At 21 Vancouver woman fights cancer yet again
Liz Rowan’s family and friends have created awareness bracelets to help defray medical and related expenses.The rubber bracelets are orange — the color for leukemia awareness — and read “Lizstrong Fights On.” The family is selling the bracelets for $1.To purchase bracelets, email [email protected] can also follow Liz Rowan through her treatment on her blog.Liz Rowan was standing in the parking lot of a Portland bar, dressed up for a night out with her friends, when her cellphone rang. Instead of celebrating her 21st birthday with dancing and drinks, Rowan headed to the emergency room.The bruising she experienced earlier in the week — the bruising that prompted her to visit her doctor for blood tests that morning — wasn’t something to ignore. The tests revealed her blood cell counts were low. In a couple of days, Rowan found out just how bad the news was.She had cancer. Again.“When the doctor called me the first night, I was definitely scared,” Rowan said.This isn’t Rowan’s first bout with cancer. Or even her second. Or third.On April 3 — a week after her 21st birthday and a Columbian story trumpeting her previous cancer victories — Rowan received her fourth cancer diagnosis: Acute myeloid leukemia.Rowan isn’t the only one in the family with a history of battling cancer.When Rowan was 6 years old, her mother died from breast cancer at age 32. Several years later, her father successfully battled prostate cancer. Then, a teenaged Rowan was diagnosed with bone cancer in her jaw. Three years after that, at age 19, Rowan was diagnosed with two different forms of the disease that took her mother’s life.The two-and-a-half months since Rowan’s most recent cancer diagnosis have been a whirlwind of doctor appointments, hospital rooms, blood tests and chemotherapy. On April 14, Rowan began her first chemotherapy treatment. She was hospitalized for 30 days. Earlier this month, she underwent her second weeklong treatment. The chemo was accompanied by fever, chills and a feeling of overall crumminess.