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Surviving and Thriving after Rhabdomyoscarcoma

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Ellie now wants to become a pediatric oncologist

If you want to shock a 14-year-old, tell her she has Rhabdomyoscarcoma (RMS), and that she only has a 20 percent chance of survival. RMS is a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissue like skeletal muscles or organs such as the bladder or uterus. It occurs mostly in children.

In 2015, Ellie noticed a lump on her buttock but was too embarrassed to mention it. When she felt a pain in her leg while running, she finally saw a doctor, who immediately rushed her to the hospital to remove the lump. Ellie didn't think in a million years she would get cancer, but when she saw the sign "Teenage Cancer Trust" in the Queen's Medical Center in Nottingham, it made it real for her.

To add to her shock, she was told that there was a high likelihood that she would become infertile during her treatment. After 28 radiotherapy sessions, it was confirmed: she would never be able to have a family of her own.

Her ovaries had been destroyed and she was put on hormone replacement therapy, which she would need for the rest of her life.

Ellie spent a month in the hospital and then three days every three weeks for chemotherapy sessions for an additional 17 months.

Spending all this time in hospitals and around medical staff gave Ellie a passion for medicine and inspired her to want to become a doctor. She took her A-Levels in biology, chemistry, and maths so she could qualify to become a medical student, and eventually wants to train to be a pediatric oncologist.



Ellie has also become closer to her twin sister. Their quarrels and arguments quickly lost importance when faced with a foe like cancer.

Cancer has also given her a newfound confidence. Spending so much time alone in the hospital made her more resilient. "I had to become my own best friend."

In March of 2017, Ellie went into remission. She has her own youtube channels and spends time blogging and vlogging.

She is taking a gap year to work as a health care assistant, making sure she has gained back enough strength to deal with the rigors of medical training. She has been accepted into the School of Medicine, Keele University, and plans to attend in September of 2021.


     

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