The best way to describe life at the moment: a beautiful mess.
In the midst of the mess, beauty endures. In moments when negativity and brokenness seem to creep in, beauty shines through.
On August 12th I learned that the cancer had returned. Located in my upper left clavicle, my friend decided to hang around for a little longer and accompany me on my new adventure called college. After moving into Baylor University (Sic’em Bears) on August 16th, I traveled back to Houston and Texas Children’s to get a new biopsy of the swollen lymph node that I had discovered a few days earlier. The pathology report returned, and we learned that the lit up spot on the new Pet scan was officially Hodgkin’s Lymphoma once again. I began the process of questioning if I would even get to attend school at Baylor and the general “why and what” questions that often circle through the mind of someone with cancer. Why again? Why was I going to have to balance cancer and college? What was having cancer and going to college going to look like? Is this process ever going to end?
I learned about a day later that I would be starting a new chemotherapy treatment process. My treatments this time are both similar and different than last time. I will be completing four rounds of chemotherapy and hopefully a week of radiation during December. Each of my “rounds” lasts 3 weeks and I get chemo on two fridays in a row of each 3 week period (taking a break on the third friday of the round). I have now completed two of those rounds of chemotherapy and I have two rounds until I’m done. This specific chemotherapy process involves less drugs and less days of treatment than the first time around. Side effects that I’ve experienced are heavy nausea for about 24 hours during and after treatment, low blood counts which cause me to feel pretty crappy overall, and bone pain from a shot called Neulasta that makes my blood counts rejuvenate after treatment each round. My new hair has remained on my head and I am getting used to the “pixie cut” look. Being bald was fun, but I’m enjoying having my hair back and experimenting with new hair styles.
Tomorrow morning I will travel to Texas Children’s for my “halfway through treatment” scans. We are praying that these scans will be clear, and we can say goodbye to cancer for good. My next two rounds of chemo will be “follow up” rounds to complete the process and get rid of this evil disease.
All of this is messy. Life is messy. But, the Lord has never failed me for a single day of my life and he isn’t going to start now. The Lord has placed a new, beautiful adventure in my life that makes all this cancer stuff seem doable.
A seed was planted the first day I stepped foot onto Baylor University’s campus as a college freshman. Cancer seems like nothing when I stop and take a moment on a daily basis to thank God that I am even standing on Baylor soil. Every day that I get walk in the shadow of Pat Neff is a day that brings praise to my God. Every day that I get to attend class is a day that brings praise to my God. Every day that I wake up to the sun or rain outside my dorm window is a day that brings praise to my God. When I first started school this semester the common questions regarding home sickness began to surface from individuals who asked me how school was going. There are moments when I miss home, miss my family, and miss the comfort of understanding that accompanies life before college. But I wouldn’t trade the support and love I have experienced from being a Baylor student for anything. Baylor has been a light through this new diagnosis and I cannot put into words how thankful I am to be a part of the baylor family. Thank you to the individuals who have made this new place a home. You have brought loads of joy and love into confusing and troubling times. I am endlessly grateful for you and for baylor. This plANTED SEED IS BLOOMING IN WAYS SHE NEVER THOUGHT WERE POSSIBLE.
I am currently majoring in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing. The Lord has brought me to discover a new passion of mine over the last eight months, and I am happy to say that I will be pursuing a career in Public Relation for Children’s Hospitals.
Thank you God for Baylor and Cancer.
Beautiful messes come in the most unexpected ways.