An Open Letter to Leukemia

An Open Letter to Leukemia

Losing is not an option.

Dear Leukemia,
I'd be lying if I said it was nice to meet you a month ago. You couldn't have came at a worse time. I was having fun at college with my friends, teammates, and my boyfriend. From my understanding, all sickness from the past couple months were build onto you, leukemia.

Of course, like the many unlucky souls you encounter, there hasn't been a day where I don't ask myself "Why me?" I don't mean to sound selfish but out of over seven billion people in this world, you decided to choose to enter my life at such a prime time, my sophomore year of college where I finally started dating the boy that I fell in love with and playing the sport that I love. Why me?

It seems like a long ago, but I don't remember most of my first hospital stay. Did I ever mention that I've never had to go to the hospital til you? My parents remind me every day how thankful they are that I am alive, breathing on my own, and able to move around a little bit. Every time they tell me how thankful they are that I am where I am today, it brings tears to my eyes because I want to be in a better place than where I am now. They remind me of their nightmares which was really a reality of the four days I was laying in the ICU, unable to speak to them, unconscious, and in a medically induced coma. Every time my dad tells me the story, he freezes up and can't continue. My mom tries to not repeat the story and relive the nightmare of where she almost lost her only daughter.

From the the little over three week hospital stay of where I lost over 30 pounds and probably had a hundred visitors, I only remember bits and pieces and the last couple of days. I remember my parents giving up sleep to be by my side a couple minutes longer even though they had work in a couple of hours. I remember my mom having to leave my room because she was trying to hide that she was crying. Little did she know how much I wanted to chase after her and bring her tissues but I couldn't move much more than my arms. I remember my teammates and my coach visiting me in the hospital bed where I could barely get up before they head to a tournament that I so wish could be playing in as well. I remember sending broth, jello, and water back for almost two weeks because I was only allowed to eat liquids. I remember my friend's mom giving up her time to spend at her own home, in her own bed with her husband and kids just to be at the hospital at night with me so I won't be alone. I remember my boyfriend sacrificing his weekends to stay with me even though he'd seen the worst of me in the hospital. And I remember the first time I untied my hair where a handful of my hair fell out and I wanted to believe it was because I hadn't brushed it but I knew inside it was because of the chemotherapy.

Leukemia, you have stolen enough from me. I have spent a lot of time crying since you came into my life and to be completely honest, I probably won't stop crying about you for a while. But I also want you to know that you have brought my family closer and stronger. My mom and I have shared countless amount of stories while I was in the hospital and I hope to share dozens more throughout the rest of the chemotherapy I have left. You brought my family closer to God. As much as I may question why all this happened, I also believe he has a bigger and better plan for me. Although I lost most of my eye sight to you, leukemia, Jesus did once heal a blind man so I believe he will heal me too. You have shown me how many people truly care about me with all the support.

Leukemia, you messed with the wrong girl because I'm not losing this fight. I'm gonna win this fight and go running every Sunday morning like I used to with my dad. I can't wait to go shopping again on Saturdays with my mom, even though we may only buy one or two things at the end of the day, we always had such a great time. I can't wait to go back to school and finish my degree and become the physical therapist I desired to be. And I can't wait to go back on the golf course healthier than ever, making more birdies than before.

I don't like losing, and I definitely won't lose to you, leukemia.

Cover Image Credit: Quotesgram

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Most Incoming Freshmen Are Only Worried About Making Friends, But I'm Worried About When To Tell My New Friends About My Disability

I shouldn't have to worry about if people are going to accept me for something I can't control.


Going to college is a big change for anyone and it's a difficult time for a lot of us. It is hard enough being an incoming freshman at a new school, let alone a freshman with a disability.

I never knew how much extra stuff I had to do in order to be able to get the accommodations I need plus all the typical college duties a student has on their plate. I had to fill out an online application to prove my disability, a learning accommodations form, an accommodations form, a Vocational Rehab form, a transportation form, plus the millions of other forms you have to fill out in order to become a student at any college.

It took three hours... It was very overwhelming. And I had to talk to a lot of people about the million forms I filled out without my parents' help.

"Welcome to adulthood," they said.

It happened in the blink of an eye. Besides all the forms, choosing roommates is harder than I thought it was going to be. It's something that most people find nerve-wracking. I have the challenge of not only trying to meet new people in an unfamiliar environment like everyone else but in hopes of being accepted by my peers because of my disability.

At what point do I tell people about my disability? Do I tell them when we are getting to know each other or when we are going to meet up? That's probably the thing I am scared the most about.

I have heard that college students are more accepting of disabilities than most high schoolers, which puts me at ease a little bit.

But people can be really cruel, no matter what age.

I am also realizing as I go through the roommate process that students are not properly informed on disabilities and how to treat others with disabilities. I shouldn't have to worry about if people are going to accept me for something I can't control. Students should be nice and accept people of all different abilities. But it's easier said than done.

Another thing, trying to find a job that will be accommodable to me has been difficult. It seems so easy for a typical college student to get a job, but not me. I have spent the last six months applying for jobs just to hear nothing back from businesses. All I want to do is earn money like everyone else to try and go to college.

That's one of the reasons I applied to Vocational Rehab is to potentially get money monthly in order to suffice a job for now or at least to keep me on my toes for a little bit.

There's that... then there is the typical college student stuff housing, dining, medical forms, transcripts, and student sport passes... It is just a lot for one 18-year-old to handle. The point is, as some of you are going through the same college process, be courteous to your classmates around you.

We are all going through something similar but others may be dealing with a little more or nervous so be kind and understanding.

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