Nilsen, Britney – Surviving Mesothelioma

Nilsen, Britney

Cancer. Just the thought of it is scary, and for a lot of people, an automatically assumed death sentence. My name is Britney, I was diagnosed with Bilateral Retinoblastoma at 6 months of age. Approximately 41 tumors between both eyes, at age 8, after 6 years of remission the cancer came back. I remember the doctors telling my mom that it may or may not be the cancer but the only way to tell was to enucleate my eye. I remember her face as she explained to me what the doctors said. I told her “it’s okay mommy, I’m not afraid i can’t see out of it anyway.” The next day my eye was out and it turned out to be the cancer again. Had my mom not made the split decision to take it out, it would have traveled to my brain and most likely killed me. So in my opinion, I think you should do everything you can do to save your life. Research the doctors, treatment options, and the pros and cons of everything carefully, and if chemo, radiation, or something along those lines is your best bet to fight the cancer then I would say do it. I started chemo, laser therapy and chryotherapy at 6 months old, by the age of 3 I was in remission. Thanks to these treatments, I was alive and could see 20/40 with my remaining vision. My children have a 50% chance or greater of being born with cancer. I will take my mothers strength and courage and fight to save their lives in every way I can if that ever becomes the case, the way she did for me. I was one week away from losing both eyes when i was diagnosed, today i am 18, in college, I drive, read like no other, play music and love drawing and anything to do with art, all thanks to the tenacity of my mom and the doctors who wanted to try everythi ng they possibly could to save my sight, and my life.

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