Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 22

Thank You

CANCER CHANGED ME

cancer I don't think I would have been able to
experience most of the things I got to do and
for that I am grateful. From showing my family
around Philadelphia, to days spent in New York
City, to beach days at the Jersey Shore it was
all so fun and freeing. I was getting a taste of
a life I never thought I would have a chance to
experience after my cardiac event. Eventually,
after victories and defeats I was finally told I
had reached complete remission. After two

years and five different treatment plans, I had
finally heard those sweet words. The next step
was stem cell transplant.
For transplant I had to decide where I
wanted to have it done. I made the decision
to have my transplant at MSK. It would be
difficult logistically, but I knew I had my
family's support. This meant for the first 100
days post-transplant I would be living in the
Big Apple. Luckily, my mom was able to stay

" I guess this is almost a thanks to cancer. A thank you for
opening my eyes. Thank you for my new 'cancer family'
I have. Thank you for the journey of a lifetime. "

22

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
MARCH 2021

with me to be my caregiver and we were able
to get a room in the American Cancer Society
Hope Lodge. At Hope Lodge I got to meet
people from all over the country and even the
world. It was an amazing experience. I have
met a ton of people during these past three
years and I am so thankful for every person
I have encountered, but our group from the
eighth floor at Hope Lodge was special. One
of the first nights we were there after getting
discharged from the hospital we all gathered
to play cards. We had a blast. It is in these special moments when everyone is smiling and
laughing that you see how the simple things
bring such joy. We were all there under the
same circumstances, but we were all able to
find joy in the little things like a card game or
bingo. During bingo one night, our floor was
on a roll. A couple of us won some gift certificates to Hooters since they were the hosts of
the bingo night and dinner. With those gift
cards we were able to have a chicken wing
party in our kitchen on our floor. We all forgot
about why we were there for that night with
the party. It was just a time to have fun with
friends. Things can be hard and unfair, but if
you surround yourself with the right people
you will always make it to the next phase.
Now I am at the next phase and what will
be my next endeavor. I made it through
transplant, with a few bumps of course, but
that is to be expected. January 29th, 2021
will be my first birthday since transplant.
It will be considered my " rebirth. " I think
these past three years have already been a
rebirth though. I have finally discovered my
voice and purpose in life. I realized that all
the petty problems I thought I had in high
school were really nothing. I realized how
lucky I am to still be here to tell my story. My
story makes me who I am and to be able to
tell it and maybe make an impact on someone is incredible. Through all the hardships
I was able to find ways to smile. I was able
to explore and do new things in new places.
I guess this is almost a thanks to cancer. A
thank you for opening my eyes. Thank you
for my new " cancer family " I have. Thank
you for the journey of a lifetime. It will never be over, but I am ready for the ride it will
bring. I found out I am a strong woman who
can make it through so much more now. l


http://www.ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM

Elephants And Tea - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - March 2021

Contents
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