Meet our new Scarlight, Catrena M!
I met Catrena recently through a mutual friend. I was doing a photo shoot for pictures to put on my website, and I was referred to her because she is an absolutely AMAZING makeup artist!
We kicked it off from the very beginning. Catrena, who goes by Lynx, is very down-to-earth, funny, fun, and knew exactly what she was doing when it came to “beating my face” lol. As she was doing my makeup, I told her about my company and shared my story. She related and told me that she had a scar as well, right down the center of her stomach. I asked if she would tell me her scar story, and she did. And it was crazy!
Here is her story.
So, my story dates back to when I was 22 years old. Young, living life to the fullest and not a care in the world. I started to notice that my stomach started getting large. Needless to say, I only weighed 110 pounds and I wore sizes 1 and 2, so that raised red flags. I went to the doctor, the doctor said it was probably just bloating or maybe my intestines were blocked. This [guessing] went on for at least a month. I saw several doctors [during that time]. The last doctor I saw sent me to get all types of tests done. They did a CT scan, x-rays, sonograms, bloodwork, the whole nine yards – anything they could think of as far as testing to try to find out what was going on with me.
The doctor made sure he didn’t cut any corners and exhausted all of his resources to find out what was wrong with me. I received a call a week later after my test results [came back] and my mom and I went to the doctor. He explained to us that something was growing inside of me that had been growing for at least five years!
The doctor was astonished to find out that no other doctor noticed this happening to me. He got piece of paper and proceeded to draw a picture. He explained that what was inside of me was 23cm large and still growing! It was called a teratoma and it was cancerous. I was in disbelief and devastated! I thought my world was ending.
The first thing the doctor said was we needed to start chemotherapy and figure out the next steps. They knew they had to remove it, but the problem with removing it was that the growth was connected to all my organs, so the chances of me living through the surgery was slim to none. My life was on the line.
My mom took me to a holistic doctor who used herbs and natural remedies [in lieu of medicines], to help cure any diseases one was afflicted with. The holistic doctor told me to drink a liquid, which was almost like black licorice and pretty thick. I had to drink this for a week leading up to my surgery. I went back to see the doctor before my surgery, and he did another CAT scan and more x-rays to look at the teratoma before we moved forward. The doctors were still worried that it [the surgery] would not go so well.
During the surgery, the doctors were amazed to discover that the teratoma was not connected to any of my organs anymore!! When they performed a biopsy to test the teratoma that they removed, they found that the cancer was gone!! I not only survived the surgery, but I was cancer free!! They told me I would be just fine; however, they said I would never have kids. But now, I have two wonderful children!!
I am so grateful for this life that I live, and I live every day to the fullest! I embrace my scar every chance I get, because if it wasn’t for this experience, I don’t think I would have become the person that I am today. I am grateful to wake up every morning to live and love life! I smile and know that this world has no limitations and that I am a survivor.
Scars are beautiful!!!!!
Catrena’s story is amazing!! This just goes to show that we are incredible beings and have the ability and the power within us to heal. I don’t know what the holistic doctor gave her to drink, but if that is what made the teratoma detach from all her organs, it must have been blessed by GOD!!
Questions for Catrena
- Why do you want to be featured in a Scarlight?
Because I believe my scar is beautiful and it defines who I am today.
- How has your story shaped your life’s perspective?
My story has shaped my life perspective in a way that I live every day just to live another day. And to know that life is never guaranteed, so take advantage of it and live! I mean truly live, that is the only way to get the full benefit of what living is.
- What is the most important thing that you have learned about yourself through your journey?
The most important thing that I have learned about myself through this journey is that I am unstoppable, and if I can beat that then every other obstacle in my life is very small and I can jump over it pretty easy.
- What is one lesson that you can share with others that will inspire them?
One lesson that I would share about my experience is never stop searching for the answers. There’s always an answer or solution to a problem, you just have to want to find a solution. And the question becomes, how bad do you want the solution to your problems?
Thank you Catrena for sharing your story!! I am glad you are still here, and you are an inspiration to us all!