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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65 Truths College Students Need to Hear Right Now

Truth every college student needs to hear.

1. The best memories are ones you actually can remember.

2. God isn’t going to ask you if you were in a top-tier sorority or fraternity at the gates.

3. You failed a test, not your life.

4. Numbers don’t define you.

5. That includes the number you see that is your grade.

6. Also, how much you weigh.

7. As well as if you are a “7/10” on a so-called “hot scale.”

8. Or if you can bench press 200 lbs. (@ all the guys at the gym, please chill.)

SEE ALSO: 7 Reminders Every College Student Needs To Hear Before The Semester Ends

9. Innocence is nothing to be ashamed of.

10. Neither are mistakes.

11. But learn from your mistakes. Mistakes can be lessons, which can be the biggest blessing.

12. Your metabolism isn’t what it used to be and that is okay.

13. You may not always understand what God is doing, but I promise He has a plan.

14. Every person you meet is battling their own struggles.

15. Life isn’t always great moments.

16. But you have to walk through the forest to get to the mountain top.

17. Your heart isn’t damaged. It is temporarily broken but it will be fixed.

18. However, the only one who can fix a broken heart is the one who created it.

19. So a cute boy or hot girl can’t put the pieces back together.

20. Neither can ice cream.

21. But ice cream can totally help.

22. Stop texting your ex. He/She is your ex for a reason.

23. Loving Jesus means loving people.

24. Loving Jesus also means loving the image of Him in the mirror you see.

25. Stop hiding your emotions. Stop crying in the bathroom or behind a locked door. You have people in your life who care about you.

26. Suicide is never the answer.

27. Breathe in, breathe out.

28. Do you feel your heart pump? Do you feel the air exiting your body? That is a sign you are here for a purpose. Your life is no mistake.

29. Just because you doubt, doesn’t mean you don’t believe in Jesus.

30. However, when walking on the water scares you, look to Jesus and keep your eyes on Him.

31. If you have the opportunity to go to school go. There are young girls around the world who would do anything to sit at the desk you are complaining about.

32. Don’t pick a career based on money.

33. However, I promise you can use any passion or gift to serve a purpose bigger than yourself if you allow yourself to give it to the One who gave it to you.

34. You don’t need pretty prayers to please God.

35. Talk to Him like you are talking to a friend.

36. Look for the good in everyone.

37. That includes the mean girl who no one likes. Chances are she is mean for a reason. Someone was once mean to her. Kill her with kindness.

38. Pray to have the Lord’s eyes. See people with love.

39. Try to have the Lord’s hands, always be reaching out to others.

40. Each morning, pray to have the Lord’s feet and go where He calls you.

41. It is a bad day, not a bad life.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Be A College Student In April

42. You don’t need a six-pack to find a man who loves you.

43. You need a spouse who will be able to look at you when you are 80, and wrinkly and maybe a little chunky, and you need him to love you then. If he loves you for your body and your hair, I promise he doesn’t actually love you. Looks fade, but love is eternal. Find someone who loves you like Jesus.

44. Do some squats.

45. But squat so you feel good about yourself, not to attract the opposite sex.

46. You are never too old to find a new hobby.

47. You were beautiful before someone told you.

48. If you don’t know if you are in relationship or not, leave. You deserve clarity, not insecurity.

49. You deserve friendships that are mutual.

50. The best Friday nights are spent with a puppy and food. It is okay to not always be social.

51. Stop worrying about whether your crush will text you back.

52. Stop over analyzing everything in general.

53. Pray for your future spouse.

54. However, also pray for your future bridesmaids/groomsmen. Some of the most influential people you may have in your life you may not have even met yet.

55. Storms bring strength.

56. And storms bring rainbows if you are patient and observant.

57. Stop Pinteresting your dream life and start living it.

58. The Bible is actually extremely relatable. Open it up. Read it.

59. Romans 8:28 “and we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is on your team. He wants you to have moments of celebration. He has a purpose for you greater than your bad day.

60. Never forget what Jesus did for you on that cross. When he died for you, it was painful and brutal. It was ugly. It was love. Don’t let that truth ever become numb to you no matter how many times you have heard the story.

61. There is nothing wrong with carbs.

62. Study. And don’t wait for the night before.

63. Find someone who you can look up to.

64. Also, never forget that there is always someone looking up to you. Act like someone you would want your future children to be. Act in a way that reflects wisdom.

65. Smile more, you are loved by the one who hung the stars and painted the sea. He created puppies and carbs–yet still loves you more. That is something to celebrate.

College is tough and life is hard. You are going to have moments where all you want to do is celebrate life with your best friends, but you will also have moments where you just want to lock the door, ignore everyone, and have a good cry. Never forget that your worth comes from something greater than your Biology grade, and from Someone greater that the one who broke your heart.

You aren’t too cool for Christ in college. Christ is a necessity for you in your life. He can hold your hand during your heartbreaks and failures and celebrate with you when you get the text back or a passing grade in foreign language. He loves for you and cares for you more than your sorority or fraternity ever will.

So buy your books, do your homework, but never forget when you are walking to you 8:00 a.m. you regretfully signed up for, to look up. Look at the clouds and the sky and thank your creator that in a big big world with many beautiful things, He still loves our messy hearts even more. So this one is for the boys for the King. This life is for the One who laid down His life.

I promise college is more fun when you dance with your Savior. Follow His lead and let him take you on a journey where you can find your purpose. You may not know where you are going, but you do know who you are following.

So never forget that although classes may be hard, and your metabolism may be slowing down–God is still good. He turns our ashes into beauty and our trials into our testimony. Do life with your creator and I promise you that you will have more than you need.

Romans 8:28 “And we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Check out my website for more articles on self-worth <3

Twitter: gracev96

Instagram: lemmebeyourvalentine

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6 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Asthma

There are definitely some common misconceptions around those who have asthma, let's debunk them.


I was born with chronic asthma. My entire life, everything I ever chose to do depended on how my symptoms were doing that day. I always had an inhaler in reach, with a nurse and at my house.

I used to even take these pills that tasted like candy before bed every night just to be able to sleep soundly. There have always been questions every time I have to take my inhaler or worries about me not being able to participate in certain activities when in reality, I feel fine most of the time.

There are definitely some things people don't understand about a condition as common as asthma, so let's talk about them.

1. It's a lifelong condition.

There will always be room for improvement, but not a guarantee that it will go away forever. At the end of the day, the risk of inflammation is there for the entirety of one's life.

2. I won't die any sooner than you.

I always get asked if I will have lifelong complications due to my condition or if I need to take certain measures and precautions to ensure I live a long, healthy life. To be honest, everyone does. Not just the ones with the weaker lungs.

Something like smoking cigarettes harms me as much as it harms you. In the end, the only reason someone with asthma's life is any shorter would be because they didn't take care of themselves properly; either by abusing or not taking the correct medication.

3. It's more common than you think.

Over 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma. It ranges from minor to severe. Some people even go their whole lives without knowing they have mild asthma because it simply never truly affected their lives as much as normally perceived.

4. Boys are twice as likely to develop asthma than girls.

No one really knows why, but boys really drew the short end of the stick. They are more likely to not only develop asthma but also show more bronchial hyper-responsiveness and have positive allergy tests.

5. We are still capable of doing normal everyday things, just differently.

Depending on the medication you're on and the level of severity of your asthma, you may not have to sit out the soccer games or bail on camp. I, for example, can only do certain levels of physical activity in short bursts. However, it is still recommended every one does regular exercise to maintain healthy lifestyles.

6. Some say "it's all in your head."

Although things like anxiety and stress could trigger asthma attacks, asthma is very much a disease that affects the airways. It's a disease of inflammation that causes the lungs and the immune system to overreact to certain triggers in the air. Some people have more triggers than others and some reactions are more intense.

Everyone's different, but no one is just thinking it.

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