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,