Cancer: Unknown

Hi, I'm Jessi. I'm 35. I'm a wife, a mother of three, a communications professional, and I have cancer. I was originally diagnosed with Cancer of Unknown Primary, and then officially Small Round Cell Sarcoma. The official 5-year survival rate for this diagnosis is less than 5%, but that’s not me. I’m a survivor and I will beat this.

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  • Jessi Stetina

What Will 2019 Bring?



The running joke every year seems to be that the prior year was bad, and that the next surely will be better. 2018 seems to be taking even more of a beating than previous years. The US is in turmoil politically, mass shootings have become the norm, free press is under attack, and we’re finishing it up with a government shutdown.


For me personally, 2018 was pretty rough. It gave me cancer. Sure, I may have had some cancer prior to 2018, but we certainly did not know that. I had a good five months in 2018 where I lived my life blissfully unaware that everything was about to change.


So what’s my hope for 2019? Resolutions? I guess to fight. To fight my ass off. There are times where I get down. Where I start to think about the numbers. I remember that stage IV sarcoma has a 16% 5 year survival rate. I remember that I’ve been told the median life expectancy after diagnosis is 18 to 24 months.


But you know what that also means? 16% live. Look, it’s not great odds, but it’s not zero. Someone has beaten this. Why not me?


I had scans done recently that showed progress. Not the miracle you hope and pray for, but progress, nonetheless. My mass has thinned, the free fluid (which is bad in the world of cancer) has reduced greatly, and there is no further progression of the disease. So that’s something, right? After three treatments, we’re getting somewhere.

So this New Year, I start treatment again on January 2nd. And while I always dread treatment, I’m feeling more optimistic than I have the last couple of times. Because 2019 is going to be better for me. It’s going to be a hard year, sure. I’m most likely going to spend the entire year still going through treatments. I’m sure I’ll end up back in the emergency room a time or two, and I’m sure there will be setbacks. But I’m prepared. Cancer isn’t going to blindside me or my family again. I’m ready for it, and I’m ready to fight.

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