Posts by Kirsten Efremov

On November 20th of 1998 at the age of 10 I began my cancer journey. I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). I did 3 years of intense chemo and finished treatment November 2001. One year later November 22 2002, I relapsed with ALL. I went through another 3 years of chemo this time treatment also included cranial radiation. I finally finished treatment in 2005 and thought I was done. I successfully completed high school with my original class despite all the setbacks. I also went on to complete my bachelor of science in medical science contrary to doctors had told my parents. In October of 2015 at the age of 27, I developed a canker on my tongue and it would not go away. I finally went to my oral surgeon (because doctors don’t treat issue of the mouth) and was told I had lichen planus. I went on 2 rounds of steroid treatment before a biopsy was done. In January of 2016, I was told I had oral cancer, squamous cell carcinoma. No one is really sure how I got it as I do not/did not fit any of the risk factors. March 1st of 2016 I had a partial glossectomy and a neck dissection. I was luck enough to not have to go through treatment again because I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through that. It’s a young adults worst fear getting cancer but I don’t think the diagnosis is as hard as deciding treatment options. It took me until my 3rd battle with cancer to become confortable telling people my story but since then I have found nothing but amazing supportive people who are within the young adult cancer community.

I Have No Idea What I Am Doing

by Kirsten Efremov April 26, 2019

The challenges of navigating the adult health care system from a pediatric state of mind. Going from a child to adult happens gradually over time: Getting a part time job to ease you into the workforce; learning how to drive; parents teaching you how to cook, clean and be self sufficient.