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Tag Archives: late term effects of cancer

Surviving Childhood Cancer: A 20 year reflection Part 4

TedSibley2by Ted Sibley, MD
Truman Medical Centers Emergency Services
UMKC Clinical Assistant Professor Emergency Medicine Department
UMKC Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Program

Read Part One
Read Part Two
Read Part Three

Part Four

Childhood cancer survival rates are on the rise. Current estimates are that there are more than 325,000 children, teens, and adults living in the United States who are survivors of childhood cancer, and each of us has a story to tell. We can tell you about life before, and after, cancer. We can tell you about the years of our childhood that we missed. We can even tell you the names of our nurses and oncologists who became a part of our families during our treatments. If we were too young to understand what was going on, our parents could tell you about the struggles they went through — the worries and tears they cried for us when we were too young and weak. Some of us have made it into adulthood, and we can tell you how cancer is something we carry with us. We are part of a collective group that faced death at a young age and now are living life in a newfound light.

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Surviving Childhood Cancer: A 20 year reflection Part 3

TedSibley3by Ted Sibley, MD
Truman Medical Centers Emergency Services
UMKC Clinical Assistant Professor Emergency Medicine Department
UMKC Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Program

Read Part One

Read Part Two

Part Three

The next couple of months were some of the most difficult in our relationship. First were long nights on call delivering babies in the Labor and Delivery Unit, followed by a six-week rotation in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital — the same hospital where I had been a patient and had worked in the pharmacy and as a nursing assistant. Now, I was a medical student doing 30-hour on-call shifts. Still angry and wounded by the fertility diagnosis, the vigor and laughter that I used to share with the oncology families had vanished. I put on a happy face and tried to give them hope like I once had, but on the inside I was hurting.

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Surviving Childhood Cancer: A 20 year reflection Part 2

TedSibley3by Ted Sibley, MD
Truman Medical Centers Emergency Services
UMKC Clinical Assistant Professor Emergency Medicine Department
UMKC Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Program

Read Part One

Part Two

Cancer was now behind me, and my focus shifted to a future without oncologists, CT scans, and specialists. For the first time in 5 years I looked at myself not as a “cancer kid,” but rather an 18-year-old who had his whole future ahead of him. After graduating high school, I chose to attend Northwestern College (now University of Northwestern St. Paul) in Minnesota, where I planned to major in mathematics education and play football.

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Surviving Childhood Cancer: A 20 year reflection Part 1

TedSibley1by Ted Sibley, MD
Truman Medical Centers Emergency Services
UMKC Clinical Assistant Professor Emergency Medicine Department
UMKC Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Program

Part One 

There are moments in life that define us, change us and shape who we are. Sometimes you can see these moments coming a mile away. You can brace yourself for the impact, the change it will have on your life, and prepare for its arrival. Other times, such moments come out of nowhere and hit you hard, like a punch in the gut. And, suddenly, you find yourself going down a different path than you thought you would, while struggling to make sense of what just happened. Everyone has had at least one of these moments in his or her life. When we reflect on our lives, we define time periods as “before” or “after” these events occurred. They are the stories we tell our friends and family. They are the reason we sometimes wrestle with “why?” My first moment occurred when I was 13 years old. Twenty years later, I still feel the effects of that initial shot to the gut.

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