I decided it was my turn to take control. Matt and I waited outside for the salon to open. At 9 a.m., I put one foot in front of the other and walked in, chin up. In my bravest voice, I said, "I'd like to get my head shaved. I have cancer."
After I was diagnosed, I can't remember who first suggested that I find my new normal or the first time I saw it written in quotes -- "new normal" -- but it wasn't long before I developed what is presumably an abnormal distaste for the idea. Since then, I've thought often on why it bothers me.
I'm not here to tell you about a miracle that saved my daughter's life; instead of I'm here to tell you about the miracle that was her life, and how her 8 ½ years of life have left an enduring impact on the lives of other children battling cancers.
Asterisks aside, no one on my medical team seems disappointed by the PET results. In the eyes of many, I am in remission. I will learn to accept this as good news. I'll continue to believe that I'm on the cusp of complete remission.
Maybe a cancer diagnosis isn't as black and white as live or die. With the sudden threat of an expiration date, it's natural to at some point wonder, what could I be doing better? How do I make the most of my short time
My LRF colleagues and friends come back to the Lymphomathons each year, and will keep coming back until we see only yellow shirts; and we will continue to visit legislators for funding and vital cancer legislation.
I thought of the courage and strength that Francesco has shown throughout his treatment, and remembered the inspirational battle that my friend Joe fought when he was sick, and I knew that I had to take on this campaign for the both of them.
A lot of people are talking about the idea of rebirth, resurrection, miracles, and faith following Easter weekend. They are themes often on my mind too, though perhaps for different reasons: On December 1, 2010, I was reborn. Sort of.
I was 22 years old on the brink of graduating from one of the top musical theater programs in the nation, when I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I thought I was Superman, and my super power was my singing voice. Until, that is, the kryptonite lodged itself into my body.
Young adults face a slew of unique challenges when it comes to cancer -- from dating and sex, to finances, to career interruptions, to the fact that our cure rates haven't caught up with other age groups. We juggle all this while trying to stay alive at the same time.
According to my oncologist, I'm stuck over here at Stage 4, listening to a lame Gin Blossoms cover band that he says is called "Follicular Lymphoma." What? I've heard of worse band names at Lollapalooza.
It's not easy for patients (or their loved ones) to cope with a diagnosis of cancer. But if that first reaction is tempered with the knowledge that you don't have to beat cancer in order to have a full life, then it becomes bad news that's somehow easier to take.