Trying to stay positive

Hi my name is Savannah, I am 17 years old, and on April 1st I was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. I have stage 4 Cholangiocarcinoma located in my liver and one of my lymph nodes that surrounds it. The reason that the cancer is considered rare is because Cholangiocarcinoma is normally not found in young people or the liver. I have been trying so hard to be positive and have hope that the situation will get better, but it is becoming harder and harder to be optimistic. I want to honestly say that the severity of all the news really didn’t hit me until here recently and I feel like I am starting to break. I always have family around and my boyfriend has been so good to me since we got the news, he is at the hospital everyday to support me, but for some reason I still feel so alone. I also feel like I am such a burden on everyone since they always have to help me and take care of me now, they say that I shouldn’t think that way, but up until this month I was a very independant person. I had my own job, did my own schooling, and for the most part was begining to take care of myself in an adult manner, and now I am stuck laying in bed, with no job, and having people take care of me, it is driving me crazy and making me feel bad for taking up so much of peoples time. I just dont know what to do or what the next step should be, I am so confused, upset and sometimes I just get mad for no reason. I am always feeling guilty for taking my anger out on my loved ones and I know they hate me for it but it feels like I can’t help it, since I started chemo I have been so moody it’s unreal. Well if you took the time to read all of this, thank you, I just needed to get it out and maybe get some advice while I am venting. Thanks again and god bless :)

April 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Newly Diagnosed

  • Leah Shearer

    Hey Savannnah,

    I’m glad you came here to vent. Sometimes you just need a place to put your worries and your troubles and we are that place.

    If there is one thing in this situation that you can count on it’s that you are not alone. I know that it feels that way for sure, but there are a whole lot of teens who come to this website to share in feeling alone. It doesn’t make it easier that most teens with cancer can be spread out geographically and those that are near each other don’t find each other during treatment because of the privacy of a hospital setting.

    Remember that though you may feel like a burden – you most certainly are not a burden to those who love and care for you. If the shoe were on the other foot you sound like the kind of young woman who would do the same caretaking for them.

    So sorry things are so tough now. Especially sorry that this diagnosis is making it difficult to stay positive. Whatever you can do to try to keep that optimism is important. Not easy I know, but so important to your mental and emotional well-being. Whatever it is that keeps you going – try to surround yourself with that.

    Laughter is important. Find something to laugh at every day…it will help bolster your spirits. You might find that it’s hard to get a chuckle out but work at it. I’ve found a lot of inspiring teens who even find a way to use humor even about cancer. It kind of takes the power away from cancer.

    Way back when we even did this at our Teens Living with Cancer annual dinner. Below is a link to one of the spoof songs we did.

    Anyway, I say this with some experience as it’s how I worked my way through cancer- twice. I am a young adult survivor of both thyroid cancer and Hodgkins lymphoma.

    Hang in there girl. And if you are ever interested in talking to other teens with cancer send me an email. We have a video chat we’ve been doing through Google Hangout and I’d love to have you participate if you’re interested.

    Email me at

    Leah Shearer

    TLC Program Coordinator

    Rochester, NY

  • Caroline

    Thank you so much for writing this. Now I know Im not the only one out there. I dont have a rare form of cancer like you (lymphoma) but everything else you said is my life exactly. I was working as a cashier and finishing up school when I was diagnosed. I was going to go to college next fall. Now I’m lucky if I will be able to go to my own graduation. I get in arguments with my mom when she tries to do things for me. I know its wrong but I feel so frustrated that I’m so helpless. I see my parents stressed out and cant help feel that its my fault. Sorry I guess return venting probably wasn’t what you needed here…

  • Linda

    Savannah, let me share some great news with you, we have a LORD AND SAVIOR THAT LIVES!!! I understand that you are going through a great deal but please put your faith in him. He knows what you are going through and he will help you. You are a conqueror and NO WEAPON formed against you shall prosper!!! I will be waking up today at 4:30 am (I’m in California) to pray for you. I believe in God and I believe that prayer is POWERFUL!!!! By the way, my name is Linda, I’m 37 yrs old and i have a 16yr, 14yr and 7yr old son. Please keep in touch with your progress my email is Also, do you have a bible???

  • Zoe

    This has really showed me that i’m not alone. I’m also 17 and was diagnosed on May 12 with Ewings Sarcoma. I’ve been holding up fine but now all of a sudden my boyfriend broke up with me and I finally realized I can’t do cheer or participate in my senior year and it’s all coming down at once. I just feel so lost and alone…

  • Chloe

    Hey, I’m 16 and I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Ovarian Cancer when a couple of weeks back. It all started with me having stomach pains and being bloated a lot after eating, doctors just took it that my bowels we’re playing up. Until suddenly one night my mum and I went through trauma, I was foaming at the mouth whilst going in and out of consciousness on the floor of my bedroom and followed to throw up a thick orange liquid and thin yellow liquid before passing out. Mum took me to the walk in center and after a Ultra Sound they found a 20cm cyst on my ovary. I had surgery a week or so later and they removed the cyst along with the no more functioning ovary and tube, I recovered wonderfully. My specialist reassured my family and I that the cyst was not cancerous and he admitted he was 99.9% sure. So on the results day of my cyst we had no worries but sadly the news came back that they found cancerous cells in my cyst and I will have to go through 6 sessions of chemotherapy in the space of 18 weeks, one dose every three weeks. I’m currently waiting on my first appointment for chemo and are having numerous scans and fertility advice between it. I have missed a lot of my GCSE exams due to being so ill and I have to admit it’s tough but I’m getting through it. My family, friends and boyfriend are really supportive but I just feel really alone in the fact that I have Ovarian at such a young age. I want to talk to other people who are going through or have been through it. I just want a little reassurance in the matter.. It’s hard to keep such a smiling face sometimes when everything gets the better of me, but it’s okay. Thank you for reading and I wish you all the best in everything, we will get through this! xxxx

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