Hey there readers! I am Melissa and I typically stay close to Independence, Oregon. I'm 22 now but I got osteosarcoma when I was 14. Before that I was very adventurous and outgoing. I had plenty of friends in high school and it was a good life, even with all the bad that had happened before. But, all that changed when one day I noticed that my knee was swollen and it wasn't going away. I never liked school at all ever, I never had a good memory of school so when I told my amazing and patient mom (who was struggling already) that I really couldn't go to school that day because I hurt too much, she thought I was faking, and I knew she had the right to think that. She had to take the day off and take me to the doctor. She risked losing her job to deal with me. But it was serious this time. We got the results and found out that a tumor had broken into my knee. Well, here we go. The next day I had more scans, and it was determined that it was cancerous. My journey began from going up to Portland from our home in Independence for about a year of treatment and heartbreak. In the beginning I'm thinking that this isn't happening, not to me. What did I do so bad already in my life that I deserve this karma after seeing so much bad happen; why me? Along with those thoughts came a lot of disbelief about a lot of theories, "everything happens for a reason", "you'll get through this". None of that helps once you realize how much it mentally drains and changes you. With what I had to go through, the treatments, the being locked up in a hospital, feeling like I was in jail, seeing my mom, the person whom I admire the most in the world, now more stressed than ever because she's helping saving my life. It's a lot to take in at the time and of course being 15 I had a lot of mixed emotions along with my dad’s anger issues. Years later, I'm healed, but I was never the same. It will never be the same. The 18 inches of metal in my leg is now what stops me from having a job or being able to do anything on it for more than an hour. It sucks, it's always a reminder. In 2019 in the beginning of my birthday month I lost my mom to cancer that they couldn't cure. She fought for about a year and finally passed. Since then, my cancer came back in my lungs, and I had to have some of my lung taken out because the tumor was too attached. Okay, so now things have made a bad turn, right? Well, my mother was a strong influence in my life and an amazing one at that! She above all was the best mother anyone could ask for just because of how she made me understand things in life and taught me to keep calm under certain circumstances. But all that wasn't enough to prepare me for losing her. Not her! Anyone but her. Again, the thoughts, the trauma of going through that cancer and the treatment and everything that goes in it; it just hits like a train, and you can't stop it. You just have to go through it and make it out stronger. I'm still in a state of depression most days and anxiety every time I turn my head. But I'm still going, because my mom didn't fight as hard as she did to keep me alive when she was at her weakest, for nothing. I'll keep fighting, only for her, only because she taught me that how you fight is going to be the thing that defines you. It'll show you how much you truly can take. That'll come in handy after you realize how cold and unfair and dark our world is before and after covid.