Cancer: A Story of Survival Pt. 2

Forward by Jennifer Dixon MBA ERYT 500 – As you know, the name of the studio and everything we do emphasizes living a life that THRIVES. Despite the pressures and diagnoses, despite everything that may push you to the contrary–we want to send our energy towards living a life that truly Thrives we want you to Thrive.

In today’s post, we revisit with one of our very Own, as she and her family journey through Wellness and dealing with one of the worst discoveries you never want to imagine.  If there is anything that can be a blessing out of dealing with something as devastating as the “C” word, is the amazing network of people that come together to help provide a resource of support, love, prayers, and encouragement.  


Our Cancer Journey Pt. 2 – By Marcia Dorris

After the surgery, before we got the final pathology report, we were told to find an oncology surgeon and an oncologist. We had an appointment with Dr Valle an oncology and general surgeon. I would highly recommend him to anyone facing any type of surgery in the Chattanooga area. He is a wonderful caring doctor.

We also scheduled an appointment with a radiologist and oncologist. First of all let me just say that US Cancer centers are extremely sad and depressing places. The waiting rooms are so quiet and everyone is scared and seems depressed. It is a miserable place to go and even worse when it’s your child you are taking.

Our oncologist visits were the worst. On our first visit, the CNA was doing a family history and she asked if there was any cancer in our family. I told her my mom had cancer 20 years ago to which she replied “and when did she die?” Seriously? How scary is it that an employee at a cancer center would assume because someone had cancer they didn’t survive? This was my first red flag.

From the very beginning even before we knew exactly what we were dealing with the oncologist talked about chemo radiation and a second surgery. In fact, that is all he offered, other than the hope he kept giving then yanking from us. He said if the CT Scan comes back clean then you may not need chemo, afterward, he said she still needs chemo. Then it was if the PETSCAN comes back okay she may not have to do chemo only to dash our hopes once again by saying she will most likely need chemo.

The pathology report had not come back yet but they were already wanting to get things moving with the chemo. We held out hope that the path report would come back with better news than we had gotten so far. The day we got the path report was our first visit with the radiologist. I felt so bad for that poor man. The first time he met us he had to tell us she had a very aggressive and fast-growing Ewing’s type sarcoma that would require chemo and radiation.

It was one of the most awkward Doctor visits I have ever encountered. We left that visit and went immediately to the oncologist office. Poor Kelsey was in tears devastated to hear she had to have chemo.

When we got to the oncologist office we met a different CNA who looked at Kelsey and saw she was crying and upset and asked her “are you having a bad day?” Then she goes on to tell her what a terrible day she has had. Allow me to elaborate. She said “I’m supposed to go on vacation and I am having car problems, I was going to rent a car and I found out my drivers license has expired then I stopped and got donuts only to leave them on the roof of my car and I drove off and lost all my donuts!” I am not making this up!! We were in such a state of shock over the bad pathology report we had been given we were all speechless. Jesus himself must have shut my husband’s mouth because it was a miracle he didn’t say anything to this girl.

When the doctor came in he told Kelsey she would have to have chemo. I asked him what other options do we have besides chemo. He told me there are no other options. Chemo is your only option. He then told us he was sending us to a sarcoma specialist at Vanderbilt but maybe she would have a different plan for us. Which he once again offered us momentary hope knowing full well what her treatment plan consisted of because he had already talked to her about Kelsey. We were on an emotional rollercoaster elated with good news one day and crushed with the reality of their plan of action the next.

Here is some wisdom I learned through this situation.  

1) If a doctor is sending you to a doctor they have been talking to about your case don’t be deceived into believing this is a second opinion. It isn’t. This is a ploy they will use to try to convince you to follow their orders.

2) They will also try to convince you that you HAVE to do chemo and/or radiation. You don’t have to do anything. You get to choose what treatment plan you want.

3) When a doctor tells you that you have no other options don’t believe them. There are always other options. You will be the one who has to find them and learn about them.

4) Chemo is the only treatment that doctors actually get a kickback from. Yes. I’m serious. Doctors actually make money when people take chemo. Research it for yourself.

5) Doctors will try their best to rush you into following their protocol. Don’t be swayed by their fear tactics and high pressure sales pitches. Take a brief step away take a moment to breathe and research to see if there are other options you may want to pursue.

My next entry will cover examples of the many ways they tried to persuade me to force my daughter into chemo. Again, if you would like to talk to me or reach out in any way, don’t hesitate to drop me an email anytime.