While the Reddit IAMA forum has lost some of its sheen with the influx of promotional personalities, there still are the personal stories of triumph and perseverance of human spirit like that of the 21-year-old cancer survivor who has lived through five bouts of cancer.
User 5timecancerpatient took to Reddit to share her experiences and reach out to people who have overcome similar situations.
Surviving cancer once, twice, maybe three times may be rare, but five times is practically unheard of, especially at such a young age. According to a recent report by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, only 5 percent of cancer survivors are 40-years-old or younger, while 50 percent are 70-yearls-old or older.
The 21-year-old who lives outside Los Angeles has suffered through three different types of cancer starting with brain cancer when she was 2-years-old. Fortunately, 5timecancerpatient, who did not release her real name, was diagnosed early after her mother noticed concerning symptoms.
"Any time I tried walking, I would fall flat on my face, I would pass out or have seizures randomly, and I was having trouble speaking," 5timecancerpatient wrote.
After her first bout of brain cancer, she developed skin cancer, which she described as "no big deal at all," followed by esophageal cancer -- "the worst, hands down," she wrote.
When I had that I had to drop out of swimming and got major major surgery which means I can't throw up or burp now and I was in the hospital for six months and on a liquid diet for a year. I had to re-learn how to walk and how to talk and the muscles inside me were just ripped up and ruined. I used to sing opera, and my voice totally changed so I don't sing anymore. I think of anything I've lost due to cancer, that was the biggest blow.
And if she wasn't the unluckiest person in the world already after surviving three different types of cancer, she relapsed and brain cancer overtook her again, stemming from the original tumor that was not completely removed. A month later, she found out she had skin cancer, again.
The lack of downtime between her second round of brain and skin cancer may have been the most difficult to muster. With medical bills piling up -- they now stand at a whopping $20,000 -- she was forced to move back in with her parents and take on three jobs.
But this story does have happy ending.
"As of THIS WEEK I am cancer free," she wrote on Reddit. "I had surgery on Thursday and once my stitches are out, hopefully the only thing that will remain is a scar. It feels unbelievable that I've done this. Sometimes I look back and just wonder how it happened."
Not only is she pursuing her teaching credentials in college, but 5timecancerpatient is also staying physically active by training for a marathon.
Through her horrible health luck -- genetics are partially to blame -- she has a positive outlook on the future.
"I don't always have cancer," 5timecancerpatient wrote, "but when I do, I roundhouse kick it in the face."
Click over to Reddit to read more about 5timecancerpatient's experience and check out the gallery below to click through more uplifting survivor stories.
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