CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 7

7

G R A D U AT I O N

&

C O N V O C AT I O N 2 0 2 0

C O M M E M O R AT I V E E D I T I O N

Student
Perseveres
Despite Cancer
Diagnosis

S

By Dana Brandorff

ara Schwartz had a bumpy start to her
nursing degree. Notified 14 days prior
to the start of orientation that she
was accepted into CU Nursing, she
drove to Colorado from California.
"I was homeless for a week and
planned to live in my car," she said.
Fortunately, she met a girl during orientation whose
family allowed her to live in their basement.
Then in the fall of 2018, she began to feel extremely
lethargic and ill. She shrugged it off, "Thinking it
was because I was stretching myself too thin -
working two jobs, going to school and staying up
late. I was a typical college student."
But one symptom was odd - swollen lymph nodes.
Noticing a "weird bump in my clavicle area" before
leaving California, she told a doctor at the hospital
where she was a CNA. He said to keep an eye on it.
Turns out it was something all right. In January,
Schwartz was diagnosed with Stage III Hodgkin
Lymphoma. "It didn't even occur to me that it could
be cancer. I was 24 and no one in my family had ever
been diagnosed before," said Schwartz.

be able to function and was miserable." While at her appointment,
she informed the doctor of her swollen lymph nodes.

At the time, the lymph nodes were the least of her
worries. Yes, they were swollen and painful, she also
had mood swings and personality changes. But a
rash all over her chest, back, and stomach was really
what drove her to schedule an appointment with an
ENT. "I was taking a lot of Zyrtec at the time, just to

"It did affect me. I lost my hair. And I didn't want to be judged
differently because of my diagnosis," said Schwartz. Struggling with
a decision to put a pause on school, Schwartz decided to continue.
Despite exhaustion and the aggressive treatment regimen, she kept
up with her studies and even managed to graduate cum laude. Now
that's pretty impressive!

"I have to credit the ENT. She was extremely persistent and on top
of her game," said Schwartz. She ordered a biopsy. A few days later,
Schwartz began chemotherapy, which lasted through July.

The many faces of
Sara Schwartz



CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020

CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - Cover1
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 2
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 3
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 4
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 5
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 6
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 7
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 8
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 9
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 10
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 11
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 12
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 13
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 14
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 15
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 16
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 17
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 18
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 19
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - Cover4
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