My name is Katelyn and if you can believe it I used to be a normal kid. I’ve always been short for my age but nothing like I am now. I haven’t grown at all because of my chemo treatments over the past two years.
Katelyn Murray was on a twenty-four month journey through leukemia. Her journey started when she was twelve. On Sunday February 4, 2018 (World Cancer Day) she told her story and rang her “end-of-treatment-bell” at North Pointe. She is one tough teen. This is a portion of the speech she gave at her celebration party.
At one time my doctors told me my bones would not support my weight and I could never play soccer again.
That was devastating.
My dream was to play on Canada’s Olympic soccer team.
What a surprise in November 2017 when my doctor told me that it looked like my bones were now A-OK to go.
I’m starting to get back into soccer and my dream is alive again.
Being much shorter and lighter than the other players I tend to get hurt more often. Because I get hurt some people see me as weak. But if they knew that it’s a miracle that I am still alive and playing the game I think they would realize I am actually tough.
Side Effects On My Journey
Cancer started all this in the first place but it was the treatments that made me sick.
* My kidneys shut down for twenty-five days.
* I got a blood clot on my port that required me to take blood thinners.
* A nose tube was inserted into my stomach. That may not sound too horrible, but it gave me ulcers in my throat and stomach. I remember every detail of it.
* My liver was compromised.
* My treatments left me forgetful and disoriented.
* I developed drop foot. I couldn’t lift my feet.
* My nerves were damaged and my brain couldn’t talk to some parts of my body.
* When I was really sick even getting out of my bed and walking around the fish tank in my unit was a lot of effort.
* My potassium levels dropped. That always caused muscle cramping. Your heart is a muscle. My heart was compromised more than once.
* I suffered blood poisoning and was on the edge of septic shock. ICU doctors worked for eight hours to stabilize me.
Who Is The Lucky One?
One thing that made me mad during my treatments was friends would ask me if I was coming to school. When I told them I couldn’t because of my cancer they would reply that “I was so lucky.”
I want everyone to know that missing school, meeting someone special, going to an Oilers game or having some cool experiences are not worth it. I would rather have lived a normal healthy life than had two years of being near death.
But what these cool experiences did for me was feel loved and not forgotten about. They gave me a break from the battle and made me feel stronger.
Moving forward I will have monthly appointments, blood tests and other tests. I am in remission and will be considered that for the next five years.
After five years the doctors will call me cured.
It’s hard to know how to help someone who is sick. Then once you know, you’re never sure of you are doing the right thing.
Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.
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