Cancer Survivor’s Message ‘I’m Back and Stronger’ (The Sentinel)Document Transcript
Cancer survivor’s message: ‘I’m back and stronger’ | suburban.gmnews.com | Suburban 6/15/10 9:44 PM
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Bulletin Board Cancer survivor’s message: ‘I’m back and stronger’
Greg Bean's Column Young woman hopes O.B. Relay for Life walk will raise awareness
BY JACQUELINE DURETT Correspondent
OLD BRIDGE — Although Katie Arzig is a cancer survivor
herself, she got involved with the fundraiser Relay for Life to
“It’s important to me to be involved,” Arzig said of the
American Cancer Society event planned for June 5 and 6. “I’m
GMN Photo Page not walking for myself. I’m walking for everybody.”
Early last year, just after starting classes at Middlesex County
College, Arzig was diagnosedwith bile duct cancer, a rare cancer
Katie Arzig, dad Paul and brother Mike a few that, according to the Mayo Clinic website, affects just 2,000
months before Katie was diagnosed with a rare people each year. The Mayo Clinic describes it as “a malignant
form of cancer. growth in the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the small
Though the news was a shock, there was little time for tears, Arzig said. She had spent her 19th birthday
undergoing surgery to remove a softball-sized tumor and now had to receive chemotherapy at Memorial
Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
“It was terrible,” she said of her time in treatment. “The scars I
didn’t mind, but the hair loss I did,” she said, adding she also had
to drop out of school temporarily.
But the outcome has been positive.
“Right now there is no evidence of the disease,” Arzig said, adding
she has been in remission since August and recently was told her
three-month checkups could be reduced to six-month follow-ups.
She added that she was lucky the cancer was caught early, which
she said is unusual in bile duct cancer cases. Her extreme back
pain, fatigue and poor appetite led doctors to discover her illness.
“To be honest, I thought I was just being lazy at the time. You
never think anything like that is wrong with you,” Arzig said. Search Amazon:
Katie Arzig and best friend Brittany Ahr
Arzig said she had seen fliers advertising the cancer awareness
event at the Old Bridge YMCA, “but I honestly didn’t have the courage to call and find out about it.” She
said it was her best friend Brittany Ahr who convinced her to get involved.
Arzig is participating in Relay for Life to let others know that
awareness and acceptance are key for winning the war against
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