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Cancer and in College

mritoch
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi, 

I am new to the Cancer Survivors Network. I am indeed a cancer survivor...when I was four months old I was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a golf ball. I underwent many rounds of chemo, radiation, tens of surgeries, and a bone marrow transplant. I have probably gone through more, but many years later I just do not remember. 

I am battling cancer for a second time. I am now 20years old, and I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma May '13, and am undergoing a clinical trial that will last a year. I am struggling more emotionally than physically because due to the cancer, I have to take a year off from college. I was supposed to be a junior this fall '13, and had expected to travel abroad to Scotland in the Spring of 2014. However, that is no longer the case. I will not be returning to my college (Smith College) for a year and it is eating me up inside. I want to return to my dorm with my friends...I want graduate with my class! Because of the cancer, I will be graduating with the class below mine...And it sucks. I want to celebrate graduation with the friends of my year, to know that we achieved our degree together. I do not want to be left behind...and that is what is going to happen. On top of that, I feel like I will lose the connections I made at my college with my professors, mentors, etc. I feel that when I return, it will not mean as much as it would if I could have stayed...because I would then become the girl who had to leave because of cancer. I wouldnt just be a normal student anymore. 

I was wondering if there is any person who has/has had a similiar story to mine. I need some advice to cope when trying to keep up with friends...to know that they are having fun or dying together in finals while I am at home, 3000 miles away, dealing with this stupid, inconvenient cancer. 

Thank you!

 

 

Lexilou15's picture
Lexilou15
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2013

when i was 18 i had just finished my freshman year of college and when i came home for the summer i was diagnosed with stage 2a hodgkins lymphoma.  this meant chemotherapy and radiation and i wouldnt be returning to school in the fall. i was devastated! i ended up having to take 2 years off of school because after i fought my cancer the first time it came back three months later which meant more chemo and a stem cell transplant. it has been a years since my stem cell transplant and i am back at school now. it is really tough tho seeing all my friends and this is their senior year and i should be a senior too but i am only a sophomore. but u know what thats ok! i have life experience and a story to tell that most kids at my age wouldnt! i am not going to lie to u tho i am having some trouble adjusting to normal life again. as happy and ecstatic as i am to be back at school its scary because no one else understands what i am going through and when people hear that u took 2 years off school thats all they wanna hear and think that u chose that. but i promise u when it is all over u are going to be a stronger person and no one can take that away from u. me getting cancer made me super interested in biology! i started college as an education major now i am a biology major and i want to become an oncologist and work with people that have had blood cancers just like me!

Draginlady
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2013

What a wonderful response you have written.  I am strengthened by your fight and your attitude.  What you have been through puts you miles ahead of all the other college students.  I am sure you will reach your goal and I wish you all of life's wonderful moments.

Jan

Draginlady
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2013

Good luck to you my dear.  You can and you will win this fight.  It has been handed to you for a reason....you may never find out why until much later in life.  Be brave, bold and possative.  This is merely a hicup for you and will make you a much stronger and wise young lady....trust me..I am running the miles with you and my arms are around you.

Jan

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