By Shannon Lane @shannoneroselane

A 21-YEAR-OLD with incurable bone cancer that resulted in a leg amputation is refusing to let the disease stop her ‘looking like a snack

Scroll down for the full story

Videographer / director: Fergus Thom 
Producer: Shannon Lane, Ruby Coote
Editor: Thom Johnson

 

Felicia Cantone from Essex, England was diagnosed with incurable bone sarcoma when she was six years old and has been battling with the disease ever since.

The cancer has resulted in her having her leg amputated, but the London student is spreading body positivity through proudly showing off her stump in killer outfits.

She told Barcroft TV: “Sarcoma is normally a bone cancer and when I first had the cancer it was in my bone, but it currently is in the chest area -behind my heart and my spine and the outside lining of my left lung.

"I was diagnosed with cancer when I was six, which was found because I was complaining about a lot of pain in my calf.

"My pain would come a lot of the time in the evenings, so I would be screaming with a lot of pain in the night times and this went on for a long time. I was limping at school, my mum said that I could have days off school because I was complaining.

“When I was visiting the doctor I was screaming in pain and in agony, and he said that he sent me to have an X-ray at the hospital.

“We were there for quite a few hours, there was a lot of running around a lot of investigations, they said that they could see something and said that it was a tumour.

"I was very young and didn’t understand what a tumor was. I had treatment for about a year, then the cancer went and I was in remission for three years.

But six years later, Felicia had the terrible news that the cancer was back, and this time it was in her leg.

Felicia explained: “When I saw the doctor they gave me the option of my leg or my life.

"My parents made that decision and they amputated the leg. I was having an intensive amount of chemo for about a year just to blast the body, just to get rid of everything that could possibly be there so that there was a slim chance of return.”

Felicia spent the next eight years adjusting to life with one leg, and the she received the news that the cancer had come back for a third time.

She said: "I was complaining of pain in my chest, I found it hard to breath, and I had a biopsy where they took a sample out from the inside of my lungs and they confirmed again, eight years later just after my 18th birthday, that it had returned and then I went for treatment again and I have had treatment ever since."

Since having her leg amputation, Felicia has tattooed her stump with flowers, and proudly shows it off - rarely wearing her prosthetic leg and using her wheelchair or crutches instead.

She told Barcroft TV: "If you think about it it’s quite heavy isn’t it? And my stump is really small so for my little stump to carry it, it’s quite hard. Around the groin area, I get blister that’s why I don’t wear it."

Day to day, Felicia doesn’t let her cancer affect her life - studying business management at a university in London and working a part-time internship in fashion.

She said: “I am living my normal life, my work, my university, the only thing I am affected by obviously is the amputation cause it is the only thing that limits me what I can and can’t do. I am in a wheelchair for uni so I think my amputation affects me more than the cancer right now.

"I have been on three different chemos for the entire three years, the first treatment I had, I had a lot of side effects and I was only on it for six months because I refused it at the end, the side effects were so bad, diarrhoea, sickness being frail."

Due to the amount of chemotherapy Felicia has had, she has had little-to-no hair since she was six years old and has built up a large collection of wigs.

She said: “So first I lost my hair when I was six so I went out without wigs on and hats on and stuff and I really started to wear wigs when I was eleven and till I was sixteen.

"It wasn't until I got more comfortable wearing them that I would change colours. Experiment a bit more.

"I love to stand out from the crowd."

Two years ago, Felicia started her Instagram account @yourgirlflizz to reach out to others in her situation.

She said: “I started my Instagram purely to get positivity out there. My account was for my amputation and for body positivity and I did it for myself really. I made it because I wanted to be more confident about myself because I wasn’t, because I had never uploaded pictures of my legs, showing normally just my thighs.

"I am glad I have done it because a lot of people have messaged me, in my same situation lost their leg or lost their hand and they would message me for advice. Or tips for me so it is super helpful for both me and them.

“When I first uploaded a picture of myself, I could see nice comments and it made me like: it is okay to be who you are."

And Felicia also has the strong support of her best friend Isabella.

Felicia said: “I don’t speak to my friends too much about my situation apart from my best friend, she is there for everything. She is there for all my chemos, everything, she is the one I rely on but with my other friends not so much."

Felicia’s condition is currently stable, and she remains positive about her situation.

She said: “I think you either have it or you don’t. I am not gonna lie, I think there are people who might take this situation as a negative, you can't make it a negative, you gotta make it a positive and then ou are gonna see the best out of things.

"I really don’t let my cancer stop me from doing anything.”