She lost her arm despite undergoing several surgeries to remove the lump.Joy Arcilla from the Philippines was a normal and happy girl as a child. However, her life started to make a turn for the worst when she noticed a small bump on her arm in 2013. It started out as a small bump that resembled a mosquito bite, which made Joy brush it off. But as weeks and months passed, she noticed that it didn’t go away, but it grew bigger instead.
Joy was later diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare cancerous of the bone or soft tissue. It is a type of cancer which occurs in children and young adults, and Joy was just 16 years old when she was diagnosed with it. She was first operated in April of 2013, where doctors assured her that the sarcoma is now completely gone.
However, come 2014 and Joy noticed that the bump has returned—now bigger and a little painful. Her 2nd operation was on February 14, 2014, and the bigger lump was once again removed. However, since it was cancerous, she had to undergo 17 cycles of chemotherapy. However, she asked her family to stop chemotherapy at the 5th or 6th cycle because she could no longer handle the mental, physical, and emotional stress and pain she was getting from it.
But when they tried other doctors, every one of them gave the same answer: chemotherapy. But she decided to try other ways instead. She changed her lifestyle and ate more nutritious food. She ate more vegetables and fruits, and almost totally cut down on everything else. However, she noticed that a new lump started to grow once again in 2015, and the lump was bigger and more aggressive than ever.
Doctors told her that she should undergo chemotherapy for her betterment. She finally gave in after seeing children younger than her, who were all smiling despite undergoing the same chemotherapy. And on her 12th cycle of chemotherapy in October 2015, the lump was once again removed. On February 2016, she finally finished her 17th chemotherapy cycle.
But Joy’s battle with cancer didn’t end there. Despite being able to study once again, she noticed that another lump started to grow in the same year. Just thinking about operations and chemotherapy made Joy decide to try something else again. She followed a strict diet instead—something far stricter that her previous diet.
Despite all her efforts, the lump began to grow so big that it was very hard to move her arm. To her shock, the doctor’s suggestion was to amputate her arm. This was necessary to prevent the cancer from spreading throughout her body.
It came as a trauma to Joy that she fell into depression just thinking about losing her arm. To make things worse, they tried other doctors, only to hear the same thing. But after falling into depression, Joy soon realized that her entire being was more important than her arm. And on December 21, 2017, her fourth operation, Joy’s arm was amputated. Though the operation was successful, adjusting to her new life was another challenge for Joy.