“I had cancer but cancer never had me.”
Julia Spurge-Salerno was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma on November 6, 2016. She has successfully defeated her disease. She runs an amazing blog- thesarcomadiaries.
“I found my lump accidentally because I bumped into it when getting up from my couch. The lump was located in my breast and chest wall. I went to 3 different doctors to confirm that there was definitely a lump and was sent for various tests including a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy. As I suffer from panic disorder, I told my dr when he received my results to tell me over the phone regardless of the outcome. He told me I had cancer over the phone. At first, my diagnosis was metaplastic breast cancer but after 3 rounds of chemo to shrink my tumor I had surgery. Following surgery, they examined my tumor further and changed my diagnosis to Ewing’s Sarcoma.
“I went through 9 rounds of aggressive chemo that was 3 days per month and 9 hours per day. I also had a lumpectomy to remove my tumor that was located in my left breast and chest wall. My final diagnosis was Ewing’s Sarcoma. I lost all of my hair after my first round of chemo. I also dealt with extreme fatigue, stomach cramps, headaches, body aches, bone pain, chemo brain (forgetful and confusion), numbness in my hands, and anxiety.
It was extremely hard on my children and family as cancer takes its toll on the entire family. I was lucky that my chemo worked and I was able to pull through. I had amazing doctors and nurses who helped me through the entire process as well as my counsellor who treated myself and my family to cope with all the changes and fear. I am now cancer free for 1 year and 4 months.”
Motivation to fight cancer
“My motivation was definitely my 3 children. I needed to fight my hardest to beat my cancer so I could be with them as long as possible.”
My biggest hindrance I would say was the emotional side of things. It can sometimes be very hard to stay positive when you are basically at war with your own body. You have to find ways to cope and power through because it can be very easy to succumb to depression. It is ok and very normal to have bad days but if you feel it’s getting out of hand you need to seek out help. I started counseling during this time by myself and with my family. That helped immensely as did my writing.
Message to other cancer patients
“Listen to your gut always. If you feel that something is wrong, please get it checked out immediately. Fight with everything you’ve got and don’t surrender to this disease. Seek out support from those who have been there or are still going through it. I used online support groups and they definitely helped me to see there were others just like me and that I was not alone. You can’t be positive all the time and if you have a bad day it’s okay and completely warranted.”