At the age of 14, in the summer of 1997, she began feeling pain in her right leg that felt off to her. The sensation was different than growing pains, but that’s what it was diagnosed as. A couple of months later, she was pushed playing basketball and her knee swelled up and didn’t go back down. Back to the Dr she went where the pain was then diagnosed as a sports injury and Analyn was sent off to physio. After a couple of more months of extreme pain (so much pain that she actually asked her Mom to cut her leg off) she was finally sent for an x-ray and ultrasound. When the results came back, they were looking at a 90% chance that it was cancer. At 14 years old. It was indeed bone cancer and she opted for an amputation so that she could live a normal life. Analyn says that the experience was surreal. At the time, she was into all the teen drama books and was actually reading a book about a girl who had bone cancer.
She goes on to say that being young and facing cancer had its benefits because she really didn’t explore her own mortality and the seriousness of it all. She took things day by day. It was hard on her family. They were a blended family and her brother was 3, her sister only 4 months old at the time. Analyn reflects that she has no idea how her Mom did it and that as a family, she’s not sure that they really processed and healed from the whole experience. Being diagnosed with Breast Cancer is hard for anyone, but, for Analyn, it meant facing cancer for the second time and unearthing some heavy realizations about her first round with it. PTSD is very common amongst cancer survivors, and, as Analyn recovers physically from her double mastectomy and reconstruction she’s faced with not only the trauma from that, but, also all of the old trauma that her 14 year old self smiled away and took day by day.