It was like any other Tuesday.. after my last class, I was walking in the hallway with my best friend getting ready for cheerleading and gymnastics practice. Suddenly, everything was different. I felt a foreign excruciating pain in my stomach, I felt dizzy, and the next thing I knew, I came to in the bathroom and threw up. My best friend called my mom who rushed over to me, and drove me to my primary care physician. During the drive, I could not stop moving. Pain interrupted any opportunity that I had to sit still, fasten a seat belt, or take a breath without it being accompanied by a moan for help. Upon arriving at the doctor, and explaining my symptoms, my doctor pressed his boulders for hands on my stomach and quickly gave the diagnosis of a bladder infection. As my mom and I drove home, she tried to assure me in between every moan that I would be okay once the medicine that the doctor prescribed kicked in... little did she know, that she and that doctor were very wrong. I’m honestly not sure how long I waited for the medicine to work before I said to my mom, “Mommy I’ve never had a bladder infection before, but it can’t possibly be this bad. Take me the hospital.”
I will never forget how cold that hospital was. I will never forget how loud those monitor beeps were. I will also never forget just how rudely my pain laughed at the dilaudid, morphine, and toradol that I was given that night. The pain that night changed my life. I received my first pelvic exam that night, and it was during that exam, I finally felt some relief. I then got an ultrasound. To everyone’s surprise tumors were found on my ovaries. The one on my right ovary was the size of a golf ball, and the one on my left ovary was the size of a grapefruit. A few days later my first surgery in all of my 16 years was scheduled to remove the tumors.. when I woke from surgery, I learned that the left tumor had completely taken over my ovary, leaving me without a left ovary or left Fallopian tube. The tumor was nice enough to leave me a partial ovary; not too nice though. After my biopsy came back, I heard the word “cancer” for the first time in my life. While I remember my family deliberating with the doctors at this long beautiful wooden table about my plan of care, I don’t remember much of anything besides sitting at the head of the table fighting with every ounce in me to not cry in front of them. It was decided that chemotherapy was the best course of action. I would be in the hospital for one week, getting treatment daily, and out for two weeks going to school.
This was my routine for three months, and during those three months, I went from Cammie the varsity cheerleader, to Cammie the girl with the plague called cancer.
To view part two of Camille's story, CLICK HERE.
To view part three of Camille's story, CLICK HERE.