A quick overview of my journey: I was student teaching as a second semester senior at Mercyhurst University and on February 8th everything changed. I had a meeting and dinner with a handful of friends which was allowed and everyone was spaced with masks, but one of the people I was with had a roomate that test COVID positive so I got put in expanded precautions at school and couldn’t student teach for the rest of the week. Then on Friday I started feeling virus or flu like symptoms (sore throat, stuffy and runny nose, chest pressure, fatigued, nausea, minor fever) which got me a COVID test and to be placed in quarantine. I got out of quarantine with a negative test result then I needed another COVID test to try to student teach if I was feeling better the next week. The only place I could go and get one with my insurance in a timely manner was St Vincent’s ER so I went there and got a strep test too. They released me with a BP of 185/155 and some nausea meds. Both were negative and I was placed in quarantine again for 1 night then my Dad came to pick me up and take me home to get me seen by my PCP in person to see what was going on. But they could double as COVID symptoms so I couldn’t go see my pediatrician plus there was some high blood pressure which is more of an adult issue so they suggested I get a new PCP. They also sent me for a variety of more testing and I ended up in the McCandless ER again due to the symptoms and a new symptom of a headache. They released me with a high BP and some nausea meds. That week, I went to my cardiologist to see what she thought of the high BP. She connected me with a new and fantastic PCP who tried the rest of the tests she thought would give us some clue to what was going on. She also tried to treat my symptoms. Then that Saturday- Feb 27th I went to the ER at Allegheny General Hospital with a new symptom of a pain in my right side. They did a CT and found a 7.1 cm adrenal tumor that probably has been growing there for 5+ years. If you know me I have had some unanswered health issues that now can be explained through this! I have an Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma that will be surgically removed on Monday April 5th with the possibility of removing part of my liver and vena cava as well as possibly my right kidney and one of my right ribs. Then we will see what treatment is suggested to prevent further spread after the pathology comes back.
This affects one in every million people. It is considered a rare disease or orphan cancer due to how rare it is! But the University of Michigan Medical Center (Michigan Medicine) has the Rogel Cancer Center which has an Adrenal Cancer Center it is internationally known. This hospital deals with the majority of Adrenal Cancer patients in the nation! People from other countries come to be cared for there. They are some of the best! This is where I will be cared for and having the surgery!
I feel so blessed that those doctors found this when they only find this rare cancer in two ways: 1. Incidentally on a CT (like me) 2. On an autopsy report
I like my option! I know that I have a great support system of family and friends as well as God with me! If God is with me who/what can be against me? God is within me I cannot fail! I’m am strong and ready to fight! Cancer messed with the wrong girl!