Phoebe’s Fight Against Cancer

Meghan Fennessy, Staff Writer

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“It was… awful. You hear ‘cancer’ and you think oh my God. Just the word is awful. It hurts. Not even just physically. It hurts mentally,” said Phoebe Currigan, a freshman and varsity water polo player at Clairemont High School, who was diagnosed with appendicitis this year. On November 12, 2017 Currigan went to the hospital for surgery. Two weeks later, on November 21 Currigan was informed that her “appendicitis” was actually cancerous tumors near her appendix.

“I had a check up with my doctor two weeks after the surgery,” Currigan explained, “The doctor checked my stitches. He told me I didn’t have appendicitis, which was why it was so hard for them to find it [during the surgery]. I had cancer.” Currigan’s tumors were a type of cancer called carcinoid. The tumors for this type of cancer often grow slowly and in most cases doctors find them when they are at an early stage, which makes them easier to treat, according to WebMD. However, Carcinoid cancer can start in many different parts of the body and the symptoms and pain caused by carcinoid can be confused with symptoms of appendicitis. Both diseases can cause major harm if not found in early stages and treated properly.

“The cancer was on my appendix and luckily it was on the end of my appendix, away from my colon. If it had been near my colon they would have had to take out half my colon too,” Currigan said, “I was really lucky.”

Despite being put through the stress and shock of finding out about the cancer, Currigan was concerned for her family and friends. “My mom was trying not to cry for my sake. It was really hard for her. It made it so much worse for me because I didn’t want to have to put them through that.”

Currigan was supported by her loving friends and family through this hard time.  “For my direct family, my mom, and my dad and my sister, I think it affected them awfully because they were really sad,” Currigan explained, “For a week or two after they were hovering around me to make sure I didn’t break.” Currigan also had the support of her water polo team.

Currigan has remained positive and has adopted a new perspective on life. “I was initially just shocked. It made me really appreciative that I didn’t die from it and that I am here. ”

The doctors removed the tumors, and no new tumor growth has occurred as of yet. Currigan fought against cancer and won.

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