I Am More Than Cancer: A Soldier's Fight Continues When She Returns Home

I was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma Cancer in 2009 at 24-years-old. I was fresh out of Basic Training from the Army and barely knew the real reason why we were still in Iraq. When I got to my first unit at Fort Carson, I was informed that the unit I was attached to had just deployed to Iraq. That news alone threw me for a loop. I was not ready to fight for my country; I at least wanted to break into my new boots and fill out my baggy uniform. The next time I would step foot on home soil, I would be walking into the unknown.

By mid-January 2009, I had a large tumor in my left inner groin area, which seemed to have grown overnight. When I first noticed this lump in my leg, I was very naive about it and didn’t realize the severity of things. The thought of it being a tumor, let alone cancer in my leg did not cross my mind. When I got to my units medic, she immediately knew something was wrong and created orders for me to Baghdad, where I got an MRI. I would then be instructed to get on the next flight to Germany.

When my biopsy came back from Landstuhl (Germany), I was told that I would be sent to Walter Reed Medical Center in DC and that is where I would be treated for the duration of my time. In the end, I had completed 17 cycles of chemotherapy, which was a rigorous treatment plan of five days of treatment and eight days off. I successfully completed over 100 rounds of chemotherapy, I had my inner muscle removed and now only a beautiful two-foot scar remains.

The best thing that was birthed out of this entire process was turning this small tragedy into a nonfiction book. I kept a journal that would nine years late serve as my published memoir. I would title it “The Enemy Inside Me.” Through personal journal entries that include timestamps and locations; I revisit the critical moments from that period in my life, from discovering my tumor to being officially diagnosed and preparing my mind and body for treatment. These moments are peppered with emotional flashbacks that expose my fear of death and my thoughts on karma, and my investigation into the cause of my cancer. This book gives an honest representation of my thoughts and moods during this time, exploring the highs as well as the lows while holding nothing back, there are quite a few things that I did not put into the book, and would love to have possibly a Prequel giving the reader a bit more information about Brandi before cancer and my life before me facing death.

Even though I have hit my nine-year mark of being a cancer survivor, my fight has not ended. I am forever reminded of what happened and my life is now about finding a reason to exist and walk in my purpose. My purpose is to inspire, encourage and motivate others through action and to cheer them on while fighting cancer with all they have.

ABOUT Brandi

Bio

  • Savannah

Diagnosis

  • Sarcoma

Primary Treatment

  • Chemotherapy

Primary Cancer Center

  • Other

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