I am Micaela, and am currently 15, but was diagnosed with non-HPV cervical cancer when I was 14 years old. I am currently on immunotherapy (Nivolumab) and have had radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery.
I was diagnosed in January of 2017, in a local OB/GYN office. She referred me to a GYN oncologist, who took a biopsy which came back with a large amount of necrotic tissue. I was then referred to the Rutgers RWJ Cancer Center. She referred me to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and I finally made it there around February. I had a vaginoscopy, and another biopsy, under general anesthesia. Afterward, I had a radical hysterectomy with removal of both Fallopian tubes, my cervix, lymph nodes, and my left ovary. I began chemotherapy shortly after. All of this did not impact my social and academic life, and I was still attending school. When they started me on chemo, I was put on both Carboplatin and Abraxane/Paclitaxel, for about 4 weeks. After the 4th week, when I was scheduled to get my 5th chemo, my creatinine levels were high, and they did an ultrasound. Another tumor had formed around my bowel, and it was larger than the original one. I was hospitalized, and then I had radiation therapy. I stayed in the hospital for about a month, then went to a local Ronald McDonald House. After my nausea got worse, I went back to the emergency department and was hospitalized again. They did another scan and saw that there were new metastases in my lungs and liver. They started me on immunotherapy right away and had a backup plan of Gemcitabine (chemo) if the immunotherapy didn’t work. After around the first week of having immunotherapy, my lung collapsed due to pleural effusion. I had a thoracentesis. I stayed in the hospital for about 1 1/2 months again, so a total of about 2 1/2 months. My most recent scans have shown that my tumors have gone down by half their diameters! I am currently on immunotherapy and go down to Philly every other week.
School and friends have been very supportive. Sometimes it has been pretty difficult. I missed the entirety of May in my eighth-grade year, along with the annual eighth-grade trip to Washington, DC.
A little fun stuff about Micaela:
I love horse-back riding in my free time. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends at the movies and the mall.
I chose to be an ambassador so that I can share my fight with others and show them that even through the toughest times, anyone can get through it. I want to help others and tell them that they are not fighting alone.
I would like people to know that cancer is a tough fight, but it only makes you tougher.