NEW ORLEANS, La. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — A gall bladder, a uterus, an appendix and parts of the small and large intestine. These are organs Carey Long had removed during her five-year long battle with cancer in her twenties.
It was just supposed to be a routine exam after 23-year-old Long gave birth to her son.
“At my two-week checkup, you could feel a lump on my side.” Long shared.
The checkup quickly led to a CT scan and a diagnosis: liver cancer.
“You hear cancer and you associate it with imminent or immediate death.” Long said.
Especially with liver cancer, where the five-year survival rate is only 18 percent. But Long was not going to let that number scare her.
“There’s a lot of things that go through my head, but really, it’s like well let’s do something. I have so many reasons to live and fight.” Long told Ivanhoe.
She fought and won. Now in her forties, she is helping others by saving their lives. Long is just starting her career as a paramedic and at age 42, she is the oldest rookie EMT in her department. But her age and prior cancer diagnosis is not stopping her in her job.
“I think as long as you’re tough, you can do this job. That’s really all it takes and preserving and doing what you gotta do to get it done, which she did.” Said Claire Bordelon, Long’s co-worker.
The side effects from her cancer treatments include arthritis and osteoporosis. But Long feels lucky to be doing what she loves to do … and to be alive.
She said: “if it makes you happy, that’s great. And if you can help others and be fulfilled at the same time, you really can’t ask for any better.”
Long’s story is truly remarkable. According to the CDC, death rates from liver cancer increased 43 percent for American adults from 2000 to 2016.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.
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