Cancer: A Story of Survival Pt 1

Forward by Jennifer Dixon MBA ERYT 500 Owner of Thrive Yoga and Wellness  – As the leader of a Yoga and Wellness Studio, one of my main goals is complete WELLNESS for each and every client and member that walks in the door.  Wellness through movement, primarily, with over 35 classes of yoga each week. However, we also partner with other wellness practitioners that help you get and stay healthy because we believe health doesn’t just come from movement, but also through nutrition, self-care, and with the help of alternative medicine as well.  

That’s why, this summer, when one of us..one of the very Thrive Yoga and Wellness Family Members, went through the absolute worst wellness experiences imaginable (the discovery of and management of the “C” word in their family), I felt like it was my responsibility to help share the Story, their story, OUR Story, maybe even YOUR Story….  The story that they still are living through daily, but have found strength in their education, community, and dedication to wellness.

It is the hope, that by sharing this message, that we will be able to help even if it is just one person–we can help possibly even you, to know that you are not alone, you do have support, you do have encouragement, and most of all, you do have choices.  My thoughts and prayers are with the beautiful Dorris Family and you and your family as you manage your health and wellness in the best way you deem possible.


Part 1: Our Cancer Journey  By Marcia Dorris

June 22, 2018, was a life-changing day in our family. My 21-year-old daughter had surgery to remove what we had been told was a cyst. After the surgery the surgeon told us it was a tumor and unlike anything he had seen in his 40 years of experience. He also said it was most likely benign. This was on a Friday afternoon.

I can still remember the shock and disbelief I felt when I learned it was a tumor. I was scared of all the what if’s. I wouldn’t know the pathology results until the following Monday or Tuesday. When Tuesday came I got a call from the doctor telling me the tumor was, in fact, malignant but they weren’t sure exactly what it was. That day will forever be etched in my memory.

My youngest daughter and I had just gotten in the car to go to the pool when I got the call. We both burst into tears and were in a state of shock. My husband was on the road at the time and we had scheduled an appointment for the next day. I had always made a practice of not delivering bad news to him while he was on the road. This day I had to give him devastating news about our daughter. He immediately burst out crying and told me he would work it out to be home for the appointment.

I will never forget having to tell my daughter she had cancer. Bad news is never easy to deliver but imagine having to tell your child she has cancer. It was one of the hardest heartbreaking things I have ever had to experience. None of us were even remotely prepared for the path that lay ahead and all the decisions we were going to be faced with.

They had sent the tumor to the pathology department at Harvard medical school and we had to wait on the path report from them to know exactly what we were dealing with. They did know it was a soft tissue sarcoma but had no idea which type it was. Apparently, sarcomas are quite rare and this one was rare for sarcomas.

She was eventually diagnosed with a Ewing’s like sarcoma. Which means it looks and acts like a Ewing’s but actually isn’t. It took us 2 weeks to get the final diagnosis and even then the path report wasn’t definitive.

After we got the diagnosis we started the whirlwind week of various testing and other appointments. She had a CT scan which came back showing the cancer had not spread anywhere else. This was done before the pathology results came back. We felt as if we had already won the war that day. We even naively celebrated her being cancer free. We were on the highest hill of the roller coaster that day.  So happy grateful and feeling blessed.

Then came the diagnosis along with several other appointments. She had a PETSCAN MRI an appointment with a sarcoma specialist at Vanderbilt and we were rushed in to see an infertility doctor to harvest her eggs because the chemo they were prescribing would burn up her ovaries. All these appointments were the same week. They wanted to begin chemo as soon as possible and basically told us we had no time to waste and no other options. Needless to say, we were all in a state of shock.

I will dive deeper into our experiences with the various doctors on my next post. If you’d like to reach out to me personally, feel free to send an email any time.  I would be happy to support you in any way that I could.