It has been a long road since the beginning of the semester when I found out that I have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The fight has been tough, and the emotional and physical toll it took on me has reached levels I never expected at the beginning of my treatment. Countless times I became so discouraged and frustrated I almost gave up on myself.
When I decided to take the semester off to get my treatment and pull myself together, it didn’t occur to me the huge amount of free time I would have on my hands, although it has given me time to do some other things that I have not been able to do in a while.
I was able to begin writing poetry again, travel to visit family up north and even had time to establish a new appearance.
However, as much as I loved having a semester to re-examine myself, my ultimate goal is still within arm’s reach: I’m determined to have my grandparents see me graduate from college.
I have decided to re-enroll in school for the spring semester while continuing my treatment. The way I see it, if I’m strong enough to leave the house and carry on with my life most days, then I might as well use that time productively and continue my education in the process.
I still have some days when I just have to cry and be alone for a while. But, as soon as I dry my tears, I am up and fighting again. Everyone needs a day to be alone. My days may come closer together than the average person’s, but that’s okay. I’ll never quit.
In these last five months, I’ve met the most caring, helpful and genuine people in my life.
Mrs. Logan, my high school guidance counselor’s mother, drove me to my appointments when I was first diagnosed and allowed me to stay at her house until I felt better. She and her daughter, Mrs. Hilton, have helped me since I arrived in Tallahassee and I am eternally grateful to have them in my life.
Another woman who has been like a second mother to me is Dorothy Bland, division director of FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. If she’s not driving me to every doctor’s appointment, she is calling me every day to make sure I have food and that I am doing well.
I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart, because, without her constant support and strength, I would have given up on myself and everyone else months ago.
I also I have to thank Toronda Hinson, a cancer survivor who responded to my first article. She has been a great inspiration to me and a blessing to talk to. There are so many people who have been there for me and although I can’t name them all, I want you all to know that I appreciate everything that you have done for me. I want to thank my family and the friends who stuck around through this very tough time with me.
I love you all and I will continue to fight this monster. I just hope that you will all help me stay strong.