Rebecca

Active LifeList Participant

I was diagnosed with stage IV triple negative breast cancer at 36. The cancer had spread to my lungs already at the time of my diagnosis. I had a 1 and a half year old at the time. My treatment started with a clinical trial, on which I had a partial response, but the trial treatment failed after nine months. Since the trial, I ran through another line of treatment and am now on my third line of treatment. I will be on chemo for the rest of my life and I intend to be on treatment for as long as possible to be with my husband and son. I will do anything and everything in my power to have more time with my husband and son.

Rebecca’s LifeList:

  1. Family trip to Monterey Bay

  2. Behind the scenes tour of aquarium

Zafir

Active LifeList Participant

I am 38 years old and was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2021. I had a tumor and had to undergo surgery. It spread to my lungs and then to my brain. I’ve undergone three brain surgeries, two rounds of chemotherapy, three rounds of full brain radiation, and am now in another chemo regimen which is the last treatment that can help bring me into remission. It has been a long battle. I’ve had a number of seizures and have been hospitalized more times than I can count over the course of almost three years. It’s only through God’s grace and mercy that I am still here. My entire world turned upside down and everything that I worked for I can no longer do. I just want my life back and to feel a sense of normalcy.

Zafir’s LifeList:

  1. A computer

Lisa

Active LifeList Participant

I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer on April 17, 2022, just before my 37th birthday. The first month of my diagnosis was such a blur, and I had so many tests and scans done that I don’t remember much. I had my ovaries removed shortly after my diagnosis, since the tumor I had was estrogen positive. After this, I started my first line of treatment, which I am currently still on. My treatment includes oral medications and bone strengthening infusions that I get every three months. I’ve been stable since I started treatment, and I cross my fingers that I stay this way for a long time.

Lisa’s LifeList:

  1. A family vacation

Athena

Active LifeList Participant

On August 22nd of 2023, I was 29 years old sitting in a doctor’s office with my mom when I received the news that the lump I had discovered in my breast was indeed cancerous. Invasive ductal carcinoma in my right breast and estimated to be around stage 2. I had just moved closer to home with my two dogs and my bird after finalizing my divorce from my marriage of ten years so this was a pretty devastating blow to my personal growth and healing. This is my first time receiving such a life threatening diagnosis. My workplace was also unsupportive and me and my family agreed that it would be best for me to not work until after my completion of chemotherapy. 

I am getting chemotherapy and targeted immunotherapy and will have more targeted immunotherapies after chemo. We are not sure what my surgical treatment will involve after chemo, but it will most likely involve a mastectomy with the goal of avoiding radiation if my lymph nodes are clear from cancer.

Athena’s LifeList:

  1. VIP Passes to Sonic Temple Festival

  2. Meet Falling In Reverse

  3. Tickets to a Blue Jackets Game

Carter

Active LifeList Participant

I am a 20 year old student at the University of MN. When I was 19, I was attending my first semester of college at Arizona State, when I became very sick. I had a bad cough, fever and night sweats that started around Halloween of 2022. It wasn’t until January of 2023 that I was diagnosed with primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma after a lime sized tumor was found on a CT scan. I completed 6 rounds of chemo from January – May of 2023. I had two PET scans after chemotherapy and the cancer was not gone. My lymphoma specialist at Mayo recommended proton beam therapy. I completed 15 proton therapy treatments in August at Mayo in Rochester. My family and I drove back and forth to Mayo every day to complete the treatment, about a three hour round trip drive. I had a PET scan 13 weeks later and the cancer is not gone but did shrink.I will be having another PET scan in January and meet with my oncologist after that to see what, if any, next steps for treatment will be recommended.

Carter’s LifeList:

  1. Trip to Italy

Chelsea

Active LifeList Participant

My name is Chelsea and I am 31 years of age.  I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on June 30th of 2023.  Three years ago, I found a small lump in my left breast and my doctor did not think anything of it at the time. Over the next couple of years, the tumor grew to the point where I felt something was wrong.  However, when I got the call on that June 30th afternoon, the last thing I expected was the “c” word.  My life changed in an instant.  The next two months were filled with screening appointments and test after test.  The last few months have been filled with chemotherapy appointments and injections that I now require regularly.  Looking ahead, I am facing surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy for the next five to ten years. 

This journey has put more things into perspective – how I want to spend my time and with whom.  I have lost friends as a result and I lost a boyfriend who said he could not be with me through cancer.  However, I now redirect my focus to who is in my corner and my support system.  My twin sister has shown up in ways that I never expected and we have become closer.  She has made an effort to fly to SF at least twice a month during my treatment, which has been a game changer.  I cannot think of anyone better to be in my corner and I hold so much admiration.  Without her, I would be in a more delicate place mentally.

Chelsea’s LifeList:

  1. Tickets to Wimbledon for her and her sister

Crystal

Active LifeList Participant

In early July of 2023, I started having pain in my back. I went to the hospital and they found an unknown growth on my lung. I ended up seeing a lung specialist and I did several tests to figure out what the growth was, but before I could find out, I had to go back to the hospital because I was unable to breathe. I had pneumonia and underwent a biopsy in August. In September of 2023, at the age of 23, I was officially diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma. I have been at the Mayo Clinic receiving chemotherapy. I will be having surgery soon, followed by ten rounds of radiation and four rounds of chemotherapy.

Crystal’s LifeList:

  1. A trip to Disneyland and California Adventures

Emily

Active LifeList Participant

I first got diagnosed at age 25. I was very much in denial since I am the only one in my family who has dealt with cancer. I was in college when I felt a lump and decided to see a doctor. After some tests, it was determined that I had stage 3 breast cancer. I was in denial still. I went into surgery to remove the lumps. I denied treatment and nine months later, the cancer came back even more aggressive. The recurrent diagnosis made me wake up and accept treatment. I had decided to be strong and even though some treatments wouldn’t work for me, I am still here battling this disease. I try to keep a positive mind which I feel helps me a lot during these moments in my life.

Alex’s LifeList:

  1. A new Macbook

  2. A Cricut

Gabby

Active LifeList Participant

At the end of 2022 I started to have pain in my thigh that would come and go, but the pain eventually started to worsen. My mother took me to multiple doctors and I had many different tests run while the pain just got worse and worse. The pain got so bad that I eventually was admitted to the Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Here, I had lab work done, as well as an MRI and a bone marrow biopsy. Finally, in early January 2023, as a high school junior, I was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia. Now, a year out from my diagnosis, I am still pursuing my high school degree as I undergo treatment for my disease.

Gabby’s LifeList:

  1. Two tickets to a Nicki Minaj concert

Jean

Active LifeList Participant

On July 3, 2021, at the age of 33, I drove myself to the emergency room in the middle of the night. I hadn’t been able to poop for days and had severe stomach pain. They did a CT scan and identified a tumor in my sigmoid colon. The plan was to remove the tumor and put my intestines back together, which they did, but several days later my intestines came apart and I got septic and ended up on a ventilator for 11 days. I had an emergency colostomy surgery which saved my life, but that colostomy has been a problem for me ever since its creation. One by one, each of my surgical incision sites became infected and I had to get them debrided. Then my stoma fully retracted and I started developing fistulas. Because of all this, I remained hospitalized at a long term acute care hospital for 8 months and wasn’t able to receive chemo after surgery because I was in a chronic state of infection. 

I came home to live with my parents in April of 2022 and had plans to have my colostomy reversed, but in August we found out that my cancer had spread to my liver, now classifying me as Stage 4. I transitioned my care to MD Anderson and finally began chemo in November of 2022. I am about to transition from chemo infusions to chemo pills.

Jean’s LifeList:

  1. Trip to Disneyland with her mom