On October 4, 2010 I was given my most difficult challenge yet. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (Stage 1). I should also mention that this also happened to be the fall of my senior year of college! My schooling has always been a number one priority, so being dealt an additional challenge was something I was willing to fight in order to be healthy and finish college on time. Chemo ended up being a lot harder on me than I thought it would be. I ended up having to stay home the week after chemo since I went to school two hours away. Thankfully my wonderful professors at Tiffin University were very helpful and gave me some leeway on assignment dates but I still had to complete the work. I felt very guilty when I felt like all I could do was sleep instead of doing homework, but I realized that it was the best thing for me. I had to push myself to get a lot more done on the days that I was feeling good to make up for the down days. My parents sacrificed a lot for me during this time, my mom took off work to be with me for every chemo treatment and made sure she was there for every appointment. My dad worked really hard to pay my medical bills. I found out how important family is and who my true friends are. I had incredible support from my family and friends and even from people who didn’t even know me but had heard about my diagnosis. I always had a positive attitude during most of the chemo treatments but I have to confess that towards the end I was really getting run down and felt a bit helpless. But I kept in the back of my head that I am tough and can beat this. Another thing I learned from having to deal with cancer is that it is okay to ask for help. Also, I learned not to take anything for granted, I can do anything! I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tiffin University May 7th, as a double major in Law Enforcement and Homeland Security! I was also honored with an award for Excellence in the Field of Law Enforcement. I have people tell me how much of an inspiration I am to them but I just did what I had to do to make sure that I beat some cancer butt and graduated from college! This has prepared me for any curve ball life decides to throw my way. Cancer will not define me!
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.