Friday, December 30, 2011


Being a Young Adult cancer survivor is a precarious thing. It's not what I would imagine being an older survivor would be because it seems more accepted that older folks may have faced this disease. Nor do I think it is anything like being a childhood survivor where you may not remember your journey as you age. Being a young adult survivor really displaces you in the social world.

Going through my classes this semester, I have begun to notice the changes in social aspects of my life and thinking about why things may have changed. At a time where it's natural for high school friends to start falling away and new relationships to start forming, I find myself wondering if this process of breaking away from my past friends is accelerated because of my cancer experience. I don't find myself quite relating to those I used to associate myself with, but that could also be because I go to a completely different school than most of them. See? It's hard to figure out!

I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling a disconnect with my past, and it doesn't help that I now have to still deal with all the effects of cancer post-treatment. It's just a very confusing time right now. I feel so confident and so lost at the same time and it's difficult to make sense of who I am right now.

I guess what I'm saying is not only am I distancing from my past social life, but it seems as though I'm disconnected from myself. And that's hard to deal with sometimes.

*I apologize for the rant like post. Sometimes you just have to free write and get it all out there.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cancer is a Bitch, yet again.

I think life is constantly reminding me that it isn't fair. It's hard to say the last time I was happy with life for an extended period of time. It seems as though I just recently let go of cancer, I came to full terms with it and accepted that it did happen to me. I learned from it. It changed my life and I was grateful for those changes.

A few months go by and I am happy, but apparently, life wants to kick me down yet again and remind me that its not all puppies and roses. I'm such an optimist that sometimes I forget how crappy it is out there.

Now, I can't say anything for sure on the matter, but it seems as though [someone very close to me] may have the same thing I had last year. It COULD BE NOTHING, but you should always 'expect the best, prepare for the worst'.

So what if it IS Hodgkin's? well, shits gonna hit the fan for awhile, but I will be there for him, along every step. He will get through it, and hopefully a little better off than I.

But what if it isn't? Thank goodness. I would see this scare as a reminder not to get caught up in the world and to remember who it is I am, as well as why I am here.

For now, I play the waiting game until I hear what is really going on. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

Just remember, cancer doesn't discriminate. I hope you never have to go through it, but tomorrow it could be you or a loved one. SO PLEASE, live a life full of love and happiness to the best of your ability. We aren't here for long, don't waste the little time you do have.


Monday, November 7, 2011

My Story Summed Up

I was recently asked to write one paragraph explaining my survivorship story for a cancer booklet for the American Cancer Society. Here is what I wrote:

Nearing the end of my first semester of college, I found a lump on my neck which eventually turned out to be Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Hodgkin's is a common cancer among many young adults. I had never known anyone in my family to have been diagnosed with cancer, and being 18, I was incredibly scared. Once the shock of the diagnosis wore off, depression had set in as I began chemo treatments. I'm barely an adult, I thought, why does this have to happen to me, right now. After 6 months of chemo, losing my hair, being isolated in my home town, months of emotional turmoil, and multiple youtube videos, I have come to terms with my cancer and have learned why I was put through the battle for my life. I am here to change lives. No matter how small the change, it is why I have survived. Cancer pushed me into the path that was meant for me and I am thankful now for all the hardships I was put through in order to come out a better person. Cancer sucks, but winning the fight surely doesn't. I am a survivor.

I thought I would share with those of you out there struggling to cope with cancer, or struggling to figure out life after cancer.

One of the ways I have dealt with everything is by asking myself why I think this happened. So why did it happen to you?

I can tell you right now, I believe there is a reason. Try to look at all the positive that has come from the wisdom you've obtained. This is what I've told myself and this is what I am telling you. You are here for a reason.

Keep the hope,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Keeping Busy

I find myself having a much easier time with everything 'cancer' when I'm busy. It a classic coping mechanism - swamp yourself with work, etc. so there is no time to think about what is wrong. So far, it's working for me.

Since being diagnosed, I have been going through cycles. I have a period of extreme joy, following that I am just neutral, and then I'll have down time and the hardships will hit.

Its when I sit around and think about my entire journey that I seem to get depressed. Why do I do this to myself? Luckily though, each down cycle is less severe each time. I take everything in stride and work through it.

Life is peculiar the way it works. I'm finding this out more and more each day.

Hopefully the next post will have more substance. There just isn't much cancer related on my mind tonight.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Sign that I'm Healing

Direct quote from one of my recent conversations:

“I’m not afraid of what I don’t know because that is completely irrational to do so. Life is gonna throw things at me and I’m gonna deal with them. Then i’ll die one day, and thats life. Its how I choose to deal with those things that matters, not what I’m dealing with.”

I'm definitely healing and growing wiser.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Healing Process

Being 3 months post treatment is peculiar. I really don't know where I should be right now. I'm lost in a place somewhere between the old me and the new me - if there even are such things.

It's hard to explain what I feel some days, mostly because I don't know. I have busied myself with school, work, and clubs, so I don't have much time to think about everything. Recently though, I had a bit of a mental break down. Ok, a total mental break down. All these fears and insecurities crept up on my slowly and then steamrolled me all at once.

The biggest fear that I hate to admit?: Will the cancer come back?

I know I can't think about this. I can't worry about what the future holds because it is foolish to be afraid of something that does not yet exist. But just because I shouldn't be afraid doesn't stop me from actually being scared out of my mind. Silently scared, of course.

I guess I've just got a lot on my plate right now. I'm trying to heal but can't quite figure out the right way to go about it. I've always been a mathematical person, so it is in my nature to need a solution for everything. But hey Lauren, guess what, cancer and its effects can't be solved by math. Only by time. There is no right or wrong way to heal, just my way.

So I guess this is my way. Sharing myself with the world. Becoming vulnerable for all to see/read.

Like I have said before, I feel most proud of myself when I am emotionally vulnerable to the world. Which, by the way, I would never have thought a year ago. Everything was always bottled up. Perhaps this is why I find so much healing/ pride/ joy from my blogging adventures?

My life is a work in progress, and it will never be solved. If there is one thing I can be sure about, it's that.

I guess what it boils down to is I'm trying to find some sanity in an insane world.

But who isn't?