and it devastated me.

After the surgery, my life was so miserable that for awhile I didn't care if I lived or died. I just wanted everything to be over one way or another. So yes, I was definitely apathetic about the whole thing. My PTSD made it worse, too. It wasn't until I returned to my home state that I finally got my will to live back.

tnitty72 karma

When you breath does it feel normal or different since you have different lungs?

actualkaty100 karma

It's just.....easier. I can take in a deep breath, which I was never able to do with PAH. It doesn't feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest anymore. Breathing normally is amazing!

ChitownHellian558 karma

What would you tell a physician in a children's hospital?

actualkaty1267 karma

Every kid is different, but the number one thing is to be honest with the kids. If something is gonna hurt, tell the truth. It's better to know what's coming than to be surprised and feel betrayed and lied to. I really like knowing exactly what the doctors/nurses are gonna do to me and how uncomfortable/painful it will be. I always have them walk me through what they're doing as they're doing it. Honestly really is the best policy, even if you think you're "protecting" the kids by keeping the truth from them. They know more than you think, and if you're keeping something from them, they're gonna know something's up.

Alvenairs304 karma

Hey lady! I had ph and a double lung transplant too! Then went into chronic rejection after a few years and needed to have another lung transplant, a single this time. What drugs were you on before transplant? Did you ever go on flolan? Isn't it so amazing to wake up after surgery and not have that disease anymore?! Hope all is well!

actualkaty245 karma

Holy crap, hello fellow PHer and transplantee! I have a friend who has a very similar story to yours, you don't happen to live in Utah, do you? I hope you're doing well now!

I was on Flolan for a couple of years and then switched to Remodulin when it came out. I was on the pump up until the year before my transplant, and then I did sub-Q. I'm so very glad I don't have PH anymore! I'm loving my pump-free life!

BanTwitterLinks22 karma

I remember reading the 5 year rejection rate for lung transplants are astronomically high, do you expect to have another transplant in the next 10 years or is it a bit different given your young age?

actualkaty89 karma

It's not much different with age, sadly. I may get rejection and I may not. The longer I go with no rejection, the less likely it is I will eventually develop it - I'm at 2.5 years rejection free so far, let's hope it lasts!

BanTwitterLinks3 karma

I do hope it lasts and that they solve the rejection in lung transplants long before it ever has a chance to affect you. They have managed to solve it with the other major organ transplants so the lungs can't be too far behind. I wish you nothing but good luck in the future.

actualkaty4 karma

I'm really looking forward to when they can, in essence, 3D print your own organs. They'd be 100% your own DNA, so no risk of rejection. I would gladly go through the operation again to be able to have rejection-free lungs. It's really only 5 or 10 years off, so if I can make it till then, I'm set for life.

Iabiel6 karma

This question is a bit late, but what is the "pump"? I am a medical social worker and I am always looking to expand my knowledge :)


In case OP or someone else doesn't answer. Central venous catheter "pump." It allows for direct infusion of medicine for self administering. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong)

actualkaty5 karma

Exactly what he said!

TheCarpenterj246 karma

Ever part of your story had me on edge, ended up creating a account to ask a question. What do you plan on doing with your, life long term, after college? I went straight to job force after high school however my friends are out in the real world doing wonderful things, finished with college. Would love to know your ideals after your experience.

Edit: spelling

actualkaty412 karma

Oh wow, I'm honored! I never thought my life story was THAT exciting! I want to get a PhD, so post college life seems like a long way off.....but ideally, I'd end up working for NASA or a similar agency. I'd really like if I could end up in research and not academia. I think research would give me a better opportunity to expand my knowledge and learn even more. Basically I just want to learn forever!

badgurlvenus146 karma

what are your plans for the future after highschool? any college plans?

actualkaty602 karma

Oh yeah, I definitely want to go to college! I bet there's some sweet scholarships for childhood cancer survivors. I want to major in astronomy or astrophysics.

badgurlvenus92 karma

good luck to you :-) that was my choice too. currently working as a pharmacy tech to save up money for it. hopefully you get some good ones!! have you looked at any schools in particular?

actualkaty171 karma

Yeah, college is expensive and it sucks. I'm very lucky that I don't have to worry about money too much. I really hope you save up enough, astronomy is great!

I really like the U of Arizona's program, plus it's somewhat close. Some of the UCs have really great astrophysics programs as well. And I'm considering the U of Hawaii, though that may be mostly due to that it's freakin Hawaii.......

shocked_caribou17 karma

I visited Hawaii last year, and I have to say, the University of Hawaii campus is absolutely beautiful. You should go for it! Astrophysics is an amazing field!

actualkaty24 karma

I know! The only reservation I have is that I would be very far away from family.

gnarcophagus44 karma

I'm currently a senior in aerospace engineering. DM me if you ever need anything. Why does this appeal to you? EDIT: or have any questions

actualkaty55 karma

That's really awesome, good for you! I've always hunted for answers to life's biggest questions - where do we come from, where did the universe come from, are we alone, why are things the way they are? I find that astronomy and physics are the subjects that will help me find those answers. Plus, they're just plain fascinating. I always want to know more space facts!

gnarcophagus21 karma

They absolutely are. This is the exact reason for me too, but more eloquently stated by you. You are obviously very intelligent, good luck to you!!

actualkaty13 karma

Thank you very much, good luck to you as well!

HalftimeHeaters143 karma

What was the funniest comment someone said to you while you were kicking cancer'sa$$ ?

"I promise never to refer to your illness as a journey, unless someone takes you on a cruise"

-Cancer themed sympathy card

actualkaty524 karma

Not so much funny, but annoying - I got a lot of "God does everything for a reason" comments. Like, God must really have something against me! What on earth did I do to deserve all this shit? God's really out to get me! it's cause i'm a lesbian isnt it

slowdancequeen204 karma

I'm late but my daughter was diagnosed with pah 5 days before her 2nd birthday, she's 10 now, and we've been told "God has a plan for her" or "God does everything for a reason". It's the worst feeling, especially since her Meds aren't working anymore.

actualkaty42 karma

I'm so sorry. Is transplant a viable option for her? I'd definitely go down that route if you have the chance. What meds is she on? Is she only on pills or has she done IV therapy as well?

nigelxw47 karma

How many goats have your parents sacrificed to Odin?

actualkaty83 karma

26....that I know of.

Quest4Salami0 karma

Replied from last one. Christian God would do it, but a real God would not. There are plenty of worse, straight people out there. I have no dog in either race I'm just throwing it in there.

actualkaty14 karma

Yeah. I think if there is a God, they're not controlling exactly who dies and who lives and who gets some horrible disease and who doesn't. I like to think of a hypothetical God as the guy who put everything into motion, not one that controls every minute detail of our lives.

AppalachianOctopus120 karma

Favorite flavor of ice cream?

actualkaty199 karma

Oooh, this is a tough call. I gotta go with chocolate.

notalawnuh87 karma

Since it's well known that USA healthcare is stupid expensive, I'm curious - any idea of the cost of your treatments? Did insurance help at all?

actualkaty64 karma

It was a couple of million, at least. I don't think anyone's taken the time to add up all of the costs together. My family is well off, but not THAT well off! Thank the lord for good insurance. The insurance paid for it all.

iseeabadmoonrising23 karma

I am glad you had this too...I had a good friend who had cancer and the insurance outright stopped paying for her treatment. She tried to fight for it, but was very weak and died a few months later, but I honestly think had they continued to treat her she would have lived much longer. I remember when she found out, the idea that they wouldn't help her after paying into it for 20 years devastated her.

Anyway, I am glad you are doing better, good luck to you in the future.

actualkaty19 karma

That's so fucking shitty. It angers me so much that there are people DYING because they can't afford treatment. Money should not control whether you live or die, but it does and I hate it.

nubbens10 karma

I worked in healthcare dealing wIth insurance for over ten years, specifically for transplant and chemo patients. Insurances, even "bad" ones, have a yearly out of pocket maximum for policy holders, meaning at a certain point, the insurance company pays 100% of the medical bills, after the patient has paid their share. The insurance company probably paid millions between the transplant and chemo, the family either thousands or hundreds depending on their coverage. If the family qualified for state assistance, they may not have owed anything at all because she is a minor. Healthcare is stupid expensive in the states, but for something medically necessary like this the insurance company is the one who is paying. They probably have a contracted reduced rate, but trust me, it's still ridiculously expensive.

actualkaty7 karma

Yes, we have an out-of-pocket maximum. We usually hit it pretty early in the year because of all my medical stuff, and from then on we don't have to pay anything. By the time I was diagnosed, we had already paid our yearly out-of-pocket.

Teaandabook76 karma

How many medical errors do you think you endured? Not the fatal type, obviously, but surgeries done incorrectly, missed diagnosis, medication errors, etc?

actualkaty189 karma

Oh god, I don't even know. A lot. Some were minor and some were not - I've gotten near-fatal overdoses of meds before and it took 4 years to diagnose my PAH in the first place. I honestly cannot give you a number. I don't blame the doctors or the nurses, they're human just like you and I. And I'm still alive, so they must be doing more right than wrong!

lindblomc47 karma

Does air like "taste" different or ANYTHING when exhaling?

actualkaty25 karma

Nope! Air tastes and feels the same. I can just get more of it!

Jonny_Muscle39 karma

Wow for someone so young you've been through a lot. You seem pretty positive and open about your situation. What do you do to stay occupied outside of being in the hospital? I could only imagine myself spiraling into depression.

actualkaty92 karma

I'm lucky and I haven't been hospitalized for over a year now, the longest I've ever gone. I now live my life as a "normal" teenager, going to school and doing extracurricular activities.

But when I was sick, my whole life was revolved around the hospital. I would go in for some kind of appointment 4-5 days a week and would usually be there most of the day. It was almost like a 9 - 5 job. Monday through Friday, I'd get up, go to the hospital to get blood drawn/meet with doctors/have other tests done/have infusions, go home, eat dinner, go to bed. I binge watched a couple of shows on Netflix when I had time. I did indeed suffer severe depression and PTSD. I actually don't really remember a lot from that time, like I mentioned in the post. I have no idea what happened in the TV shows I watched, I just know that I watched them! For example, I watched the entirety of the show "House", but I literally cannot name a single thing that happened on the show. The only character I remember was House himself. My whole life was kind of like that - I repressed everything. Honestly, I'm kind of glad I don't remember much.

xFrogii20 karma

Hey! First of all what amazing you survived! Second I have a question. As someone like nyself, I survived stage 3 cancer at the age of 8 ( im twenty now ) do you ever have any side effect from the chemo?

Like myself I find myself depressed a lot of the time during the week, and have problems with having my weight stable. ( after the chemo's I can't be full anymore ).

I hope you will live a good life!

actualkaty8 karma

The chemo medicine changed my tastes a little too. I'm currently trying to gain weight. I'm only 5lbs away now from my goal of 100lbs!

uliarliarpantsonfire18 karma

Do you have any recommendations for how to make kids more comfortable who are spending long amounts of time in the hospital? Especially teens? I think most of the stuff I've seen has always been geared toward smaller children but teens are still in pediatric care.

How do you feel now? I know you said your lung function is really good but I know you had a lot more than that going on. I'm glad to read that your lung function is above normal by the way, that's fantastic!

actualkaty62 karma

Treat the teenagers like small adults. Inform them about their health, medicine, prognosis, etc. I always felt like the doctors and nurses baby-ed me. You learn a lot from a life with a chronic illness, even as a kid. 95% of the time I knew more about my illness than the nurses and even doctors. I know that sounds crazy, but if you live with a disease you learn a TON about it. The doctors will know things about it, but they have to know stuff about a thousand other diseases too. Often I had to tell medical staff what to do! And when they didn't listen to me and thought they knew better than me, it was very frustrating. One time it almost got me killed - a nurse did something potentially fatal that I had TOLD HER NOT TO multiple times outloud! So yeah, be honest and listen to their concerns and take those concerns as seriously as you would with an adult patient.

I'm doing absolutely fantastic! My lung function is over 100% and the rest of my organs and body are functioning wonderfully as well!

uliarliarpantsonfire18 karma

I wondered if there was a lot of babying. With it being pediatric medicine it seems like all the stuff I have seen in those wings is dedicated to children not young adults. As to the knowing more about what is going on with your own body, no that doesn't sound crazy at all. But I had a pretty bad car accident in my early 20s and had vertebra replacement, died, had to relearn to walk etc so I spent a lot of time in the hospital too. You are the only one that knows how you feel and you are the most familiar and most invested (other than your parents who were probably beside themselves) so it stands to reason that they should pay attention to what you say.

I'm glad to hear you are doing so well! It sounds like you've got a lot of heart so I'm sure that will continue! I think anything like that when you come out on the other side you appreciate just being alive more and you're a fighter by the time it's done!

actualkaty13 karma

Oh goodness, I hope you're doing better now! That sounds awful! And as I get older, they've started paying more attention to what I say, and that's a relief. In a few months my parents will have NO legal say, so they have to stop babying me, haha!

uliarliarpantsonfire8 karma

Oh I'm fine it's been nearly 20 yrs, you wouldn't know that I'm made of spare parts if you met me, I have since rode wild horses and a mechanical bull, and it was nothing as serious as what you had but it gave me a taste of life in the hospital. I worked in healthcare and most of my family does in one form or another so being on the other side definitely gave me perspective. I'm sure it would be so frustrating to feel like people weren't listening to you. The patients I worked with were always special needs adults so they experienced the same sort of thing. People talking about them like they weren't there, doctors asking staff how the patient feels rather than the patient, and it's hard to make people understand. If it makes a difference I've found that people usually don't mean to do it, they just don't think about it. They mean well they're just not thinking clearly. As to your parents not babying you after 18, I'm a parent of 3 20+ yr. old kids. I'm not sure the being their baby ever ends, but I think that's a good thing.

actualkaty9 karma

I know that their intentions were good. I don't blame them for babying me, I'm sure it works well with some patients. Nobody in the healthcare profession has ever struck me as anything but kind and caring with the want to help. And when I was talking about "them" not babying me, I was referring to the doctors, not my parents. I'll always be my parents' "sprout", lol. I'm forever a baby in their eyes! That's okay with me.

ZzuAnimal17 karma

You survived stuff that you shouldn't have, and many people haven't. What amazing stuff do you wanna do with your life? Also have you participated in any medical studies?

actualkaty42 karma

It's kinda nerdy, but I want to be an astronomer, an astrobiologist in particular. I've always been fascinated with space and science. I used to tell myself that astronomy and physics was too much work, but now I figure if I can get through cancer, I can get through an astrophysics degree. It'll take hard work and determination, but I think I can do it!

I have participated in medical studies, but I do not know exactly what they were for or what the results were. I know I participated in one for side effects of a medication I was taking with the PAH. The researchers just come in while I'm having a clinic appointment, ask if I want to consent for them to use my testing results for a study (I always say yes), my mom and I sign something, and viola! That's it.

BOZGBOZG14 karma

Yeah? Well I stood on a Lego this morning.

actualkaty15 karma

Godspeed, my friend. Those fuckers HURT!

001dex12 karma

Hey Katy, it's super impressive that you got through everything and can still talk about it, you must have gone through more already than a lot of people have to deal with in their whole life.

2 questions, though don't feel the need to answer if they're too personal: 1. Do you still struggle with any mental health issues following on from your time in and out of hospital? 2. Coming out of hospital and living a "normal" life again, how do you feel compared to other teenagers your own age? E.g. Do you feel more mature? or less experienced in interacting with people? Or do you have a better outlook on life?

actualkaty62 karma

Thank you, it actually helps to talk about it, it's not so "taboo" that way!

To answer your question, it was extremely taxing on my mental health. I had deep depression that eventually manifested into PTSD. I had flashbacks and dissociation problems for a year. It's gotten much better over time, the only symptoms I currently experience are nightmares and anxiety over my health. It felt for awhile there that I would never get better, but I was wrong. I don't even have depression anymore!

I am definitely different than other kids my age. I find myself "wiser" than them in a lot of ways. I keep really calm in distressing situations, because, to me, nothing is usually a big deal - Oh no, you broke up with your boyfriend? I don't care, you'll get over it. You'll live. I'm not saying that people shouldn't complain about their situation cause there are ~dying kids in africa~ but simply that personally I don't worry about stuff like that. Stuff like grades, family, and everyday stuff just doesn't stress me out. It seems awfully small-scale to me and my life. I also kind of feel like I'm "over the hump" in a metaphorical way. The excitement climax of my life is over. I just want to kick back and enjoy the rest of it. Socially speaking, I am a little behind than my peers due to the social isolation, but I'm certainly learning and getting there. Being chronically ill really shaped my lifeview. I'm not sure if it was for the better or worse. It's most definitely made me more cynical. Shit happens and life isn't fair. I had to learn that the hard way at a young age.

jacksaces9 karma

Dang son, congrats to you. You've gone thru what most humans on this planet will never have to. Feeling strong?

actualkaty30 karma

I'm pretty proud of my body for dealing with poisons and having the power to go on, that's for sure! It's really amazing what the human body and mind can endure.

ResetsPls8 karma

How difficult was it adapting back into school?

I hope it wasn't but thank goodness you are strong enough to get through this!

actualkaty45 karma

I started high school at a place where I literally knew nobody. I could have gone to a school with familiar people, but I wanted a fresh start, someplace where people would see me as "Katy" and not "the girl who is sick", like I experienced in elementary and middle school. I was always treated like an "other" and I wanted to forge a new identity for myself. I'm so glad I made the choice that I did, my school is amazing. My new friends know about my past, but they never had to see me go through it. They are a little naive and ignorant about it, and I haven't told them everything, but that's okay. I appreciate being able to talking about things other than my health. It rarely comes up, and I find that to be a good thing.

hoybowdy6 karma

My daughter is 13, and we know about waking up covered in leaky bag shit quite well - a few months ago she ended up in the hospital (her seventh stay) for her own intestinal perforation, lost two feet of colon, and now she's home...but three months past what what supposed to be a two month "temporary" stoma-and-bag, still replacing the bag as often as three times a day due to leaks, and being told that she'll have to wait until the summer's over before they are willing to look at putting her back together.

She's in IMMENSE pain all the time - from the Crohn's, and from the skin irritation of wash-and-replace that makes the bag not stick in the first place. Her anxiety disorder is compounding everything through the roof. And she's clearly scared - instead of slowly learning to manage her disease, since diagnosis three years ago, she's clearly thinking that it just keeps getting worse, and its hard to argue otherwise.

So, the question: as someone who has had it far worse (and I salute you for it), how the hell do you stay so damn upbeat about it? What do you recommend I say or do to help her see as anything other than an attack on her body and soul? Any suggestions welcome, please...

actualkaty6 karma

Dear lord, that's horrible. I'm so sorry your daughter has to go through that. Have you guys tried convex ostomy wafers? Those were miracle workers for me! I went from having to change mine several times a day to only needing to change it once every 4 days.

I seem upbeat about it now, but when I was going through it I was most certainly not upbeat. Try and remind her that it's all temporary - that one day she won't need the ostomy. Looking forward is how I got through; I knew better times were coming.

lakehairdontcare5 karma

What state do you live in? Do you use cannabis lab extracts for pain/nausea/etc relief?

actualkaty9 karma

I lived in California for my treatment. Let me tell you, Marinol (a cannabis-derived substance) worked wonders! I'm 100% for medical marijauna.

ThatsMyHoverboard4 karma

I just wanted to congratulate you on making through such a hard and probably unpleasant expirience that not many make it through, including one of my grandparents sadly. I'm wondering, what state and program / hospital you got your medical care in? I know at least that my state, Massachusetts (Go Sox), we have the Dana Farber Cancer Institute that's mainly for cancer related medical matters, but I don't really know many other state's programs. What did you go through while in said program when it comes to the multiple methods and what was you're experience with them?

actualkaty13 karma

I don't want to say exactly what hospital it was, but it was at a renowned children's hospital in the state of California. It's not a cancer only hospital, it's a general children's hospital, but they're very large and have an excellent cancer program. I'm not really sure how to compare it to other programs, because it was the ONLY hospital I received treatment at. I got amazing care, though!

ArcanaNoir4 karma

What caused the intestinal perforations? Is that something chemo could cause?

actualkaty4 karma

It turned out that I had way more tumors in my intestines than they anticipated. The tumors had grown all the way through my intestinal wall and when I got that first dose of chemo, it worked almost TOO well and totally eradicated the tumors, leaving gaping holes in my intestines.

4thsquadcpt2 karma

First, I would like to say congratulations on overcoming what seemed to be a never-ending obstacle. I am grateful you made it through such a horrible experience and wish the best for you. Second, what is the most important thing in your life?

actualkaty13 karma

Thank you! It really did seem never-ending. It's been kind of strange having a normal life. It's something I never had until I was 16.

What's the most important thing in my life? Probably my family. They've been so very supportive and wonderful through this whole process. They're the best family I could ever ask for, I'm not sure I deserve them.....

jimusah2 karma

Damn.. i truly must say, your life sucks (sucked?) Dude. Glad you're doing okay now. What was your thought process during all of this? Did you see a light at the end of all of this or were you doing it mostly because of family?

actualkaty15 karma

It doesn't suck anymore, thank goodness!

I don't know what it is about me, but I seem to possess a very primal and strong will to live. I honestly believe that is what has made me survive through my whole ordeal. I simply.....refuse to die. Even when I was depressed and wanted to die, I also wanted to live SO VERY BAD, if that makes any sense at all. I know it sounds like a paradox, but I have no other way to explain it. I want to be alive for all the exciting discoveries to come. I want to see humans go to Mars. I want to go to college and get the degree of my dreams. I want to see the end of my favorite TV show. I find it's often the little things that keep me going.

Quest4Salami2 karma

Was there a point where you waited too long to seek medical attention or would it have still been stage four if you were in the doctors office right away? It scares me to think it can come out of nowhere.

actualkaty5 karma

My doctors actually knew about my stomach pain for a couple of months before I was diagnosed. They believed it was due to my steroids that I take. I even had an CT on my abdomen and when they looked back after I was diagnosed they realized they totally missed a nodule that was on my lower chest. Since the CT was for my abdomen, they didn't think to look at the part of my lungs it imaged as well! So, while it was a fast growing cancer, it could have been caught earlier. I think about that a lot. I don't blame anyone, but it's frustrating that the evidence was right in front of them and they missed it.

Ravnuss0 karma

What kind of plans do u have for the future?

actualkaty6 karma

Go to college, get a PhD in astrophysics/astronomy, hopefully get a job in research, marry a cute girl eventually, and own lots of parrots together!