Hi, I’m Andika, this is a story of how I was struggling against cancer. I was born on 4 February 1997, and not long after, I was diagnosed with Group B Retinoblastoma (some kind of eye cancer starting in the back of the retina) in my right eye.

   And on my second birthday in 1999, I had the tumor on my right eye removed, of course, with the price of losing half of my vision. The process of detaching an eye out was not as painful as you would think, at least from what I remember. It was like waking up from a long sleep with half of your face felt lighter, it was rather weird than painful.

   But the healing treatment after that was kind of awful. A year of chemo was really exhausting, I can’t remember the feeling though, it was kind of blurry. But I remember that what I was terrified by the needles injected into my body.

   After all of the healing process, I was cured of cancer. But that wasn’t it, the struggle went on. With my eye being taken out, making me have to wear a glass eye. And being a kid with a glass eye who try to deal with school, blend in with new environment really is harder. The insecurity, anxiety, of being seen as something different of being isolated, it’s all part of the childhood.

    What I want to say is that having cancer is not just a physical struggle to its patient, it was also psychological. The struggle to fight against your own depression, anxiety, insecurity. The constantly popping out question, “Is it worth fighting for?”.

     And at this point in my life, I can tell you, with confidence, that it’s all worth it. It's worth the chemo, the insecurity, it's worth the struggle. Because life is full of surprise, a good one, the one that would a shame to be missed. There’s a dream to be fulfilled, love to be chased, and moment to be made.   

To people who are having their struggle with cancer, I've been there, and I know you would get through it! 

Healthcare professional & carer
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United States
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Family, friend & supporter
Paul Kelsin and his mother
Paul Kelsin
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