The Facts

Elli:

I never really knew how detailed something like this could be. I thought that a tumor was just something in a place it shouldn’t be that would need to be removed. I thought it was either cancerous or not and I thought that was the biggest problem. No one wants cancer. But as I go through these steps, I am learning that there is a lot more to it.

My specific tumor is located in the parapharyngeal space of my neck and goes all the way up into my head to the base of my skull. Incorporated into my tumor is my carotid artery and my vagus nerve, which I have came to realize are ridiculously important. My location sucks. It is hard to reach, surrounded by important parts, and will leave a scar down my face and neck. Because of the location of my tumor, whether or not it is cancerous or not won’t be known until it is removed. Fortunately, my recent tests have shown that there are no more tumors in other parts of my body!

One of the hardest parts of this process is believing what the doctors are telling me. I sit  feeling perfectly normal, but I listen to them tell me how sick I am. It is tough. I can tell how serious it is by the tears I see in my mom’s eyes. That’s what gets me. I am good at keeping in my emotions. I don’t like to look sad and upset, although that is mostly how I feel. Living in a house full of great people helps. Laughing helps. Love helps.

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