If you happen to stumble upon my page, it must be because you are somehow affected by cancer in a certain way. Hopefully, my story will give you that missing spark to light your way through what seems to be an endless dark tunnel.
My name is Sarah, an ordinary girl trying to find her way through this thing that we call life. On the morning of July 14th 2014, an important event changed the entire course of my existence. I was diagnosed with a stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 23. It was the first time I ever heard the term Lymphoma. Of course, it was quickly clarified with the small sentence no one ever wants to hear: You have cancer.
Not a lot of people knew about my situation at first, only some close friends and family. I mostly didn’t talk about it since I was in denial for the longest time, because how often do we hear about getting cancer at that age right? We always think that cancer only happens to others and that we are somehow immune to it. Well, sometimes life might deceive you. Hearing that I would have to go through chemotherapy was harder for me than actually finding out that I had cancer. It made me realize all of the obstacles that I would have to face and I was terrified. Chemotherapy just made everything real, my cancer was real…
And it was a big slap in the face. Everyone reacts differently to chemotherapy. I was able to handle the first couple of sessions, but later it all became unbearable. I would get more nauseous each time, burning veins, hair loss, lung damage and the list goes on. The only positive outcome and the one that matters the most is that it worked. I beat cancer.
Despite the fact that this entire process was extremely difficult on a psychological and physical level, there is a silver lining to my journey. I got forced to try out short hair, a pixie cut that I would have never imagined having, which I now really enjoy. I was blessed with new people in my life. I got the chance to meet inspiring individuals, each fighting their own battle while supporting others at the same time. I’ve had people connect with me because they understood my struggles and others who wanted my advice and support as well.
This entire experience led me to believe that what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, might be the first steps of an incredible journey. I see life in such a different way. I learned to not take my health for granted. No matter your age, no matter how healthy you think you are, you never know how illness can strike. Most importantly, I realized how strong and courageous I can be when facing adversity. I often try to remind myself what I’ve been through, just to stay grounded, to avoid going back to bad old habits and to appreciate every little moment. If there is one thing I want you to remember, is that life is short, so live it to the fullest.